Art.. who decides what gets made

So .. in the UK we believe that art should be free.. and accessible to all.  And that is great, in fact Public Art has to be free, otherwise it wouldn’t be Public.

So if Art is Free to be enjoyed, how does the Art that is made get paid for.  Well, it seems to me, a year after graduating, and looking at the experience of most of my colleagues, that Art is paid for by artists, who are mostly working in low paid jobs or being sent off in pursuit of mindboggling inappropriate jobs by the dole people in order to survive.. and trying to make art and find an audience in their ‘spare moments’.

So how are we going to fund the Art Shed Collective.  It is tough.  Creative Scotland are no good, unless you have months and months of notice of an opportunity and fall neatly into one of their funding  criteria. .. no joy as we only had four months notice ourselves!  So then there are Trust Funds.  Each of these has its own specific rules about who they will or will not fund, wanting to catch the next genius, each fund says it is oversubscribed.  Also…given the democratic principles behind the wish that art should be free and accessible.. the fact that artists can only get funding from obsure, unelected and unaccountable bodies controlled by small elites seems to totally undermine this.  Are these hidden trustees effectively the arbiters of taste, as they decide who can be afford to be a maker.

What about art for the masses funded by the masses.. each individual paying just a teeny bit, but together achieving the impossible dream, of Artists being paid an income to make work for everyone to enjoy.  The earliest art started with the earliest people, to make art and to enjoy art is part of what makes us human.  Art is joyous, surprising, irritating, funny, poignant, and everything else your internal world makes of it.  Here is your opportunity to make this dream real.. by contributing just £1 to the Art Shed Collective this summer… before July 20th.

PS. We made it, thanks a million to everyone who supported our appeal, you are amazing!


Art Shed Collective

P1010284I am delighted to be part of the Art Shed Collective exhibiting at the Just Festival in Edinburgh this August.  Our site is just behind this statue.. titled famine.. quite like the way he appears to be reaching for my ball of wool. 

I am planning to make a conversation piece that grows from day to day during the festival investigating other lives, but for this I am looking for someone in Agra, India to do transcribing.  If you know anyone please message me.


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Just thinking about the conversations that travel along these fragile lines, over hill, mountain, through forest..for thousands of miles, bringing good news, or not, and making people closer despite the distance.  An old friend died recently, she was in her 80’s living in Houston Texas, and had been poorly for ages.  All my life Marilyn has always been there at the end of a phoneline or email, offering love, wisdom and humour, and now I can’t phone her any more.

I am making a piece about this tenuous but vital link for an exhibition next week.  I have gathered some ‘telegraph poles’ I found lying in the wood close to the lines shown above… here is a picture of how I found them, with Monty, co-explorer underneath