This audio presentation by Susan Jones at Work and Art, CRATE, UCA Canterbury, March 2015, considers the climate for visual artists’ practice and their artists’ ability to make a living. By referencing evidence and data from arts and cultural sources over the last thirty years and considering insight from future forecasting, it identifies prevailing issues surrounding support to artists within the public sector. It concludes by articulating some of the inherent issues and challenges within the current and future ecology for artists and the contemporary visual arts that need to be addressed by public funders and the sector alike.
This paper used comparative data as a backdrop to a commentary designed to illuminate a discussion on whether there are ‘Too many artists?’, raising a range of issues, questions and (mis)perceptions - in part about the role of artists in life in general and impact of state intervention and arts policy-making in particular.
Even in countries with well-developed fee and pay systems, artists’ low wages remain a problem few are willing to address.