Prospecting Photo By Leonie Hampton 2018

Exploding myths: the future of artists' livelihoods

Presentation for CAMP (Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth) 13 February 2020

My doctoral research revealed that if they are to ‘get on’ rather than ‘get by’, artists need continuous access to a specific, nuanced set of interrelated conditions. But although in various ways over the last thirty years certain Arts Council England policies intended to improve both artists’ economic and social status, they’ve failed to do so, instead perpetuating assumptions that artists’ low pay is just ‘how it is’. This presentation starts by setting out the optimum contexts for artists to sustain art practices over a life-cycle. It examines what’s been tried before and ends with some bold propositions for how to support and fund artists in future as the only way to achieve the conditions artists need and deserve.

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