Art on the Underground

Dryden Goodwin has created a series of drawings of Underground staff. The artist attached an HD camera to his drawing pad and you can see the drawings being created by clicking on the thumbnails here. It’s quite mesmerising watching the portraits build themselves up.

The great outdoors

Cover photo of Beyond Their Walls reportI attended the launch of the Arts Council’s report “Beyond their walls” this morning, with amazing views from the top of the Southbank Centre this morning. A beautiful morning to look out over the river, and think about the ways in arts and cultural organisations can engage with people in the great outdoors.

“Beyond their walls” shares 10 organisations’ experiences of working in the public realm. The concept of ‘walls’ with respect to public space is not just about organsiations thinking beyond the physical walls of their venues but, as was pointed out this morning, there are many people who do not engage with public spaces and it is these invisible walls that we should be mindful of when stretching our own boundaries.

The Arts Council hope that this document will inspire in organisations the desire to promote audiences and organsiational development, to explore options for collaborative practice, and to be encouraged to have a go!

We have one printed copy of the report here at the Audiences London office, so if you’re popping in at some point, you’re welcome to have a browse. Otherwise, the report can be downloaded from the Arts Council’s website here.

4th plinth

If you find yourself wandering across Trafalgar Square at 7am on Sunday 26 July….

look out for me on the fourth plinth as I’ve been selected to take part in Antony Gormley’s One and Other

Artists as social workers?

I attended an interesting conference yesterday … yes, on a Sunday. Mobile Conference, organised by Peckham Space in partnership with South London Gallery, exploring the relationship between play, democracy and contemporary art in the public realm. Involving a mixture of artists and arts professionals, a couple of speakers from Demos, some kids from a local estate, and a blind-folded walk around Peckham, it was a stimulating afternoon.

So where do the social workers come in?

At various points during the day, the discussion circled around the fact that increasingly, artists are being invited/expected to enter roles that might have traditionally been thought of in the realm of social workers, community workers, or youth workers. While blurring of boundaries is certainly opening more doors for engagement, benefiting both artists and those they are working with, there was a concern that artists are increasingly being expected to cure us of all ills.

Another good nugget of food for thought was:
Artists are accustomed to having control over their art, their style, their methods, and what’s produced at the end of it, but does ‘democratisation’ of public art go hand in hand with relinquishing control? And if so, do we need to think about how to support artists in giving up control?