As some of you may have noticed I had to move last week's Artist Salon to this week after Storm Babet got a bit floody where I live. Because of the flooding I got to spend a lovely evening having a sleepover with my kiln Ceramicy Jane on Friday night.
The last Salon in September was a very relaxed affair where we spoke about marketing art and using high end fashion brand marketing as inspiration on where to level your art. We also spoke about some genius ways of getting around the ageism levelled at young people. There were some really insightful observations of the systems in play around large funders and organisations there to support creative industries, that are set up to keep us playing small and safe.
Since this Salon I’ve had an extra week to muse on why I set up these events in the first place with one of the motivations for starting the Artist Salon was the book How To Become A Successful Artist by Magnus Resch, an arts economist. I wanted to discuss themes mentioned in the book to see if we could put the advice into action, but as I started reading I realised it was not a book of actionable tips, with advice including “don’t lose hope” and “read this book”... Helpful... Artists who are women, LGBTQ+ or Black and Brown get a whole 2 pages addressing inequality with a quote from a white male artist in this section. There are case studies and quotes throughout the book and as far as I can gather from these, artists are going to art and it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we’re taking action. Admittedly I’ve only got as far as Chapter 2 (Research and Findings - A Data Driven Approach) plus a quick flick through the rest and I’m sure there are some useful parts to the book but from here on in I'll not be referencing it during our talks.
Our next session will be aimed at actions we can take rather than unpicking the systems in place because very recently I’ve come to realise we have all the answers and I’ve been complicating it by trying to understand the systems within which we work. With each session I get more clarity on the full purpose of these salon’s. As I mentioned in the first post about these I wanted to play it by ear as to where these gatherings end up. I do know I want these sessions to be small joyful revolutions where we can talk about the art world we want to see rather than what it actually is. I think we can agree that equity is missing from the art markets so we either have to work with those systems, push against them or just put them in the bin. Perhaps a combination of all three to get where we want to go.
Side note. I attended an interesting talk with Chris Biddlecombe and the Scottish Artists Union today about a study of artist-led organisations in Scotland. I've not had a chance to read the study but I think it will make for interesting discussions in future Salons. There may also be folks from SAU at future events to participate in these discussions.
Finally, a recipe, the Mushroom Kheema I made last time.
This recipe was devised by Josie Jones at The Mindful Cook. I have been working with Josie for a while now, reversing historical dietary indoctrination from my mum’s dieting behaviours and the 80’s & 90’s diet culture. Part of telling my food story differently has been in creating the Artist Salon as a place to enjoy food with others over good chat. Especially as a single person who on the whole lives on her own, this has been important to create.
The next two sessions will be held at 6:30pm on Thursday the 26th October (book here) and the 16th November (book here) in my Newport On Tay studio, please book through the Eventbrite links attached, so I know numbers for food and chairs. There won't be a Salon in December, they will resume again on the 18th January 2024 and will continue on the third Thursday of the month. If the weather is terrible they'll be moved online. Attendees will be a combination of invited guests and anyone who feels they have something to contribute to the conversation and wants to come along. Please bring some food to add to the pot luck meal ( I have a microwave and small fridge, no oven, hob or freezer).
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