8 07 2012

Artists have always had to seek funding for what they do. If it is the production of paintings it is collectors, patrons and benefactors the same as it ever has been. The recent cuts in funding of the public sector have devastated the growth in socially engaged practice across the field. Why has this been so dramatic? Because the arts and artists have been employed to find ways of supporting other services deliver their objectives. Primarily this is because the disciplines learned in the visual fine arts are transferable with deep mapping skills. You need deep mapping skills if you are to learn about contexts, cultural, inclusion, individual experiences or communities and common and shared contexts. For the last 20 years or so the arts sector grew supported by the Arts Council and Lottery Funding. This growth went hand in hand with ‘Inclusion’ policies, ‘Every Child Matters’ and a raft of social improvement policy supported by the labour party. When the crunch came, it was because of over estimated growth, over reach and optimistic gambleing.

But underlying the issues were the abiding issues of poverty of spirit, poverty of aspiration and poverty of trust. Each one is as a cultural trend increasing and coming to the surface. For the first time in 34 years I am applying in my own right as an artist to the Arts Council England Grants for the arts programme. Previously I have applied through organisations or been selected to deliver as a lead artist or project managed having conceived the idea, planned, designed and delivered the projects or programme of projects.

Historically the arts have been supported by ”The Church’ by ‘The Merchant Class’ by ‘Royalty and Landed Gentry’ by ‘Industrialists’ by ‘Corporations’ and by the ‘State’  The outcomes of my art work have been social outcomes for 34 years. Definitely not commercial or for profit or to benefit my own ego. I still hold to the values of wanting to make a difference in the world to creating a better place for all, for my work to to be of social benefit and of  striving towards wellbeing and to serve the public good.

In this climate I will be interested to see how my application is received and if successful hope to engage further with an online audience. We shall see?


Living educational theories

5 07 2012

When I get emersed in the creation of text, content, thoughts, ideas and concepts, I try and stay really focussed in order to write. The process can blind me to the obvious, it becomes chaotic, random interspurssed with having to take breaks away from the demands of slowing my thinking down to my typing speed and repetitaive strain on eyes, neck, hands, back let alone screen radiation. I know that a dictaphone is the key with todays software, but somehow the process that is mediated still does not satisfy fully, even the pencil, drawing does not convey the moment, the depth of thought or nature of intense questioning that I want to express. I understand the notion that there are two types of text the writterly text for the writter and the readerly text produced with the reader in mind. It seems obvious that they can still be one and the same thing having written this just now as both the writter and the reader of what I have written. So once a piece of text is written I have to consider the reader other than my self. Unless no one is going to read this which is more than likely. The piont is whilst emersed in the writting of the APEX book even when not at the computer key board the process has continiously progressed since getting the commission. I missed the obvious when John Bullock posted on his site “What makes a sustainable lighting manufacturer” John is obviously asking a ‘Living Educational Theory’ question relating to every thing I have been working on. This is why I could not get his question out of my mind the subject was explictly relevant to my interest in sustainable issues but implicitly relevant to my interest in ‘Living Educational Theory’ . But it was like meeting someone out of the usual context either way inspirational in that it has me thinking more complexly and differently again. APEX book is progressing still looking for more content though so not too late to submit a piece.

APEX Summer Activities and Forum Event

4 07 2012

As  APEX comes to an end the 2012 summer activities will begin on 23 rd July for 4 days and culminate on a public event at the Forum in Bath on 26th July see the Living Legacies website for further details. The ‘Living Legacies’ book will be available as a downloadable PDF from 26th with an updated edition available with details from the Summer activities and the future possibilities emerging from APEX on 31st.

Book Writing

3 07 2012

The APEX book is begining to take shape now. The struggles with word documents and PDF conversion still concern me but the content will all being well be of a high quality and of interest hopefully to a wide audience.

I am concerned as ever that not to go down a polemic and retorical rant that the times really do warrant. I will leave this to this space. The fact that the cultural context we live in enables people the freedom to create wealth, run businesses and the freedom to say that they ‘have done it all on their own’  then move overseas to wallow in the wealth created in that the system has allowed and the exploited people have colluded, complied with and conformed to. I see nothing wrong with earning an income from what one does, a very good income is absolutely acceptable and to be asspired to. But when does a good income become greed and an abuse and blight on society £50,000 perhaps?

Social Contexts

2 07 2012

As I continue to reflect on my own body weight, image and pressence not through vanity alone but from a genuine afirmation of needed change in health, I am also aware of the current context. The normative values and conditions within which we all live that affect our lives. We are living through times that increasingly demand ‘Compliance’ ‘Conformity’ and an overwhelming sense of ‘Austerity’. So what are the current conditions.

I agree with Tony Robinson, George Monbiot and Margaret Heffernan

What do you think?

BBC News – George Monbiot: Private schools should be closed down I like this link re social mobility

BBC News – Tony Robinson asks if bankers are human I recomend you view this clip

It is time for truth to talk to power some insights into the strength required on such a task go to

TG12_47225_D32_6858 I really like the way Margaret Heffernan puts across how hard but how vital to stay with core values

I will still start with my priority to change self first though. It is the hardest evolution with intent and influence as we change the context will shift.