Tag Archives: Arts Council England

Photo Resource – Tri-pod Case Study for Artquest: Working with photographic artists on Projects in Progress (PiP)

Tri-podWorkshopMirandaGavin, photo by WendyPye

Tri-pod Workshop Miranda Gavin discussing work, photo © Wendy Pye

I recently wrote a Case Study on Tri-pod (a creative initiative that I co-founded with photographer Wendy Pye) for Artquest, which I thought I would share with readers of this blog. Artquest is run by artists for artists and “provides the information to drive creative practice and help artists thrive on some of the lowest incomes in the creative sector”. It is hosted by the University of the Arts London and is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.


Notes from Tri-pod research and development workshop, Roof Unit, 2011. Photo © Miranda Gavin

Tri-pod – Case Study on Artquest: “Working under the name Tri-pod, our key aim is to offer critical support to photographers and visual artists working on lens-based personal projects in progress…”

To read the full article, go to Tri-pod Case Study

Photo News: Arts Council cuts Side Gallery but continues support of merger between Photoworks and Brighton Photo Biennial

As the Arts Council announces its funding decisions, two photography arts organisations receive very different news. While the Arts Council has axed Side Gallery in Newcastle as a revenue client in its National Portfolio, which is described in a response by the Amber Film and Photography Collective as “a profoundly stupid, culturally illiterate and illogical decision”, Photoworks and Brighton Photo Biennial announce a merger and will receive continued support. Need to look into this some more and see how Photofusion has fared…

The reasons for the Arts Council decision are:
1. The gallery is part of a collective and therefore doesn’t have a board;
2. The gallery needs Arts Council funding and therefore isn’t sustainable;
3. There are too many galleries dedicated to humanist documentary photography in Side’s geographical location.

“This flies in the face of the fact that the collective has continued to deliver what is unquestionably the strongest cultural legacy created in the North East over the past 40 years. Unlike many Arts organisations, its egalitarian collective governance has meant Side Gallery has never approached the Arts Council or Northern Arts for a bail-out. It is the only gallery in the country dedicated to documentary photography.”

From Amber Film and Photography Collective, ACE response: “In addition to the Arts Council’s unsustainable assessments around Governance and Finance, they make the bizarre argument that there were ‘too many strong/good applications for work in this artform and this geographic location’. Elsewhere, the assessment acknowledges that Side is ‘the only dedicated documentary photography space in the north east.’ There is in fact no other gallery in the country dedicated to the crucial narratives of humanist documentary. This uniqueness and cultural importance in Side Gallery’s work was amply made in a powerful and moving set of testimonies from internationally renowned photographers, which was attached to the National Portfolio application. Audience perception of this uniqueness, importance and value of Side Gallery’s work can always be witnessed in the copious entries in the exhibition comments books. A representative selection was attached to the application.”

“This decision is mystifying. It seems not to have taken account of the Arts Council’s acknowledged understandings or of what was written in the application and the supporting documents. It seems to be rooted in a deeply prejudiced antipathy to the principle of collective organisation that flies in the face of an unparalleled record of achievement. It is a profoundly stupid, culturally illiterate and illogical decision.”

“We are relieved to be receiving continued Arts Council investment under the newly established status of National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and excited to announce the merger of Photoworks and Brighton Photo Biennial.

“Our NPO bid was as a merged organisation and we are delighted both organisations have secured a future for the next 3 years. The continued ACE investment recognises both organisations’ proven track records in promoting and celebrating excellence in photography. We now look forward to developing and delivering our bold and ambitious vision.

See Arts Council Funding decisions link.

Photo News with a Gallery theme – Another Soggy Wednesday in London

© Jane Hilton, Dead Eagle Trail

Today’s post has a gallery theme with some statistics on visitor numbers, a couple of exhibitions opening in London but focused on America and Russia, as well as  a collecting art scheme from the Arts Council England for UK-based galleries.

Almost 40 million visitors went to galleries and art fairs in the UK last year, according to a press release issued today by the Whitechapel Gallery. It reports that, “On the last day of the financial year galleries across the UK reported record numbers of people coming through their doors over the last 12 months. Public galleries, private galleries and art fairs across the UK saw 38,905,533 million visitors* for the 09/10 financial year, an increase of 3.2% from 2008/09. *Attendance figures provided by over 350 organisations.

“Art has never been so popular, with exhibitions attracting bigger crowds than football matches. Visits to galleries and art fairs outstripped tickets to football matches attendance by over 13 million. A groundswell of hundreds of organisations contributed to the figures – from Tate Modern to HICA in Invernesshire, from small experimental spaces to the Frieze Art Fair.

“Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, said, ‘There is a huge appetite for art in Britain. At the recently expanded Whitechapel Gallery we have received almost half a million visitors in the last 12 months – an increase of 120%. In these challenging times it demonstrates everyone increasingly values a direct experience of art.”

With this in mind, I point you to Jane Hilton‘s book launch and show Dead Eagle Trail (see photograph) opening from April 21 until 15 May at Host Gallery, London. I interviewed Jane for HotShoe (February/March issue) about the evolution of the work and present an extract from the feature Dead Eagle Trail.  Also, there’s a  show at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London Glasnost: Soviet non-conformist art from the 1980s from 16 April to 26 June.

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