Darren Henley’s review of Cultural Education in England has just been published, to a broadly positive reaction among commentators in the arts and education sectors. It contains some interesting proposals and appears to move away from the approach of the previous government in certain key respects.
One of the benefits of Axis membership is that the website gets looked at by many organisations who are interested in working with and promoting artists.
Another benefit is that if these views turn into contacts, we provide the mechanism for those people to get in touch with artists. Each month I send hundreds of enquiries on to artists, often with my fingers crossed and a big smile, hoping that a great opportunity for one of our members is the outcome.
I have been tasked with trying to answer some of the questions that Lucy raised in her blog post ‘Can I buy that video?’. I’m going to admit now that I may fail, but I promise to give it a good go.Thanks Lucy.
I just can’t help myself. When given half a chance, I have nipped off to have a look around the other stands. I managed to do this on Wednesday evening when I popped to the main projects area and took a look at some of the other stands. BEARSPACE stand - P21 caught my eye - they are showing the work of three British artists Suzanne Moxhay, Reginald S Aloysius and Jane Ward in an exhibition entitled ‘Brave New World’.
It’s been good to meet so many artists at the London Art Fair, many of whom have profiles on Axis. Thank you for coming to say hello.
For the Axis team it’s great to put a face to the work. And for the artists I guess it shows that there are people behind the technology. We’re real human beings, honest!
This morning I’ve been having a bit of a wander round the Art Projects section of the London Art Fair. I was pleased to find Bill Jackson’s striking photographs at Troika Editions and to meet the curators of The Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast. Although Axis has a remit for the whole of the UK, we have only a handful of directory members in Northern Ireland. Definitely something to be remedied there…
When we curated the stand for our Arts Projects space at London Art Fair we wanted to show a cross-section of work from the Axisweb directory. The directory is bursting at the seams with talent and the Art Fair is a great way to show it in the flesh.
Selling the work is, of course, important in this context and the work was selected with this in mind. However I think it would be fair to say that the success of Hanae Utamura’s ‘Wiping the Sahara Desert’ has taken both the artist, and us, by surprise.
To state the obvious, one of the good things about having an art fair stand is the enforced leisure. You really can’t do very much except talk to people. And for us, so far, that has been a real pleasure.
Yesterday we spent a lot of time in conversation with the artists who have work on the Axis stand. I was intrigued to hear about Florin Ungureanu’s education in Ceauşescu’s Romania, David Webb’s passion for colour, Canadian Trevor Kiernander’s experience of living in London, Will Woon’s interest in Gothic architecture and the propensity of caretakers at the Slade to dispatch anything vaguely resembling scrap material to the rubbish bins, as Sonke Faltien discovered to his cost while doing a BA there.
Two items in the media over the weekend got me thinking about the perennially contentious subject of what the arts are for and whether or not they should be subsidised.
I found myself listening to a programme on Radio 4 about the folk singer Ewan MacColl, whose pioneering role in the revival of British folk music in the 1960s was closely informed by his Marxist beliefs.
MacColl was famously abrasive, dogmatic and hostile to the ‘élitism’ of the arts establishment. But like many of us perhaps, he was also inconsistent in the application of his principles.
We’re rebuilding our website.
I believe there are a lot of parallels with building a manor house. You want the house to have a large, light welcoming entrance hall and many rooms, connected by corridors, stairs and sometimes secret passages. Some of the rooms are public and beautiful, some give you ideas where to go next, some are busy workshops where things are being made, and for some rooms you need a key (or a friend who knows the secret code). The important thing is to get the connections between rooms right.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about the development of the brand new Axis. This doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening – oh no – there’s plenty of planning and behind-the-scenes discussion…