Friday Nov 18, 2022
Friday Nov 18, 2022
We unpick some of the myths and practicalities of artist-led spaces with the help of our brilliant panel: Sandra Hall from Friction Arts based at The Edge in Birmingham, Julia Negus from Theatre Absolute and the Shop Front Theatre in Coventry, Amahra Spence from Maia Group and Yard Art House in Birmingham, and Jon Wakeman from East Street Arts and the Art Hostel in Leeds.
My Place, My Art: the joys and pains of artist-led spaces
Until the creation of The Nest, our shared making space, Talking Birds was – like many arts organisations – peripatetic: taking up temporary residence to make work in meanwhile spaces, and often moving from place to place – in unheated, damp offices or lodging with friends.
With this conversation, we want to explore the different routes artists have taken to inhabit or create spaces in which to make work – a place to belong – whether these are squats, meanwhile spaces, shared with arts or non-arts organisations, legitimate rentals or purchases.
What are the different motivations for creating artist-led spaces/why do we do it? Are artists naturally drawn to collective working? Is it about power in numbers, making a new commons, sharing resources? Is the drive to create these kinds of spaces unique to artists, or just the art version of an essential human characteristic? What part does chance, hunch and gentrification play in the spaces artists inhabit or build? What is it about spaces shaped by and for artists that sets them apart? Do artist-led spaces have clear characteristics in common, or is each space as unique as the artist(s) that created it? What are the different ways that these spaces can be financed? What are the pros and cons of different methods? Do these kinds of spaces have a shelf-life? How do they evolve when the founders move on? And what is it about the nesting instinct (sorry) that is so strong for artists anyway?