ThE Contemporary Visual Arts Network represents and supports a diverse and vibrant visual arts ecology, embracing a broad range of artistic and curatorial practice across the nine English regions.
Director’s Blog & Guest Commentary:
Tom Watson's creative policy has been receiving some attention as an election looms onto the horizon. So what is Labour's policy? According to the policy document "A Creative Future for All" Labour recognises the key role culture plays in promoting the UK's image abroad and promoting trade and will place creativity at the heart of their industrial strategy…
With reference to personal experience, Sue Flowers examines the precarious nature of working in the arts, exposing low pay and exploitative working practices for visual artists. She implores the network to work collectively to make things better - the subtext to this being it would be difficult for them to be much worse.
Reflecting on her recent research report Artists Practising Well Nicola Naismith, Visual Artist and Clore Fellow, considers how inconsistencies in affective support for creative practitioners working in health and wellbeing settings can be addressed to protect the health of artists and contribute to the best quality practice for participants.
Jamie Eastman, co-chair of Visual Arts South West, provides commentary on the recently published Augar Review, a Government review of post-18 education and funding in England.
Reflecting on the current discourse regarding exploitation, discrimination and systemic bias in the sector, Paul Hobson, Director of Modern Art Oxford and Chair of CVAN South East, considers the role of publicly-funded art institutions in promoting greater equality and inclusion in the sector…
Let’s sustain a mood of optimism as the days become warmer and develop a balmier attitude to uncertainty - life goes on and the arts are never more vital than when we need to reinvent ourselves. Let’s embrace change, get out in front and shape it!
Referencing recently-published research into artists' livelihoods, Susan Jones raises questions about the Arts Council's future policies for support for artists:
Happy Holi everyone! Spring is springing (kind of!) and we need to find some joy in our lives! So let's take back a bit of control and engage the opportunity to think about the future of the UK's world-leading visual arts sector and how we're going to be growing internationally in a world where there's far more going on than our own little constitutional crisis . . .
CVAN celebrates the many successes of our strongly embedded regional base delivering fantastic support to arts organisations through our regional networks but we also need to draw together and do more to promote our interests as a sector overall. So through the coming year CVAN will be looking at how we can work better together as a national network, how we innovate, how we engage across sectors and in creative partnerships regionally, nationally, and internationally, and how we promote diversity in the visual arts.
Welcome to the last Director’s blog for 2018 and our very best wishes to CVAN regional networks and the visual arts sector. Time to banish the gloom and spice the wine!
Let's start with a bit of seasonal roundup cheer. The British painter, Jenny Saville, became the most expensive living female artist in October when Propped (1992) sold for £8.25m (£9.5m with fees) at Sotheby's in London according to the 2018 roundup in The Art Newspaper but her success was drowned out by a shredder! Congratulations also to Charlotte Prodger’s Turner Prize-winning exploration of queer identity, language, technology and time. CVAN celebrates our truly stellar female artists and looks forward to a New Year of innovation and diversity in the visual arts and continued international cooperation…
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