Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Exhibition Payment Guide

This week was the announcement of the a-n Exhibition Payment Guide

which seems like two years of hand wringing whilst ignoring Article 27 of the Human Rights Act

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author

The way this is avoided is by the bureaucracy of arts council grant applications. Expected to spend ages writing out lengthy applications for funding, only to be rejected anyway for spurious reasons. The DWP have taken a similar approach for welfare benefits, see I, Daniel Blake, and Portrait Of Ian Duncan Smith With Bandaged Nose.
An artist cannot produce work without funding. Or they can, but that work is by definition a form of self-imposed slavery. This blog, for instance, does not in any way generate an income. Which is why I stopped even writing this blog. I felt that I was contributing to my own slavery. I still do, and I disagree with it completely.
So the arts council reject your funding application and colour it with flowery language to obscure the reasons why, or their abject discrimination.
I was invited by City Arts to exhibit with them again next year.
This is conditional on a number of factors. One is the success of an ACE grant application to produce new work.
I have asked them their exhibition payment policy, and they are very keen to cite that it isn't a gallery exhibition space, but work is for sale, so sales generate an income for exhibiting artists. 
But Portrait Of Ian Duncan Smith DIDN'T sell, so for me, this wasn't successful, and is based on a lottery. It's unlikely I'll take the risk next year, when my youngest son finishes college, and I'll be in a similar predicament with another drop in income that I can ill afford.

On top of that, I may have to deal with changes to self employment.

Portrait Of Ian Duncan Smith With Bandaged Nose is already obsolete, now that it's been a while since Stephen Crabb replaced IDS, and then the new Work And Pensions Secretary Damian Green, who no one seems to be consulting about the careers and livelihoods of artists.
And I have been unable to develop any new work without funding since 2013, which is a direct human rights abuse, as outlined above.

I took on a zero hours contract job as a Bikeability Instructor, as I was being forced into taking on a part time job to pay the bills in lieu of arts council funding. There are pros and cons to this work.
The pros are that I am provided with uniform and admin is done on my behalf. I have CRB clearance to work with kids in schools, and an opportunity to teach without being a full time teacher, and it's fun.
Cons are that the work isn't enough - I was looking for a job for 2-3 days per week on a good salary, with all the stability that would provide to not rely on Working Tax Credits any more.
It's a zero hours contract, and I have to wear a cycle helmet, even though I disagree completely with wearing them.
Another reason I haven't given it up, is because unlike the arts, I go to work, do the job, and then I get paid. I don't do the work, exhibit it, and then still have a huge overdraft that no one seems to care that I have or not, nor do they offer any solutions to how to get paid.

The biggest con is that while I'm doing this work, I have less time to do my art work, which I cannot do anyway, because my time is wasted biting my nails wondering of the bills are going to be paid.

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