Read about the Scotland pilot Fellowship findings below and watch this space for news about next steps in terms of roll out of the model, following a consultation about where the Fellowship sits in the CPD landscape and what makes it an unique offering with impact.
Impacts on artists and organisations
The Fellowship pilots in Scotland were completed in spring 2019 and impacts, views and ideas gathered through an internal evaluation has given us both something to celebrate and food for thought.
Most participants said the Fellowship gave busy artists and organisation staff the time and space to experiment and permission to do and think differently. There was strong evidence that it has changed approaches to artist development, with new models for working with freelancers emerging for many organisations.
‘We found – and continue to do so – the programme really helpful in shifting our thinking about how and why we work with artists.’ (Organisation CEO)
‘The Fellowship has provided an enormously rich period of reflection and evaluation leading to significant change in my personal practice and organisational approach.’ (Organisation contact)
The Fellowship has impacted not just on strategy, models and approaches but catalysed, in some cases, shifts in perspective. These include changes in how artists and organisations ‘frame’ themselves and their work, and a rethinking of ethos and values.
‘The Fellowship opened us up to more radical ways of working, alternative value systems and various different ideas of success. We discovered what was holding us back and we freed ourselves from that.’ (Artist)
For most artists and organisations participating, new connections have been forged, new projects conceived and for some, successful funding applications made based on ideas from the Fellowship.
The Fellowship model
The model, with artist and organisation going on a mutual learning journey, is clearly full of potential and 100% of participants in Scotland thought it should continue.
Things that were seen as important are:
- the mutual learning journey between artist and organisation
- the induction days
- opportunities to come together as a cohort
- the lab (open experimental space)
Participants also reported room for improvement including:
- clearer co-ordination roles
- centralised mentoring support
- clearly setting expectations and commitments
- a bigger CPD grant to artists
- a clear programme of opportunities to come together and learn from each other
- bespoke and proportionate evaluation
Summaries of the pilot partnership project proposals in Scotland…
Artist Juliana Capes and The Fruitmarket Gallery
Juliana Capes intends to use this ArtWorks Fellowship to extend her knowledge of participatory arts practise and find new ways of integrating her personal artistic practice with the art she makes with people.
Juliana aims to test out how her participative arts practice, working with people, and her own artistic practice meet and interact. Juliana aims to create new work integrating her creative processes and her extensive experience and skills in access methodologies.
This fellowship will enable Juliana space and time to research, to organise visits to contemporary art galleries, to learn about best practice in arts access programmes and present new ways of working within The Fruitmarket Gallery engagement programme aiming ‘To create, not translate’.
The Fruitmarket Gallery will use the Fellowship to explore how they can support artists to develop their participatory practice and how they might design a process which considers access from the start.
Artist Alice Betts and North Edinburgh Arts
How are creative activities meaningful for participants and community? What can the organisation do to assist and support work of this nature?
Alice will be looking at her methods of engagement, in which she attempts to embolden participants in their physical environment and to facilitate, through art, a fresh view of being in the world.
Through a lab, she will invite deep responses on what is felt during these creative activities, to discover how her role could facilitate greater agency within the workshops. The lab sessions will engage invited participants, professionals in film and animation, applied theatre and community development.
This aligns with the organisation’s learning journey by interrogating how an experience can be made as meaningful as possible for each participating individual. Out-with the lab, the inquiry will be progressed though conversations with mentors, artists and academics, as well as through regular sharing with the wider staff team and artist networks at NEA.
Artist Johnny Lyons and Dundee Contemporary Arts
What happens if we take a more collaborative approach to creative learning?
Jonny Lyons has an established relationship with Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) and through a recent linked residency experience in Cleveland USA, he began to reflect more on ‘collaborative approaches’ to making work.
The DCA Learning programme works with the ethos of ‘see think make do’, which they apply to designing experiences linked to the exhibition programme. Having recently delivered projects which tested different models for working with community, DCA are curious to explore further what might be possible through more collaborative approaches with both artist and community.
The ArtWorks Fellowship creates a space in 2018 for both Johnny and DCA to learn about, test and reflect on different modes of collaboration. During the Fellowship they will visit and observe collaborative work, including in local youth organisations and through Askeaton Contemporary Arts, Limerick, undertake mini residencies and host a lab.
Artists Jordan and Skinner and Platform
How can we be better activists through our artistic practice?
Jordan and Skinner will use this fellowship to meet and have conversations with influential activists and artist groups, individuals and organisations. Where possible they will actively engage with the work in this field, and seek opportunities to observe creative processes, to broaden their knowledge of activism within art.
They will then bring these discoveries and new ways of making work into a lab in collaboration with Platform and invited artists; experimenting with ideas and insights from the research period.
Through the Fellowship they will investigate and develop radical ways of working as a company and create a model for creative learning with Platform, that can be taken to other venues/organisations.
Platform, partnering with Jordan and Skinner will investigate – How can we better support the artists we work with?During the Fellowship, Platform aims to strengthen its relationship with Jordan and Skinner, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach to artist and art-formdevelopment.
Artist Katharine Wheeler & The Stove Network
An integrated practice – how can we break down the separation between the parts of what we do so that one can better influence the other? Collective working between individual and organisational practices.
Katharine will use the ArtWorks Fellowship to better understand the strengths of her individual practice and to enable cross-pollination between this and her project development work with The Stove Network.
Through interrogation of practice, her own and that of The Stove, research into other socially engaged projects and individual practices and the creation of spaces to talk with people who work in integrated ways in their communities, Katharine will explore pathways of mutual learning and co-working methods of development of work and ideas.
Katharine and The Stove Network will also use this as an opportunity to develop a framework for working with and supporting the practice of artist-led work. They will make new connections with a range of organisations and individual projects, exploring this as a shared resource for individual and organisational work.
By exploring a model to support good artist/community/organisational approaches they hope to contribute to the wider understanding of socially engaged and participatory practice.