All Blog Posts (58)

ArtWorks Cymru Conference

Find out about what happened at the ArtWorks Cymru Conference here

ArtWorks Cymru

Notes on some of the discussion sessions, videos of the keynotes, videos of the pecha kucha sessions and some of the comments on our graffiti wall and promise tree.

Added by Rhian Hutchings on May 17, 2014 at 19:10 — No Comments

The cultural value in what goes around comes around

Mike White writes…

An Arts Council England publication which appeared recently, The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society, presents a rapid review of instrumental impacts of arts engagement, concluding that there is little evidence of causal links between arts engagement and individual/social benefit. It is an assessment drawn from around 90 research reports identified through web search without expert recommendation, but to be used as…


Added by Tara LaComber on April 10, 2014 at 12:21 — No Comments

The train has left the Platform...

Nicola Turner writes…

When I was asked to curate a series of Platforms, the remit was to examine issues around ArtWorks: Developing Practice in Participatory Settings with the aspiration of reaching a wider community of practice. Speakers selected were to be working in the field, generating practice, and the seminars were aimed at an audience interested in finding out more about the learning from ArtWorks and the wider debate around developing practice.…


Added by Mary Schwarz on March 3, 2014 at 10:30 — No Comments

Work that's important... for young and old

Kathryn Deane writes...

I like Youth Music’s music mentoring programme. It’s not mentoring in music – it’s mentoring through music. Here’s an example from Noise Solution, working with young people involved in the child and adolescent mental health service, CAMHS.

At first…


Added by Mary Schwarz on February 11, 2014 at 10:30 — No Comments

Still, Understanding

Catherine Cartwright writes...

What relevance does the concept still have for participatory practice? This piece is a reflection on the role of the artist in participatory practice, drawn from my current residency at a women’s refuge and my previous project work with vulnerable women.  Through exploring still’s definition and connotations I propose an alternative framework for viewing…


Added by Mary Schwarz on January 13, 2014 at 10:00 — No Comments

Biting the hand that feeds

Anthony Schrag writes...

I am a practice-based PhD fellow at Newcastle University and my research explores the intersection of the institution, the artist and the public in the realm of ‘participatory arts’.


This research is relevant for two main reasons – firstly, as this genre becomes more established (and popular), there is a need to explore how participation projects are being implemented…


Added by Mary Schwarz on December 2, 2013 at 12:00 — 8 Comments

'Art on the High Street' in an empty shop

‘Art on the High Street’ is a self funded project by Carol Parker and Amy Lee Briggs  We are both participatory & socially engaged artists who share a passion for spontaneous creativity.   We’ve chosen a career in the arts and get a fee for the work we complete or maybe sometimes apply for funding to finance a project.   It’s a good career and a viable one.

Often we need to work to someone else’s requirements or fulfil certain criteria for funding bodies….which is fine and to be…


Added by Carol Parker on November 4, 2013 at 12:20 — No Comments

Why it's the participants, stupid...

Kathryn Deane writes...


‘I am first and foremost an artist – and as an artist I want to serve the community. [...] Today it is the community, or all of us in our own small ways, that orders the artist about. And I do not think that is such a bad thing either. It is not a bad thing for an artist to try to serve all sorts of different people’ (Kildea, 2003: 33).


Not my words – I’m not an artist, just an administrator –  but those of Benjamin…


Added by Mary Schwarz on November 4, 2013 at 10:00 — No Comments

Proposing a universal ‘model’ of the inner workings of participatory arts practice..

Anni Raw writes...

Is an articulation of such an idea feasible, or even desirable? This piece discusses the potential benefits of a unifying description, in tension with potential suffocation by a reductive model.


'So, what is it that you do, and how, exactly, do you do it??' Once again, that exasperating moment of hesitation, and bracing yourself to deliver the long, and sometimes stumbling, explanation of a practice so…


Added by Molly Courtice on October 7, 2013 at 9:42 — 6 Comments

Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship

I've recently returned from my 6 week Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to Japan and  the USA. You can read my blog posts and see the accompanying collages I made during the trip here:

All comments welcome!

Added by Melaneia Warwick on September 26, 2013 at 20:37 — No Comments

COTSS Conference

I am attaching a link to the upcoming College of Occupational Therapists Special Section Conference that might be of interest to colleagues.  The Section is for Learning Disabilities and this years' conference has its focus on involving service users in the research process.

I will be co-presenting with David Haines, a University of Brighton lecturer and PhD candidate. We will be talking about our research with people who have Profound and Multiple Learning…


Added by Melaneia Warwick on September 26, 2013 at 20:35 — No Comments

Miniprint making for a Competition in Finland

After making preparations , over many many weeks into months - to present my artwork and projects at Impact Printmaking Conference held at DJCAD, Dundee University

- it was good to get back to…


Added by Aine Scannell on September 16, 2013 at 14:49 — No Comments

Wheels and whirligigs...

I was back to work after a summer break that marked finishing two ArtWorks Working Papers and was starting to write a third, when I realised I was missing a Provocation Piece for September.


My ongoing contingency for this eventuality is ‘Write it yourself’. My tried and trusted solution for addressing a writing challenge is one of two things – tidying the office or walking the dogs. On this occasion, I did both. Serendipity scored again, albeit aided and abetted…


Added by Mary Schwarz on September 16, 2013 at 11:00 — No Comments

International partnerships opportunity

TANDEM-Community & Participation aims to establish long term partnerships between cultural organisations working in the field of community arts, voluntary or amateur arts and (non formal) arts education in the Netherlands and its neighbouring countries  –  Germany, Belgium and yes, the UK.

An exchange programme for cultural managers, TANDEM focuses on citizens’ inclusion and active participation in local arts and culture and community life. It comprises working…


Added by Mary Schwarz on September 12, 2013 at 14:34 — No Comments

Paid opportunities for Performers


My name is Tom Goddard and I’m Head of Learning at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.



Added by Tom Goddard on July 31, 2013 at 10:07 — 1 Comment

Communities at our core

Devinda De Silva writes…

We all know that there’s a huge amount of innovative participatory work done by artists, but should it stop with artists? Opening up a whole organisation to the ideas, opinions and thoughts of individuals and communities would start up a genuine two-way learning process.


By this I mean having all departments, staff and associates engaging with and embedding the community in all strands of their work. It could…


Added by Mary Schwarz on July 1, 2013 at 10:00 — No Comments

Kirsten Sams writes about the ArtWorks Scotland student placement programme in prisons...

Over the past two months, prisoners in seven Scottish prisons (Barlinnie, Cornton Vale, Dumfries, Glenochil, Greenock, Low Moss and Shotts) have been benefitting from an ambitious student placement programme funded by Artworks Scotland. Designed primarily to give Environmental Art and Sculpture students from Glasgow School of Art (GSA) a better understanding of the skills, knowledge and qualities that artists need to work in a prison context and to develop their employability skills in…


Added by Mary Schwarz on June 30, 2013 at 14:30 — No Comments

Shakespeare Summer School Scholarship Places

Omidaze Productions ( runs an annual Shakespeare Summer School for 7-11 year olds in Penarth & Cardiff in the summer holidays.  22-26 July & 29 July - 2 Aug. We offer a free scholarship place each week for a child who would otherwise be unable to attend due to financial restrictions. To apply or for more details please email the course director

Added by Yvonne Murphy on June 4, 2013 at 13:20 — No Comments

Art feeds the soul but who feeds the artist?


Susan Jones writes...


During May, a-n The Artists Information Company put a spotlight on some new evidence that, along with that drawn from across the ArtWorks partnerships, raises issues about how we’re valuing artists – financially and otherwise – within arts infrastructures and policies.


Most worrying perhaps is our new guide to the impact on artists of…


Added by Mary Schwarz on June 3, 2013 at 10:30 — No Comments

Planting participation

Professor Paul Harris, Professor Anne Douglas and Chris Fremantle from Gray’s School of Art write:

You have in front of you a typewritten text. It could be poetry. It is an invitation to action, but not exactly an instruction. It reads:

planting a square of turf

amid grass like it

planting another

amid grass a little less green

planting four more squares

in places progressively drier

planting a square of dry turf…


Added by Mary Schwarz on May 7, 2013 at 10:30 — No Comments

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