It’s been a while since I added anything to this site, partly because of the holidays and partly because I’ve been focused on planning a new project about community and participatory arts practice. I’ve wanted to look at what happens between theory and outcomes – what artists actually do – for a long time. A Restless Art will give a chance to do that, exploring not only some of the exciting work in Britain but also what is happening in Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and elsewhere. I have a sense that there is a new generation emerging, partly because of the passage of time, but partly also because of the massive changes that have been taking place since the 2008 financial crash. The consequences of that are being lived through in very different ways across Europe and the responses of artists are equally diverse.
The project is supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundations in London and Lisbon and I’m very grateful to them both for their trust. Actually, it’s the third time they have helped me. My introduction to community arts in 1981 was an apprenticeship funded by the UK Branch; fifteen years later they also supported the work that became Use or Ornament? So this feels like another stage on the journey and I know that some of the innovative work now being funded by them will make fascinating case studies.
In order to concentrate on this project, which will lead to a book about practice to be published in spring 2017, I have brought the Regular Marvels to a close, at least for the present. That site will remain online as an archive where the books can be downloaded. (They’re also available in print – just email me if you’d like one.) This site will also go into hibernation, so that I can concentrate on the new project’s site which will host case studies, resources, think pieces and other materials, but exclusively about participatory arts practice.
So, if you have been following my work here, thank you for your interest: it means a lot. From here on, you’ll find me here: http://arestlessart.com