Room to move

Helen Carnac, studio shot

This essay reflects my personal experience of working as a studio-based artist in London since 1994. During this time much has changed in studio culture and the way in which artists work. Twenty-four years ago I didn’t have a computer and lived in a small bedsit that was impossible to work in – for me, an external studio was a necessity, particularly as I worked with various materials and...

The citizen artist

Sunday Lunch at BalinHouseProjects

This transcript is from a conversation between Russell Martin (artist and director of Artquest), Eduardo Padilha and Adelaide Bannerman. Eduardo Padilha (EP) is an artist who runs BalinHouseProjects, a not-for-profit space, at his flat in Balin House, Tabard Gardens North Estate in Borough, London. It provides space for exhibitions, dialogue and platform for connection with other artist-run...

Spaces around the world

Map of the world

Through working on Art Licks, I am in regular dialogue with artists in the UK and acutely aware of how local issues effect their practices emotionally, financially and practically. As current political and social issues become uncertain and we find ourselves in unstable times, it is healthy to remind ourselves of cultures outside of our own bubble and be inspired by how artists working across the...

Culture / infrastructure

All a country has is its culture; the rest is infrastructure - quote from Sir Peter Blake

  Artists have been adept at negotiating with landlords, councils and businesses to access the space that they need to make and show work.  In order to do so, they need a good overview of the policies that will impact on the ability and motivation to lend them spaces.  Should you talk more about cost-savings for the landlord, social justice, community access or artistic merit?  Operating in...

The city problem

Block 336, gallery image

A conversation between Duncan Smith, Kirsten Dunne and Russell Martin during System Failure: The City Problem, an Artquest project looking at the relationship and impact between artists, arts policy and urban regeneration. Held at Block 336, Wednesday 11 November 2015. Duncan Smith is an artist and the founder and former director of ACAVA Studios. Duncan founded ACAVA Studios in 1983 to provide...

Private ownership: Thames-side Studios

Thames-Side Studios Gallery, New Relics, curated by Tim Ellis and Kate Terry, preview 1 June 2018. Image courtesy Thames-Side Studios, photo: Phil Ashcroft

Many artist studio providers in London lease their premises from property developers or other landlords who, for whatever reason, cannot develop the site immediately. Sometimes this is because property prices are too low for a profitable project; sometimes developers are biding their time to wait for planning consent or use-class changes to use the building for different purposes. These leases...

Space: a reader

Image by Innviertlerin from Pixabay

Image by Innviertlerin from Pixabay During research on our Space theme and other projects in 2017, we used research and insight from our own data collection and projects, and published research reports. Recent Artquest projects around the space needs of artists include Spaced Out (2018, in partnership with DACS) and System Failure (2015), particularly The City Problem, a revised transcript of...

Spaced Out

Spaced Out conference audience member

Spaced Out was a one-day conference convened by Artquest and DACS that explored the physical, political and digital spaces that visual artists use. Speakers reflected on traditional arts spaces, the impact of rising accommodation costs on creative workers, the post-colonial context of business spaces in London and how virtual spaces are used to exhibit, make and sell work. The conference explored...

An annual online journal by Artquest that draws together the art world with wider social, economic and cultural issues.

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Projects, resources and advice for contemporary visual artists, alongside research into their working practices, motivations and careers.