Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan, PO1 3BF
Monday 01 October 2018 – Wednesday 31 July 2019
A-n has always fought the artists’ corner and this current round of bursaries demonstrates their commitment to supporting artists right where they need it most. Despite my stubborn refusal to succumb, the current economic gloom has finally begun to nibble away at the corners of my practice, with lost income as arts organisations close severely reducing my ability to travel to see shows, attend events and follow up relationships with galleries etc. As an artist based in a rural village outside Salisbury, this threatens to have a significant impact on the development of my work.
Receiving the a-n bursary however has injected a little bit of funding at just the right time for me. Having returned to exhibiting five years ago (in the process of raising a large family) I have been building up my practice ever since. After a particularly busy latter half of last year, I have really felt the need to take my foot off the accelerator, take stock of the direction my work is taking and focus on how to move my practice on to the next level. Over the remainder of this year I intend to use the bursary to travel to meet a number of curators and arts organisations, most of whom I already have a relationship with, for a session of one to one critical input and support. As I strengthen relationships with local arts initiatives (a particular goal for this year), I hope to bring back and share some of that knowledge and experience. Anyone who follows my work will also know that I am an avid user of *social media so the added condition to blog about my use of the bursary will not be an ardous one to fulfil.
At the moment I am in the early stages of a couple of solo and collaborative projects, mostly involving film, which, if everything goes to plan will come to fruition later on this year and next. On a local front, I am also hoping to install work at NEWred studios in Salisbury http://newredstudios.tumblr.com/, a really exciting little organisation that is beginning to unfold with real vision and integrity.
Pushing forward as an artist in this current climate of cuts and closures is not easy. In addition to funding critical support what the bursary has also provided is simply an affirmation that, yes, we believe that investing in the future development of your practice is worth it. And, as any artist will testify, that in itself means a lot.
*Follow me on Twitter @susanefrancis
Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.
Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network