Together We Will event
A recording of an event for the Together We Will programme, focusing on dismantling structural inequality in the visual arts.
In 2021, as part of the sector support programme Together We Will, Visual Arts South West called for art professionals working in South West England to develop recommendations for best practice to increase equal access, and to foster inclusive working cultures in our sector. Four advisory groups – Black and non-Black Artworkers of Colour, Disabled and Neurodivergent Artworkers, LGBTQIA+ Artworkers and Young Artworkers – gathered over a two-month period to collectively outline intersectional approaches to transforming our professional field. The outcomes are now shared as new best practice guidelines for the visual arts, along with plans for a regional pledge scheme which invites organisations of all scales to implement these recommendations in their work.
For this event, VASW brought together an array of voices who have supported and participated in the Together We Will programme, to address the importance of dismantling structural inequality with tangible effects for both artists and organisations. Whilst openly acknowledging the complexities and challenges that will inevitably accompany this work, the event was also an opportunity to celebrate the generous and critical insights of all who have contributed to the new roadmap for a better visual arts sector.
Abbi Bayliss is a digital illustrator and visual artist currently in residence with MAYK. Abbi has experience working within Bristol Arts sectors such as Arnolfini and RWA, alongside being a Rising Arts Agency creative and the youngest member of the Visual Arts South West Steering Group. Her regional exhibition tour of her Black Portraits Project has been exhibited across the South West to Carnaby street Soho. Abbi is also a published illustrator of the children's books ‘Where is Summer’s Fluffy Cat?’ and this years sequel ‘Why is my hair curly?’. Working for organisations such as the BBC, writing a podcast for the National Trust and illustrating the Big Give campaign for Arts and Health South West, Abbi earned her title by Rife Magazine as one of Bristol’s most influential people under 30.
Helen Cammock was born in 1970 in Staffordshire. She grew up in Somerset and currently lives and works between Brighton and London. Cammock explores social histories through film, photography, print, text, song and performance. She is motivated by her commitment to questioning mainstream historical narratives around blackness, womanhood, wealth, power, poverty and vulnerability. Mining her own biography in addition to the histories of oppression and resistance, multiple and layered narratives, reveals the cyclical nature of histories.
Woodrow Kernohan was born in 1975 in Belfast and grew up in Dorset. He is the Director of John Hansard Gallery, one of the UK's leading contemporary art galleries that was founded in 1979 and is part of the University of Southampton, part of Arts Council England's National Portfolio, and member of the Plus Tate network. Since joining John Hansard Gallery in 2017, Woodrow has led the reimagining of the organisation and relocation from Highfield campus to its new purpose-built home in Southampton’s city centre in 2018. Prior to joining John Hansard Gallery, he was Director of EVA International, Ireland's biennial of contemporary art in Limerick from 2011–17, was Curator of the Irish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015 and was Co-Director of Brighton Photo Fringe with Helen Cammock from 2008–11. He was also Curator and Co-Director with experimental exhibition space Permanent Gallery, Brighton (2004–11), Exhibitions Curator at restoration project The Regency Town House, Hove (2006–11) and is a member of IBA, the International Biennial Association and IKT, the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art.
Myles-Jay Linton is a Bristol-based multi-media artist, psychologist and community organiser. Influenced by his research into experiences of well-being and mental health, Myles uses figurative illustrators to visualise the connections between our thoughts and emotions with our bodies. Myles is Bristol+Bath Creative R+D New Scholars Fellow, a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society), and one of the Core Organisers of Kiki Bristol (community organisation creating social space for Queer, Trans and Intersex People of Colour).
Yasmin Joan Qureshi is a Bristol based artist, facilitator, co-evaluator in training and creator of project Red Telephone. Her work looks at finding processes to document personal experiences challenging or otherwise through visual art, conversation and art & therapy workshops. More details on Red Telephone can be found at redtelephone.org