Saturday, 1 July 2017

Are we a Field, a Discipline, Community or Activists?

My apologies for all the strange underlining on this weeks blog! It's a glitch that without rewriting, I just can't fix! So - sorry it looks so strange...CP

Arts, Health, Inequality and Activism
Victoria Hume writes eloquently on her collaborations in South Africa and unpicks inequalities in her insightful blog posting for the London Arts and Health Forum.

“It is about overturning hierarchies, revolutionising our sense of what makes one healthy or well, and moving this out of the profit-making, measurable sphere and into something more amorphous and complex, but also more true.” 
Click on anything green or the image of the Blood Sugars above.

The Memory Wound memorial, Ut√łya
For the Guardian,  Jon Henley reports on the heated row which has broken out in Norway over a government decision to scrap a controversial artwork planned to commemorate the victims of Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 massacre and build something “low-key” instead. The Norwegian minister of communal affairs and modernisation, Jan Tore Sanner, said last week the Memory Wound memorial, designed by Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg, would not go ahead after protests from some locals.

“A work of art can contribute to keeping the conversation about traumatic events alive in a very specific way,” Dahlberg said in a statement to the Guardian. “Visual art plays a special role in relation to these type of events, that can seem difficult to grasp and put into words.”

The Harmonic Oscillator
After three weeks of sharing collaborative work in progress from The Harmonic Oscillator in Lithuania, Bristol and TATE Liverpool, Vic McEwan heads off back to Australia to reflect on what's been an absorbing and at times, deeply moving period of development and public engagement. This last week has been a TATE Exchange residency in Liverpool which has seen Vic and I having the opportunity to engage with some very diverse groups and individuals. It's quite a risky venture putting yourself out there in ways that challenge the status quo of art galleries, and TATE Liverpool embraced the opportunity enthusiastically enabling us to put on a public forum on Thursday where I shared some developing work called Critical Care and Vic, as well as sharing his work at Alder Hey in some depth, gave and improvised performance using a hospital bed as material to be played, using a cello bow. It was quite a profound thing, following on some of the public discussion we had had. Both his work and my own, will be refined now and launched in Sydney in September as part of The Big Anxiety Festival alongside something else I'm working on around obsessive, compulsive disorder. More of which soon. But for now, my personal thanks to Dr Jane Ratcliffe and Vicky Charnock, Lindsey Fryer and Jess Fairclough and finally, Emma - to whom, my deepest thanks.

‘Devastating’ decline of arts in schools surges on
Entries for GCSE arts subjects are down 9% on 2016, while entries for EBacc subjects are up 9% in the same period. The rapid decline of arts subjects and corresponding growth of the core English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects in schools has continued into 2017. Detailed analysis of Government figures reveals that entries into GCSE arts subjects fell by a further 46,000 last year. This constitutes a 9% drop over the past 12 months, and is consistent with a collapse in take-up across all non-EBacc subjects, which have fallen by 148,000 entries (11%). 
This analysis supports widely held fears, including among teachers, that the EBacc is squeezing the arts out of schools. It also substantiates evidence gathered from a stream of earlier research, and consolidates the view that that evidence to the contrary, widely held by the Government, is limited or misleading. The declines come despite a 165,000 increase in the total number of GCSE exam entries – now over 5 million – and an additional 314,000 entries into GCSEs in EBacc subjects. This is an extract from Arts Professional which you can read in full HERE.

Funding for projects that support women & girls (UK/International)
Funding of up to £15,000 is available for projects within the UK and internationally that support and transform the lives of women. For 2017 and 2018 priority will be given to projects that:
  1. Promote lesbian and transgender rights
  2. Tackle violence against women and girls
  3. Support disabled women and girls.
The funding is being made available through the Feminist Review Trust who are particularly interested in applications for hard to fund projects. The deadline for applications is 30th September 2017. Read more HERE. 


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