6 Jan

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If you’re an artist from NE England or SE Scotland who needs to write about your work and would like to do it better, please join me at one of the workshops I’m running this February for a-n the artists information company and Berwick Visual Arts. Read more about these workshops on my site, or book directly with Eventbrite here:

Writing about your practice at Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham: Thursday 4 February 2016 from 09:30 to 15:00

Writing about your practice at The Maltings Theatre and Cinema, Berwick-upon-Tweed: Friday 5 February 2016 from 10:00 to 16:00



  1. stevemessam 06/01/2016 at 11:29 AM #

    It’s even better when other people write about your work, but what’s happened to that?

    • Alistair 06/01/2016 at 11:33 AM #

      I think the answer is that mainstream critics, academics, curators from major institutions and arts journalists stopped caring about anyone apart from the top fifty or so most commercial and/or already critically favoured artists in the country a very long time ago.

      • stevemessam 06/01/2016 at 11:43 AM #

        i’d be surprised if it’s as many as that. Sadly.
        and what’s happened to all the non mainstream writing / critics? Intelligent stuff. Not the social media stuff. Or the pseudo-academic bollox.

      • Alistair 06/01/2016 at 11:54 AM #

        I honestly don’t know. I would guess that with so many “successful” artists making 90%+ of their living and reputation through teaching / academia now, dissenting voices and nonconformist thinkers have been assimilated or have self-censored for fear of losing their positions. Artists or thinkers who don’t have academic positions are almost completely ignored, and are never invited to (also can’t afford) most of the conferences, art fairs and symposia where the grown ups decide who and what is important. Certainly all of the teaching artists known personally to me complain bitterly and castigate contemporary art practices and insititutions in private, while putting on a brave academic face on school days.
        There are many bloggers, documentarians, dabblers and enthusiasts making incredibly insightful commentary on all aspects of our culture and society, including the arts, but again they’re mostly ignored by mainstream discourse unless they’re made to “go viral”, i.e. approved by the old gatekeepers.
        Now I’m really depressed.

  2. Alistair 19/01/2016 at 7:58 PM #

    With three or four weeks still to go, booking is going well for both of these. Book now to avoid disappointment, or at least this particular instance of it.



    […] from publicly funded galleries to artists. I’ve worked on the Paying Artists campaign and I work for a-n sometimes. I also think artists based in the UK should have their own look at it, so I won’t offer too […]

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