Monday, 11 December 2017

Free Advice for Sheffield Artists!

You remember my recent residency at Orchard Square, where I developed the Coffee House piece? It was an opportunity awarded to me by Making Ways, who have a certain amount of funding available to assist and support artists in Sheffield. Which is GREAT.

Well, one of the other projects that they have initiated with the funding is a series of one-to-one advice sessions. The project is called Open Forum and it is completely free and available to all artists living in Sheffield. I went along to the first day, which was held at the Kiac's Gage Gallery. It was SO useful for me, since it has come at exactly the right time, as I am making so many changes in the way I work.

My first session was with Matt Roberts, who was able to give me lots of tips for increasing my chances of getting funding from the Arts Council and similar organisations, as well as advice on where to find more artist's residency opportunities. Both of these are becoming increasingly important to me, in my new guise as a textile artist.

After that, I had a 2nd session, this time with Jennie Syson, director and curator of Syson Gallery. I took examples of my work, both my reportage residency work from The Morgan Centre, to give background to where I am coming from, but also a couple of pieces of my most recent textiles, including this really new one below, which is still only half finished. I took photos on an iPad too, because most of my work has been mounted now and so is no longer portable. I felt that Jennie and Matt needed to see at least one example of the actual textiles though, rather than just photos, which don't really do the work justice.

Jennie was lovely and also extremely helpful. I feel a little at sea, as I am entering the world of Fine Art practise, and have only the sketchiest idea of the how this works. I needed a better understanding of the practical side of how I should be thinking about my future direction.

I came away feeling reassured that, though things are still evolving, so my textiles have not yet entirely arrived at where they are going, Jennie felt things were definitely heading in the right direction and gave her stamp of approval, so to speak, to the new work I have been exploring.

If you think you could benefit from some advice, do get into touch with Making Ways. There are still more days coming up towards the end of January, February and March.

A huge thank you to the Making Ways team for putting this and other new opportunities together.

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