Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Time to think

In September I graduated with my BA in Fine Art from the University of Northampton. You didn't miss news about my degree show because I didn't have one but I'll discuss that another time.

Since then I've been taking my time to relax a bit and think about what I want to do next. My plan was to write some thoughts about degrees and 'art school', do some art fairs and then look for some paid work. Like all the best plans, this has been constantly modified as I've gone along.

If you've been listening to Grayson Perry's Reith lectures, available with their transcripts on iPlayer, you'll have realised that the art world is a many-layered and wonderful thing. I was interested to hear that Perry thinks that contemporary art has now been embraced by the mainstream:

"It’s no longer a kind of little backwater cult. It is now a part of mainstream cultural life."

Hopefully this makes my own artistic aspirations more accessible but that remains to be seen and in the meantime I have visited art fairs (more on that later), checked out the arts and heritage strategy for England and Milton Keynes and looked for arts jobs.

The latter topics also tie in with my final year project where I looked at the art world and the way it works within its own organizational structures, starting with the degree process and the way that is propagated into galleries and art fairs. In this I sympathise with Perry's aim to make the work in contemporary galleries more accessible, as there still seems to be wide gap to be bridged between the art that has been taught at school, where technical skill tends to be highly valued, and the principles of contemporary art taught at degree level which rejects the restrictions of artisanal accomplishments.

As Grayson Perry says:

"Well I hope to ask and try to answer those obvious questions that I think that a lot of people who aren’t you know members of the art world ask when they go into a gallery and they’re slightly bemused or maybe angered by the work, and I want to sort of maybe say you know help them, give them tools to understand and appreciate art."