Arts & Elbows

A catalogue of commentary on events in Thanet and occassionally the rest of the world.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lonely Artist Seeks Funds

One of the most irritating features of our local Arts Regeneration, aside from the lack of either arts or regeneration, is the deliberate but subtle bullying of local talent into silence. Picture the sorry scenario; A massive arts project with public funds is announced, "Hurrah!" cry all the local artists, off they trot with portfolios and schemes only to be skillfully rejected with a cunning additional "Try again next year". With the patience only artists possess they wait, try again only to be procrastinated into further dull edged apathy.
Now all these artists are after is a couple of thousand pounds here and there, for a show of this or a commission of that. In the grand scheme of things it's the crumbs from the art table. Unsurprisingly those in control know this, but rather than use some small part of their public purse to encourage art activity they find it suits them better to deny it. This way they can keep hundreds of souls on tenderhooks, and silence any criticism.
Not a week goes by without me hearing another sorry tale of talent denied by manipulative management, each prefixed and suffixed with a plea for me to keep mum about it. For these artists know how a single whisper of dissent will get them entered into the naughty book, and taint not just their chances forever- but also those of anyone who might be associated with them. Meanwhile the schemes of those connected with the inner circle are fast-tracked through, in part to keep the buckets of cash flowing but also to maintain the back-patting circle modern art has fast become. Hardly surprising when all those earning smile broadly and claim things have never been better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised last year to be asked to pay £10 to put my name forward for inclusion in the 'Margate Rocks' festival. Does anyone know what happened to that? I wonder where all the money they had in funding went? I know they seem to have disappeared this year, there's no mention of it as far as I can see.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Adrian said...

The £10 was an administration fee, standard practice for invitation group shows. And it wouldn't have guaranteed your inclusion since it was an independantly curated affair. Maybe you thought it was a music festival. Even the Library used to charge for their open shows.
I think the original idea of Margate Rocks was that they would be self sufficiant after 3-4 years.
What with everything else that's going on they were considered surplus to requirements.

7:11 PM  

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