We have a new arts centre in progress in Derby which is really a combination of Metro cinema, Q gallery (concentrates on 'new' media/ technology/ lens based etc.) and Q community arts. (Q gallery is currently the only major gallery space in Derby outside of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery). Really disapointed to learn it's unlikely to contain a traditional print space and so spoke to someone in creative industries about potential spaces for setting one up. Although he tried to be helpful, I got the distinct impression that he felt there was no demand and that future funding was aimed at 'cutting edge' which incorporated only technology/ ICT based art etc. Why can't people see that in order for Derby to be taken seriously as a creative city, (and it has a very long way to go) they have to be prepared to represent all areas of creativity and not just those fashionable at the moment. Of course it's really important that film, video etc. are promoted and encouraged, but not to the exclusion of other, more traditional forms of expression - which are still being used in new and exciting ways!!. By segregating funding and opportunities, there is inevitably a narrowing of accessibility not expansion. It also sends a distinct message that media can and should be seperated and I do feel really strongly that this is a limited view - surely the point is that artists can, and do, use a wide range of media within any given work, and that it doesn't necessarily always involve 'new' media . Derby needs to embrace all types of creative expression before attempting to specialise in a selected few - there need to be more spaces that encourage proposals for exhibition that do not dictate what media should be used.
Posted by Kate Smith