Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Making an arts funding application....

I am currently considering whether to put in for GFA funding for my digital drawing project. I have applied twice in the past - once for a Year of The Artist project (putting art on beermats) and once for a research and development grant which I used to go to Florence to learn about solarplate printing from Dan Welden (who developed the process). Both were successful - but both took a huge amount of time, effort, planning and organisation. The YOTA one was particularly difficult as it was such a big project involving 5 artist, 5 residencies, 100,000 beermats and a Year Of The Artist beer.
There has been some discussion recently about why there aren't more applications from individual artists and I think one of the reason is that it is such a time consuming process - there has to be a weighing up of the time spent versus the benefit gained. Personally I have 2 'day jobs' which bring in just about enough money to allow me to continue to make my work and so the time available for my art career is very precious and very limited! In effect if I do decide to pursue an application then I will not have any time to actually make any work - and as it's likely to take a few months this is a major consideration. The 'few months' is another reason - I know the whole writing of the application will take me ages as it isn't something which comes naturally to me.
If successful - there are of course benefits - the research and development phase would be able to take place much quicker as there would be money to pay for it, and in fact the whole project would have a reasonable time scale. One of the reasons I have (almost) decided to go through the whole process again is that it will make me think very carefully about what I want to do, how I should go about doing it and to devise a time plan/ costings which would be beneficial even if the application is not successful. Most of my work doesn't require such careful planning - but this phase of my work does, and the worse scenario is that I will be left with clear aims and objectives and a very detailed blueprint of how to move forward. Even with funding this is at least a 2 year project so a few months preparation is not actually that long.
It's over a decade since I last made an application - but this project is very similar to the Beer Mat one in that it is something I intend to do anyway. In fact I shall probably do a two part application (twice as much work??) - the first phase being a research./ development phase and the second being an 'outcomes' one. The first step will be to do a schedule and a draft proposal (which will almost certainly bear no comparison to the final one) and then I shall decide whether to go ahead....

Saturday, 5 November 2011

What Kate Did Next??

A couple of posts back I wrote about books. One of the photos shows the inside inscription of the above book  - What Katy Did - and the cover has also set me thinking. What I love about it is the way the ink on the cover (which is slightly embossed) has worn away over the years due to it being handled. It was printed in 1918 - over 90 years ago - so it's hardly surprising it is showing signs of wear. One of the things I've been contemplating is how to depict the 'imprint' or 'trace' of the hand and a while ago I did a series of marks made from 'turning the page' but didn't do anything with them as they were too 'visible'. Books somehow have a real sense of implied touch - seeing a book induces a haptic (?) memory of holding it, turning the pages, feeling the weight, texture and the quality of the paper. A well thumbed book also induces a suggestion of a shared experience - it is a reflection of the numerous people who have also held it and physically manipulated it.
I do have a number of things relating to the digital/ hand debate which I can tackle using existing work (and large digital drawings which need to be completed). These works fit very clearly into the last segment of my work - they require thought related to outcomes not to content.  The things I am considering in relation to imprint and trace, will I think, move the content of the work forward.
I've been very busy lately with non-art stuff - and I'm likely to be for some time which means the amount of time I have to spend on my work is very limited. This is not a good place to be as what I've realised is that I need a lot of time to consider what I am doing, to think through the ideas which I know will continue to resurface until I begin to sift through them. The two recent exhibitions have in a way drawn a line - but have also made me realise that moving onto the next stage can not be hurried.
I think sometimes I look around and see what everyone else achieving and feel a pressure to do more, and do it quickly. What I think I have to accept is that I have to work within my own time constraints - and the fact that this may mean a low profile for a while will be a positive in relation to my own journey. I'm a tortoise not a hare :)