Work Work

Addison, Joanne [Curator], Harris, Mark [Curator] and Gillam, Adam [Curator] (2017) Work Work. .


Curated by Jo Addison, Mark Harris and Adam Gillam Work Work was a group exhibition bringing together 26 artists who generate part of their income from their involvement in art education. Full-time, fractional, freelance, fixed term; this unique selection of artists was made in order to pose the question, what does it mean to fluctuate between doing work and making it in the orbit of the art school? The exhibition consisted of artworks in a range of media; sculpture, painting, performance, film, found objects, collage, drawing, animation. Whilst the curriculum in many art schools is slowly changing to accommodate plurality of approach with regard to ‘employability’, there nevertheless persists a fairly singular definition of the ‘success’ of artists; the precariousness of employment for artists having been somewhat of a ‘dirty secret’ in art schools historically. This, despite the fact that the artists who are teaching in art schools are by that very fact, in multiple employment; at the very least they are teaching as well as making art, with many teaching in more than one institution or employed by other organisations. Through the exhibition and a programme of ‘overtime’ events Addison, Gillam and Harris sought to give a specific platform to works in a broad range of media; sculpture, performance, painting, film, as well as relocating the activities of teachers and their students to the gallery. With the premise that the works in the show, when looked at collectively might manifest something of the synthesis of making and teaching at a point in time, the curation, installation and ensuing schedule of events teased out the relationships between the two activities further.

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