For the love of it – Artquest Conference

A conference on 15 May 2013 exploring the assumptions, expectations and realities of being an artist today.

Date: 29/05/2024 – 29/05/2024

Time:(All day)

This conference attempts to untangle and consider how issues such as education, money, collectivity, status and community impact on an artist’s practice and influence their goals. A day-long event, it will look at how artists control and shape the context they work within, asking whether it is still relevant to say that we do it ‘for the love of it’.

It aims to:

  • Contextualise ‘professionalism’ in visual arts practice in a recent historical context.
  • Open practical debates about how money impacts on independent arts practice – how earning it changes practice.
  • Consider independent arts practice as a combination of professional and amateur elements.
  • Showcase projects and opinions that provide alternative thinking about a holistic artistic practice.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

 Lynda Morris, Professor of Curation at Norwich University of the Arts and Curator of EASTinternational, the international open submission exhibition from 1991-2009.

Sonia Boyce, artist and Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University of London

Confirmed breakout speakers include:

  • Amy Feneck, an artist whose work includes film, video, performance, photography, drawing & writing.
  • Sophie Hope, lecturer in the Media and Cultural Studies department of Birkbeck University of London and an independent curator (part of the curatorial partnership B+B for six years), who continues to develop her practice-led research into socially engaged art, commissioning processes, evaluation practices, labour conditions and community art histories.
  • Tom Freshwater, Contemporary Art Programme Manager at the National Trust’s Trust New Art programme, a partnership with Arts Council England since 2009
  • Doug Fishbone, an American artist living and working in London, well known for his project 30,000 Bananas, a huge mountain of ripe bananas installed in the middle of London’s Trafalgar Square and later given away free to the audience.
  • David Blandy, an artist whose work deals with his problematic relationship with popular culture, highlighting the slippage and tension between fantasy and reality in everyday life.
  • The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, a family-run project based in a housing association property in Everton, Liverpool.
  • Neil Cummings, artist and Professor of Critical Practice at Chelsea College of Art.
  • Includes a polemic presentation by Ellie Harrison, an artist based in Glasgow and creator of the online project Trajectories.

Breakout seminars and workshops on:

  • Collectivity – How do artists and audiences work together or against each another, and when do audiences become artists?
  • Research – How do artists work inside or outside institutions, and what can be learned by artists and non-artists working together? How can the richness of such learning be fully understood and grasped by a broader public?
  • Value – How do contemporary society and artists themselves value the role of the artist? How do you work to and/or with the aims of other people, such as funders or commissioners?
  • Success – How do we understand achievement? How is it defined by professional practice programmes in higher education, our peers and the art ‘market’?

For the love of it is co-curated by Cecilia Wee.

Location: Cecil Sharp House, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society

TIMES: please check with Artquest

Booking: Early bird tickets are on sale now for £25, with full-price tickets at £40. Attendance includes lunch and refreshments.


"Just to say a huge thanks ... I am looking forward to progressing with this project thanks to your support, advice and guidance"

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