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Residencies: practices and paradoxes

30 September 2016
Susan Jones

The terms of reference for today’s artists’ residencies are wide and various. Examples of the polarities artists are now presented with range from a considered opportunity over several months for artists to take stock and reflect with little or no expectation of ‘public’ output, to those residencies in which artists are expected find a solution to a community, education or arts ‘problem’ in a short time, often for a very small fee.

Drawing on evidence from the past in the UK, this essay which was commissioned by TransArtists and first published in Station to Station, Dirty talks: Money attempts to provide a brief analysis how the landscape and drivers for artists’ residences have changed, highlighting where arts policy and the changing political and economic climate might have impacted on the various expectations for, and manifestations of, the residency format. By raising and commenting on the issues arising and highlighting an example of one artist’s commitment to set a new, more equal context for artists’ residencies, it is intended to contribute insight to inform future residency practices and arts policies.

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Residencies: practices and paradoxes