Phosphorus – A chemical element that glows on exposure to oxygen.
Last summer it suddenly dawned on me that this year is my last year in education. This came as a shock. Since I have been four ears old, education is all I have known throughout my life and it is going to be a serious change when this is not this thing I have to wake up for on a Monday morning. So I began to worry about where I am going to spend all my time, other than the obvious post-grad job, possibly stacking shelves somewhere. I can’t see myself doing anything seriously other than within a ‘creative’ art job somewhere. This is a big ask for someone just coming out of art school and is highly unlikely to happen. So why not make it happen ourselves? Since last summer I have been working on the idea of opening our own studios to continue the passion of our art school into our post-graduate lives. The artists studio is an amazing space, an incubator for wonderful things to happen within the city and I am excited to see what we could do if we place a group of passionate artists together so that the artists can bounce ideas off each other to continue the creative growth of our city.
By providing ourselves with a platform to create, exhibit and grow, I believe it can create wonderful things, not only for ourselves but for the culture of Cardiff. We have recently protested against the cuts that our government has threatened us with. Within this march it was clear how important these spaces are for us and for our community. Without art, without culture, life is dull? Personally, I can’t see myself going to a dead end job for the rest of my life without having the outlet for creativity; I want to provide this platform not only for myself but to give the emerging artists with raw talent to continue with their passion also.
(Ethan Dodd at The Culture March in Cardiff)
I have tested the idea of an open studio space, along with the help of Ethan Dodd, when we successfully ran ‘Exposure‘ in December. It was a fantastic week which drew in a large crowd for our opening night, and then ran a week longer than we originally planned. It also spurred me on to keep planning this along side my studies.
We have also been attending ‘steps’ workshops to help provide us with basic business understandings to help us with the technicalities of running something ourselves. These have also helped us set up a pitch which goes as follows;
‘Phosphorous’ – A set of studios within the heart of Cardiff’s City Centre.
We are intending to create an open studio space that is alive with artists who can continue to work as a collective; bouncing ideas off of one another in order to continue our involvement with the cultural and artistic growth within the City. From this, we hope to create an other space after the closure of ‘the abacus’ that enhances the life of fellow creative minded people; we aim to achieve this by providing a platform for their practice to mature and evolve. We also aim to resist the looming cultural cuts from the Cardiff council that threaten fellow creative establishments within Cardiff, by seeking funding from outside sources. This allows us to be an independent and forward thinking artistic establishment that can withstand the cultural cuts that seem to be occurring not just in our own city, but throughout the country. To continue the cultural DIY Spirit of the scene within Cardiff, we must adapt and evolve past traditional means of artistic representation and preservation, and instead work towards a more autonomous ‘creative model’.
We are currently in the process of applying for funding from places such as Arts Council and O2 Thinkbigger. Myself and Ethan are also applying for awards that offer funding as a prize which will be put into the studio space. These include Sky Arts Scholarship, Woon Kai Fellowship programme, VCS Cymru. We are also in the process of searching for appropriate buildings that would be suitable for this project.