No Boundaries – no fringe

No Boundaries 2014 was heralded as an ‘open symposium on the role of culture in 21st century society accessible for established cultural leaders and for those who are discovering their leadership role’. Artists were also able to attend. The symposium also took place over two cities: Bristol and York. We were promised a wide variety…Read more No Boundaries – no fringe

Five Interventions for No Boundaries

Sound conference advice for all artsy shindigs in the mould of #nb2014 (No Boundaries)…


Today is the beginning of the No Boundaries conference, which I was supposed to attend. Unfortunately I am really sick so will not be able to make it. Instead I encourage you to find ways in which to perform these small acts of intervention on my behalf.

1. At a moment to be decided entirely by you, step outside of the conference and repeat the last question you heard to a passing stranger.

2. Find a quiet quiet corner  and carefully but determinedly begin to push against one of the building’s outer walls. Continue to do so until someone asks you what you are doing.

3. Whenever someone onstage mentions participation, shout loudly “Participation! Of course, how could I have been so stupid?!” and run out of the room.

4. Whenever someone onstage mentions funding, think for no reason at all about seaside piers and arcades that smell of old…

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Call out for craftivists…visible mending exhibition…in a shed!

Crafts call out for visible mending show in Spalding shed? Answers on local postcard to dot to dot member Carol Parker…

The Shed on the Allotment - Carol Parker an artist residency

It seems Spring is waiting to pounce so I’ll soon be moving to my warm weather studio on Allotment 17b.   I’m planning to also use the shed as a gallery space and I’d like to put a call out to all craftivists to send in a piece of work….knitting, crochet, cross stitch, embroidery, lacework…whatever is currently occupying your idle hands!

My shed has recently been broken into; I had to patch it up a bit and replaced the broken windows with old chicken wire that I had in my stock of  ‘materials I will need at some point’.   So it’s repaired, but the scars are visible.   It’s been darned!

So an obvious theme for the exhibition is visible mending.   Please create your work on a local postcard, so we know where you’re from and be sure to leave space for the address to be clearly read…

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It’s the end of the world as we know it

Very poignant post by François Matarasso as No Boundaries conference approaches…

François Matarasso

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the arts (and culture) being in crisis. There will be much more, next week, when delegates gather for a big double conference in York and Bristol, generously funded by the British Council, Arts Council England and others. I imagine hand-wringing, soul searching, frustration and anger, some defiant optimism, but not much change.

Arguments in defence of culture have always seemed self-defeating to me. Culture is not in anyone’s control, happily. It has survived religious fundamentalism in the Reformation and the political totalitarianism of Fascists and Communists. I expect it can cope with liberal democracy. Having an unshakeable confidence in the human value of art, I don’t – for one second – believe that it needs me, you or the Arts Council to protect it.

In different conditions, it will change. There has been a notable dearth of religious painting since…

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The Morris Justice Project, South Bronx An amazing example of participatory action research done well. Engaged people voicing real concerns about their neighbourhood using data they collected. This video is also a great example of using visual arts to produce powerful public interventions via the outdoor projection vehicle called The Illuminator. Lots UK could learn here. The project is part…Read more The Morris Justice Project, South Bronx

Here we go round the mulberry bush

A repetitive, cyclical dance around a plant upon which mulberries don’t really grow whilst mimicking of everyday actions and chanting ‘This is the way...’  and a response to a blog post on the #culturalvalue initiative website by Daniel Allington entitled Intrinsically cultural value: a sociological perspective. Walter Crane, Here we go round the mulberry bush,…Read more Here we go round the mulberry bush