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Gini: 'Creatives in Con.Text' - disability arts online
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Con.Text workshopping / 12 November 2012

Conversations with artists running workshops at Salisbury Arts Centre connect me with its more frequent visitors - people with more regular and planned engagement with the arts - but maybe not all quite as regular as I had been led to believe by quite a number of artists proclaiming that teaching was the way to financial survival.

And the match, that elegant dovetailing of offer and perceived need that seemed apparent on the surface, was also not quite as I had imagined.



I craft because it's who I am

and dare I say that women skills

are part of my identity. Rites of

passage returning to favour,

good, though strangely

out of context.



I readily identify with workshop leaders who feel creatively exhausted by the process and survive by alternating periods of teaching with times dedicated to producing and exhibiting work.

But I also enjoy the buzz of conversations with those artists who find their workshops energising, the preparation an inspiring and motivational boost to their own creativity.

And then there are the artists who work in more of a creative partnership mode and see their students' work as extensions of their own creativity, in some cases essential components of their practice.



I make, I have a skill.

I make for friends, but

it's not art. People like

what I do, I get

commissions, but no

I wouldn't do


it's not art.



Some of these artists do have dedicated students who follow and return, but now that I begin to scratch the surface, I see a haphazard process more reliant on whim and fashion than I had thought. My overall impression is that leading workshops adds more layers of uncertainty and complication to an artist's life, without necessarily resulting in any great financial improvement, so reasons for doing it are often a lot more complex than apparent.



I wouldn't call myself an artist;

the workshop defines a space,

my space; an interlude when I

recreate myself with words.

I enjoy words, I enjoy being

in this academic arena.

I read a lot, and appreciate

new ideas.


I do attempt a superficial sense of order from the wilderness of conversation that is necessary for creating Con.Text, and next weekend will see a whole new approach when I follow Two Destination Language's microfest, FLINT, from Sailisbury to Corsham.

Keywords: con.text,creativity,diverse perspectives,identity,poetry,workshops