Soundbite painting III


Enamel paint on canvas

25.6 x 20.6cm

I have asked these things of the individual, but possibly of greater significance is to ask of the group. We as artists, connected in so many ways, have significant power, never better exemplified than by the astonishing mobilisation and mutual support resulting from the Artists Support Pledge. For the first time in my experience a purely artist led project has shaken the established order of the industry and forced a reconsideration of many of the entrenched ideas and securities that the revenue generating section of the art world have relied upon as granted.

This unprecedented movement was based on a sudden and vital need for artists to find new ways to sustain themselves financially. It was an unqualified success, but now its template surely serves to give hope for something more. If artists may support themselves through hardship and come out the other side, can they not support others?

The commercial art world has ridden a wave of self protection and sequestered benefit for the last 40 or so years, thriving in an economic environment that encouraged and supported its selfish aims. Artists are generally considered as providing a positive contribution to culture, freedom of thought and the expansion of human expression and yet have had their contributions forced through a system that only really serves to exclude the people who might benefit most.

We can change all this very simply: by choosing, as individuals, to do things a different way. It requires no centralised control, no rules, no contracts, no system. All it requires is that we consider what we're doing, why we're doing it and what we want our contribution to society to be. We are the art world and the art world is us. We have the power to make it whatever we want. Let's make it something we can be proud of.

This is the third of a group of three paintings.