Talent Development artists conclude their projects

In September 2019 we awarded 11 artists from the SO postcode area a bursary to carry out a self-directed professional development project.

The Talent Development Programme is unique as its one of the few local professional development programmes still running. Many opportunities like this are through a national platform. The projects selected have involved one-to-one mentoring, creating or developing new work, testing out new ideas, increasing skills and gaining new knowledge.

As the initial six month development period comes to a close we spoke to some of the artists about the value of this experience and how it has affected their practice.

Chris MacFarlane “I have been able to access equipment and expertise that would otherwise have been out of reach. As a result I’ve been able to challenge myself to work in new ways with the landscape and the public.”

Sarah Mander “Being part of the programme has enabled me to dedicate focused time to my practice. During the project I’ve had failures, surprises and successes. I’ve made visits to a number of artists to discuss their ways of working then experimented with these techniques transferring these methods to my work space and into my practice. I have also collaborated with fellow artist Kate Watkins to put together a successful application for a joint exhibition at Printfest, 2020 in Ulverston, Cumbria.”

Kye Wilson “I’ve received valuable mentoring with an artist whose technology-based art is situated where I would like mine to be in the future. I’ve gleaned useful information and critical considerations as I develop my project within the immersive technology context.”

Kate Watkins “The project raised questions about having confidence in one’s own creative decisions and not being afraid to follow a more unconventional path. The group of artists were very supportive of one another and were often dealing with the same issues so gave constructive advice.”

Pearl John “The bursary has raised my self-confidence, given me the practical support to increase my skills in a new medium, enabling me to work with a mentor and purchase equipment and materials I otherwise would have struggled to pay for, and it has given me a new community of artists to belong to. I didn’t realise that winning the bursary included a structure of support and I’m extremely grateful for the experience.”

The Talent Development Programme enables artists to create, propose and justify a period of bespoke professional development. The programme will run again in Spring 2021. To receive notification when the programme re-opens sign-up to ‘a space’ arts mailing list.