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A restless art – A talk about participatory art

On 17 November 2016, I was invited to give a talk at the Arts Council of Wales Conference in Cardiff. Here are my notes for the talk, together with web links to all the projects mentioned: note though that the spoken version was naturally rather different. Click here to download a PDF of the notes, or here to watch the…

Li Diuen Mar, Teatre Tantarantana, Barcelona 2016

In unstable times, we need a restless art.

Why describe participation as a ‘restless’ art? My original reason was simply that the practice of professional artists involving others in their work has meant such different things over the years. It has grown exponentially since the emergence of community art in the 1960s and been interpreted differently in changing times, conditions, theories and cultures. A whole world separates a contemporary…

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Community cultural development in 1990s Australia

The late Deidre Williams was an important figure in Australian community arts, as a director of CAN South Australia and subsequently as a pioneering researcher. In 1995, she published one of the earliest and best pieces of research into the social outcomes of community art practice, Creating Social Capital. At the time, I was doing the research…

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Mindfulness and participatory art practice

On Saturday, I facilitated a workshop about participatory art and quality at the Institute of Polish Culture in Warsaw that reminded me of the power of participation. There were about 20 of us: students, postgrads, arts practitioners and others, mostly women and mostly young. Some had a lot of practical experience, others not much. But…