The Artists’ Bond
The Artists’ Bond is a new collective venture for UK based artists looking for a lucky break. It was established in 2011 by the forty members of the Artists’ Lottery Syndicate (1 July 2010 – 1 July 2011), who chose to reinvest their annual prize money in a new long-term speculative funding scheme based on National Savings & Investments ‘Premium Bonds’. From 1 April – 1 July some years, The Artists’ Bond will open its doors for up to 40 new artists to join and will continue to expand annually up to a maximum of 1,000 members.
Work-a-thon for the Self-Employed
Work-a-thon for the Self-Employed is a new world record classification initiated by Ellie Harrison in 2011. It aims to encourage isolated freelance workers like herself to come together to attempt to break the record for ‘the most self-employed people working together (on their own individual projects) in the same place at the same time, over the course of a normal 9-to-5 day’. The world record of 57 self-employed people was first set at Toynbee Hall on Monday 13th June 2011 as part of Artsadmin’s Two Degrees festival. On Thursday 3rd November this record was bettered to 70 people at a second event at Newcastle’s Lit & Phil Library as part of Wunderbar festival.
Artists Anonymous was a support group for Glasgow-based artists co-founded, coordinated and attended by Harrison over the course of two years. It took place every three weeks at the CCA in Glasgow and aimed to provide a ‘safe space for its members to speak candidly, honestly and confidentially to others about the anxieties and stresses of their professional lives’.
Artists’ Lottery Syndicate
On 1 April 2010, Harrison officially launched the Artists’ Lottery Syndicate forming a forty-strong collective of UK based artists to join forces to play The National Lottery over the course of a year, with the hope of hitting the jackpot. The Syndicate ran from 1st July 2010 – 1st July 2011 and was a fun and social group activity, which operated as a gentle critique of artists’ relationships to the economy, as well as a potential money-maker.
Notts on Tour
In September 2007, Harrison coordinated Notts On Tour – a group road trip to Germany combining visits to Documenta 12 in Kassel and Sculpture Projects Münster 07. The trip was attended by 40 artists and curators from Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Derby. Notts On Tour aimed to provide an important shared experience, which would strengthen the art community in Nottingham and its surrounding region.
In 2007 Harrison devised and founded Hen Weekend – ‘the seminar by the sea for female artists, writers and curators’. The project aims to facilitate discussion and encourage collaboration between its participants, and to begin to create a unique support network for talented female practitioners working within the contemporary art sector. Hen Weekend events take place in collaboration with seaside art centres around the UK. The pilot event took place at De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea from 30th March – 1st April 2007.
Union of Undercover Artists
The Union of Undercover Artists was formed in summer 2006 by Ellie Harrison, Elizabeth Kearney and Joanna Spitzner in response to the project Part-time, which they had each been commissioned to take part in. For Part-time the three artists were required to spend four weeks working undercover in low-wage jobs and to make work in response to their experiences. As well as drawing attention to the lack of support or representation for individuals working in the visual arts sector, the Union of Undercover Artists formed one of the artists’ major responses to the Part-time project.
The Quotidian Factor
The first collaborative project between Adele Prince and Ellie Harrison was this artists’ workshop based on the popular UK TV series The Krypton Factor. The day-long workshop took place at Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth as part of the ARC programme, which accompanied the Day-to-Day Data exhibition in the gallery. The Quotidian Factor featured a series of four rounds in which participants competed in challenges designed to get them inspired by the little things in life.
Day-to-Day Data – ‘an exhibition of artists who collect, list, database and absurdly analyse the data of everyday life’, was Ellie’s first major curatorial project. It developed as a way of further exploring the ideas at the core of her practice, and as a way of bringing together a group of artists who shared similar interests. The project featured newly commissioned works by twenty artists and comprised a gallery-based exhibition touring to three UK venues, a publication and a website.