1 April 2009
People's Republic of South Devon

Ellie Harrison is the artist in residence at the Plymouth College of Art at the moment. Her exhibition, set to coincide with the release of her book Confessions of a Recovering Data Collector, features a row of vending machines which respond to BBC RSS news headlines, only releasing food when news about the recession is in the headlines. This coupled with the much-talked about, but as yet unrealised Monument (Maggie) (Thatcher, headlines, disco music – nuff said), made us wonder, what makes the perfect artist?

Five Pointers to Becoming the ‘Perfect Artist’
By Ellie Harrison

1. Do not wear blinkers. You must consider and acknowledge the social and political context in which your work is made and/or presented.

2. Art is a form of entertainment. Therefore, you must consider the experience of your audience whilst creating a work and attempt to engage, amuse and inspire as a priority.

3. An artwork cannot exist autonomously of art history and theory. Be aware of what has gone before and what is happening now. Consider how your work builds upon or responds to this.

4. Do not be medium specific. The most important part of any artwork is the idea. Develop this first and then look for the most appropriate medium to realise it.

5. Think about your production process in terms of sustainability. Try to reduce the environmental impact of your work, without compromising your idea.

(Partially extracted from the Work With Me project Manifesto)

Confessions of a Recovering Data Collector is due for release on April 22 and will coincide with the artist’s solo exhibition at the Viewpoint Gallery, Plymouth College of Art.