Pivotal Moments in Developing Artistic Practice: Professional Development Models for Mid-Career Artists
20 September 2018


Date: Thu 20 Sep 2018, 10am – 5pm
Venue: Bethnal Hall, Town Hall Hotel 
Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, London E2 9NF
Book here

What do mid-career artists need in order to sustain their practices?

How can arts organisations, funders and commissioners meet the needs of mid-career artists?

What new models of support does the sector need to develop?

Pivotal Moments: Professional Development Models for Mid-Career Artists is a one-day conference exploring models and opportunities for mid-career artists across the visual arts, crafts and photography.

Pivotal Moments is an artist-centered debate, featuring a series of conversational exchanges between artists and organisations. Each encounter highlights a pivotal moment where a particular type of support – including development programmes, residencies, commissions, international exchange or collection – has enabled sustainability and growth of the artists practice. 

The conference is presented as part of London Creative Network, a London-wide development programme for creative practitioners with a focus on innovative technologies or processes led and delivered by SPACE, with Cockpit Arts, Four Corners and Photofusion.

Pivotal Moments will share examples of best practices in the sector, and provide a forum for peers to contribute ideas and possibilities for the support of artists at this critical stage. Additionally LCN will produce a publication, working with a-n, as a result of the conference, further disseminating ideas shared on the day.

Early bird (until 01 Aug):
£20 for freelance and independent artists
£30 for Organisation representatives

From 01 Aug onwards:
£30 for freelance and independent artists
£50 for Organisation representatives

Book here
For any queries, please contact sonya@spacestudios.org.uk

Keith Piper (Artist) in conversation with Helen Nisbet (Curator). 

An Arts Council Collection 70th Anniversary Commission, presented by Iniva and Bluecoat Unearthing the Bankers Bones (2017) marked Piper’s first monographic exhibition in a decade. 

This conversation will consider the work, the role of curation, friendship, institutional collaboration, collection and commission in support of artistic vision.

Helen Johannessen (Ceramic Artist-Maker) in conversation with Rachel Smart (Business Advisor) 

How do makers sustain a career long–term? What happens when they need to make a significant change of direction at mid-career? What kind of opportunities exist to support them? Johannessen and Smart will discuss step changes, growth and international opportunities.

Erica Scourti (Artist) in conversation with Katrina Sluis (Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery).

This conversation will take Scourti’s commission So Like You (2014) commissioned by Photoworks, temporary custodians and The Photographers’ Gallery as a starting point for a discussion on the impact of sustained engagement between artist and gallery and the expanded opportunities arising from touring work internationally.

Tessa Norton (Art Writer) in conversation with Donna Lynas (Director, Wysing Arts Centre)

How does becoming a parent impact on a practitioner’s career and what can be done within the sector to make it easier? Norton’s on-going residency at Wysing opens up a conversation about how the institution has adapted its residency model to fit with the lived experiences of artists.

Madeleine Furness (Artist-Maker/Business Incubation Programme Manager, Cockpit Arts) in conversation with Karen Davies (Artist /Artist Development Manager, SPACE)

Davies and Furness have both, in their respective roles, been pivotal in developing the London Creative Network. They will discuss how they have utilised their understanding of, and empathy for, artists needs in the development of the network and the importance of continued professional development for artists. 

Pivotal Moments will be chaired by Patricia van den Akker (Director, The Design Trust), Cedar Lewisohn (Curator, Writer and Artist) and Eleanor Jubb (Associate, BOP Consulting).

10 am Welcome / registration
10.30 – Introductions – Anna Harding, SPACE CEO introduces LCN. Sonya Dyer will give an introduction to the Pivotal Moments.

Turning points
Reflections on pivotal moments that alter trajectories
10.45 – 11.30 – Keith Piper and Helen Nisbet
11.30 – 12.15 – Helen Johannessen and Rachel Smart
12.15 – 12.30 – Plenary, chaired by Patricia van den Akker
12.30 – 1.30 – Lunch

Sustainability through change
Critical interventions that provide space for artists to maintain their practice
1.30 – 2.15 – Erica Scourti and Katrina Sluis
2.15 – 3.00 – Tessa Norton and Donna Lynas
3.00 – 3.15 – Plenary, chaired by Cedar Lewisohn
3.15 – 3.30 – Break

Artists, makers and London Creative Network
3.30 – 4.15 – Madeleine Furness and Karen Davies
4.15 – 4.30 –  Plenary, chaired by Eleanor Jubb
4.30 – 4.45 – Reflections on Pivotal Moments. Discussion and questions lead by Sonya Dyer
5pm – Thanks, end.

Drinks at SPACE Studios
129 – 131 Mare Street, London E8 3RH



Keith Piper
Keith Piper is a Visual Artist and Associate Professor at Middlesex University London.
His creative practice exists in response to specific issues, historical relationships and geographical sites, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Piper was a founder member of the Blk Art Group in the early 1980s and during this period he established a research-driven approach prioritising thematic exploration over an attachment to any particular media. His work over the past 30 years has ranged from painting, through photography and installation to a use of digital media, video and computer-based interactivity.

Helen Nisbet
Helen Nisbet is a curator, based in London. She is an Artist Advisor on Syllabus IV with Wysing Arts Centre, a Visiting Lecturer at the RCA and curates independent and partnership projects across the UK and internationally. Previously she was Curatorial Fellow at Cubitt from 2017-18 and has worked with organisations including Open Source, Creative Time, Contemporary Art Society and the Arts Council Collection where she organised a series of eight commissions to celebrate the collection’s 70th anniversary in 2016. 

Helen Johannessen
Helen graduated from the RCA in 2017. Her current practice experiments with ceramic surfaces and form as an emotive or sensory experience based on space and place. She aims to encourage observation both close-up and far away, for the observer to travel physically and perceptually.
Prior to her MA, she set up and ran an award-winning company Yoyo Ceramics (2000-2015). As a professional model and mold maker, she produced and successfully sold her own designs. Stockists and galleries included Liberty’s, Heals, V&A, The Design Museum, Skandium and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Johanessen was awarded a scholarship by the Anglo Swedish Society for a 3-month residency at Konstfack Art school, Stockholm February to May 2018.

Rachel Smart
Rachel Smart provides a unique combination of services for architects and designers including management consultancy, professional practice seminars, MA teaching and academic research.

Erica Scourti
Erica Scourti was born in Athens, Greece and is now based in London and Athens. Her work draws on personal experience to explore identity in an algorithmic age and has been shown internationally at spaces like the Wellcome Collection, Kunsthalle Wien, Microscope Gallery, New York, Hayward Gallery, Munich Kunstverein, EMST Athens, Autoitalia and South London Gallery. She has published essays in Documents of Contemporary Art: Information (2016, MIT Press) and Fiction as Method (Sternberg, November 2017) and is currently a resident of Somerset House Studios, London.

Katrina Sluis
Katrina Sluis is a curator, writer and media educator who is a founding Co-Director of the Centre of the Study of the Networked Image, London South Bank University and Curator (Digital Programme) at The Photographers’ Gallery. With a background in systems administration and early internet technologies, her research is broadly engaged with photography’s relationship to computation, its social circulation and cultural value. Exhibition projects include James Bridle: Seamless Transitions (2015) and For the LOL of Cats: Felines, Photography and the Web(2012) and the platform Unthinking.Photography (2016). 

Tessa Norton
Tessa Norton is an art writer. Throughout 2018 she is in residence at Wysing Arts Centre, working on a project investigating the disruption to time experienced in early parenthood. 
She has given readings at The Tetley, Flat Time House and Liverpool Biennial. Past projects include The Pure Ideology Personal Brand Workshop (Legion TV, London) and Lustre Fabrics (Saltaire Arts Trail, Yorkshire), and she contributes art writing to publications including The Wire, Corridor 8 and Art Licks. 
Based between London and West Yorkshire, she also works at Cecil Sharp House in London and is a board member at LUX artists film.

Donna Lynas
Donna Lynas has been Director of Wysing Arts Centre since 2005 and has developed Wysing's identity as a research centre for the visual arts; introducing experimental artists' residencies, retreats, commissioning and curating ambitious projects including the annual festival of art and music. Donna was instrumental in delivering Wysing’s RIBA award-winning capital development project, which opened in 2008 and offers a unique set of facilities including purpose-built artists' studios.
Previously, Donna was Curator at South London Gallery where she established the gallery’s influential performance and off-site programmes. Prior to that, she was Curator and Touring Exhibitions Organiser at Modern Art Oxford. 

Madeleine Furness
Madeleine has been a trainer, coach and mentor in the craft sector since 2006. 
She joined the Cockpit Arts team in 2014 and is responsible for designing, managing and delivering its creative and business professional development programmes and one-to-one coaching. This includes the ERDF funded London Creative Network programme, and previously the ERDF New Creative Markets programme, both in partnership with SPACE Studios, Photofusion and Four Corners. Madeleine has in-depth knowledge of a range of UK craft businesses and routes to market, and has individually supported over 300 maker businesses.
Madeleine has a First Class Honours degree in Jewellery from Middlesex University and was one of ten multi-discipline artists selected for the Franko B ArtsAdmin mentoring programme, including a residency at Wysing Arts Centre.
She is currently training to be a Life & Personal Performance Coach

Karen Davies
Karen Davies is Artist Development Manager for London Creative Network programme (LCN) at SPACE. She has 20 years’ experience working within the arts and education sector. She is also currently on the Jobs and Opps Research Team at a-n The Artists Information Company.
Davies is a practising artist based in London having completed her MA at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2013 and graduated from Newcastle University BA Fine Art in 1998. She exhibits nationally and internationally and was recipient of the Cecil Lewis Sculpture Scholarship (2013) and an Oppenheim John Downes Award (2012) during her postgraduate study. She is based at Euroart Studios in Tottenham.



Patricia van den Akker
Patricia van den Akker is the Director of The Design Trust, an online business school for designers and makers. In the last 25 years she has worked with 1,000s of creative businesses, in particular designers and makers, as a creative business adviser, trainer and adviser. In March 2018 she was selected as ‘The Number One Business Adviser for Branding & Design in the UK’ by Enterprise Nation. Patricia very regularly talks at events and conferences, teaches at universities and art colleges across the UK, and is the author of Dream Plan Do, a planner journal for creatives.

Cedar Lewisohn
Cedar Lewisohn is an artist, writer and curator based in London. He has worked on many museum projects for institutions such as Tate Britain, Tate Modern and The British Council. He has published two books Street Art (Tate 2008) and Abstract Graffiti (Marrell, 2011).  In 2008, he curated the landmark Street Art exhibition at Tate Modern. He is currently curator of the project “Outside The Cube” for Hangar Bicocca foundation in Milan and has recently been working with Birmingham Museums on the project, Collecting Birmingham.

Eleanor Jubb
Eleanor works for BOP Consulting, an international consultancy specialising in cultural and the creative economy.  For BOP, Eleanor works on evaluations, economic strategy and research projects including evaluations for a number of creative enterprise support programmes.   
For the last 18 months, Eleanor and other BOP team members have been working alongside London Creative Network to understand the impact of the programme.  Eleanor splits her time between London and her home in Cornwall where she is a trustee of Creative Kernow a key creative sector organisation, which supports creative practitioners and manages studio space for over 100 artists.


In association with:

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The London Creative Network project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014 to 2020.