Friday, December 7, 2012

Queer Art Club

I have set up a new group called Queer Art Club with a fantastic artist called Eloise O'Hare. We have both been previous Art Leaders for Norwich Pride. We want to form a club so that artists can meet all year round to share ideas & skills, visit exhibitions, have workshops and talks etc. Our aims are "to make art, make a living and make Norwich Pride amazing". We have been working with Edith Karnitsch from Terra Network to develop a website using WordPress. Edith has been brilliant - very patient with us. 

Here's what we've done so far: There's a long way to go but what's been interesting is how our ideas about the club have developed as we've worked with Edith to create the website. For example, we want helping artists "to make a living" to be an important focus of our work - part of the reason Eloise couldn't continue as the Arts Leader is that she needs to focus on getting paid for her art. Now I have always been very proud that I have made a sustainable living from my filmmaking but times are hard - with the recession and cuts in government funding, there isn't the same amount of work around that I was used to for my first 10 years in business (during a Labour government). I've never really had to think about marketing myself before - each film advertised the next. Now, film feels like such a luxury compared to saving front-line services. I have to convince people what a vital form of communication it is - and worth paying for.

So how can Queer Art Club help me? Well, there's going to be sections on "Jobs" where people can advertise Jobs they've got available so some interesting bits of work might come up there. We'll also have a "Wanted/Offered" section for equipment so I'm hoping that will help with my clear-out now I have moved from the Tea Lounge. I'm looking forward to picking up new skills from the workshops we'll organise and inspiration from the exhibitions we'll attend. Most of all though, I'm excited about working with more and more artists - Eloise has done some wonderful illustrations for my films; Joe Ballard has been brilliant doing drama and Kimberley Moore has been amazing making music. These are the things that will give Shelly Telly projects "extra value" and make them extra special - well worth investing in.....

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