The Research Project

The Research Project

In 2018 Tanya was awarded funding from Arts Council England for a research project looking into learning disability art studios across the UK and in Finland; how they are run, funded, and what they have found that works for their organisations. Alongside Tanya was Jennifer Gilbert as Producer and Jaqueline Cooley as Artist’s Assistant.The research happened between May – October 2018 with Mandy Fowler as the Project Evaluator. Studio visits were made to: Project Ability, The Art House, ActionSpace, Garvald Artists, Intoart, Project Art Works and Barrington Farm. In Finland, visits were made to Kaarisilta and ITE. The research delved into what makes these studios and the artists that work in them so successful. Tanya was particularly interested in the different studio models, the diversity of the artists own practices, the professional development programmes each organisation provided and how the work was showcased in the differing settings.

This research proved to be enlightening and incredibly informative. Common ideas that we discussed were around supporting the individual artists practice and development; the importance of archiving work; how the work was showcased in different settings;
funding for projects and the difficult area of paying artists, especially given how this affects benefits. Tanya has taken many aspects of her learning into consideration, trying new approaches within ArtStudio01.

Tanya has also began thinking about how her learning can influence new ways of enabling others to support creative enabling as a model of best practice. To this end Tanya has now bought in Jaqueline Cooley as Co-Director to help develop these models further to create a sustainable future for ArtStudio01.

As part of the research, a sharing day has been planned for Friday 12th of April at Participate CIC in Shrewsbury. This event be an opportunity to introduce people to ArtStudio01, as well as to share learning and to think about our next steps with like-minded people and organisations. Alongside this there will be a three-week long exhibition of our artists work titled ‘New Ways’ and Cameron Morgan from Project Ability in Glasgow will be artist-in-residence during the opening week of the exhibition.