PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT: Thursday 23 April 2020
#artistsupportpledge announces estimated £15 million of sales generated a month since the movement began to help artists struggling due to Covid-19
£15 million sales generated via a new economic model revealing a new “gifted and egalitarian micro economy”
The Crafts Council (UK) step forward to provide their expertise to accelerate the growth of the #artistsupportpledge for makers in the UK.
Thursday 23 April 2020: #artistsupportpledge is an artist-led movement and network to support artists struggling financially during Covid-19 using the social media platform Instagram. The artist Matthew Burrows set up the pledge on 16th March 2020.
Since its inception a month ago, the #artistsupportpledge – which started as a local UK-based initiative – has become a global creative economy supporting artists worldwide. The pledge has seen over 76,500 posts of artworks for sale by participating artists and makers on Instagram and driven an estimated £15 million worth of sales across the globe from the UK to Europe, North and South America, Australia, Russia, Taiwan, Japan and many more.
Impressed by the simplicity and agility of the #artistsupportpledge, the Crafts Council (UK) reached out to Matthew. Today, the Crafts Council (UK) announces that it will work with Matthew Burrows to further accelerate the growth of #artistsupportpledge for makers in the UK. It will use their networks to amplify the #artistsupportpledge to makers across the UK, help establish a campaign press office and provide some additional administrative support.
“One month on from making the first sales pledge I am a little awe struck yet completely delighted by the momentum and viral take up of this campaign. It is not just an important network and survival mechanism for artists: It has become a global movement, a generous culture, and a gifted and egalitarian micro-economy, perhaps even a new economic model.
“The feedback from artists and buyers taking part has been profound. It’s been really humbling, hearing how Artist Support Pledge has literally transformed the lives of so many at such a difficult time, and has helped sustain livelihoods. The spill out (or spin offs) from this is amazing too: posting work on the hashtag has for some led to bigger and more expensive artwork sales and even offers of international gallery representation. I’m delighted to have the expertise of the Crafts Council (UK) to encourage even greater participation by makers across the UK.”
Matthew Burrows, Artist and Director of Artist Support Pledge
“In May 2020 the Crafts Council will publish a report on ‘The Market for Craft’ – our most comprehensive consumer survey for a decade. An estimated 73% of the UK adult population (aged 16+) are now in the market for craft with the market valued at £3bn annually. Clearly attitudes to craft have shifted, with more and more people appreciating the importance of having objects that have been handmade in their lives.
“The egalitarian, democratic market that Matthew has created, is a wonderful platform for makers to promote, share and sell their work to a market hungry for meaningful objects at affordable prices. We wanted to support this brilliant initiative and encourage even more craft makers to get involved.” Natalie Melton, Creative Director, Crafts Council
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Artist Support Pledge asks artists and makers to post images using #artistsupportpledge giving details of their works and price to a maximum of £200. If people are interested in buying, they message (DM) the artist. Every time an artist reaches £1,000 of sales, they pledge to buy £200 of work from other artist(s). This spirit of mutual support and generosity is enabling artists to maintain a vital income stream at a time when most sales channels have disappeared overnight and artists find themselves facing an uncertain financial future.
An estimated £15m of sales have been generated – based on c. 72,000 posts; At least 1 image per post; £200 per sale. 72,000 x 1 x 200 = £14.4m, Therefore, £15m given that many have more than 1 image per post & spill over effect into other artwork sales.
Tyson Awards: Artist Keith Tyson donated £5,000 to enable awards of £200 to be given to 25 artists. Selectors choose five artists/makers to each receive £200 towards achieving their pledge. This has helped spotlight a range of talents.
Selectors to date have been:
Liz Gilmore, Director of the pioneering arts enterprise on the SE coast, Hastings Contemporary – Artists Selected: Karolina Albricht, Karl Beilik, Play Paint, Wendy Mclean, and Holly Mills
Matthew Collings, Artist, critic, writer and broadcaster – Artists selected: Felicie Vignat, Maiko Taguchi, Joe Warrior Walker, Suzy Babington, and Aly Helyer
Toby Clarke, Director of Vigo Gallery London – Artists selected: Ali Yanya, Elena Vasilantonaki, Francis Mendes Moreira, Hannah Knox, and Josie McCoy
Hatta Byng, Editor & Gabby Deeming, Creative Director (Interiors), House and Garden – Artists selected: Lydia Hardwick, Melissa White, Chiara Grifantini, Charlotte Mcleish. Jessica Light.
Burrows has additionally encouraged wider giving to related arts and health charities. Beneficiaries to date:
Hospital Rooms: an arts and mental health charity that commissions extraordinary artworks for locks and secure NHS mental health units across the UK.
Accentuate: a pioneering programme of work delivering ground-breaking opportunities for D/deaf and disabled people to participate and lead across the heritage sectors.
About Matthew Burrows
Matthew Burrows is an artist, who lives and works in East Sussex, United Kingdom. Matthew is the founder and director of the artist mentoring scheme Artist Support Projects and is a mentor on the Turps Studio Programme, London. Most recently, he founded the #ArtistSupportPledge to help artists during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Burrows was born in the Wirral UK. He studied as an undergraduate at Birmingham School of Art in 1990-93 and graduated with a Master’s degree in painting from the Royal College of Art London in 1995.
Burrows speaks of painting as a form of subsistence, dependent on and arising from the ground at his feet. His relationship with place is one of dwelling and ritual, a process of mythologizing, of drawing meaning from the particularities of the environment and his movement in and through it.
His paintings are reflective, thoughtful and slow to reveal a complex structural space of marks, shapes and pigment. Thin washes of paint are scrubbed and scratched into and across the surface, creating strange half states, where colours and images hover on the edge of description. Painting on gesso grounds, Burrows creates an unusual softness across the hard and porous surface: fast and slow, thick and thin, rough and smooth. He finds his reality in the paradoxes and thresholds of the mystic’s landscape – a wilderness of solitude and temptation, a paradise of emptiness and rage, a country of madness and silence.
Instagram @matthewburrowsstudio @artistsupportpledge
Matthew is represented by Vigo Gallery London http://www.vigogallery.com
Crafts Council (UK)
The Crafts Council is the United Kingdom’s foremost authority on contemporary craft in all its forms. Founded in 1971, its role as guardian and champion of national craft practice has evolved to include exploring and enabling new possibilities, making methods and technologies. It is due to open a gallery in Islington, London in 2020, a national Home for Craft. Its work is made possible by the support of trusts and foundations, individual patrons, and corporate sponsors, and through public funding by Arts Council England. http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk
Follow @craftscouncil on Instagram and @CraftsCouncilUK on Facebook and Twitter.
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