Reflection: Sources of Funding

My position is a little more complex for this exercise. Firstly when considering ‘where’ I would ask for funding. Although I retain a registered presence, my day to day life is not in the UK anymore. Secondly my professional background has made me experienced to some situations so I already have a developed preference for how to fund a project.

I have previously experienced dealing with Arts Council funding and the local authority at Liverpool City Council. In both cases the desire to complete the projects was in-spite of, rather than because of funding. In one case the requested budget was halved and the deliverables increased to meet the criteria, essentially making the artist work for peanuts. As such I have become sceptical of such sources of funding and more motivated to self-initiate projects, funding them through profits from my design and photography business. This has allowed me much greater freedom to self-direct, plan and budget with less red tape to cut through. I would then look for a space or collaborator to approach with a completed body of work. In other situations I have been invited to participate in commercial art fairs/exhibitions and the work was already prepared.

While I have no problem presenting my work for sale I don’t solely evaluate an exhibition or project based on quantitative goals. For example my project Sketches of Japan was initiated while travelling to Seoul for my exhibition premiering another series Sketches of Korea. I utilised the time and location to travel in Japan and continue photographing a new East Asian landscape. The initial portfolio from Sketches of Japan won the prestigious title of Professional Photographer of the Year at the British Institute of Professional Photography in 2016. This qualitative goal provided motivation to continue the body of work on further visits to Japan in 2017. The work has been exhibited several times and accrued sales. It has also been used in case studies for artist talks and photography education classes that I have taught in the ALS (Adult Learning Sector).

At this stage I have a clear idea on how I would like to publish my Body of Work; I would like to engage in a mini-residency to take over a space with a series of formations and potentially interventions. If this was through an official residency within the public sector, or through a more commercial creative space I would be happy to engage in an event or artist talk to connect with a public audience. Therefore I have considered the potential sources of income to realise a publication for my Body of Work:

  • National Arts Councils - not currently feasible to me.

  • Regional Development Agencies - I no longer meet the criteria as I am not a resident of a local authority.

  • Partnership funding - could apply to how I agree the terms of residency and exhibition with for instance Hauss Space. The partnership funding may come in the form of materials and supplies, together with the use of the space.

  • Foundations, awards and grants - not applicable now.

  • Crowdfunding - not relevant to my practice.

  • Support in kind - the most likely source of funding from my side. This could also be support funded through my business if there was a commercial arm to the final publication. Or alternatively if there were to be a selection of prints available to sell from another of my portfolios (non-OCA related).

Until I have taken a final decision, some of the sources of income that I have initially dismissed may still be an option to consider, but I would use Partnership funding and Support in kind as my starting points to consider a proposal and budget.