ESTATE AGENCY: APRIL 28 – 6 MAY 2017
A team of Stoke-on-Trent artists led by Anna Francis are presenting a new project in London that explores systems of culture led regeneration, via exhibitions in Stoke-on-Trent and London, plus a series of discussion events. It asks ‘If councils and governments now recognise the value of arts and culture in developing places, what happens to these places, their communities and the cultural protagonists involved in the process, post-development?’
For many London based artists and arts organisations, the places and spaces they have been involved in developing for many years, are no longer viable and sustainable places to remain, due to rising costs and the want of ring fencing of cultural space within development contexts. Estate Agency aims to explore a sense that this commercial development activity and associated rise in land and property values is pricing artists out of London, while also engaging with the impacts of development on wider local communities.
Following the recent ‘SHUT UP’ of Campbell Works , the gallery will re-open as a high street Estate Agency. Instead of showing properties, and development opportunities local to Stoke Newington, all of the properties for sale or to let will be in Stoke-on-Trent, a Midlands city with abundant empty spaces and vacant properties and relatively low sale and rental values. Each property advertised is real life and real time and includes residential, commercial and artist studio provision.
From the opening night on 28th April and throughout the week, as well as the advertised properties, there will also be a series of creative ‘shifts’, undertaken by a team of Estate Agents, covering a variety of associated concerns – What happens to London if all the creative practitioners leave? If this is happening to artists, what are the effects for the other communities in these places? What responsibility do artists and arts organisations have in this process? Are artists complicit in the developers’ plans, or are they as much of a victim as the communities that are being forced out? How can artists use our collective creative agency to do things differently? As art organisations see the neighbourhoods around them change, do they need to change the way they work to reflect those changes? What can we learn from places, like Margate, where the processes of change are now well underway?
The Campbell Works Estate Agency looks to these two cities, London and Stoke-on-Trent, with their vastly different circumstances and fortunes, and will frame activity around the question of what happens to London in the context of rising costs of living and advocating for relocation to achieve a better quality of life.
Estate Agency is designed and delivered by Anna Francis, funded by Arts Council England, Staffordshire University and Artcity, and with support from AirSpace Gallery, Campbell Works and Butters John Bee.
For more information about Estate Agency, including the full programme of the week’s activities please visit the website at www.estate-agency.org or contact AirSpace Gallery at www.airspacegallery.org , Campbell Works at www.campbellworks.org .