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Aberdeen Summit: Artists' Exploitation

A Publication / Fri, 16 Jun 2023

Is artists’ exploitation inevitable or is it just a question of identifying effective, enduring, preventative frameworks?

Developed by independent arts researcher Dr Susan Jones and organised collaboratively with Dr Jon Blackwood, Gray’s School of Art, the Aberdeen mini summit held in June 2023 was informed by artists’ activism on pay and conditions including creation of FRANK in 2022 and weindustria’s 2023 research report Structurally F*cked.

The research questions included:

  • what will equitable working environments look and feel like for artists?
  • what attitudes and measures will ensure lasting improvement in artists’ social and economic status?
  • what would counter any impediments to their achievement?

Chaired by Jon Blackwood, presentations from the organisers and Donald Butler (Independent artist/curator), Ben Callaghan (artist and activist, Scottish Artists Union), Simon Poulter (artist and curator) and Lindsay Seers (artist and co-founder of FRANK) examined and contextualised causes of artists’ exploitation and proposed enduring strategic frameworks and personalised approaches for navigating a fraught and contested terrain. 

This publication contains texts developed from presentations by Susan Jones, Ben Callaghan, Simon Poulter and Lindsay Seers, with a summation by John Wright.

All texts © The writers 2023
Event supported by Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University and this production and realisation of this publication by Axis.


Tags, Topics, Artforms, Themes and Contexts

Further reading


The Price of Everything


We can't afford to work for love


Barriers and Ethnic Representation

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