‘Artist as Leader’ posed two questions. Firstly, what does leadership mean to artists? Secondly, can artists be leaders? The project was led by the ‘On the Edge’ team in collaboration with several partners: Performing Arts Labs, the Cultural Enterprise Office and the Cultural Leadership Foundation. The project developed open-ended conversations with key artists and organisations. At the core of these was a ‘creative laboratory’, in which leading artists and policy makers spent five days residing together at Hospitalfields, with the aim of facilitating artists to inform policy and policy to inform artists. Aware that the voice of the artist was missing from the leadership debate, we worked based on the instinct that the artist could enrich understandings of leadership by looking at what actually happens in artists' practices, rather than by tackling traditional discourses of leadership. At this time, leadership was largely defined as meaning good management driven by particularly talented, well-trained individuals – a definition applicable both within- and outside the arts. ‘Artist as Leader’ resulted in an expanded set of scenarios in which the artist might act as a leader: through being an excellent artist, being a manager of arts organisations and/or being a civic leader. This project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Jerwood Foundation and the Scottish Arts Council.

Recent Submissions

  • Breaking through the aesthetics of public art. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris (Bergen National Academy of Arts, 2008-12-31)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2008. Breaking through the aesthetics of public art. Presented at Sensuous knowledge 5 (SK5): questioning qualities, 2008, Bergen, Norway. Bergen: Bergen National Academy of Arts.
    Our research is concerned with the changing nature of public art. We work with the experience of making art, drawing on articulations of process developed by artists themselves as well as theorists and historians. We also ...
  • Research papers: leading through practice. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris (a-n https://www.a-n.co.uk/tag/leading-through-practice, 2007-03-01)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. (eds.) 2007. Research papers: leading through practice. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: a-n [online]. Available from: https://www.a-n.co.uk/tag/leading-through-practice.
    Artist as Leader is a programme that aims to understand the ways artists lead through their practice with a view to informing and developing a critical understanding of the role of creativity in culture. There are two ...
  • Participating in the 'wrong' way? Practice based research into cultural democracy and the commissioning of art to effect social change. 

    Hope, Charlotte Sophie (Birkbeck, University of London Film, media and cultural studies, 2011-12-31)
    HOPE, C.S. 2011. Participating in the 'wrong' way? Practice based research into cultural democracy and the commissioning of art to effect social change [online]. Available from: http://sophiehope.org.uk/research/
    Through this practice based research I argue that cultural democracy as a way of thinking contests dominant models of commissioning art to effect social change. A method of generative metaphor of critical distance emerges ...
  • The artist as leader: constructing a national network to support research into the creative competencies of the artist as cultural leader. 

    Douglas, Anne (Arts and Humanities Research Council http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/documents/project-reports-and-reviews/ahrc-annual-report-accounts/2006-07, 2007-07-12)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2007. The artist as leader: constructing a national network to support research into the creative competencies of the artist as cultural leader. In Arts and Humanities Research Council, Annual report and accounts, 2006-07. London: TSO [online], page 14. Available from: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/documents/project-reports-and-reviews/ahrc-annual-report-accounts/2006-07
    This case study describes how the author is constructing a national network to support research to encourage and enable artists as future leaders.
  • Artist as leader (2007-09). 

    On the Edge Research (On the Edge Research https://ontheedgeresearch.org/artist-as-leader-2007-09/, 2013-11-26)
    ON THE EDGE RESEARCH. 2009. Artist as leader (2007-09) [online]. Available from: https://ontheedgeresearch.org/artist-as-leader-2007-09/
    Artist as Leader posed the questions What does leadership mean to artists? Can artists be leaders? The research formed a partnership between Performing Arts Labs, London, Cultural Enterprise Office, Glasgow and the Cultural ...
  • Jane Jacobs and the nature of (practice and research) work in public. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris (Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, 2009-12-14)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2009. Jane Jacobs and the nature of (practice and research) work in public. Presented at Public and participative art: performance in everyday life, 14-15 December 2009, Helsinki, Finland.
    Jacobs argues that economies follow the same rules as ecological systems. They behave in the same way as systems in nature: as dynamic systems of interdependency. The core of Jacobs' argument is energy, whether it is ...
  • Artist as leader. [Film] 

    Davie, Emma (Edinburgh College of Art, 2008-01-31)
    DAVIE, E. [2008]. Artist as leader. [Film]. Edinburgh: Edinburgh College of Art.
    Artist as Leader posed the questions: "what does leadership mean to artists," and "can artists be leaders?" The research formed a partnership between Performing Arts Labs, London, Cultural Enterprise Office, Glasgow and ...
  • Negotiation-as-active-knowing: an approach evolved from relational practice. 

    Chu, Chu Yuan (Robert Gordon University Gray's School of Art, 2013-06)
    CHU, C.Y. 2013. Negotiation-as-active-knowing: an approach evolved from relational art practice. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.
    This PhD research offers a new conception of negotiation that attempts to re-imagine the roles of and relationships between artist and participant-other in social art practice. Negotiation is implicit in art practice, ...
  • Ecology and environmental art in public place: talking tree: won't you take a minute and listen to the plight of nature? 

    Goto Collins, Reiko (Robert Gordon University Gray's School of Art, 2012-02)
    GOTO COLLINS, R. 2012. Ecology and enviromental art in public place: talking trees: won't you take a minute and listen to the plight of nature? Robert Gordon Unviersity, PhD thesis.
    My research started with a question: Is it possible to create change if we understand life is interdependent and interrelated with nature in our environment? I researched this question from the perspective of a practising ...
  • When is the artist a creative leader? A provisional framework. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris (Littoral, 2006-09)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2006. When is the artist a creative leader? A provisional framework. In the Proceedings of the creative rural industries: the arts and rural regeneration; mapping the new creative rural industires, 10-13 September 2006, Lancaster, UK. Ramsbottom: Littoral.
    Ian Hunter, in the New Rural Arts Strategy, provides us with a framework for thinking about regeneration by drawing deeply from rural culture, both its traditions as well as the challenges that are posed by social, cultural ...
  • The artist as leader: research report. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris; Performing Arts Labs; Cultural Enterprise Office; Scottish Leadership Foundation (Robert Gordon University http://www2.rgu.ac.uk/subj/ats/ontheedge2/artistasleader/ArtistAsLeader.pdf, 2009)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C.; with Performing Arts Labs, Cultural Enterprise Office, Scottish Leadership Foundation, 2009. The artist as leader: research report. Aberdeen: Robert Gordon University.

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