Hello everyone – would you like to help me create an honest (perhaps alternative?) picture of music and the arts in the UK?
I’ve always been fascinated by UNREALISED PROJECTS…artistic dreams, ideas, schemes and ventures… Some projects remain unrealised because they became too gloriously improbable and many reside for years in artists’ imaginations, becoming ever-more fantastical with no real plan (or pressure) to actually ever have to deliver the thing. But…. many ideas remain unrealised due to a lack of funding or other factors outside artistic control.
Funding bodies tell us that ‘only x% of applications are successful’. (Eg Prs = 13%) The number of unsuccessful applications will far outweigh the successful.
But, as we know, our culture (and our perception of the industry) is built on the small percentage of things that DID get funding, that DID get the tour, the recording contract, the great reviews, the big engagement figures….
I want to know what happens to all of the silent projects.
Do they get scrapped?
Do we slash budgets and make them happen anyway… a smaller, shadowy version of what might have been?
And how do unrealised projects impact on us, as artists, as CEOs, as directors? Does a lack of funding make us feel more determined…or despondent and less likely to try again?
Why am I interested in this? Because I’m deeply curious to explore this vast alternative landscape and know what it looks and feels like from an artistic point of view. Also, I’m a producer, so I’m naturally wired to help people ‘make things happen’ and to do this well, I want to have a broad curator’s view of the type of artistic things that AREN’T happening – it might be very revealing…. And I’d like to know this NOW, not leave it to someone in 100 years time to unearth and sift through all the really great things from the early 21st century that – for whatever reason – ended up with a ‘neglected’ label…
Please note – this isn’t a whinge or an attack on any funding bodies…far from it. Its a genuine exploration….and something I hope we might benefit from understanding more.
The image is by the late John Busby, best known for his beautiful drawings of birds for the RSPB. Edinburgh Art Festival are holding an exhibition of his lesser known landscape paintings in July – called ‘Silent Landscape‘.
If you’d like to share your thoughts with me, do please be in touch via the contact page or direct email / Facebook / Twitter etc. Confidentiality guaranteed. THANK YOU!