Artists' Mobility Lab, Newcastle and Gateshead
The first Artists’ Mobility Lab was organised in May 2011 in North East England by ISIS in collaboration with Turning Point North East. It addressed visual arts organisations, networks, festivals, galleries and practitioners committed to international cultural exchange who develop projects, residencies and exhibitions with international artists. With a programme of speakers from England, Wales, Switzerland and Austria/Slovenia, the event focused on the mobility of visual artists into the UK, particularly in the context of projects initiated by smaller artist-led organisations.
The mobility lab acted as a catalyst for learning and debate on artist mobility and identified specific issues for the visual arts. Participants gained an overview of the context for mobility of visual artists, shared professional experience and discussed advocacy actions to improve mobility. A primer on artists’ mobility was published. Over two days, participants met at two key North East visual arts venues – BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Globe Gallery – and networked over a dinner and studio visit hosted by artists at New Bridge Studios in central Newcastle.
The final recommendations are now available to read and distribute, and a supporting Lab Primer has been produced outlining key UK and International resources and documents on the mobility of artists.