Throughout November and December 2020 the Artists Walk initiative encouraged artists across Haringey to showcase their work in the windows of their homes. It was a simple, inexpensive way to bring art to the public during the pandemic, as well as an opportunity for people to discover the creative residents in their community and make their daily walks more inspiring!
Alexandra Palace hosted a range of new and established works. Maz Morris, a member of Alexandra Palace’s Young People’s Programming Team, speaks to Rosha Nutt, the co-founder about her favourite displays, advice for young creatives, and plans for this new year.
How did the idea for Artists Walk first come about? It was born of frustration, frustration at all the gallery and event closures due to the pandemic. The art world was focusing on creating virtual online galleries but we wanted to give artists a way to show their work in real life, to engage with their local community and give everybody something to do during the restrictions.
Did anything surprise you after setting it up? This was an art event that was very accessible, the public could engage on their own terms and it was an inclusive event for all the family. I think that was paramount to its success, our map has had almost 24,000 views to date. It was a new idea and the driving force was always to increase visibility, not sales. That said many artists did make sales and with no commission taken by Artists Walk they kept all the proceeds. We also got a lot of support from Jen, Mark and the Creative Learning team at Alexandra Palace, which was fantastic and helped us give some real opportunities to artists and something we never imagined happening when we started.
What was one of your favourite displays on the Artists Walk? There were so many, some artists really went the extra mile. Craig Bernard joined early and it was wonderful to see his sculptures bring the idea to life. Georgia Merton‘s work looked fabulous on the front of her house and Ahmed Farooqui‘s hare sculptures were an incredible late addition. We got the opportunity to create some murals on the side of Alexandra Palace too, including a piece of my own work, so I have to include those in my favourites.
(Display at Alexandra Palace featuring @donklondon and @Davidspeeduk)
What do you do outside the Artists Walk? I’m an artist myself, a painter and printmaker mainly. I used to work in advertising, art directing TV ads so I have experience of working on big productions and pulling lots of people together for a project.
Are there any changes you would like to see in the creative industry, or anything you would like to see more of in the future? Yes I’d love to see a more nurturing ethos transpire. There should be more help for individuals applying for funding and grants, the red tape and experience needed to get through the process is a full time job and many wonderful ideas don’t get off the ground. Also, more mental health support for creatives would ensure everyone gets supported in the ways they need.
What advice would you give to young creatives during this pandemic and beyond? As long as you have your health, every change is an opportunity. There’s a great book, ‘Who moved my cheese’ by Dr Spencer Johnson that gives insight into how to deal with change. If you find you have time on your hands, create some structure to your day with a routine, plan when you will do things and break down your goals into small chunks. Distractions are minimised right now, so use this time to really think about what you love doing.
What is the future for Artists Walk in 2021? It would be wonderful to grow and evolve Artists Walk in 2021. We created a supportive network of artists and engaged the local community, how we continue to do this is the million dollar question. How do you think we could evolve? For example, do you know of spaces that could be used as mural sites? If you were on a walk, where would you like to see art? How can we give artists a platform where the public can encounter them and enjoy their work outside of the gallery space? We’d love to hear your suggestions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any last plugs or websites where we can find you or your work? Please do follow us on instagram @Artists Walk My own work can be seen @roshanutt and http://www.RoshaNutt.com
Alexandra Palace is the People’s Palace – run by a charity for the benefit of everyone. 2020 has been tough, and our very survival has been at stake. Whatever the future holds, we are working harder than ever to be here for you and future generations. Click here to find out how you can support. Thank you x