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The Underdogs: Art/ists in unusual places

The Underdogs: Art/ists in unusual places was a two-day symposium focused on exploring DIY (do it yourself) arts practice/culture in rural, regional, remote and ‘emerging’ cities and included an integrated exhibition.

The symposium comprised a series of lectures, presentations and discussions surrounding how arts practice / culture survives, and sometimes thrives, in unexpected places.

The symposium aimed to:
o Motivate and encourage participants to take responsibility for making things happen in their own city.
o Raise expectations about what can be done – inspiring new DIY artist initiatives.
o Provoke discussion about ‘place’ and sustainability – asking participants to consider the importance of where they locate their professional creative practice and what role they as artists take within their city / arts community.

This symposium addressed professional development issues, including:

- Building artist/practitioner networks – locally, regionally, nationally and
- Active participation in arts community
- Self-motivation / self-starters / do-it-yourself
- Artist-run/artist-led activity and its role in the creative economy
- Self-promotion and marketing
- Arts management and Funding
- Examples of good practice
- The importance and role of artist-run/artist led initiatives in building
sustainable arts communities

The event also showcased a specially commissioned film screening and live sound event curated by The Cube, Bristol. For one night only, hardcore DIY-ists The Cube Microplex de-camped from their base in Bristol to bring their unique blend of film, performance and feral-trade coffee to Plymouth.

A workshop focussed on professional practice issues was led by Katie Doubleday from eXpo + graft, Nottingham.

An exhibition of documentation of the invited artist led organisations projects that they have presented since they were set up, was presented in the gallery, including live websites, artist’s performances/films, examples of artwork made through residencies/special projects, events, performances and exhibitions.

  • Conference