a-n’s publication, the Ecology of the visual arts was launched in 2013 by Northern Art Prize short-listed artist Emily Speed. This map uses data collated by a-n from sources including the Census, CCS, Crafts Council and HESA.
The artist’s ingenious visualisation draws attention to the sheer size of the visual arts workforce, setting the routes for artists’ commissioning and professional development alongside the constituency of publicly-funded and UK galleries that are the traditional route for bringing contemporary visual arts to audiences.
Whilst the role of artists’ is under examination within cultural value debates, this unique map offers a talking point around what arts infrastructures are needed to ensure a healthy, vibrant visual arts sector, in which artists are an irrefutably core ingredient, now and in future.
With over 18,500 professional members, a-n offers unique platforms for discussion on visual arts development and can advise on good working practices between practitioners, promoters and commissioners.