Measuring Quality of Experience in the Visual Arts

Visual Arts South West (part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network) have commissioned a pioneering study from Annabel Jackson that examines the Quality of Experience in the contemporary visual arts, in partnership with Arnolfini, Spike Island, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Plymouth Art Centre.

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It was Newcastle in 2009 and for 2010, Eastbourne played host to the second national gathering of the Turning Point networks. Despite the gloomy funding forecast (the outcomes from the Comprehensive Spending Review had just been announced) the sun shone down on those 130 delegates who had made the journey to the South East coast to join colleagues in a day of discussion and exchange.

The tone was deliberately upbeat, alternatively entitled ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’[1] (suggested by Julia Bell of TPNE), the day’s programme was designed with plenty of opportunity for delegates to network, collaborate and share their experiences of working together.

For many, the highlight was the opening ‘keynote’ session by John Holden, an associate of the think tank Demos and visiting professor in cultural policy at City University London. Drawing on many examples from across the arts and beyond, John’s presentation examined how networks can function, and their beneficial impact on both organisational behavior and relationships with the outside world. There was general consensus that John’s contribution was both timely and thought provoking, providing us all with a focus on the hot topic of the day, namely, the rewards and challenges of working together as regional networks.

John Holden.png

With a number of workshops to chose from, the afternoon was an opportunity to reflect on the range of work being undertaken by the TP networks: market development, artists’ support and advocacy, digital developments and research into alternative business models.

Annabel Jackson’s workshop on the findings from her interim evaluation report on TPN was a useful opportunity to discuss what we have learnt so far.

The day ended with a firm commitment to working together through the networks, and an understanding that this will be essential for us all in the future if we are to thrive as a sector, in challenging times.

Thank you to all who made the journey to the South East and contributing to the day – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Amanda King

Turning Point South East

[1] but originally coined by Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s erstwhile Chief of Staff!

Is Turning Point Network working? Read the interim evaluation report and find out...

In 2008, Annabel Jackson Associates was set the task of evaluating the Turning Point Network pilot project, in order to determine whether a national network of of this kind would help to realise the Turning Point mission: the strengthen the visual arts.

This image is taken from the Social Media Analysis section of the report, and illustrates the working relationships that exist across the network

Annabel's interim report has just been published, and the process of disseminating the story, and the learning so far began at the second national Turning Point Network event at Towner, Eastbourne last week.

You can download the interim report today, and we welcome your comments and feedback. If you have a view to share, or a comment to make then please use the comments sections directly below this post.