Saturday, 29 September 2012

Scottish Artists Union AGM, DCA, Dundee

Today I attended the Scottish Artists Union (SAU) Annual General Meeting, which was held at DCA, Dundee.

It was rather disappointing that despite having over 900 members, there were only about 40 people (including some non-members) at what was an interesting event.

I am pleased that, along with Deniz √úster I was elected onto the new Executive Committee, and look forward to being more involved with the SAU.

A couple of motions were proposed, one coming from a member and the other (made up of 7 component parts all relating to Creative Scotland) from the executive. After in depth debate, both were accepted.

Lorraine Simpson then delivered a superb presentation on the findings of her research into the Public Entertainment License (PEL). The SAU had commissioned Lorraine to carry out this research, and the report will be available on the SAU website within the next few weeks.

Simpson contacted all of the Local Authorities to gain an understanding of their position in relation to the change in the PEL. Only 3 Local Authorities have specified that individuals and organisations hosting free events such as exhibitions, Open Studios, workshops will need to apply for a license. 9 Local Authorities (Glasgow included) have not yet decided upon their stance, and the other Local Authorities are not going to insist upon a PEL for free events. Lorraine reported that most Local Authorities were very reasonable, and that it is worth artists talking to them about their plans.

The next presentation was about the SAU members survey. The results were somewhat grim. 59% of respondents have never received and exhibition payment, over 70% of respondents earned less that £5000 from their practice last year, and 85% have not been issued with contracts.

This lead nicely into Janie Nicol reporting on the WAGE event that happened just over a week ago in Glasgow (see earlier blog post for information about this).

Donald Urquhart was the guest artist speaker, and concluded the day by discussing his work in relation to collaborative practice.

All in all it was a good event, managing to be more than a business report, and marking the start of some exciting investigations.

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