When does emerging artist start and end, and is there a reciepe for it
tasha glew, 4 October 2012

The term emerging artist seems for many graduates to be a term of definition, a term of admiration and aspiration. But how do you get it/ when does it start and end/ is there a specific route to finding it, and is it really worth the fight?
Discussions led us to unpick the term ‘emerging artist’ as a conceptual term, one that is used for marketing purposes and as a way for funding to be allocated, but there are already many wholes in this. There is definitely a support that the term exists and is supported by institutions, a classification structure to help promote work and the individual. But how many times can you emerge?

Emerging artist is also a term that has become associated to age and apart of a wider structure. Generally those who are just graduating, so fall between 20-25, but there are many people emerging at an older age, who have come to the scene at a different point in life. Should there be different classifications here?

It certainly seems that Emerging artist sits within a hierarchy, be that in your career level, your funding or the support you have been given by an institution. We decided that maybe a re-classification needs to be made, or even further titles could be given. For example, those who are yet to emerge are ‘pre conceived’

This idea that they are working towards emerging taking on this malleable and molding form...when really its a place of trial and error and determination and persistence.

So does emerging artist mean value? There are those who are deemed lucky enough

to be titled ‘emerging artist’ are making popular work with value? Third Angle give a different perspective, saying after 17 years of working they are still emerging artists. This is not because they are unknown, but because they work they make is within an emerging art form. Others deem there work as not normal theatre, so defining there work becomes a grey area of classification, and so they becomes emerging.

There seems to be a big grey area that is once you have become emerged, where do you then apply for funding? There is only limited funds and support for the emerging artist, yet reaching that title, does not mean that you are fully emerged...or established. The finding pot being accessed is that same. This for E Harrison was suggested as an ethical issue, having worked for the position of emerging artist, dealing with the issues of applying for the same funding as those who are yet to emerge.... or falling off an edge instead?

There does not seem to be a recipe for becoming an emerging artists. I had this notion that you would become apart of an organization or company and following there success would assist in establishing your own... Or you would make a piece of work that was well received and then someone would bring in a new name badge which included ‘Emerging Artist’.

As someone suggested it seems to be about effort. ‘Just keep going.’
I think what the title does do is it offers this suggested goal for all young makers . I am not sure that this position will really give us the fruit from the tree we desire, maybe t will just move us forward in the respect of the understanding of our own work, but then i would question, can you know your own practice well without this title under your name?

What it comes down to, through all the classification, labeling and hierarchy, is what does success mean to you?


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