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The Artist and the Other

Leeds Art Gallery
The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA
19 January 2023
Convened by Sarah Francis

Artist and Curator, Sarah Francis convened the BAN supported seminar ‘The Artist and the Other’ at Leeds Art Gallery on Monday 13 November 2-4pm. Jo Verrent, Director of Unlimited was guest speaker. Live Captions were provided by Live Captioning UK Ltd.  

The Artist and the Other’ Seminar considered the following prompts tabled by Sarah Francis:  

  • Does implementing a ‘diversity’ focus on exhibitions and call-outs primarily foreground the ‘other’ characteristics of an artist, rather than allowing the artwork (and artist) to speak? 
  • What shift does ‘othering’ have on audiences’ and curators’ perceptions of an artist and their work? 
  • How can we support diversity and inclusion without resorting to tokenism or ‘othering’ artists? 
  • How do we make sure artists’ work gets due attention and recognition? 

Sarah introduced the Seminar by sharing her own perspective as an artist and curator. Guest speaker Jo Verrent discussed their experience as Director of Unlimited in supporting artists with disabilities to achieve recognition and effective working conditions and pay. 

An invited group of thirteen participants shared their views and reflections on the topics raised. The seminar was a relaxed round table event, a space for those attending to help shape and propel the conversation about the benefits or hindrance of implementing a diversity focus within the visual arts, working to ensure that artists’ work is valued and recognised for its artistic merit.