Tag Archive: art and business


Street Art

Keep Clear – street art in Llanarmon D.C.

They’ve been putting new street markings on the road outside the school in Llanarmon D.C.

I watched for about half an hour as the two men used a tool like a tin-can on a stick, filled with melted bituminous paint. The tin-can like cup had a slit in the base, and as it was pulled across the tarmac surface, it left a thick line of the yellow paint. The team worked quickly and without hesitation –  a rough grid of chalk lines marked on the road their only guide; it was extremely impressive. But was I watching craftsmanship… or art?

I’ve just been reading The Case for Working With Your Hands, by Matthew Crawford [Viking, 2009]. One of the book’s main threads is the declining value of “craft” within industry, and the way in which this decline has undermined our collective sense of individual agency. Crawford identifies what he calls the “cognitive [ie: creative] richness of the skilled trades”. I suddenly started thinking about this with reference to Dorothy’s recent musing on her own blog about creativity.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, it was not an uncommon idea that trade and industry could be creative - artistic, even. Crawford makes the point that the sense of creativity within trade and industry hasn’t been so much lost but hidden – because we have chosen to describe the work of the road marking team sign as “skilled” rather than “creative”.

If we’re talking about exploring the creative links between the practice of art and the practice of business, perhaps we should start to look for creativity rather than assume it’s not there.

Art Works at Oswestry Chamber

Wednesday evening I gave a quick 15-minute presentation to the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce about ideas that Diana and I have had for promoting art and artists in the business world. From our original “Art Works” ideas for linking art and business together we’ve expanded to cover a range of ways in which these links could build a new business environment for art in Oswestry.

We’ve based these ideas on Inside Out’s experiences working with The Hand, at the Cambrian Buildings, and with Fineline Tattoos. Using these as “case studies”, we’ve come up with a range of broad suggestions for future links and ideas. For anyone who’s interested, there’s a pdf transcript of my presentation here.

The presentation was really well received, and what we do now is to establish lots and lots of dialogue between ourselves, other artists and art groups in Oswestry, and interested businesses. We’d love to talk to anyone in the group – or beyond – who has ideas of their own about business ventures and enterprises, or ways in which art as a business could do – could be – more in Oswestry.

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