About meDelighted to have recently been appointed Producer for the Ex Lab Project, on behalf of Big Picture. Big Picture is a collaboration of seven visual arts organisations and professionals in Dorset working with Dorset County Council to develop vibrant visual arts in the county. Its members are Artsreach, b-side, Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset Visual Arts, PVA MediaLab, Sherborne House Arts and Walford Mill Crafts.Also in the final stages of working with Luke Jerram on touring Aeolus, doing some other artist support and steering-committee work, I sometimes stop and wonder how I got to this point in my work. It wasn’t a strategic decision at the time, but does follow a particular pattern of development.While reflecting upon my career as an art producer it became evident that central to that practice is an ability to bring together a diverse range of partners for each project. And out of those collaborations, some extraordinary outcomes have been achieved.The majority of my projects have been transdisciplinary – not locked into the gallery world, but exploring other fields of practice, such as science, forestry or even restaurants. Similarly, I work with artists from a wide range of disciplines – video, sculpture, audio, performance and digital. Commissioning primarily in the public realm, over ten years I have gained the necessary experience to take on projects and events that challenge expectation. I have been privileged to work with some brilliant practitioners on a one-to-one basis over sustained periods of time – indeed time is important in all my projects, to ensure that research is thorough and embedded.Each project involves identifying new partnerships, whilst always keeping the artist at the hub of my work. That work is an ongoing process of professional development and discovery, resulting in my gaining experience of managing and delivering a diverse range of projects – from urban to rural, temporary to permanent.My work often involves a substantial amount of writing: strategies, catalogues, press releases, policies, business plans, evaluations, briefs and reports.  I have become increasingly interested in how artists and arts organisations can become more resilient in response to the current recession. Having mentored artists in the past, I am now developing a process of mentoring artists to support them to achieve funding and get their projects off the ground. I am very happy to discuss this with artists and can help and advise – just email me for further information.I recently described myself as a ‘metaphorical cable-tie’. According to Wikipedia “a cable tie, also known as a zip tie or tie-wrap, is a type of fastener, especially for binding several electronic cables or wires together and to organize cables and wires.” Ignoring the cable/wire reference, and replacing it with people and places, I think the process of binding and organizing is relevant to my work. The action of ‘fastening’ could pertain to pinning things down, firming things up. Anyone working in the arts will know how useful cable-ties are – they are simple, efficient and flexible in their uses. They can hold disparate materials together too, and can be cut to size. Magic.Some great thinkers I follow online include Mark Robinson in his blog Thinking Practice, Umair Haque haven’t read his book yet, Daniel Pink in his book Drive and Susan Royce who writes for Turning Point. The RSA have an excellent blog by Matthew Taylor, as well as Animate. And of course TED!

via About me « Carolyn Black.