[Lizzie Reid]

Unit 2

Lead an Arts Project

Reflections of the qualities of a good leader

1. Having an openness for ideas to change in order to remain as authentic as possible to the purpose, aim, impact and audience. But also making these decisions with your team.

Sade Banks is my example of a leader who executes this quality with extreme bravery. During the Creative Leadership programme, Sour Lemons had to change their methodology to fit COVID-19 but also, to better direct our energy to the core of the vision of Sour Lemons. She did so in collaboration with the cohort members and the internal team of trustees and employees.

This project requires a huge amount of authenticity. A level of which could be extremely difficult considering the self-conscious nature of human beings, the constant concerns of working to prove ourselves, and the distractions and mood swings whilst dealing with a pandemic.

2. Formulating, designing and driving a project with a focus on the impact and accessibility.

Tanya Compas is a prime example of a leader who does everything for the sake of who she serves and with the aim of bringing joy to as many young people from the LGBTQ community as she can. Prioritising joy, being extremely conscious of who is brought into their space and ensuring the young people are safe from whoever also has access to the space. This involves blocking brands from tokenising and using the audience members to meet their Corporate Responsibility quotas.

To do this for this project requires an openness to self-reflection and self-critique.

As the leader of this largely solo project and it’s focus being on me, myself and I, I have to withstand a level of self-understanding to see it through authentically. Driven by the purpose will lead to inevitable artistic blocks and series of necessary questioning of self, however, with an openness to look within for answers before looking outwards we are bound to find the best creative response.

3. Always checking in on ego, and balancing who and which experiences are taking up space. Ensuring all experiences are projected as valid but not generalised to the experiences of all.

I feel that many platforms do this well but many more do this badly. I think this is also largely defined by audience engagement and thus, how they perceive, connect and relate to the narratives being shown which is a dangerous measure of success as those who speak up don’t speak for all. I think video and film have a much greater opportunity to portray the multifaceted nuances of an individual, culture, community etc. I May Destroy You by Michaela Cole and Rocks, written by Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson, directed by Sarah Gavron, both manage to do this really impressively.

My Arts Project Aims, audience and desired outcomes:

This project is to enable time spent in deep internal reflection, admiration and re-focusing.

This is the beginning of an on-going research project using experiential learning, self-study, installation, art and writing to rebuild a relationship with myself, to take my learnings from and develop a practical and/or creative resources for others to do so for themselves (outcome).

Aims

1. Explore and record an artistic experience of self-study in a space which allows for isolation and time to engage with a deep process of self-reflection to raise self-awareness. (A radical act of self-care and gift to self)

2. Regain a sense of familiarity with my individualistic internal needs to undo the confusion of 2020 and re-focus on finding a sense of belonging and acceptance within myself.

3. Create a body of work based on the questions (rather than the answers) that arose.

Audience:

Who I want to create this for is anyone feeling a smothers by content overload, claustrophobic between their bedroom and house walls, confused with how to find more time and individuals who are aware and dedicated to the importance of finding the answers from within themselves.

Desired outcomes:

I hope to explore a range of outcomes throughout the project as the purpose of the project requires an openness to change and a natural reveal of the most appropriate outcome. Hence why my stated desired outcome is to “develop a practical and/or creative resource for my audience to find time and space to rebuild their relationship with themselves“.

Considering the audience, who are most likely time-poor, have many projects/focuses on the go at once, and don’t already prioritise spending time with themselves, I believe they would benefit from having to do the least amount of abstract interpretation possible and just hear it for what it is. Whilst I’m a conceptual artist and much of my visual art is abstract, my poetry and workshops offer spoken and practical, reflective experiences and exercises. My experience in these areas plus my skills in digital design will enable me to create something digital which considers layout, interaction and self-application.

My role and the leadership skills I want to develop   

Through my project I want to develop the skills of the Artistic Director and the Artist.

I plan to do this through:

  • Project ideation and designing an approach towards a creative outcome which advocates for the importance of spending time with yourself and building a relationship with yourself, through the lens of today’s climate socially and politically.
  • Research into said topic (myself), competitors (other projects already out there for inspiration, to avoid plagiarism and come up with something as new as possible)
  • Researcher and Buyer of equipment and hirer of any people contributors
  • Logistics coordinator of timings, locations, travel and other project essentials
  • Quality control and analyst/critique, ensuring all ideas are relevant and fulfilling of the brief and project aims, as well as in alignment with the themes visually.
  • Financial management of my £500 budget (provided by Sour Lemons) and distribute it across materials and labour costs.
  • Ensuring all parameters and barriers are thought of, prepared for and met, particularly:
    – Covid-19
    – It being winter it’s low camping season (fewer open campsites) and cold weather
    – Safety precautions are taken due to choosing to camp alone

As the artist I will:

  • Participate as the person of study
  • Create relevant responses to and in alignment with my mission and aims
  • Check in with brief and aims, and source feedback by sharing my progress with others to ensure all elements of the project are authentically communicating and meeting the project purpose and aims. Then make relevant changes.

How my role relates to others involved in the project

This project is predominantly a solo project. My roles as the Artistic Director and Artist mean I will be responsible for:

  • Communicating the needs and purpose of the project to myself, and those offering feedback, and the audience in the final showcase.
  • Ensuring I am conducting quality research into the actions and projects by other people around similar themes of self-knowledge and building a relationship with self. And collecting accurate references of this research to ensure I am crediting the influential people and projects.
  • Researching and purchasing the suitable camping equipment from Decathlon, particularly with the November weather. This will involve talking to experienced campers who are friends and researching on YouTube.
  • Having regular check-ins with my timeline and direction.

Plans to monitor progress and collect feedback

I will record photographs of notes, vision boards and conversations about the project. I will photograph elements from the camping experience that doesn’t interrupt with the purpose of the trip. I will record any research and development in sketchbooks and digital note forms. The final showcase will be held digitally on my website so I will screenshot the developments and launch.