John Fox & Sue Gill- a huge inspiration

A huge thank you to John and Mathilde at NTW for organising todays Creatives talk given by John Fox and Sue Gill from Dead Good Guides, and founders of Welfare State International.

What an immense contribution they have made to their communities through their art. Whilst keeping their 'eyes on stalks' and their feet on the ground, they have created some immensely powerful and transformational performances.

Inspirational role-models for me as a new-comer.

Thanks John & Sue

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Comment by James Doyle-Roberts on November 20, 2009 at 21:49
Tracey,
I'm really glad you posted this message, I found Sue & John's talk very inspiring too. I've worked for years with companies like Walk the Plank and The World Famous who were born and inspired by their collaborations with Welfare State International. I have to admit to a few moments of being a bit overcome with hero worship.
Louise,
It's great that you seem to feel the same about the question of how can we create spaces and networks in cities where we can gather and share our knowledge and skills?

I only returned to my home town of Cardiff a few years ago and haven't noticed much of a connection between theatrical artists with creative carpenters, metalworkers and fine arts graduates that want to collaborate. Have I just not met the right people, or been to the right places yet?
In spite of increasing regulations, DIY artists inspired by the likes of John and Sue will always find ways of making work if we just . . . Do It Ourselves.
Comment by Louise Osborn on November 20, 2009 at 10:32
I too would like to thank NTW for yesterday's Creatives talk. It was extremely affecting and I came out burning with questions and reflections... Made me particularly consider the current requirement for Arts Council Funded Companies to write 'Business Plans' in the context of a 're-investment' review - not that I have any problem with accountability for public money; it's just the notion of a business model as applied to artistic endeavor that feels strangely paradoxical .... But then the landscape in which we are now making work is so profoundly different to the early model of practice of Welfare State and Companies like them. I know that when I was first making work, the boundaries of what was possible felt so much freer, less tied up in red-tape, less 'fearful' of reprisal somehow! We are so bound by 'fear' - which was something John Fox so eloquently spoke about... fear and accountability... fear of touching children, fear of relationship, fear of litigation, fear of 'risk'.... I felt inspired by Sue and John's life-long drive to engage people with artistic practice as a political and 'lifestyle' choice - for the building of community and belonging. We need it now, perhaps more than ever.

I also enjoyed the ensuing informal discussion. Lots to think on. Especially how we might build a real and enduring sense of community within a large city landscape, with artistic practice somehow taking a crucial role...

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