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A Poster by Jeremy Deller, Scott King and William Morris


  1. I'm afraid anyone here who doesn't want "art for a few" is on the wrong site. People here *do* want art for a few ... paid for by the many!

  2. The total cost of the arts to society is 17p/head per day. I'm sure you can afford that much, Neil. Especially when the arts contribute far more than they cost.

    75% of people experienced and enjoyed the arts last year. That's not 'art for the few' in my book.

  3. As a community artist, I do not want art for a few. Any more than I want education for a few. Or freedom for that matter. And I therefore think there should be a T-Shirt printed saying such a statement. And a link posted of where we can all buy one from.

  4. @Adam,
    "The total cost of the arts to society is 17p/head per day" ... which means that cuts of 25% will amount to around 4p per head per day ... so what's the problem?

  5. Last time I looked William Morris was a proponent of design not art.

    Its all very well to take millions from bankers whilst times are good. In times of hardship unmade beds and diamond skulls will hopefully take on a new meaning.

  6. Neil, the problem is, it's 25-30%. Most arts organisations run on very low overheads, and the majority of their expenditure is actually on staff and audience engagement. If you cut staff, you kill off the organisations. If you cut audience engagement, you kill the audiences, which also kills off the organisations.

    Equal cuts across the board are not equal. You can't cut equally from a military budget and an NHS budget and expect both organisations to fare the same.

    Which brings me to another point: if we have no money, why are we renewing Trident and still fighting two pointless wars overseas? Or paying for the Pope's visit to the UK?

    Cutting the Pope's visit, for example, would save us from making these drastic 25-30% cuts in the arts.

    The arts provide jobs, enrich communities and culture, and generate massive amounts of tourism in this country. The Royal Opera House, for example, relies on arts funding.

    I'll paint you a quick picture of just one street in my home city of Leeds:

    There's Opera North and The Grand Theatre on one street (New Briggate). If these places closed, so would the pub over the road (The Wrens), which relies on theatre-goers for its main crowd. So would the fish and chip shop, Nash's, which gets a lot of theatre traffic too. Then the high street would have two empty buildings as well. Then there's the tourism the arts bring to the city, which amounts to millions of pounds a year.

    The Film Council has recently been axed. How do we hope to have independent British films without it? Do we really want everything we and our children see to be made in Hollywood and follow a formula laid out by the worst of popularism?

    There's much more to the arts than art. It's not all diamond skulls and unmade beds. 'The arts' means independent publishing, community groups, youth outreach, theatre, dance, music, comedy . . . The list goes on. But it's our cultural heritage at stake here, not just the artistic whims of an elite few.

  7. This poster is a bit anachronistic, no?

    We already live in a society in which we have art for the few, education for the few, and freedom for the few.

    Let's not pretend we need only preserve "business as usual"...

    Socialism or Barbarism!

  8. lets spread the word.

  9. You say it. Undeniably, modern right-wing pseudo-liberal parties throughout Europe, and even in Switzerland, where the traditional federalist structure has favoured an extremely rich and multifaceted cultural life through public-private partnerships and local and regional tax-payer's money, the Swiss People's Party starts just now to attack public funding of culture on the basis of the assumption that culture is a purely private subject and public funding favours artistic production of low quality.
    It is quite clear that the balance between curbing rent-seeking behaviour (which can be observed not only in the finance business but also among artists) and maintenance of an adequate infrastructure for education and production of art is delicate, but it can be achieved by hard work and joint action between local, regional and nation-wide coordination and cooperation.

  10. I do not want art for a few, as an artist I think art as a chanel which penetrates a space where a secret identity unfolds. An intimate, private space becoming public...As for the poster what realy impress me is the repetition (a few...a few). This repetition is a method for inducing bliss. Repetition is a technique that seems to suggest simplicity, that in pinciple enhances legibility or intelligibility: literally making the material easier to see. A mysticism of space. The idea of beauty as a tribute to the ineffable, to absence.

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