Big Art, small art

Everyone wants Big Art these days. Channel 4 has a Big Art compo on at the moment and since Brighton was given a load of dosh for Art, as a consolation prize for not getting City of Culture, there's plenty of lolly for artists, so long as you do Big Art. I've been fortunate to attend various council meetings recently and at almost all of them there is mention of money for Art, though not perhaps art as we know it. At a cycle reps meeting, for example, we heard about the 'Bike Ballet' (scheduled for 22 September 2006, by Zap Productions), part of the B&H Arts Commission's 'Making a difference' project. And at a recent Sustainability Commission meeting, we heard about Eco-Brighton, also part of 'Making a difference'. There are four strands: Creating: £210,000 for creating new work. For artists and arts organisations to 'transform perceptions, change lives and expand horizons'. Transforming: £119,000 to transform the physical environment of the city, ie public art. Living: £159,000 for 'making a difference' to people's lives, includes £20,000 for Say Aah - arts and health - and Celebrating Age (creativity of older people) - apparently Cyril Mount is involved in this one (and how old is old? over 50? that's all right then). Working: no sum mentioned, with Creative Brighton, for developing the arts and creative industries in Brighton, and this means mainly training, plus £50,000 for a 'growing the grassroots' programme to help people starting out. The first 2 projects: Small Wonder's Palm House performance last month and Eco-Education (artists' residencies in schools) managed by Same Sky New projects announced in October 2005 include: Park Art: £55,000 for green spaces Liquid Future: £10,000 for water-based art Eco-City in Bloom: £10,000 for living (plants?) sculpture Then there's another £750k for Urban Cultural Programme, and probably lots more (there was something to do with Art and food, but can't find it). So, not much hope for small artists in all this - but don't dispair, Chalk Gallery in Lewes promises a Christmas exhibition entitled 'Small and not so small' featuring works by 21 professional Sussex artists. And there's always to Open Houses.

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