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Art360 Foundation makes archiving skills available for free to all artists via new app
‘If you are planning on becoming a famous, successful artist, archive everything because you’ll never know what will come in handy – from the grandest masterwork to the smallest postcard. If you don’t become famous there’s always recycling…! --Grayson Perry

LONDON.- Art360 Foundation, an independent charity that empowers artists and artists’ estates to manage and protect artworks for future generations, is launching a free app designed to make archiving and cultural preservation skills available to all.

The Art360 app was produced with the support of the artists’ rights management organisation, DACS, and is a motivational tool for artists of all disciplines and at any career stage. In creating the app, Art360 Foundation drew on research it has undertaken into how UK artists and estates manage archives. Among its key findings were that 81% of artists have never worked with a conservator or archivist and that 71% were not aware of the conservation status of their archive.

Says Mark Waugh, Director of Art360 Foundation:

‘Archiving can be a daunting prospect and we hope this app will encourage artists and estates to take their first steps, or offer valuable support for those who have already started.

‘A well-managed archive allows artists to preserve artworks and materials, as well as allowing artists and estates to shape the narrative of their work or collections. Good archiving processes also provide insights into artistic practice for curators, art historians and cultural institutions.

‘As Art360 has demonstrated, with the right tools archiving is possible for any artist or estate; no matter the stage of their career or size of estate.’

The app is simple to use and breaks the process of archiving into manageable stages. It offers a step-by-step guide on the effective management of physical and digital assets, with advice on how these can be maintained and protected, enabling artists to determine a method and pace that suits them. Using checklists and videos with professional archivists, it guides the user through essential practices and encourages progress onto the next stage. The app will be available from the App Store and Google Play.

Says Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive at DACS:

‘DACS is proud to have supported the development of the Art360 archiving app. At a time when public funding for the arts and cultural conservation is facing significant cuts, we believe it is vital to provide practical support to all artists and estates, so they can sustain their work.

‘We want to demystify the process of archiving; empowering artists to shape the stories about their art, and their cultural contribution. Usually, this role falls to academics and cultural institutions. We believe in challenging this dynamic, by giving artists the tools to transform their legacy themselves.'

The Art360 app will be launched at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, on Monday 15 October 2018. The event will include insights from artists Sonia Boyce MBE RA and Rose English, as well as an opening address by the Royal Academy’s President, Christopher Le Brun PRA.

Sonia Boyce, who recently appeared in the BBC film Whoever Heard of a Black Artist: Britain’s Hidden Art History, following her work on the Black Artists and Modernism research project, will speak of the importance of archives to identity and cultural memory.

Sonia Boyce says: ‘Archives play an essential role in how future generations understand the work of British artists and their contribution to our wider culture. By supporting and encouraging artists to manage their archives effectively, Art360 Foundation is playing an invaluable role in safeguarding Britain’s shared cultural memory.’

Rose English, known for her work in performance, theatre, dance and film, will speak about her experience going through the Art360 archiving project and the impact it has had on her individual practice.

Rose English says: ‘What’s important to me about the archive is that it contains the vestige of the idea, even if it’s the ephemeral moment where all those things are in the air together… There’s also the element of documentation that exists in the archive... This can give rise to the sense of the event, the context the event happened in, and the evidence of the idea.’

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