Associateship offers an experimental, non-judgemental space for artist to develop, experiment, and grow.
Who we are
Associates are independent practicing artists who form a reciprocal support network of multi-skilled, socially engaged artists. Our artists value the diversity of our members who come from a variety of backgrounds as well as our openness to artists at all stages of their careers.
We are united by the following values and approaches:
- Reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationships
- Open, supportive, peer-to-peer learning environment
- Questioning and creative dissent.
- Artist-led, practice-led activities.
Why you might want to join us
- Being part of a likeminded group of artists interested in discussion, practice, process, etc
- Access peer-to-peer learning, working closely and collaboratively with other artists, provides skill-transfer opportunities
- Practice development through group discussions and members only activities such as CRITS, CAS Research Group and Collaboration Days
- Leadership and Career Development, support to develop your ideas
- Collective impact can be achieved through showcasing work as a group, and working as a team to achieve mutually beneficial goals
CAS is the only place I know where you can be expansive with your thoughts and not to feel judged or restricted. Even at Art School there was a kind of restriction to be ‘alternative’ or ‘contemporary’ where CAS is much more accepting of the artist and their way.” – Helen
CAS Dissent offers artists a chance to develop their confidence and inner strength. We are a community that can handle and work with the playful, sometimes bitter dissent that comes up in our work. It’s good to allow for tension to arise. Too often people don’t speak or act for fear of upsetting someone. The wider art culture is too open to people putting anything out there without critique. No one is asking the valid questions: what is this work about and why are you doing it? We aren’t afraid of asking hard questions and exploring them together.” – Chester
CAS Associate Activities
CAS Studio Group.
We have always had approximately 15 Associate Artists, even though the Chapel Studio only fits 2 full-time practicing artists. This means, that our ‘studio laboratory’ is not a building, but the Associate group itself. When Associates get together to experiment, test, and develop ideas, we are working as a studio group to feed both our individual and collective practice. In other words, when you invest in relationships with fellow Associate artists, you are ‘visiting the CAS studio’.
There are two types of Studio Lab activities…
Studio Lab ‘Space To Play’ sessions
Space to Play is held in a spirit of collectivity, exploring an idea, process or technique. CAS Associates volunteer to host the events. Venues and locations to be decided by hosts with our agreement. These playful sessions and open discussions end up igniting ideas for collaboration and research and benefiting artist’s individual practice.
Studio Lab ‘Collaboration Sessions’ project focused
Collaboration sessions can involve planning, making, discussion, or experimentation. These focused sessions enable the group to develop and extend the ideas generated in ‘space to play’, toward funded collaborations, and increased visibility of CAS activities.
You can find and use the category #StudioLab on our blog to find posts about past Studio Lab events.
Associates participate in group exhibitions and art projects. Most of what we have achieved as a group relies on our collaborative and co-creative ethos whether we are partnering with external organisations and community groups, or working in pairs or ‘cells’ (groups of 3 or more) to pool our skills and discover new ones.
The Associates Laboratory of Dissent was a helpfully condensed time slot and the writing and reflection involved together was productive for my practice. What makes CAS unique is it’s not just talks, events and shows. We have a thread of play and research and work that we’re all interested in, an active practical dialogue.” – Susan
Programmed collaborations are those that are devised by Associates to meet the long term objectives of CAS and it’s core group of Associates. Dawn Evans (Curator), Maija Liepins (Engagement Officer), and David Dixon (Director of CAS and CAS Education) work together to schedule a calendar of planned collaborations that complement our art research and outreach programs.
Associates are welcome to initiate a collaboration with one or more Associates in addition to any official projects scheduled as part of the CAS programs. Associate led activities can be promoted via CAS platforms and marketing channels.
“One of my favourite things we ever did was the Laboratory of Dissent, so many people came and I just felt so great about it, get other people to come, we had so much space to work with, so much time to think and reflect, I liked that we were ALL part of it, and it worked well breaking into groups which was an excellent way of navigating what a big group we are. The symposium was when I was like, wow, look what we’ve done, I liked being able to talk to other people about it and show people that we’re around” – Kirsty
Organised by Associates, for Associates, CRITS are available to help Associate Artists understand each other’s personal practices and help develop relationships and connections.
“Monthly meetings are the BEST thing, whether it’s looking at someone else’s work or my own, it’s so much better than going to a gallery because I like to know people’s logic, I prefer researching artwork than going to see it because in my mind the process people go through is much more interesting to me than the final outcome. I love people’s minds. You’ll never fully be able to understand anyone but listening to other people talk inspires me.” – Chloe
The CAS Research and Reading Group is open to all CAS Associates as part of an emerging program of continued professional development. The group meets monthly to read and discuss theory of contemporary art. The aim is to develop a fruitful dialogue between theory and art practice, which will contribute to each artist in his/her practice, as well as to the group’s projects. It is not a platform to discuss projects or plans. It is an intellectual contemplative space which welcome openness of feelings, thoughts and mutual respect.
Since 2016 we have enjoyed an annual 3 day retreat in early spring. On retreat Associate Artists have time to eat together, socialise, and explore our environment together, something which is rare in the hustle-bustle of everyday life and strengthens our relationships with one another.
The input and generosity of Associates is becoming hugely important in supporting my personal practice. This spirit of reciprocity is blossoming and it is one of the most compelling factors of the group for me.” – Dawn
Associateship offers an inclusive, non-hierarchical structure which gives artists opportunities to lead discussions, projects, workshops, and meetings according to their interests and areas of development. In the wider world, Associates lead by example, demonstrating through their behaviour and approach what it means to be a ‘CASian’. This basically involves being yourself, whilst making great art and working well as part of a team.
Associate Membership requires an investment of £10.00 a month