Thursday, August 16, 2012

Interview with ART LICKS

ART LICKS comes from London and is new in our shop. It's a beautiful independent print. We asked editor Holly Willats a few questions about her magazine.

How would you describe your magazine?
The Art Licks magazine was founded in October 2010, and is a quarterly magazine that features writing and work by emerging artists, curators, galleries, project spaces and collectives. Art Licks is not written about these people – it is written by them.

Art Licks is a discursive space for the voice of artists and curators to sound out new and experimental ideas and projects, offering support to young creative people and new spaces at a critical point in their career whilst giving the reader a personal insight in to the emerging arts scene. 

This personal insight and decision to focus on emerging talent all makes for a new consciousness.

What inspired you to start a magazine?
In the UK, the arts have taken quite a beating from the current economic climate, and the new government. There is a lack of funding and support for young artists, curators, and non-profit making organisations and project spaces. This is very disheartening when you consider this young emerging scene is the next generation of art opinion-formers in the UK. However, they are just getting things done on their own initiative - setting spaces and projects up themselves and getting by on very little funding, if any. I find this, not only really inspiring, but also very exciting; these individuals don't have any ties so there is no false agenda to please funders- they are running these spaces purely out of their interests and, not wanting to sound clichéd, but their passion.

This really inspires me and I think it is very important to support these young creative individuals and new spaces– so I set the magazine up as a way to invite these young artists, curators, and gallerists to write about their work and ‘spread the word’ whilst also making this information more accessible to a wider readership.

Why did you choose the format of a magazine over publishing on the internet?
The Art Licks website was launched in January 2010. We then started the tours and magazine a little later, both in September 2010. We had tried publishing writing online by inviting artists and curators, but I just had a gut feeling it wasn't working. Oddly enough, and people may disagree with me here, but I actually found working with writing online quite limiting. People's attention span for reading online is very low, and the texts were often quite long. You are also stuck with fitting something to a screen, and so on. So we stopped that, and mulled it over for a bit and then decided that the printed magazine was the best way to go.

The magazine complements the website and vice versa. The website is very much about delivering information on exhibitions with its weekly listing, and so is not so detailed. However, the magazine is about starting a dialogue with people, with the space and time in which to do so. 

People seem to feel that print has had its day, and it's all about being online now. But I think there is still a lot to be done with print, and to experiment with. In my opinion, it's not exhausted.

What are your plans for the future with Art Licks?
I’m very excited for October as we are holding a two-year anniversary event for the magazine at the ICA. I’ve invited all the contributors over the last nine issues to get involved – some are showing work, some are performing, reading, showing films, DJing…It’s going to be a fantastic event and a great opportunity to get everyone together.

That’s the near future – we have some other plans for next year, so watch this space.

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