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Pudding Press Ltd is an independent micro publishing company that I originally set up so that I could develop my own work in a collaborative and independent way inspired by fine art and film rather than traditional publishing. It allows me to work with editors, publishing formats, creative design as well as researching new business models. We sometimes publish other people's work too now, and also provide lots of information about independent publishing to aspiring authors and publishers.
The Refresh Art Award was a project co-founded with Georgina Talfana in 2017. It had an experimental business model in mind that offered value to artists as well as being financially viable for curators. First call out was in 2018, with shows in London in June 2019 and November 2022.
Some key elements of our model were giving all artists something in return for their entry fee rather than only the large (and mostly disappointing) hope of winning a cash prize, no unpaid internships for any part of running the award, a focus on contemporary subject matter rather than having to focus on design-style fine art that sells easily.
Using a fully independent commercial setup, and taking no funding, was paradoxically one of the only ways we could manage this. The 5 years of being involved with the project made me think a lot about the nature of competition in the arts and I have since moved on to looking at different business models, but Refresh Art Award produced two briliant shows, and giving away over £7000 in prize money to independent artists. You can read my thoughts about all of this on my Substack.
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