‘New initiatives to support artists’, a talk at Cromwell Place

9 October 2020 By

How do we support artists at such a crucial time? And how can this support to artists – whether financial or social – develop as we face an even tougher year ahead?

For this special talk during Frieze Week 2020, Caroline Douglas, Director, Contemporary Art Society puts these urgent questions to Alessio Antoniolli, Director, Gasworks; Matthew Burrows, Founder of the Artist Support Pledge; and Anne Hardy, artist.

Introduced by Eva Langret, Artistic Director, Frieze London, this event is in partnership with Frieze London and Cromwell Place.



Alessio Antoniolli is the Director of Gasworks, where he leads a programme of exhibitions, international residencies and participatory events. He is also the Director of Triangle Network, a world-wide network of visual art organisations that work together to create artists’ exchanges and to share knowledge with each other. He has lectured widely and has been part of many juries including the UK’s Turner Prize in 2019.


Matthew Burrows is an artist born in the Wirral UK and currently based in East Sussex. He studied as an undergraduate at Birmingham School of Art in 1990-93 and graduated with a Master’s degree in painting from the Royal College of Art London in 1995. Matthew speaks of painting as a form of subsistence, dependent on and arising from the ground at his feet. His relationship with place is one of dwelling and ritual, a process of mythologizing, of drawing meaning from the particularities of the environment and his movement in and through it.

Matthew is a mentor on the Turps Studio Programme, London, and in 2008 he set up the ARTIST SUPPORT PROJECTS, an artist peer development programme designed to support, create and maintain critical engagement and networks for artists.

Most recently, Matthew founded the cultural movement #ArtistSupportPledge on the social media platform Instagram, to help artists during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Artist Support Pledge asks artists and makers to post images using #artistsupportpledge giving details of their works and price to a maximum of £200. If people are interested in buying, they message (DM) the artist. Every time an artist reaches £1,000 of sales, they pledge to buy £200 of work from other artist(s).  This spirit of mutual support and generosity is enabling artists to maintain a vital income stream at a time when most sales channels have disappeared overnight and artists find themselves facing an uncertain financial future. Since it was set up in March, an estimated £60m of sales have been generated.

This new micro economy and culture of reciprocity has captured the attention of government and over the summer Matthew was awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award.


Anne Hardy is internationally recognised for her photography and large-scale sculptural installations or ‘FIELDWORKS’, which combine physical materials with light and sound to create immersive and sensual environments. These works derive from places she calls ‘pockets of wild space’ – gaps in the urban space where materials, atmospheres, and emotions gather.

Anne Hardy was recently commissioned by Tate Britain, London to create ‘The Depth of Darkness, the Return of the Light’ for their annual Winter Commission. In 2019, Hardy was invited to curate the Arts Council Collection, creating a site specific sensory installation, ‘The Weather Garden’ at Towner Art Gallery, UK (2019). Recent solo exhibitions and commissions include ‘Sensory Spaces #13’, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Netherlands (2018), Museum Marta Herford Museum, Germany (2018), ‘Falling and Walking (phhhhhhhhhhh phossshhhhh crrhhhzzz mn huaooogh) at Leeds Art Gallery (2018) and ArtNight, London (2017). Hardy’s works are held in major public collections including; Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, British Council, Arts Council Collection, and Leeds Art Gallery. Hardy has held artist residencies at Camden Arts Centre, London in 2011 and Live in the Studio at Modern Art Oxford in 2014. In 2021 she will be Artist in Residence at The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas and will also be included in the forthcoming touring exhibition British Art Show 9, London, UK.

Anne Hardy is represented by Maureen Paley.