PURSLANE: A DREAM IS NOT A DREAM
Charlie Siddick, July 2020
Purslane was born out of a desire to change the way in which the art market functions. I was shocked to discover that the most an artist receives when selling work through a gallery is 50%, often as little as 20%. This distribution may have little effect on the livelihood of well-established artists but it can be crippling for young, emerging artists, whilst damaging their creative process and feelings of self-worth. Through Purslane, I’m proposing a new model of art selling, in which the art world that is teeming with money redirects profits to philanthropic causes.
I was inspired by the artist-led charity sales that proliferated across Instagram during lockdown. I think a lot of young people follow emerging artists but wouldn’t necessarily buy artworks through galleries; we tend to think art as an unaffordable investment, especially when viewed via an antiquated white cube setting. But really, younger artists need such support at the start of their careers as a means to function and continue producing. Moreover, these shows proved that whilst young artists may be struggling to forge careers there is a uniting altruistic characteristic amongst creatives; a desire to contribute meaningfully to society through donations, as well as via the artworks themselves.
The title of Purslane’s debut show ‘A Dream is Not a Dream’ is taken from Patti Smith’s ‘Devotion,’ a treatise on why writers are compelled to write. The notion encapsulates the strange time we’re living through, whilst underlying the collective hope for change. In light of the current civil rights movement, it feels all the more fitting - subtly referencing the iconic words of Martin Luther King and suggestive of the idea that a dream is but mere actions on the road to reality.
The group of artists involved work across a variety of mediums including painting, pencil, pastels, tapestry, ceramics, watercolour, and photography, making for a diverse and dynamic show. The works will be curated into groups; the first drop will go live on the 9th of July, with a new group of works dropping every Thursday for the rest of the month. Historically, the art world is and has been dominated by white men, Purslane is attempting to represent a more diverse cross-section of creativity.
Participating artists: Kim Booker, Chica Seal, Julie-Ann Simpson, Nancy Friedland, Maddie Yuille, Mark Bletcher, Ella Squirrel, Lindsey McLean, Charlotte Edey, Maria Kruglyak, Kate Dunn, Hester Finch, Nettie Wakefield, Michael O’Reilly, Betty Sims-Hilditch, Ryo Koike, Raymond Molinar, Eleanor Watson, Susannah Baker-Smith, Casper White, Christabel Macgreevy, Faye Wei Wei, Laetitia Rouget, Tyga Helme, Sophie Nicoll, Katy Stubbs, Jessica Bird, Rose Electra Harris, Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Madeleine Gross, Natalie Candlish, Nadine Faraj, Francisca Pinto, Yael Hupert, Sam Jackson and Jake Grewal.
In response to the ongoing civil rights protests in the US, which have spread globally, Purslane is collaborating with this group of upcoming artists to create a big, beautiful online sale, with 30% of the funds going towards the Black Lives Matter movement. This is an incredibly powerful time in history and it feels as if we’re on the precipice of a seismic shift when it comes to recognising the disproportionate mistreatment of POC. It’s not a ‘moment,’ moments fade and momentum needs to be maintained. In some small way, this sale will contribute to the endeavours of an organisation I believe to be forcing change and realising a better future.
The sale will be raising funds for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, an organisation set up to commemorate and force change in the wake of Stephen’s murder in 1993 who was callously killed in an unprovoked racial attack at the age of 18. The Trust runs high impact programmes that inspire and enable young people from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds to succeed, whilst also educating workplaces about how they can benefit from more diverse and inclusive talent throughout their management structures.
A Dream is not a Dream will go live on www.purslane.co.uk from the 9th-30th July, sign up to the newsletter via the website to be the first to hear.