Our vibrant visual arts culture is built on diversity and social mobility – on the premise that young people from all walks of life can gain access to art school and go on to become the artists of the future. It is wrong therefore that some publicly-funded galleries expect artists to exhibit work for free, because without paid opportunities, only those with a private income will be able to afford to make art in the future.
Some of my best opportunities as an artist came through commissions from publicly-funded organisations, so I understand the vital importance of proper and fair payment. If we want our culture to accurately reflect the society we live in, then we need to pay our artists. That is why I wholeheartedly support the Paying Artists Campaign.
Image: Jeremy Deller, Venice, 2013. Courtesy British Council. Photograph by Cristiano Corte.