We hope that all of you are safe and well in this strange time. We have been working together over the past few months to establish a new venture – ZELDA – an arts advisory that approaches the arts ecosystem in a holistic manner, putting artists at the centre of everything we do. Although it is clearly not the time to start a new business, and the future is very uncertain, we feel strongly that:
We shouldn’t be conducting ourselves as if this is business as usual
This is a moment to pause, listen and adapt
To replicate existing institutional models in virtual spaces as a way of carrying on is not entrusting or sustainable
The current situation is pushing us to consider more closely how art practice functions for isolated individuals as well as societies.
Covid-19 will inevitably have an unknowable impact on every sector, and we are all focusing on survival. In light of this, ZELDA's ‘launch’ is simply to offer ourselves as a free resource to artists, motivated by our desire to work collectively and towards a common goal of strength and resilience for all of us in the arts sector.
Although we are finding our way through these uncertain and challenging times as well, we want to offer our experience, skills and knowledge to provide advice, support with writing funding applications, point people towards resources and strategise together. Our first step in doing this is to collate a list of funds and initiatives out there to support artists on our website. What we can offer will evolve as we begin to understand what the art landscape looks like and navigate it ourselves.
The establishing concept for ZELDA is that through consultancy work with collectors and businesses, we will create opportunities and tailored programmes of support for artists, and offer donations to not-for-profit arts organisations. We are particularly interested in working with artists who face difficulties in advancing their practice due to financial need and socio-political circumstance, those who are under-represented by current visual arts programmes, are geographically distanced from art ‘capitals’, or artists returning to practice after a gap.
We are keen to hear from you for suggestions on what would be useful and ways that we can support. Please get in touch via our contact form on the website. You can follow us on Instagram @z.e.l.d.a_a.r.t
Mary Cork and Kate Phillimore