An artist statement may be needed at various stages in your practice. It can support your work on exhibition, introduce your work to an audience and be part of an application for a residency or grant.
What is an artist statement?
Don’t confuse your artist statement with a biography. Your statement will speak about your work, and your biography, about you.
An artist statement is an introduction to your work. It is an overview (written in prose) of your practice or a specific body of work that discusses the influences behind, and why you created the work.
Your artist statement is an opportunity to convey the meaning behind your work and the choices you have made in its creation.
Writing an artist statement
We recommend you keep your statement under half a page, though sometimes 80 – 100 words will be adequate. It should say enough to inform the reader without being too long that they lose interest in what you are saying.
Your statement isn’t there to answer all their questions about your work, it should add to the work’s interest, leaving the viewer to come to their own conclusions about it.
It can be valuable to have someone read your statement and provide feedback about what you have communicated. Even ask several people for their feedback, as not everyone reading your statement will come from an arts background or be familiar with your work; your statement should be written so it is accessible to a broad audience.
The following links provide some useful information about constructing an artist statement:
There is also an excellent chapter about writing artist statements in Jackie Battenfield’s The Artist’s Guide: How to make a living doing what you love, 2009 (Da Capo Press).
Guildhouse financial members are able to obtain one on one professional development support about many areas of their practice. Contact us for more information.