Author Archives: jontrayner

Blue Plague Exhibition and Print School

Blue Plague

Jan 9th – Feb 16th 2013, WestLane South,
16 West Lane, London SE16 4NY

Workshops Thurs and Sat 12-4pm
Email for places















Continue reading

Servants No More

while looking for something else on I came across this anti-cuts leaflet from the 1980s – it was produced by the rank-and-file civil servants action group Workhouse

servants-no-morepdf of the full leaflet

Commodity Drawing School starts Saturday 6th October

No previous drawing experience necessary! please email for more details…

Art and Education Forum starts 26th Sept

Following the Exmouth Arms Talking Shops in May and June you are warmly invited to come along to the Autumn meetings on the last Wednesday of the month starting next week 26th September (see dates and address below.) Each meeting will be structured round 3 speakers with half hour each for presentation and discussion.

How can we take a more active stance within art education in response to recent and imminent changes with the restructuring, cuts and job losses that come in their wake? These seem to have caught us on the back foot with an apparent schism between theoretical radicalism and our ability to act collectively. Our aim is to establish a forum to encourage communication and solidarity between those working across the various sectors of art education, in order to increase our confidence to act and speak within these different contexts. The monthly meetings are intended to open up a space in which to promote exchanges increasing awareness what is going on across the sector, foster new allegiances and suggest strategies for resistance and reassertion of our collective responsibility for art education. Promoting the intrinsic value of art in schools, colleges and universities, and defending art as a subject of study available to all is central to our concerns as are working conditions and workplace democracy conducive to the best art education.

Issues to be addressed :

– Implications of the for-profit sector in education

– Working conditions for art teachers and the role of the unions

– Teachers’ agency in what and how they teach

– The operation of educational and occupational standards setting bodies and private exam boards

– Current intensification of the issues of who will be able to participate in art education and making

– Widening participation and refusal of conformity and exclusion in art education

– Art education as a critical and contesting force

Autumn dates

Upstairs at the Exmouth Arms, 1 Starcross St, Euston, NW1 2HR.

6.30 – 8.00pm

Wednesday 26 September
Wednesday 31 October
Wednesday 28 November


Wednesday 26 September, 6.30pm:
Neil Chapman will talk about a couple of cases where institutional policy has had a detrimental effect on teaching and employment, focusing on relations between bureaucracy and teaching communities in Higher Education. For discussion he will propose how these cases might be addressed and ask how our art education community could work to help with this.

Andrew Cooper will talk about recent curriculum changes in the school in East London where he works as an art teacher; overcoming obstacles to solidarity; and how we can make art practice, art education and discourses around these, part of a movement that takes into account its own reproduction as part of the struggle.

Christabel Harley will talk about the Art and Design Widening Participation programme she developed with Jane Hagger, over a number of years of working closely between Central St Martins and local secondary schools.

(Im)possible School with Five Years

A discussion around the open submission project (Im)possible School Book: as found

Open call from the Communist Gallery

we have all been pretty busy with our own projects/jobs recently so there has been little free school activity.  however we are still doing stuff so if you are interested get in touch.  in the meantime here is a call-out from the communist gallery, that shares several members with the free school…

(view as a pdf)

Business as Usual – Lacoste Bans Artist

Larissa Sansour, an artist who contributed to the ‘Boycott Bloomberg‘ publication we did in 2009 has just had her work withdrawn from the Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011 (and any mention of her removed from their website) for being ‘too pro-Palestinian’.  See the work the offending work here and more on the story here.

Police Infiltration of Free School Uncovered!

this shock confession was recorded at our recent event at Five Years

Nice Day for a Walk

Route of march here.  Police tactics ahead of tomorrow, here and here.

Them pesky kids eh!

A Communication from Rasputin’s Severed Penis

I recently received this document, entitled The Politics of Further Education, from an individual working in the FE sector who preferred to remain anonymous.  It gets pretty Kafkaesque in places and would probably be quite funny if it wasn’t true, enjoy!

extract from email conversation:

RSP – ‘I do NOT want this going out under my name as it could go down badly should my employers (current or future) google me. But you can publish it under my pseudonym Rasputin’s Severed Penis’

JT – [reads article] it really is the description of a police state; the laws are so excessive that everyone is compelled to break them continuously, in which case punishment is no longer for failure to obey the ostensible laws but for failing to make the correct gestures of obedience, the crime with which you are initially charged is entirely arbitrary and incidental.

RSP – Completely agree with your description of a police state. Everything seems to be getting more and more bizarre and the symbolic fictions seem to be increasingly detaching from any mooring in reality. As the pendulum of real power swings from West to East the West clings increasingly fervently to its ideological constructs, which are now completely, hopelessly fractured and inconcomitant… and up to now we’ve only had the good bit of capitalism. Oh Fuck.