What was SNAP Practice?

2 Bamboo To Experience The Interconnection Between Artists And Commissioners Photo By Sophie Hunter
“An inspiring, creative one-off opportunity to develop yourself and your practice.” (EH - commissioner)

SNAP was delighted to be part of the latest round of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded Artworks Programme, which seeks to strengthen practice collectively in participatory settings. 

SNAP PRACTICE was an opportunity to bring artists both early career stage and more experienced across artforms, together with arts organisations, employers and commissioners to talk, share and learn together, and ran for 3 days over a period from October to December 2015.

We chose 14 participants based on the strength of participants’ applications, their interest in the idea and in being part of an ‘open space’.  Two of the commissioners also applied as artists: this added richness to discussions and complexities to the commissioning of the micro-projects!

The sessions were designed to be spaces for peer learning, genuine negotiation, emerging ideas, and ongoing reflection, and were fun, relaxed and creative, with plenty of time for discussion and sharing.

The sessions also enabled both artists and commissioners to articulate: 

  • the high value they place on having a practical CPD space to take risks, and what a rare opportunity this is.
  • that both sides are operating within a commercial market, so risk taking is even harder.  As a result, making the case for quality participatory work, and championing good practice is vital.
  • it was useful to articulate and notice that artist and commissioner have a shared bond of quality and expectation, and both have had poor experiences of commissioning.
  • the relationship should go two ways, and it is important to articulate what each partner can offer into the mix.

Following the 3 sessions held together, there was an opportunity for participants to join together to try out some of their learning through creating micro-projects together.  These will be described in separate blog entries.

The learning from these projects was shared at the Open Meeting in June, and will continue to inform developments in SNAP.

For more information about ArtWorks, go to:


This is what the participants thought of the 3 sessions:

  • “The sessions were planned and guided brilliantly with a great mix of practical and visual. I liked how such big tasks were broken down over three sessions.” 

(EC- artist)

  • “I felt safe to express my ideas. The space enhanced creative thinking, as did the activities.  Lots of time for talk.” 

(NW – commissioner)

  • “A very useful insight into how the system works or doesn't work. I understand where the voids are between different individuals, and understand the necessity of building relationships.”  

(EC - artist)

  • “Enhanced my sense of responsibility working within a large organisation to find a way of initiating positive changes in this system.”  

(EH - commissioner)

  • “An amazing opportunity to meet and think creatively and build relationships.”

(RN - artist)

  • “As a young practitioner there are so many insights into the market/ practice/ routes in, that you'd find hard to get anywhere else.” 

(EW - new artist)

  • “An inspiring, creative one-off opportunity to develop yourself and your practice.” 

(EH - commissioner)

  • “It was good to come together with others who share interests in process-led, emergent working.  It was also good to read the ArtWorks research to get a feel for a wider context around participatory arts.”  

(LC - artist)

See else we've been up to

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written on the 22nd June 2016
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2 We Need A Safe Space To Take Risks Photo By Sophie Hunter

SNAP Practice: the Micro-grant projects

written on the 1st May 2016
The final part of the SNAP Practice project offered a very small amount of money to flesh out a mini project...
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2 Commissioner Artist Equals In Creative Process Photo By Sophie Hunter

Micro-grant 1: The ‘non-marketplace'

written on the 22nd June 2016
How artists and teachers (as commissioners) interact and meet was a subject of ongoing discussion
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