The challenges facing emerging artists today are different from the time when Bloomberg began its sponsorship of New Contemporaries. In 2000, when I graduated with my MFA, studio spaces in London were more affordable, as were general living costs. There was a greater balance between paid work and studio practice and fewer commercial galleries. Project spaces seemed to have greater visibility and influence, I felt the opportunity to exhibit in those spaces was greater, the pressure or incentive to show commercially not as pervasive. One of the main challenges for me at that time was finding a language or set of concerns that moved beyond an indebtedness to the artists and writers that influenced me most.
There are more students graduating from art schools today leading to greater competition, yet there are many more galleries to exhibit with. The prominence of international art fairs and competition amongst artists makes it more difficult to stay focused on work, to take creative risks and experiment in the face of increasing career pressure. This latter aspect has become more important in the present economic condition, because in order to develop artistically, at least in a city like London, a certain amount of capital is needed. The function and purpose of creative aporia and idling is essential to artistic development. A significant challenge today is in finding space and time - aside from commercial concerns - that will allow for a depth and richness of investigation that can sustain creative practices long term.