Monday, 29 August 2011

Amulet #38 - 1x500+5x100

My friend Ria Hartley is embarking on a project. An excellent project. A project that she has wanted to undertake for a long time. Ria intends to spend 14-days-straight traveling on trains around the island of Great Britain. Unlike a regular tourist, Ria will not be leaving the train stations she arrives in, she will remain confined within them for all of this time. During her time on the trains, her routes, choices and decisions will be swayed by chance encounters and personal exchanges

I think this is a project with a huge amount of potential, and I have become really interested in how Ria is making this happen. Rather than approach standard arts funding bodies or research boards, she has adopted a crowdfunding model where patrons (anyone willing to invest £10 or more) enter into a 'contract' with Ria when they part with their money. This is a challenging way to secure project funding - challenging because it takes vast amounts of energy and enthusiasm to make people aware of your project and convince them to 'invest' in it, but also in that it poses a series of challenges to our ideas about who the 'stakeholders' might be in the support of research and development of new work in the arts.

I have made this amulet to try and help her in her quest. When I started coming up with the idea for it (a few days ago), Ria still needed £1000 to achieve her target. In conversation I was helping her break this down into just needing to find 1 person who would invest £500 and 5 people who would invest £100 each. I'm hoping that the amulet might assist in some way. I've got my fingers crossed too.

Have a look at the website for The Train Project ( and of course, if you feeling generous, please do support the project!

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