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Artists’ Rights: Sustaining artists now and in the future

  • 11 June 2024, 6:30-8pm
  • Shoreditch Arts Club, 6 Redchurch St, London E2 7DD
DACS campaign for the introduction of the Artist's Resale in Parliament.
DACS campaign for the introduction of the Artist's Resale in Parliament. © DACS 2005

How can we create better conditions for artists, from commission and contracts to rights, royalties and legacies?

DACS was founded with the mission to stand up for artists, ensure fair pay, and safeguard their copyright, supporting the livelihoods of the UK’s visual artists. From commissions and contracts, to ensuring artists can access and receive royalties, today’s landscape of artist rights demands attention and action.

Our 40 Years of Artists’ Rights series begins with a panel exploring the current climate for artists in the UK, how we got here, and where we may go to next.

Join us for an insightful discussion on sustaining artists now and in the future.

Panellists: Fatoş Üstek, Independent Curator and Co-Director, FRANK Fair Artist Pay; Charlotte Warne Thomas, Artist; Russell Martin, Artquest; Christian Zimmermann, CEO, DACS.

Chaired by Henry Broome, writer and critic.


Fatoş Üstek is an independent curator and writer. She is the author of The Art Institution of Tomorrow, Reinventing the Model (2024), curator of Frieze Sculpture, London and Co-Founder & Managing Director for FRANK Fair Artist Pay and Curator of Conrad Shawcross’ largest UK survey exhibition Cascading Principles at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford University. Ustek sits on multiple governance roles and nomination boards. She is Chair of New Contemporaries, sits on the Advisory Board of Urbane Kunste Ruhr and Editorial Advisory Board of Extra Extra Magazine. She was previously Director of the Liverpool Biennial, Director of the Roberts Institute of Art, Curator of Art Night, 2017, London and Associate Curator of the 10th Gwangju Biennial, South Korea. In 2015 she was the Art Fund Curator at fig-2, a ground-breaking project which presented 50 projects in 50 weeks at the ICA, London.

Charlotte Warne Thomas is an artist, lecturer, and writer based in London. She works to raise awareness of structural barriers to access in the art world for those with protected characteristics, and advocates for more caring and sustainable systems of supporting artists’ livelihoods. She was consultant editor for the recent Structurally F-cked report by Industria (published by a-n, 2023), and has written for Art Review and DACS, and undertaken research on artists’ pay and conditions for Artquest and the think tank Autonomy.
Charlotte has an MFA from Goldsmiths and is currently a practice-based PhD candidate at Kingston University (AHRC funded). She works as Associate Lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts and is co-founder of crit group Peer Sessions, currently in residence at Chisenhale Gallery, offering supportive feedback to artists outside of formal education settings.

Russell Martin is a visual artist, writer, and arts administrator from Glasgow, based in London since 1998. Over a varied career, he has co-organised and curated interdisciplinary arts events and exhibitions, taught about career development in the creative industries, worked as an artist on independent residencies and workshops, led gallery education projects, and maintained a fragmentary, ongoing and idiosyncratic career as an artist. Since 2001, Russell's art practice has been sustained by working part-time for Artquest, a free advice and career development service for visual artists, backed up by research and data activity to evidence artists' working conditions, barriers, and ambitions. Artquest is a public programme of the University of the Arts London supported by Arts Council England.

Christian Zimmermann is Chief Executive of DACS. He has spent his career protecting artists’ rights, having worked at DACS for 18 years. He is a qualified solicitor in the UK and Germany with a Masters in Intellectual Property Law. Before joining DACS in 2006, he worked at the Association of Photographers (AOP). Christian has defended and advocated for artists’ rights throughout his career. He led negotiations with the government to fully implement the Artist’s Resale Right in 2012, culminating in more artists and beneficiaries being able to benefit from the Right in the long term. He also steered DACS through an industry-wide valuation with the Copyright Licensing Agency to protect visual artists' share of collecting licensing revenue. Christian is Vice Chair of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations' (IFRRO) Visual Working Group. He is a Member Director of Online Art and the Educational Recording Agency (ERA). He is also a Member of the CISAC Regional European Committee and is on the Editorial and Advisory Board for Journal for IP Protection. Christian is also an Observer Member Representative at the European Visual Artists (EVA) Board and Observer Member on Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Board.

Henry Broome (chair) is a writer and critic, with a particular focus on public art and community. He also writes on culture sector collective organising and freelance labour. He is a UK Correspondent for Flash Art and he has bylines in Art Monthly, Tribune and BOMB Magazine. Henry has produced policy and advocacy writing for DACS as well as KEA European Affairs and public art think tank ixia.

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