Artists as workers in the rural; precarious livelihoods, sustaining rural futures

Mahon, Marie
McGrath, Brian
Ó Laoire, Lillis
Collins, Patrick
Mahon, Marie, McGrath, Brian, Ó Laoire, Lillis, & Collins, Patrick. (2018). Artists as workers in the rural; precarious livelihoods, sustaining rural futures. Journal of Rural Studies. doi:
This paper explores rural-based artists' experiences of achieving sustainable livelihoods in rural localities as part of emerging discussions about the significance of culture and the cultural economy for rural development and sustainability. It applies Throsby's (1992) categorization of artists based on their employment conditions: a) initial creative artists, i.e. writers, visual artists, craftspeople, composers, and b) performing artists (actors, dancers, musicians) (p.201 202). Based on semi-structured interviews with artists in Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and drawing on relational understandings of rurality, it examines how livelihood precariousness in the rural is shaped by a) dominant creative economy policy and institutional narratives that promote the rural creative economy as a development opportunity for the rural; b) challenges to artists' professional identities and their efforts to resisting exploitation and devaluation of their creative labour; c) the ways in which local rural communities themselves recognize and support artists' skills and labour as a social, cultural and economic resource that contributes to rural sustainability.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland