Credit The Artists

There has been a building campaign by many designers led by Tom Scutt, to try and get the organisations we work for to properly credit the designer and the creative collaborators when using images from shows on social media etc. Musicians and photographers are perhaps quite rightly more organised about demanding their rights. I find it rather ironic that the photographer has to be credited for their work, while the work of those who created the moving image he or she has fixed gets nothing.

In an era where there is a debate on paywalls and whether content should be given for free designers are increasingly angry that images of our work are used as click bait without a credit, let alone demanding a fee for use!! 

My hackles are up at the moment with the way the press have used images from both my Tower projects without crediting me. I have seen images of my work dominate the front pages of all the major National newspapers and BBC news, but remain completely anonymous .The documentary on ITV , the story behind the Poppies, broadcast on Armistice day featured plenty of moving stories behind particular poppy owners, used drone and vox pop footage from the Poppies Tour, but edited out the interviews Paul and I gave. The impression was given that this artwork had miraculously appeared, that it’s authorship was not part of the narrative. When we complained at the edit stage they grudgingly inserted a photo of Paul and I in the credits, but we were given no voice.

It is not a question of individual ego, the principle must be to acknowledge the rich mix of creative artists involved, that there is a process and that the work didn’t  just spontaneously arrive.That that process is of interest and informs how people can see the work, it widens the narrative and deepens the debate.

There is also an important message about how collaborative our art is, in a world fractured by the dominance of self interested ego, it is essential we fight to establish the more complex narrative of how great work and ideas come from a bringing together of minds .The press inevitably wants to reduce this to a simpler narrative; the one famous man behind the work or a miraculous conception, rather than acknowledging the richer diverse artistic ecology that has made it possible . Theatre companies and organisations like HRP (Historic Royal Palaces who run the Tower of London) are in a great position to lead that narrative, to insist to news editors and webpage managers that proper credits are given. I was promised more attention would be given in features stories, gave several interviews which never appeared. There has been one notable exception, an article in The Telegraph by Rupert Christiansen

We have a stunning range of creative skills in this country that deserve to be celebrated . The public need to be to be made aware of the rich range of creative skills involved in our work .

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