ixia’s work is categorised under the following headings:

  • Research: we undertake research and develop partnerships with key public and private sector organisations to improve the understanding of current public art practice. See Research;
  • Training and Development: we support better working relationships between artists and other professions engaged in the development of the public realm and facilitate the exchange of information and experience regarding public art. See Events and Training;
  • Dialogue: we commission and publish new writing to stimulate discussion and debate about public art. See New Writing and Publications.

ixia’s areas of work are as follows:

  • English Partnerships (EP): A Public Art Policy and Strategy for EP, the government’s regeneration agency. (Currently being reviewed within the context of EP’s merger with the Housing Corporation to form the Homes and Communities Agency);
  • The Planning System: the majority of public art in England is secured via the planning system. ixia has published practical guidance, is advising on changes and is delivering training seminars for those involved with public art and local planning authorities;
  • Evaluation: in response to the government’s evidence-based approach to policy we have developed an Evaluation Toolkit for public art and are delivering training seminars on its use;
  • Developers: most public art is paid for by private sector developers. We are interested in the values that developers associate with public art and the various commissioning processes that they use;
  • Education and Health: it is now common for artists to be involved in education and health initiatives such as Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT). We are investigating the roles artists play within these sectors, why and how they get involved and the factors that affect the quality of their work;
  • Public Art Practice: an understanding of the different ways that artists engage with the public realm and the issues raised by this practice should be central to the delivery of public art programmes. We are looking to provide support to the public art sector in England, encouraging it to engage directly with artists, curators, and other disciplines from the UK and abroad;
  • ACE Research: we recently completed a review on the relationship between the planning system, public art and contemporary art collections for the Visual Arts Department of the National Office of Arts Council England (ACE). To view this report click here. To view the other research reports which ACE has commissioned to inform the discussions into a national strategy for collecting contemporary art, click here;
  • New Writing: at a time of increasing publicity and debate around public art, it is crucial we constantly reflect and question our methods and understandings of why and how public art is being commissioned. To this end ixia continues to commission texts from artists, curators and others.

The context for public art is influenced by a range of centrally driven public sector policies, ad-hoc policy and support structures for public art practice, and ongoing debate about the meaning, purpose and public understanding of public art. Key emerging drivers that could further shape the provision of public art are:

ixia provides an objective view of the factors that impact on the quality of public art in order to address these issues.

We welcome feedback about our programme and are pleased to discuss opportunities for collaboration with partners with an interest in the field.

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