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The Ministry of Making

My name is Joanne Tyler. I am a single Mum of 3 who grew my arts practice within a domestic and economically challenging environment. All of my work is issues based and socially engaged. Once my children grew up, I took myself back to college, gaining (by sheer sweat and graft and writing in my pyjamas for a month) a 1st class honours degree in Contemporary Craft. Luckily, part of the teaching included an excellent critique of Neo Liberal constructs, which I had never heard of, even though I was immersed within them. I took an installation to the Venice Biennale, as I had no idea how to get recognised by the mainstream art market. I put up my installation in Giardini. No-one batted an eyelid. The installation is called "Who Allows You" and raises conversations around compliance and agency. For a whole day I was part of the Venice Biennale, and was encouraged by an international audiences who talked to me about the installation and got in touch afterwards. I was also encouraged, by some of the academics at Plymouth College of Art to present at conferences, and have had one paper published. After graduating, the search began, over a number of years, for a venue where we might foster a European base, to support other economically vulnerable artists and makers. We were lucky enough to find a politically engaged Mayor in France, who demonstrated his support for the project, and we managed the purchase of a huge empty rural school for a very small amount of Euros. So was born The Ministry of Making. A physical and conceptual space to craft a lifestyle, and foster positive change for all.

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