Ambassador interview: Phil Baird

This latest blog post is written by Phil Baird, an Outside In Ambassador. He was asked to share his thoughts on the role, explain why he wanted to be involved and what he would say to others thinking about signing up.

The first thing about being an ambassador is that it is a privilege that I am very grateful with.

What then is the role of an Outside in Ambassador? Firstly the role and idea of being an Ambassador is very new one although there is a quite early painting in the National Gallery called The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein so perhaps here is a longer history of art ambassadors than is currently known?? I think the primary aims are to represent the group that has come together under the umbrella of the Outside In parasol. 

I have formally taken part in the specific role as a contact and explainer at the Outside in exhibition at the renown Sotheby’s so partly a front of house curator element.  While at Sotheby’s I am pleased to have met Hans at base the door man and at best the host who has a similar job and I personally think of him as an Outside In Ambassador of an unusual sort, he greets people and is informed about the artist and visitors and even patrons with some knowledge of the art itself. I try to understand the art and keep it simple there are ideas and concepts within artists of the Outside In community, however mostly not bound up in huge writings and critical theory. 

What  holds together the ‘Outside Iners’ is that the art works is hand produced/crafted, a makers art.  with every imaginable materials from traditional materials such as cotton duck canvas to cardboard packaging and even sealed condoms. I have also run  workshops, one in particular at Stow Market, Suffolk, with the sculptor Anthony Carry – yes there was the workshop materials facilitating materials and participants – so also running a workshop is part of the ambassador role and [to] give information about the organisation so if you have done any of the step up training you are well on the way to becoming an Outside in Ambassador and in for a smooth transition of an expanding role.

Also ambassadors each have their individual networks; friends, contacts, artist pals, organisations and groups so each person can develop personal approaches. Many Outside In peeps, are quite vulnerable and face huge challenges quite apart from art barriers and it is respect for these differences, and that when providing ambassadorial support, [knowing] each person has different support needs that change over time. So also combining sensitivity with strength.

The role also includes simple acts of giving such as placing information in places where interested persons can find them so the leaflets are distributed  and at least read or followed up on.

This is really enjoyable as there are images in the literature to look at and so our artists work forms part of a community culture with its symbols made and created by ourselves AS A COMMUNITY OF MAKERS , not only artworks but appreciators and also even collectors and galleries of all sorts for everyone.

Also to talk about the work in a language that the other can understand so like the ambassadors  of countries in the picture  Holbein painted – understanding,  translating, appreciating appraisals of, in our case, the outside in artists’ work.

To find out more about being an ambassador, click HERE 

To see Phil’s artwork, click HERE 

Five hundred pieces, by Phil Baird

Image: Five Hundred Pieces, by Phil Baird

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3 thoughts on “Ambassador interview: Phil Baird

  1. Dear, outsideinner peeps thank you for including me/ my eaasy in the blog o’sphere an Irish blog. WIth full respect to all the Emerald Islanders.. A

    also HUGE Thank you,io,us for reproducing my artwork 1000 Jig saw peace.. A brilliant changed image. The colours underneath that I didn’t know were there the greens and Mauves incredible could not consciously have painted them well worth a archival print I have a pal Kris who can make such prints on a large scale! best from Mister Ambassador Phil B.

  2. An inspirational and highly informative piece of writing by Phil in support of Outside In Ambassadors. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and wonderful art work by Phil.

  3. Dear Rob here are yet more words to include when you have a little time and fair mood to post on webs wonders,. re culinary delights I have some Dulce Sea weed, pronounced “Dulcenya” sea weed to attract any passing Mer persons, don’t get many peeps visiting I suppose Supported housing not very up on the social ladder perhaps a little stigma about the place still don’t actively invite people round and also the London social rules. I am converting the old Greenhouse/ smoking shed and hope to start a modest vineyard and Olive Gove with painted wood and perhaps a fig tree. I hope you enjoyed Margate Pronounced Mar g, at, er as In Margret. Besicles to you and yours. from Phils. P.S. Image included.

    ________________________________

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