Fleeting Flights, David Bethell, 2019 | Image: Lee Baxter

Safer, Braver Spaces

It is our responsibility to create spaces, both offline and online, that are welcoming, respectful and enabling for everyone


Mark Devereux Projects is committed to creating Safer, Braver Spaces for everyone. We want to support artists and audiences alike in their individual journeys and experiences of the cultural sector. We promote dialogue, active listening, sharing and empathy in developing the voice of artists and creative practitioners in the sector.

With a commitment to diversity, MDP seeks to include all artists and creative practitioners dedicated to artistic practice regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, national status and education, and any areas where each of these might intersect. Acknowledging that everyone is different and that we all have our own personal stories to share, we want to create spaces that enable each and every individual voice.

We know that a career in the arts is made up of countless tasks, which, for many people do not come easily. We want to breakdown the invisible barriers, recognising that many neurodivergent (ND) and disabled people can experience anxiety and ill health when challenged by the time and labour required to sustain an artist practice. We listen to the needs and requirements of every artist and do our best to create spaces that enable.

Personal experiences have shown how fatigue and chronic illnesses can hold many creative people back. We want to create spaces and opportunities for artists that accommodate what can often be limiting factors to participation. This may include extra time for correspondence, building time and access costs into projects and providing places to rest at in-person events. We actively encourage artists to let us know how we can help.

Adhering to the following agreements is a collective responsibility and everyone is individually responsible for checking their own behaviour. The following list of agreements is not exhaustive and if anyone would like the list to be amended, we encourage you to contact us and help us to make our space safer for all.

  1. Racism, ageism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, biphobia, ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, gender presentation, language ability, asylum status or religious affiliation is neither accepted nor welcome.
  2. Both physical and emotional boundaries must be respected.
  3. Bring an awareness of the space you hold, the positions and privileges you bring, including racial, class and gender privilege and how these may affect others.
  4. Never make assumptions on the opinions and identifications of other participants without kindly asking first and then engaging in active listening.
  5. Make every effort in your interactions with others to not judge, look down on another or enter into competition.
  6. Be aware of the language you use in discussions and exchanges and how this relates to others.
  7. Work together to foster a spirit of mutual respect: listen to what everyone has to share.
  8. Give generously to each person the time and space to speak and share their thoughts and ideas. In discussions, wait your turn to speak, do not interrupt others, and be kind with your words.
  9. Always remember: 'Respect the person; challenge their behaviour.'

These agreements are shared by anyone who engages with Mark Devereux Projects, either offline at our exhibitions, events and workshops, or online via our courses, workshops, social media channels or other platforms.

If someone violates these agreements a discussion or mediation process can happen with the help of another person, depending on the wishes of the person who was violated. If a serious violation happens to the extent that someone feels unsafe, the offending party can be asked to leave the online or physical space and/or event all together. Those present can nominate the person or process that can mediate if needed.

Mark Devereux Projects is grateful to Lady Kitt, Lisa Risbec, Bo Olawoye, Neuk Collective, Heart of Glass and Social Art Network, who inspired this document.