Walking Over Coals (WOC) is our CPPPD (continuing personal, practice and professional development) programme for emerging, post-emerging and submerging artists of all disciplines, ages and backgrounds. Over the course of a year a diverse group of arts practitioners work together to make new, risk-taking work and create a group show from the ground up – including fundraising, developing and managing the project, while working  with each other and a wide range of professionals from across the artistic spectrum.

Our first ‘cohort’ have gone on to building their dream music projects, touring a self-devised theatre show, going from architect’s assistant to Head of Design at a nationally important theatre – all have reported huge increases in their income and all continue to develop their practice (instead of ‘dropping out’ and getting a proper job). They have built a sustainable network and continue to support each other in their work.

We once took our administrator to see us deliver a project in the Netherlands and asked him what he’d learned – ‘You’d walk over coals to make your work’ was his reply. And it is that hard to really make the work you want to make, to navigate the structures, in the wider world and the codas that make the ‘art world’ such a perplexing space for many. It’s worth it though, when you are able to stand on your own two feet, make the work you want to make and keep a roof over your head at the same time.

Walking Over Coals takes this shape:

Weekly group evening sessions with programme leaders, Sandra and Lee, where they share their combined half a century or so of experience in ‘the business’

The occasional all-day Sunday session where we look at stuff in more detail – e.g. finance, producing, marketing, organising

Regular one-one sessions with a mentor from your discipline

Regular seminars by industry leaders (mostly artists)

Opportunities to connect to Friction’s network, and work

Fundraising (cohort #1 raised over £15K for a show and publication)

Making a major new piece of work in a supportive environment

Creating a publication evaluating your experience

You can access a pdf of ‘Artists on the Edge’ (cohort #1) publication here

Who’s it for?

  •  Artists/practitioners from all creative disciplines, from all backgrounds and with no age restrictions (the last group was aged from 19-58 and included musicians, theatre makers, video artists, photographers, architects, visual artists, etc) and all educational backgrounds – art degree not required
  • People with some experience of making their own work, but who may feel ‘stuck’ at a certain stage in their career, (bouncing your head off the glass ceiling)
  • People who have the energy and time to make a full commitment to the programme – none of us have time to waste
  • To reiterate – there are no restrictions regarding background, training or educational qualification, it’s all about how much you mean it

Walking Over Coals is (importantly) not a funded programme – Sandra and Lee volunteer their time and space to make it happen. There is no cost to attend the programme and there are no set outputs or outcomes. So, we’re really fussy about who gets the opportunity. If you want to apply, you have to commit to attending all the sessions and we have a rigorous selection process. Sessions will commence in September 2018, working towards a final show next Summer, finishing in September 2019. To apply in the first instance, send us a copy of your C.V. and a short essay ( up to 2xA4), detailing where you are in your practice at present, and where you’d like to be in a couple of years time. The closing date for these applications is Friday 27th July at midnight. If selected, we’ll then invite you to a group session on either 7th, 8th or 9th August.  From these sessions we’ll select the final group of twelve for the journey ahead. Walking Over Coals is like no other ‘development programme’ – it’s responsive and co-created by us and you together.

If you’d like more information, or background on the programme, please contact info@frictionarts.com or call us on 01217726160


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