The Social, Economic and Fiscal Status of the Visual Artist in Ireland is a large-scale national survey of visual artists in Ireland. The survey is divided in to two parts so that both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland can be surveyed individually. Both surveys contain the same questions so that comparisons can be made – taking into consideration sterling differential.
The survey began in 2008, and has been repeated in 2011, 2013, and most recently in 2016. The most recent survey has changed to include the impact of the Payment Guidelines for Visual Artists which were introduced in 2013 following consultation with artists and arts organisations based on visual artists’ incomes from exhibition making and other forms of supports.
In 2008 a temporary member of staff was retained to do phone surveys. Since 2011 the survey has been circulated through VAI’s eBulletin service. The survey is constructed using Survey Monkey and is restricted by IP address.
It is an anonymous survey due to the sensitive nature of the questions. The survey focuses on determining the individual incomes of professional artists and looks at supporting details such as debt, public funding, and aspirations. The primary purpose of the survey is an investigation of incomes and working conditions of individual artists. The target population is visual artists living and working in Ireland – divided for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The survey is broken into 7 main sections:
1. General Information
3. How do you spend your time?
4. Unemployment and Social Welfare
5. Sources of Funding
6. Financial Situation
7. Social Situation