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The Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers - CURRENT EVENT 

​This Is Now at Dorset Museum (FSAL 2023) 


Working in partnership with Dorset Museum This is Now explores the museum’s collection and looks at how creative practitioners learn from, and are inspired by, the museum artifacts. And in turn, how contemporary creative responses breath new life into the museum’s collection.


This is the fourth gathering of the Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers. Devised as a form of radical work experience This is Now is a research-led project that will involve all students across all the creative arts at Weymouth College. The project will include dedicated research time at Dorset Museum and the production of new work, that will be made over a period of two weeks at Weymouth College and exhibited & performed at the Museum. Alongside the research and creative production students will contribute to all aspects of the project including; exhibition planning, working with project partners, marketing, press and promotion, documentation and evaluation.


As with previous iterations of FSAL students will work in groups to develop projects supported by staff members. There will be a ‘pioneer’ group established consisting of student representatives from each course. This group will make key strategic decisions relating to the direction of project and be representatives for the rest of the participating students.


Alongside project leader Simon Lee Dicker other professional artists with a background in working in a museum and heritage context will be invited to deliver presentations and workshops. These will take place leading up to, and during the first week of production in February.


The Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers - PAST EVENT 

​‘In nature nothing exists alone’ Rachel Carson, (FSAL 2022) 


The 2022 mission was to make new work that explores personal and collective ideas responding to this evocative quote, with a strong focus on sustainable practice. The programme of talks, workshops and projects, which ran from 7-18 February, was given by artists and creative practitioners whose work and practice helped to inspire an energetic response and sense of environmental responsibility in the artistic labourers.

Creative production centred around a collective work, entitled Eco Guilt Filter, led by Simon Lee Dicker that all students participated in, alongside subject specific activities led by lecturers. 


Two weeks of conceptualising, making, rehearsing and refining has led to the production and presentation of new work  exhibited and performed at a public outcome taking place in March 2022 at the Nothe Fort in Weymouth. The particular architecture and aesthetics of Nothe Fort act as the canvas for the work rather than the subject.  

Led by Simon Lee Dicker, artist and co founder of OSR Projects, this partnership with Weymouth College and Nothe Fort has enabled over 130 students to gain live industry experience and to develop their creative practices through the production of collaborative and cross-disciplinary art.


The Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers - PAST EVENT 

ONLINE EVENT, Weymouth 2021 (FSAL 2021)

Using the same approach as the previous FSAL in 2020, a ‘pioneers’ committee of around 30 students, representing all subject areas, act as a steering group for the project. 


Between 1-5 February 2021 a series of presentations, provocations and workshops, run by our associated creative practitioners, took place on-line. This helped students to broaden their knowledge of contemporary arts practice through the exploration of different notions of ‘Protection and Survival’. 


The intention was not for students to re-present the history of Nothe Fort, but to make new work that explores personal and collective ideas of Protection & Survival.

Artist Simon Lee Dicker and the staff of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Weymouth College led the coordination of artist and audience experience.

As a consequence of the Covid 19 lockdowns this event was presented digitally on the website and via a LIVE STREAM, followed later by a small public exhibition at the Fort.

The Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers - PAST EVENT 

In the beginning (FSAL 2020)


The friendly Society of Artistic Labourers was established in 2019 as a way for students of creative arts to gain meaningful industry experience and produce work for live and interactive audiences. The program is led by established artists and includes talks, workshops and collaborative cross disciplinary groups working together on all aspects of delivering a festival from inception to production.

The first F.S.A.L. festival took place at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse in February 2020 and included a parade, exhibition and series of events. 

The name, The friendly Society of Artistic Labourers, takes its lead from the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the birth of the Trade Union Movement during the agricultural revolution, where a group of six agricultural labourers from the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset were convicted at Shire Hall Court House in 1834 of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. 


View work from


festival 2020


Find out more about us 

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Weymouth College


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