" > Paris via Alice Springs: The new Quai Branly Museum dedicated to arts and civilisations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas will open in Paris in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in mid-2006. The building is the brainchild of President Jacques Chirac and has been designed by Jean Nouvel, architect of the spectacular Arab Centre in Paris, around the image, identity, environment and function of Indigenous cultures. Nouvel's solutions are many and varied, including planting a small forest around the long building. He has also commissioned a group of eight Indigenous Australian artists, Lena Nyadbi (WA), Paddy Nyunkuny Bedford (WA), Judy Watson (Qld), Gulumbu Yunupingu (NT), John Mawurndjul (NT), Tommy Watson (WA), Ningura Napurrula (NT) and the late Michael Riley (NSW), (whose existing work will be represented) to create about 1000 square metres of paintings for some very prominent exterior ceiling and wall spaces of the building. Indigenous curators Hetti Perkins and Brenda Croft are working with the Australia Council to coordinate this extraordinary commission for which the Council has contributed $300,000. The logistics of completing an architectural commission with artists who are scattered across some very remote places are staggering – Tommy Watson for instance lives in Irrunytju Community 12kms south west of the tri-border, where the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia meet, 720 kms south west of Alice Springs on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert. The Museum is scheduled to open in 2006.
" Spinoff: Coinciding with the opening of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, one of the senior commissioned artists, Paddy Nyunkuny Bedford from Kununurra (see article p.45) will be honoured with a survey exhibition of his work on level four of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney during the Sydney Biennale in June 2006.
" Nameless in Venice: the fundamental practice an installation by artist group et al. will be New Zealand's contribution to the 51st Venice Biennale 8 June – 6 November 2005 in the Palazzo Gritti on the main walkway from Piazza San Marco to the Giardini. In recent layered and immersive installations et al. have explored links between art, technology and areas of 'behaviour reformation' involving political ideologies, scientific theories and fringe religious practices. The viewer is placed in the position of 'explorer' and must feel comfortable with a condition of not knowing, while finding a route through belief systems. For 20 years et al. have not revealed their identities but have exhibited under a variety of titles that include personal and group histories, androgynous names and gender switching. The group is currently steered by one artist who remains anonymous.
" Venice > New York: Ricky Swallow on the other hand is happy to own up to his work to the extent that his show at the Australian Pavilion in Venice has been booked to go to PSI gallery in New York from December 2005 – March 2006.
" Melbourne > Singapore: A Melbourne icon will be one of the major visual arts components of the Singapore Arts Festival in June 2005 with an exhibition The Art of Collaboration: Masterpieces of Modern Tapestry from the Victorian Tapestry Workshop at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute at Robertson Quay. The exhibition will highlight a body of work created by the VTW, and the contribution it has made in transforming this ancient medium into a vital new visual language..
Funding and being an artist
" In a move designed to make Australian artists envious, the Canada Council for the Arts recently announced its plans for the distribution of $75 million in new funding over the next three years. Canada has widely been regarded as an exemplar in that it has pursued long-term policies on the status of the artist together with an attitude to arts development which is less to do with flashy buildings and creating memorials to politicians and more to do with respecting artists and allowing them a say in how money gets spent. However the word is that this is changing and that the Canada Council is joining the rest of the western democratic funding agencies in becoming more interventionist and managerial in relation to arts development.
" On the home front the Australia Council has voted to lock in its proposed restructure in record time, after a quick round of consultation with the field which left some frustrated and other simply confused.
The key word in the OzCo restructure is 'catalyst' and it is code for the agency having more influence over what actually happens in the arts rather than reflecting and supporting what the field determines to be the right direction. The current Managers of the artform boards have had their jobs reclassified as Directors and have been offered interviews for the new jobs. As in the blueprint, the New Media Board and the Community Cultural Devt Board will go and be absorbed into the artform boards, with a new Inter-Arts Board to direct the traffic and a new Community Partnerships division will be created. www.ozco.gov.au/future_planning
In strenous efforts to make sense of the changes and express the disquiet which most arts organisations, especially those in the CCD area, are feeling, the National Arts and Cultural Alliance (NACA) was forged to represent artists, organisations, agencies and community groups. More info on www.naca.org.au. But one of the consequences of this mobilisation has been that the OzCo has agreed to set aside some funds for consultants to work with NACA and to report on aspects of the changes. When this money is taken out of the savings that were to be made it seems that one of the objectives – to create more liquidity for new projects – may have been compromised.
" Meanwhile in another branch of government& as they prepare their annual tax returns, many individual artists are quietly celebrating a modest win. The Australian Tax Office has yielded to eight years of pressure from NAVA and others to relax its grip on the definition of a professional artist for the purposes of income tax entitlements. In January 2005 the ATO published a new ruling re carrying on business as a professional artist, which allows a more flexible approach to the deduction of the expenses of making art against other income. If you have ever been denied deductions because your losses on your practice have led the ATO to pronounce you to be a hobbyist, it is very well worth checking the detail on the NAVA website. www.visualarts.net.au.
" The Floating Land project, an extraordinary international Sculpture in Nature event organised by Director of Noosa Regional Gallery Kevin Wilson, now in its third biennial incarnation, is on in Noosa 12 – 28 June 2005. Artists have been selected from around the planet to create work in the landscape, and there will be workshops by national and international artists on the philosophy and practicality of working in the environment, a 2-day conference titled Creative Territories hosted by the Artists in Nature International Network on June 17-18 featuring significant artists from France, Korea and Australia speaking about their work. The Noosa Woods Exhibition will develop over 10 days from 18 – 26 June and comprises works made on site by twelve artists from Germany, France, Netherlands, South Korea, South Africa, Canada and Latvia together with eight Noosa artists, using materials which come to hand on a fragile slither of land between a pristine river and the ocean. The Cooroy Exhibition is site-specific ceramic works made and installed on a beautiful property outside Cooroy, not far from Noosa. Veteran art in nature exponents who have worked in many countries are involved as speakers and workshop leaders: Jean Bojko from France, Francois Davin, Roger Daudreau from Canada, Ri Eung-Woo from Korea, Hossein Valamanesh from Adelaide. Davin is leading a project called Farming with Mary where some of the international participants go on to work with farmers in the Cooloola Shire.
Funding has been received from the Gordon Darling Foundation towards the cost of a 128-page book titled Creative Territories which covers all the events and includes essays on art in environment plus a major section on how to work in the environment.
" TIME_PLACE_SPACE 4: Currently in its fourth year, this brings together 20 artists and international & Australian facilitators for an intensive two week hybrid arts laboratory. Facilitators for T_P_S4 are Shigeaki Iwai (Japan), Ahn Pil-Yun (Korea), Derek Kreckler (WA), Threes Anna (Netherlands) Elizabeth Drake (Vic) and Teresa Crea – Coordinating Facilitator, (SA).
Participants are: Greg Ackland (SA), Kirsten Bradley (VIC), Sohail Dahdal (NSW), Sam Haren (SA), Noelle Janaczewska (NSW), Elka Kerkhofs (NT), Jason Lam (NSW), Fiona Malone (NSW), Stephen Noonan (SA), Simone O'Brien (Vic), Abigail Portwin (NSW), Sarah Rodigari (VIC), Jodi Rose (NSW), Yana Taylor (NSW), Ingrid Voorendt (VIC), Sarah Waterson (NSW) and Tim Webster (VIC) 9 – 24 July Adelaide Centre for the Arts. www.performancespace.com.au/tps
" Wordstorm is the annual Northern Territory Writers' Festival and takes place 16 – 19 June at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT in Darwin. This event, now in its third year, is rapidly gathering momentum and attracting writers from around the nation, this year including Nicolas Rothwell, Robert Dessaix, Shaun Tan & John Marsden, Dorothy Porter, Frank Moorhouse, Nick Earls and many others.
" How are we going? Directions for the arts in the creative age is a one-day discussion forum on 4 August 2005 held as part of the Byron Bay Writers Festival, for arts and policy workers, researchers, arts advocates and other specialists. As with the similar 2004 event it will be led by the engaging economist Professor David Throsby, and will feature international guests and a range of significant Australian thinkers and researchers who will debate the value of the arts in the 'new economy', the role of the arts in social development, education, creative ageing and the environment; the links between art, new ideas and innovation; cultural industry development in rural and remote regions; do we need a cultural policy and what should it look like? Enquiries Lisa Andersen ph 02 9427 8577, email@example.com
" Claiming Ground convened by arts@work is a public art conference in Hobart on 29 - 30 August 2005 during Tasmanian Living Artists' Week which aims to inspire artists, designers, architects, cultural planners, owners and developers to engage in and value public art and to understand its impact on the community. It will include national and international speakers. Info from Carole Hammond, Project Officer at arts@work, ph 03 6233 5935, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.artsatwork.com.au
" New Creative: Northern Rivers is a three-day event promoting the Northern Rivers' emerging creative industries, an area hyped to have the largest concentration of creative professionals outside Sydney and Melbourne, will be held at the Byron Bay Beach Resort 9 – 11 September 2005. Directed by Ken McLeod, it brings together the region's best creative professionals and businesses in a fusion of arts, entertainment, science and technology. It includes a Northern Rivers Showcase of creative talent from the region in the areas of film and digital media, music, performance and visual art and design and a Creators' Marketplace featuring 200 of the region's most innovative small businesses in the areas of wearable arts, habitat, taste and leisure. More info from www.newcreative.com.au or call 02 6684 1588
" The Centre for Contemporary Photography opened its new building on April 28, designed by Melbourne architect Sean Godsell at 404 George St in the heart of Fitzroy. The 2005 exhibition program will also be launched at this time, including work by Selina Ou, Matthew Sleeth, Aaron Seeto and Brendan Lee.
" The new multi-storey home of the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide's west end was officially opened by Lowitja O'Donoghue on 26 April 2005. The ceremony took place in the just completed School of Art Gallery surrounded by an exhibition of work by the staff titled Art Year Zero curated by Andrew Best, bright young teacher in first year studies. Appropriately for a moment of escape from the unlovely and unloved Underdale campus after thirty years, the curator asked 13 artists to respond to the idea of an art history beginning anew and from scratch. Amid all the celebration, and in the way of all bureaucracies, it was noted by some that the efforts of former Head of School, Ian North, who during his tenure back in the late eighties had kickstarted the labyrinthine negotations to move the school back to the city, were never acknowledged. The care and passion that has gone into the design and building of the new city base by the architects and the staff, in particular the current Head Kay Lawrence, will be a boost to a school which has been perceived as flagging and in need of rejuvenation.
" And after 84 years the National Art School in Sydney - also on April 26 - celebrated taking over the whole of the old Darlinghurst Gaol premises it has shared with Sydney Institute for many years. The wonderfully resilient NAS, an independent school, will gain a new gallery, library, sculpture garden and a bistro.
" Realise Your Dream 2005: British Council Australia is providing an award for six young Australians to travel to the UK to develop their careers and experience through professional mentoring with industry experts. The British Council uses its UK network to create a customised program of visits, attachments, courses etc allowing the winners to interact with top UK professionals. Each award is valued at $AU10,000 which covers return airfares to the UK, relevant course fees, accommodation and living expenses. Due to the generous support of the Mordant Family, British Council Australia will introduce a special new award for visual artists this year - the Realise Your Dream Mordant Visual Arts Award whose panel of judges includes Elizabeth Ann MacGregor (MCA Director). Entries close on 8 July 2005. Visit www.realiseyourdream.org.au for more details
" Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships 2006: twelve months of overseas study, a tax-exempt stipend equivalent to US$30,000, return airfares and institutional fees for one academic year. Applications close 30 June. For more information, contact ph 08 8302 0865 or visit www.unisa.edu.au/samstag.
"Country Energy Art Prize for Landscape Painting
$25,000, entries close 22 July 2005 open to NSW artists only. For more information and entry forms: www.countryenergy.com.au and follow links to prize.
" Flying Arts 2005 Regional Art Award includes a $3,000 ABN AMRO Morgans acquisitive award, a $2,000 Bank of Qld young people's prize, a $1,000 Bank of Qld viewers' choice award, bursaries from McGregor Winter Schools and The Australian Forum for Textile Arts and a 10 week Visual Arts Online Prize for Flying Arts' members. Closes 25 July, info Flying Arts ph 07 3853 3271 email@example.com
" Linden Gallery is inviting artists to put in proposals for free gallery space for young, emerging artists and curators wishing to present innovative exhibitions or events in its five gallery spaces and/or the grounds for 2006. Deadline 30 June details www.lindenarts.org.
" Performance Paradigm journal of performance and contemporary culture. The inaugural issue of this refereed online journal Live Ends: Performance in the Information Age, edited by Edward Scheer, is now available at www.performanceparadigm.net, published annually by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW, the School of Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne and Performance Space in Sydney. This issue is free.
" The Monthly, a new national magazine of politics, society and the arts published by Schwartz Publishing, who are also Black Inc books and Quarterly Essay. According to the publishers 'it will give space to long essays and thoughtful reviews, to investigative journalism and zingy reportage, to bold photography and a cool design.' Writers include Helen Garner, John Birmingham, Margaret Simons, Gideon Haigh, Amanda Lohrey, Chloe Hooper, Malcolm Knox, Robert Manne, Don Watson, Nicholas Shakespeare.
" Gertrude turns 20
These days every significant arts organisation seems to be celebrating its 20th anniversary (the early eighties' massive surge in new arts enterprises was a trickle-down effect of the founding of the Australia Council in 1975 and funding programs coming online).
Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces in Melbourne is one of these this year and marking the moment with a mammoth exhibition and publication to be launched in July. A Short Ride in a Fast Machine edited by Charlotte Day, provides an account of Gertrude's 20 years of exhibition, studio, cultural exchange and public programs and features specially-commissioned artists' pages; essays by writers such as Max Delany, Daniel Palmer, and Robyn McKenzie examining issues and movements which have shaped visual culture in Australia over the time; and an index listing every studio and exhibiting artist, visiting artist-in-residence, staff member and board member who has contributed to Gertrude's history of artistic innovation and excellence.
For the exhibition of A Short Ride the entire Gertrude building in all its grungy glory will be pressed into service with new works in 3 gallery spaces, stairwells and corridors; even the artists' studios. 15 July – 27 August 2005, info from Jeff Khan, ph 03 9419 3406, firstname.lastname@example.org
" Photographer Jeff Carter, and art historian Bernard Smith received the Australia Council's 2004 Visual Arts/Craft Emeritus Award and Medal respectively.
" David Rozetsky has won the inaugural Anne Landa Award for Moving Image organized by the Art Gallery of NSW, with his work Untouchable.
" John Olsen's painting Self Portrait Janus Faced won the Archibald Prize this year while Cassandra Mathie won the Citigroup Australian Photographic Portrait Prize for Ali and Rahma, Sandro Nocentini won the Sulman Prize for My son has two mothers and Jenny Sages won the Wynne Prize for The road to Utopia
" Lesley Always, Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art, is the new Chair of the Visual Arts Craft Board of the Australia Council. New Board members are Peter Churcher (Qld) and Peter Bowles (WA).
" Lisa Colley has resigned her position in Policy Communication Research at the Australia Council.
" Julianne Pierce will be leaving her position as Director of ANAT in July to take on the Visual Arts Program and Artists Week for the 2006 Adelaide Festival.
" Caroline Farmer is the new Executive Producer at Experimenta Media Arts in Melbourne, leaving her position as director of 24 Hr Art in Darwin which will be filled by Steve Eland from Melbourne.
" Fotis Kapetopoulos is the new Cross Cultural Producer at Parallelo in Adelaide.
" Noris Ioannou is the new Director of Nexus Multicultural Arts in Adelaide.
" Kate Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, is taking up the position of Chief Executive Officer of Federation Square in Melbourne.