" Something in common
When it comes to the hip pocket (and what could be more hip than an artist's pocket) artists are as motivated as any other member of society to protect it. There has not been such a united cry of "unfair" delivered by email, letter, phone call, petition, and delegation since the Salon des Refuses. The occasion was the Business Tax Bill, aka the Ralph Report, discussed in Artrave, last issue (Vol 20#2), and under this kind of pressure the politicians were obliged to respond. Thus a major disaster for art practice in this country was narrowly averted. Led by Democrats Senator Aden Ridgway and supported by Shadow Arts Minister Duncan Kerr and Senator Bob Brown of the Greens, an amendment to the legislation was carried so that professional artists can continue to claim deductions related to their art practice against their other income, if it is less than $40,000. If only artists could be as unanimous and insistent about other issues, such as droit de suite (resale royalties), we could get everything we wanted.
" The quirky cases
Copyright continues to be a tug of war between artists who do and artists who don't. Melbourne artist Jan Nelson got into a tangle recently with her installation at Republic Tower (a large billboard on the corner of a block of flats in the CBD) in which she had ironically appropriated a group photo from Like magazine's social pages. Though the image had been drastically altered, photographer Fiona McDonald was not pleased and after much discussion a 4-month licence fee was agreed on for the use of the image. When the 4 months were up, and the installation remained, the Visible Art Foundation, organisers of the series of installations, painted out the image and branded it with a large sticker reading 'Copyright Expired'. It seems they are questioning whether this really was an infringement or whether copyright enforcement has gone too far. Interestingly the next user of the Republic Tower site is Gordon Bennett, much of whose practice is based on appropriation of other artists' imagery, in this case that of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Visible at the corner of Queen and Latrobe Streets, Melbourne. Enquiries Bruce Filley on (03) 9614 2700.
" Get your project in
Everyone is invited to put forward their dream project for the extraordinary enterprise which is the Peter Sellars Adelaide Festival 2002. Sellars has brought together a group of 8 Associate Directors who are busy soliciting and assembling ideas to make a Festival like no other, where Australians have permission to try for the most innovative, most daring and most ethically defensible project they can devise. The usual commercial imperatives do not apply, most things will be free and our often overlooked talents will be given free rein. Those with the best developed ideas will get the chance to make them happen. Talk to the Festival team Kathy Woolcock (eco-architecture), Angharad Wynne-Jones (dance), Amanda McDonald-Crowley (new media), Jonathan Parsons (performance) and others on (08) 8216 4444.
" Standing up and being counted
SA Living Artists' Week (SALA) was a remarkable success again this year, with more venues than ever and people coming out in droves to visit galleries and open studios. Well supported by local TV and print media and powered along by the energy of Chair Paul Greenaway, SALA Week, in its third year, is now an institution, and needs ongoing support to ensure it survives beyond the likely point of burnout. Under the SALA banner James Darling has started work on a living sculptural work for which he is planting an avenue of tea tree and focusing on the salt pans and native vegetation, which will form a gateway to Port Pirie - an example of how artistic intervention can supervene in the usual obstacle race with local councils and planners.
" Focus groups to thrash out what should happen to the Art in Public Places program of Arts SA were held in Adelaide during August. Arts SA was contemplating devolving the program to state organisation CraftSouth but have put this on hold while interested parties, artists, architects, planners, academics etc put their points of view.
" MCA out of the woods
A rescue package for the Museum of Contemporary Art has finally materialised, after a nail-biting few years during which it looked as if the harbourside icon was starting to slip away. The City of Sydney has promised $1.5m per year for 10 years as well as various other assistance packages, the University of Sydney's Power Bequest has pledged $250,000 per year for 20 years and the Australia Council has provided a one-off boost of $300,000 for 2001 through the Visual Arts/Craft Fund. The task of making the approach from the Quay to the museum more welcoming to visitors and an overall plan to revitalise and expand can now be addressed. With the dynamic Elizabeth-Ann McGregor at the helm, and free admission bringing in the crowds, the MCA has never felt so good.
" AbaF is the Australia Business Arts Foundation, a new body which 50 senior business leaders have been persuaded to join. It is hoped they will smooth the way for the AFCH (Australian Foundation for Culture & the Humanities) to morph into the AbaF in order to realise its goal for matching businesses with arts organisations for fun times, outings and especially, sponsorship.
" Faulding, the SA pharmaceuticals company, has given the Art Gallery of SA $100,000 and pledged another $125,000 over 5 years for the purchase of new work by SA artists.
EXHIBITIONS TO WATCH
" Chemistry: South Australian Art 1990 -2000. The Faulding Exhibition,
is a survey show of 70 artists and 85 works which aims to demonstrate the diversity and richness of South Australia's visual culture now. Curated by Sarah Thomas, Art Gallery of SA until 5 November.
" Fun Five Fun Story: Five International Artists from Africa is the 6th Guinness Contemporary Art Project, and introduces contemporary art from Cameroon, Burundi, South Africa and Madagascar celebrating street culture and a creative recycling of discarded materials, through funky fashion, video, performance and installations. Art Gallery of NSW 15 November - 7 January.
" Island Crossings: Contemporary Maori & Pacific Art from New Zealand comprises current work by 17 Aotearoa/New Zealand artists. Pacific Islanders resident in Southern Queensland are involved in a generous program of discussions about and celebrations of this event throughout its showing at Global Arts Link, Ipswich, until 12 November.
" Jrn Utzon and the Sydney Opera House provides insight into the design work which created one of the 20th Century's great pieces of architecture - drawn from the huge collection of drawings, photographs, models etc held by the State Library of NSW until December. Specially relevant in view of recently announced plans to refurbish the interior in an attempt to recreate what Utzon really wanted to do with it.
" Dreamtime to the New Millennium offers the chance to see the private collection of Indigenous art of Professor Di Yerbury. It is on at Penrith Regional Gallery & Lewers Bequest until 1 October and also Macquarie University Art Gallery until 31 October.
" Woodland is an installation by Jennifer Mehra and Tim Maslen using layers of books to represent a cross-section of land, with plant forms emerging from the pages. At The Downing Centre, cnr Elizabeth and Liverpool St, Sydney until 29 September.
" The New Republics, a touring exhibition from IniVA in London curated by Sunil Gupta, is a study of the effects of colonialism on Australia, Canada and South Africa through the work of 14 artists of those countries. At Univ of SA Art Museum 21 Sept - 28 Oct, and at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts 8 Nov - 17 Dec.
" Tete-à-Tete - Portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson includes 120 photographs selected from a 60-year career, part of the iconic photographer's 90th birthday celebrations. Art Gallery of WA 26 Oct - 24 Dec 2000.
" The Romance of Judaica comprises 180 objects representing 12 dominant themes of Jewish life and culture in Australia, and are from the collection of the late Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky. Jewish Museum, St Kilda, Vic until 27 September.
" Logo Merino: Sheep in Australian Art and Design sounds like both serious art history/iconography and a lot of laughs. Curator Jonathan Sweet has used advertising (those Golden Fleece ads!) weirdo Wool Board promotions, as well as all kinds of fine art, while Deb Verhoeven is presenting a series on sheep in Australian film, all of which help us understand and celebrate the place of the woolies in our history. National Wool Museum, Geelong until 4 February 2001
" The City Submerged is a touring exhibition of the recent paintings of Jon Cattapan which deal with the city drowning through overload. Bendigo Art Gallery until 8 October.
" Saltwater - Yirrkala Bark Paintings of Sea Country comprises 80 important new paintings from north-east Arnhem Land which were made to try to help balanda (non-indigenous) people understand the underpinnings of traditional culture and values. Organised by Buku Larrngay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala. Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne until 15 October.
" Leonardo da Vinci: The Codex Leicester - notebook of a genius features the priceless 72 page notebook of drawings and notes about water, fossils, astronomy etc. As well as displaying parts of the Codex, a CD-Rom allows the viewer to scroll through all the pages, reverse the mirror writing, and get an instant English translation. Inevitably, the Codex is owned by Bill and Melinda Gates. Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo, until 5 November.
" A 30-year economic analysis of the Australian arts The Arts Economy 1969-1998: Three Decades of Growth in Australia, compiled by Hans Guldberg, released in late August by the Australia Council, shows strong annual growth of 4.4 per cent for the arts related components of the Australian economy between 1975 and 1994, compared to 3.1 per cent each year for the total economy. There was also faster growth in arts related spending (1.3 per cent per year) than total average expenditure (0.4 per cent ) in the ten years to 1994. The arts contributed about $8.7 billion in 1996-97 to Australian gross industry product. A stellar rise in Indigenous art auction sales - jumping from $873,000 to $4.5 million in 1997 represents a shift from 1.7 per cent to 10.3 per cent of the total Australian art auction sales. But sadly, arts professionals' median incomes fell faster than the workforce as a whole in the decade to 1996, dropping 0.7 per cent each year in real terms compared to a total workforce decline of 0.4 per cent in the same period. Despite this it seems more people are pursuing a career in the arts. The number of full time artists and arts professionals in Australia more than tripled - from 26,400 in 1976 to 80,000 in 1996.
" During the year ending April 1999 across the nation 21% of the population visited an art gallery at least once - a drop of 1% since 1995 when a similar survey was done by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In the ACT however, 37.7% of the population visited a gallery. Maybe Brian Kennedy was right to buy David Hockney's A Bigger Grand Canyon for the NGA after all. Non-art museums obviously cannot compete with the blandishments of the visual arts - attendance dropped from 28% in 1995 to 20% in 1999. It will be interesting to see the figures in 2001 after dramatically refurbished or newly housed museums have opened in Adelaide and Melbourne. At the moment the SA Museum is recording a large increase in visitors.
" According to an Arts Victoria survey, within the subsidised sector in Victoria from 1994 - 1997 women were consistently more frequent visitors to galleries and museums than men and in 1997 5.4% of Victorians (180,400 people) bought artworks (not including craftworks) in the three months before being surveyed. In terms of turnover, festivals increased theirs by over 80%, museums and galleries by 50%, whereas performing arts centres dropped about 10%.
" The Melbourne Art Fair 2000 will host 16 galleries from the Asia-Pacific and Europe as well as 52 leading Australian galleries, who will represent over 700 artists in a wide range of media, including Juan Davila, Judy Watson, Michael Nelson Jagamara and Helga Groves. The biennial Fair, which is keenly anticipated by everyone in the visual arts, has selected Melinda Harper, Robert Rooney, Ildiko Kovacs, John Kelly and Ronnie Tjampitjinpa for special focus. Experience the buzz at the glorious Royal Exhibition Building Carlton from 4 - 8 October. www.artfair.com.au.
" ROAR, Australia's longest-running contemporary artist-run gallery and studios, is looking for a new home, now that it has had to move out of its famous premises in Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Victoria. To support this mission Sothebys are holding an auction of works donated by some well-known artists such as John Percival, Jeff Makin, Mirka Mora and Ken Whisson. Dealers and dealer galleries have also donated works of art, as have many of the original members of ROAR such as David Larwill. 23 October at 7pm at Sotheby's, 926 High St, Armadale ph (03) 9509 2900.
" Paul Gauguin is the subject of a new Australian opera premiering at the Melbourne Festival by Chamber Made Opera. In Gauguin: a synthetic life digital-media and visual-theatre effects combine with Michael Smetanin's score and Alison Croggon's libretto to conjure up Gauguin's life in the South Pacific as a painter and an escapee/outcast from European society. Victorian Arts Centre, from 21 October, ph 136 166 for bookings.
ART IN UNUSUAL PLACES
" Fifty Five Ring Maze was a work by Marion Borgelt which existed from Feb - April of 2000 at Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. A densely planted cornfield was the raw material for the 1.2 hectare maze designed by Borgelt in memory of her childhood on a wheat farm in the Wimmera. During its short life the maze was negotiated by 25,000 members of the public each taking on average 45 minutes to complete the journey. Documentation was on show recently at Christine Abrahams Gallery.
" Great Wall(s) Surface Tensions 2 is a series of rubbings of the Great Wall of China and of a People's Liberation Army tank by Ian Howard which after many refusals he was finally allowed to start on earlier this year. The results were shown at Watters Gallery recently.
" In Memory of Snow was an installation by Hossein Valamanesh in a pine forest in the Niigata prefecture in Japan, as part of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2000 involving 142 artists from 32 countries.
" Creating Waves, the 2nd National Regional Arts Conference, is being held in Esperance, south of Perth, 27 - 30 October 2000. As well as experiencing wonderful coastal scenery, delegates can participate in workshops aimed at fine-tuning skills and attitudes about regional arts practice. For details email email@example.com, or phone 1800 811 833; for info on esperance check: www.westernaustralia.net/discover/esperance
" The Edge of Reality is the biennial Australian International Documentary Conference to be held in Perth. This attracts film and television people in all branches of the industry from around the world for discussions, screenings, project pitching, masterclasses and networking. 6 - 9 March 2001 in Perth ph (08) 9336 2482, firstname.lastname@example.org
" The Queensland College of Art is to move from Morningside to a new building on a site just off the Brisbane River at South Bank now being dubbed the 'new arts end of South Bank'. This move has been a long time coming, with near misses on various prime City and Valley sites over the years, and this one with its relative proximity to both the old Queensland Art Gallery and the recently announced Queensland Gallery of Modern Art looks to be a promising choice.
" Imperial Slacks is a new artist-run collective operating out of the old Herringbone premises at 2/111 Campbell St, Surry Hills, Sydney. Their aim is to fuel 'inner city cultural discourse', and to see beauty in the abject. The danger of artists' spaces disappearing in the path of gentrification is ever-present.
" BAPëA Gallery is a new access space launched at SALA Week with an exhibition by its director Peter Bok who is now calling for proposals from artists: 24 Hawker St, Bowden SA, phone (08) 8346 7842.
" Arts SA, in a new initiative from Minister Diana Laidlaw, will award up to four mid-career fellowships each year valued at $25,000, open to individual artists in South Australia who have at least five years professional practice in their field. Closing date 29 September 2000. Phone for guidelines and application form and discuss your proposal with Paul Rees (08) 8463 5447.
" Nokia Art Awards invite submissions of two-dimensional work (excluding straight photography) on the theme "Playground of your Imagination" from enrolled students aged 17 - 25. The Asia-Pacific finals offer a grant to attend an art college overseas; closing date for entries is October 15. More info from www.nokiaartsaward.com.
" Creativenue is an online gallery and contest site for all manner of art, photography, and writing. Visitors to the site vote for monthly winners from top entries in each category. http://www.creativenue.com
" Two funded artists' residencies comprise the Hill End A.I.R. Program at Haefliger's Cottage near Bathurst NSW. Applications close 4 December 2000 for 2001/2002. details from (02) 6331 6066 or www.hillendart.com.
" Lyndal Jones, the Melbourne-based video installation artist, has been chosen to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale in June 2001. Curator John Barrett-Lennard will assist Jones to develop her work on site in the Australian pavilion.
" Tony Ellwood has left Bendigo Art Gallery to become a Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Victoria.
" Chris McAuliffe is the new Director of the Ian Potter Gallery, University of Melbourne.
" Rea has won the biennial 2000 Indigenous Arts Fellowship, worth $15,000 jointly funded by the NSW Ministry of the Arts and Sydney City Council. Her proposal Ginn Leap Dubb Speak, is a digital photographic and video installation project on cultural identity, racism, gender and survival and will involve collaboration with five Indigenous women from Coonabarabran.
" Grahame Ryan is the new Director of the Adelaide Central Gallery.
" Bea Maddock gets the Emeritus Award ($40,000) from the VA/CF of the Australia Council and Sue Walker of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop gets the Emeritus Medal + $10,000.
" Anne Zahalka, Victor Greenaway, Narelle Jubelin and John Nixon are all recipients of the VA/CF's Fellowships worth $80,000 over two years. They are all aiming to show work in Europe as well as in Australia.
" Kate Cotching has won this year's Deacons Art Award, with an installation of cut paper. The $20,000 Award, managed by the Ian Potter Museum of Art, is for Victorian artists to further their careers in Asia.
" Savandhary Vongpoothorn has won one of five ROSL Annual Travel Scholarships for Artists which are open to under 35-year olds from Australia, Bangladesh, Jamaica, South Africa and the UK.
" Ted Snell is the new Chairman of Artbank.
" Nikolaus Lang is spending 3 months in SA preparing for an exhibition to open the new Helpmann Academy art gallery in Light Square next May. A major installation on paper which he has been developing in the far north of SA uses roadkill as part of the process. A similar work of his was acquired earlier this year for the Berlin National Gallery.
" Neville Assad-Salha is the new Head of the Ceramics Studio at the JamFactory. He was formerly Head of Ceramics at the VCA.
" The Art Movement in Australia: Design, Taste and Society 1875 - 1900 by Andrew Montana is a scholarly contribution to the history of design in Australia, 288pp, 68 in colour, published by Melbourne University Press, hardback RRP $88.
" Hermannsburg Potters: Aranda Artists of Central Australia by Jennifer Isaacs, with Clara Ngala Inkamala, examines the history of the movement, and documents the work of 13 potters. It is published by Craftsman House 140pp HC RRP $80
" Interceptions: Art, Science and Land in Sunraysia is a collection of essays by 12 writers around the notion of reading the land through a series of artworks by 6 artists in various media recently commissioned in Mildura. Horticulture, water, and the Murray River are key elements which thread through this publication. Published by Artmoves and Mildura Arts Centre, 96pp 33 colour illus, RRP $42 email@example.com, fax (03) 9882 8162.
" A Passionate Gaze monograph on painter Annette Bezor, with essay by Richard Grayson, first in a series of books initiated by the SALA Week committee, funded by Arts SA and Wakefield Press, published by Wakefield Press, HC, 66pp 51pp colour.
" Simeon Nelson: Passages by Benjamin Gennocchio is a generously illustrated survey of the artist's sculptural work, published by University of NSW Press, 48pp RRP $32.95
" Armidale '42: a Survivor's Account by Col Madigan, Jan Senbergs and Don Watson, commemorates the sinking of the HMAS Armidale by Japanese aircraft in the Timor Sea. Illustrations by Senbergs were made as a response to the story of Madigan, now a Sydney architect, who survived the horrific event. Pan Macmillan RRP $27.41.
" Artwrite, the remarkable magazine produced on the merest whiff of a budget by art theory and art administration students at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, has abandoned print and embraced the internet. For the high standard of critical writing that it has produced it is worth looking for at http://www.artwrite.cofa.unsw.edu.au
" Art and Design in Western Australia: Perth Technical College 1900-2000
edited by Dorothy Erickson, the first comprehensive survey of twentieth century art and design in WA. The book covers Architecture, Ceramics, Fashion and Textiles, Film and TV, Fine Arts, Graphics and Multimedia, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Jewellery, Photography, Printmaking, Theatre Arts, an Alumni record of the names of past students and teachers and a chronology of the arts in WA from 1829-2000. Published by Central TAFE, RRP $49.50 SC, $66 HC, ph 08 9229 5252 fax 9229 5292.
The Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival
From 18 August - 30 September the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival will engulf Sydney as a prelude to the track and field events. Leo Schofield, Olympic Arts Festival Artistic Director, has compiled one of the most comprehensive visual arts calendars for an Olympic cultural program, with over 3,000 participating artists. To get an exhibitions program call 13 63 63.
The Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay presents a retrospective exhibition Urban Dingo: The art of Lin Onus 1948-1996. Curated by Margo Neale, this exhibition pays tribute to a pioneer of the Aboriginal urban art movement. Onus' art uses fact, fantasy and fiction to deal with issues of identity, reclaiming culture, hidden histories, land rights, racial injustice, and offers a new perspective on Australian history, life and politics. As Margo Neale suggests, Onus is 'a cultural terrorist of gentle irreverence'. August 9 - October 30.
Also at the MCA is Sporting Life, including the works of six Australian and international artists who employ the theme of sporting culture as an essential influence in our lives. Rules, competition, the athletic body, bringing the outside indoors via refiguring Museum architecture, feature as current themes. Included is an Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame; and a Trophy Room to the everyday. Sporting Life artists include Richard Grayson, Rosemary Laing, Tracey Moffatt, David Noonan/Simon Trevaks, Patricia Piccinini and Anne Zahalka (Australia), Roderick Buchanan (Scotland), Sylvie Blocher (France), Dan Shipsides (Northern Ireland), Uri Tzaig (Israel). August 16 - November 5.
Landmarks for the 21st Century at the Australian Museum involves a group of culturally diverse young people from six international cities responding to the question 'what is a landmark'? The word has been applied not just to architectural monuments, but to living things and ephemeral events. Photographs from Los Angeles, Mumbai, Paris, Mexico City, Capetown and Sydney. 11 August - 29 October.
At the Australian Museum at Customs House, Circular Quay is Transitions which presents some of the finest work from the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards over the last two decades. 2 September - 26 November.
Art, Sport and Cyber Conversation presents cutting edge work by major Australian contemporary artists working in the fields of new media and technology. Artists include Paula Dawson, Rosemary Laing, John E. Hughes and Stelarc. On at the Ivan Dougherty Gallery in Paddington 17 August - 21 October.
Korean Arts of the Choson Dynasty (1392 - 1910) is on at the Powerhouse Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Ultimo, from 8 September - 29 January 2001. From the collections of the National Museum of Korea and the Ho-Am Art Museum, this exhibition represents a unique Korean aesthetic. Many works focus on the ideal of a tempered, spiritual, inner beauty. Ceramics, folding screens, paintings and calligraphy reveal the quintessential qualities of Choson style.
On at the Art Gallery of NSW is Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, the first major Aboriginal art exhibition tracing the phenomena of the Western Desert art movement, from the early 1970s to the present. This exhibition, curated by Hetti Perkins, displays the work that placed Aboriginal art in the international arena, and is on view from 18 August - 12 November.
State of the Waratah traces how Australian art, design and architecture have been inspired by this New South Wales State flower. Organised by the Royal Botanic Gardens, it is on at SH Ervin Gallery 1 September - 12 November.
Shrines for the Next Millennium, curated by Susan Cochrane, presents installations from Aboriginal and Pacific Islander artists. They have considered the historical and present reality in representing ideas and issues of importance to their culture, embodied by vast shrines. Each shrine is supported by a performance specially choreographed by indigenous dance groups. Artists include Djon Mundine, Fiona Foley, Norman Song, Michael Mel, Michel Tuffery. The Shrines can be visited in the park-like grounds of Sydney College of the Arts at Rozelle. 1 - 10 September.
Stills Gallery presents two exhibitions Merilyn Fairskye Plus + Minus from 16 August - 16 September and Melissa McCord Hands that Rock My Country from 20 September - 21 October. Fairskye's work includes a diverse range of media and methods from public artwork and video installation to photo-based work. McCord's work centres on women who live and work in the bush.
On display at Access Contemporary Art Gallery are works of Pilar Rojas and Robert Boynes, including Boynes' painted 'snapshots' of generic urban landscape and Rojas' domestic craft-based objects.
There is a host of other special shows at commercial galleries, Object Galleries, the State Library of NSW, the Australian National Maritime Museum, plus public programs, as well as public art at Sydney Olympic Park and the Sydney Sculpture Walk. And then there's the Paralympic Arts Festival.