Leading Australian artists challenge MPs to Invest in Artistic Courage in new video

Published by: NAVA | 8-Apr-2019
Ahead of May's federal election, NAVA has collaborated with leading contemporary artists across the country to create a video that calls on Australian politicians to value and invest in artistic courage. @nava_visualarts #artisticcourage
The video is part of the Invest in Artistic Courage campaign and will screen for the first time at the Australian Cultural Policy: The Next Decade symposium being held at the State Library of Victoria courtesy of Monash University Masters of Cultural & Creative Industries and NAVA.

NAVA Executive Director Esther Anatolitis says, "More Australians create or enjoy visual arts than any other artform. Yet the latest federal budget makes no new investment in Australia's artists. It makes no commitment towards redressing the debilitating cuts that are damaging the arts industry, making it harder and harder for artists to sustain careers. If this continues, Australia is at risk of losing culture, talent, jobs and the economies they power.

'Artists inspire national debate, challenging our thinking and informing political priorities across innovation, education, industry policy, health and wellbeing. The Invest in Artistic Courage campaign highlights the crucial need for investment to ensure we foster critical thinking and cultivate a culture that is ambitious and fair."

Lending their voices to the Invest in Artistic Courage campaign video are the following artists:
"¢ Willoh S. Weiland (Tas) Abdul-Rahmen Abdullah (WA)
"¢ Ross Manning (Qld) Alex Desebrock, (VIC & WA)
"¢ Hannah Bronte (Qld) Nathan Beard, (WA)
"¢ Tricky Walsh (Tas) Gabriel Nodea (WA)
"¢ Eugenia Lim (Vic) Glenn Iseger (WA)
"¢ Kelli McCluskey (WA) Oron Catts (WA)
"¢ Tarryn Gill (WA) Emma Fishwick (WA)

Experimental artist Willoh S. Weiland, who has a work currently showing at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, has joined the campaign to voice her concerns about the ongoing survival of small arts organisations.

"I've been passionate about experiential art practice for a long time, having directed a small arts-led organisation called Aphids. I am acutely aware of the volatility of the sector," she says. "What we need is input and investment in smaller arts organisations that is long-term rather than the bipartisan approach we have now, to ensure they can survive."

Ross Manning is known for his kinetic sculptural installations shares similar concerns with regard funding for artists.

"It's so important for artists to secure some kind of sustainable funding to be able to create and to be a financial position to finish the works. Too often the funding doesn't cover the costs so we as artists take that on but it's not sustainable. Inconsistent and piece-meal funding is crippling and systemic. We need to have a system that is able to offer quality, sustainable funding to artists. Put simply, we need investment."

The Invest in Artistic Courage campaign is asking Australians to share the video and add their voice of support. Artists are being encouraged to contact their favourite arts organisations or businesses to endorse the campaign, or to contact their MP using NAVA's Advocacy Toolkit with talking points, handy guides and a letter template available on the NAVA website.

"Australia's contemporary arts sector plays a critical role in shaping our nation's identity. A nation that invests in artistic courage is a nation with the confidence to face unknown challenges - one with a bold vision for its future," says Ms Anatolitis.

To find out more about "Invest in Artistic Courage visit https://visualarts.net.au/invest-artistic-courage #artisticcourage @nava_visualarts

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