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The time is RIGHTNOW: Exhibition opens in Sydney

BY Sam Mitchell-Fin | 10-Apr-2014
ARTISTS EXHIBIT THEIR SUPPORT FOR RESALE ROYALTY. Last night saw the opening of the RIGHTNOW exhibition of 100 artists supporting the retention of Australia's resale royalty scheme at Leichhardt's Boomalli gallery. The three-year-old scheme has been reviewed and its fate is now in the hands of Federal Arts Minister, Senator George Brandis.
Venue: Boomalli
Address: 55-59 Flood St, Leichhardt
Date: Now until April 27, 2014
Time: Wed-Sun 11am-4pm
Web: http://resalerightnow.wordpress.com/
L-R Matthew Johnson (artist) , Tamara Winikoff NAVA and Blak Douglas aka Adam Hill (artist). Photograph by Sharon Hickey.

Artists at all levels of their careers, including remote and urban Aboriginal artists, are galvanizing to support the resale royalty right, which took 20 years of campaigning to secure. Supporters are being asked to sign a petition at change.org and write to their MPs. Some 70 established artists already have written directly to Arts Minister Senator George Brandis to assert their of the scheme.

The RIGHTNOW exhibition was declared open by Melbourne artist Matthew Johnson who is a well-known abstractionist and currently has a large scale artwork and a night-time lighting installation exhibited at Sydney's MLC centre.

Johnson said he supported the principle of the resale right for artists – which provides a 5% royalty to artists on resales of their work – because there was "a projected optimistic sense of wealth to be made" for artists and their children as the scheme continued.

He said it didn't matter whether artists received small or large amounts from the resale royalty – that money helped to support their families and their need to purchase materials for their practice… "a tube of cadmium red (paint) might cost you $300".

Tamara Winikoff from the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), quoting figures from the scheme's administrator, Copyright Agency, said since the scheme began on 9 June 2010 until 31 March 2014, royalties of more than $2.29 million had been generated for more than 850 artists, with most royalties between paid, valued between $50 and $500.

She said, "More than 65% of the artists receiving royalties are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artists and they have received 50% of the total royalties generated. Of the 50 artists who have received most money under the scheme, 26 are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander."