Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design
The Australia 2020 Summit will examine:
a. Future directions for Australia’s principal arts bodies
b. Future directions for the ABC, SBS, Australia Television and Radio Australia
c. How best to develop a globally innovative and competitive film industry
d. How to encourage participation in emerging global industries such as game design, the internet 2.0, graphics-rich applications and animation
e. How we build on the creative sector’s potential as a major Australian export industry.
ASV Contribution to 2020 Summit (on point a. above):
Smee (Weekend Australian April 5-6 2008, page 19, Visual Arts section) summarised the extraordinary interest in art today compared to 20-30 years ago. He observed “The greater problem is that art today is almost ungraspably eclectic. There are no recognisable movements. There is no credible centre. And there is no coherence in art practice at all. It’s truly a case of anything goes: any medium, any image, any philosophy”. We believe greater initiative is required by government, in acting as both an administrator of the education system and galleries, and a consumer of the arts in commissioning public works.: to act
culturally appropriately, and ethically, and to be seen to be doing so.
OBJECTIVE PLANNING: Planning needs to follow a balanced culturally appropriate and ethical approach. “Visual Arts” is often taken as painting. We need to broaden this interpretation. In Europe or Asia one may encounter striking three dimensional master-pieces on street corners and public parks. They stimulate ideas, encourage consideration of other points of view, and commemorate significant events. Without them, towns and cities can become boring corridors of steel, concrete, glass and advertising, without character, sympathy and direction. Sculpture is the most public and durable of the visual arts. It gives the best value for money in terms of accessibility, longevity and public exposure, 24 hours a day.
Compared to the performing arts, which are transitory and expensive, public sculpture may give a far better return on public investment.
OBJECTIVE COMMISSIONING: The surge in public interest in sculpture in exhibitions and competitions has not been reflected in the incidence of
public commissions. The position could be assisted by making public sculpture expenditure tax deductible on the basis that the individual or body involved is providing a public service. Legislative packages to encourage public sculptural activity need to refer to the guidelines developed by the Association of Sculptors of Victoria (ASV), and National Association of the Visual Arts (NAVA). The aim of
1% of building costs allocated to public art has, up to now, only applied to public buildings. A requirement of a scale for a percentage on art on significant nongovernment buildings, and major civil engineering projects such as bridges
and dams, in the public domain, could be considered. Experienced practising sculptors need to give practical expertise in the selection process. They are not
always involved, for example, in civil engineering projects. Small intimate works, such as a series of sculptures along a shopping centre strip, could also be encouraged. We need commissions which include a balance of projects:
those appropriate for the ordinary life of the ordinary Australian, as well as the symbols and stimulation from the superstars.
OBJECTIVE FOLLOW UP: Regular independent reports on the achievement of policies on visual arts, and commissioning and maintenance of public art works,
would cement a continuum of government taking responsibility and direction.
(Authors in alphabetical order: Michael Meszaros, Jenny Rickards, Geoff Williams, John Wooller)
and the result? On the evening on the last day The Age released the TEN OF THE BIGGEST IDEAS
* Introduction of an Australian republic with a two-stage, beginning with a plebiscite on the issue, followed by a referendum.
* Creation of "community corps" to allow students to reduce their HECS through volunteer work.
* A national preventative health care agency funded by taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and junk food.
* Increasing the formal and legal recognition of Aborigines, with the possibility of a treaty.
* Contributing 1% of federal funding allocated to each government department to the arts.
* All new buildings to be carbon neutral.
* Bringing regulations for transport and agriculture across states into line.
* Establishment of a new federation commission to review the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local government.
* A comprehensive reinvigoration of Asian language literacy and a recruitment drive of foreign language teachers.
* A charter of rights and a national action plan.