Ana Tiquia, WORKPLACE, 2019-2021, participatory performance, installation (detail).
Photographer: Agniezka Chabros
Artistic Courage: reimagining work, ambition, and equity in the arts
Date: Friday, 29 July 2022, 12-5pm
This symposium brought together artists, researchers, and organisers to yarn, present, and perform about their diverse arts practices and imagine creative approaches for the future of work in the visual arts sector. Participants presented creative ideas that challenge existing processes and structures to create more equitable, inclusive and collaborative approaches that recognise and embrace the diverse cultural and social values in artistic and creative practices today.
We will share recordings of the presentations soon.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Session One, hosted by Marnie Badham
12.00 - 12.10pm
- Esther Anatolitis, Acknowledgement of Country; Introduction
12.10 - 12.50pm
- Bev Munro and Jodi Edwards, Yarning about creative cultural practice as a gateway to strength-based futures
Session Two, hosted by Grace McQuilten
1.00 - 2.00pm
- Jennifer Hickinbotham, Capitalism: survival of the fittest
- Madeleine Collie, Experimenting with Slow Infrastructures
Food Art Research Network
- Penelope Benton, NAVA Code of Practice
2.00 - 2.30pm
Session Three, hosted by Kate MacNeill
2.30 - 3.30pm
- Raphaela Rosella, Moving beyond participatory frameworks and collaborative rhetoric to shared agency: Developing contractual agreements that resist imperial archival practices imposed by stakeholders and Eurocentric art institutions
- Sarah Gory, Creative Value Chains and the Australian visual arts sector
- Channon Goodwin, We Care a Lot: Artist-led strategies towards a new commons for the visual arts
3.30 - 3.50pm
- Grace McQuilten, Jenny Lye, Kate MacNeill and Marnie Badham,
Visual Arts Work research project
Session Four, hosted by Esther Anatolitis
4.00 - 4.40pm
- Lucie Loy, Room to Move: Reflections on collectivity, agency and grassroots action through the Nicholas Building Association
- Madeleine Thornton-Smith, Artists organising, class and trade unionism
- Alistair Webster, ArtsPay: founding a payment solution for the arts
4.40 - 5.00pm
- Esther Anatolitis, Facilitated discussion
This event was co-convened by Bev Munro, Channon Goodwin, Chloë Powell, and Dr Marnie Badham. It was part of the 3-year Australian Research Council Linkage project entitled Visual Arts Work: sustainable strategies for the Australian visual arts and craft sector led by researchers from RMIT University and The University of Melbourne, and industry partners the National Association of the Visual Arts (NAVA), and the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA).
This symposium was supported by RMIT's Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform.
Despite record public investment in contemporary galleries across Australia and growth in the arts market across the pandemic, incomes in the visual arts sector remain perilously low and precarious in Australia. Visual artists, craft practitioners, and arts workers are embracing more diverse, hybrid, and resourceful ways of working as they seek to make a living wage and transcend barriers to careers in the arts industry. Legal structures like taxation and intellectual property, ethical frameworks such as cultural safety, disability access, self-determination, and processes like peer review and codes of practice are being interrogated as ways of enabling a fair and ambitious sector. Artist-led strategies are emerging for artistic, industrial, and social organisation that seek to ensure competitive remuneration for their labour, while markets, politics, and cultural policy ascribe other changing values to art making. This interdisciplinary symposium sought to highlight interventions being devised to contribute to a more sustainable visual arts sector in Australia.
The symposium was an opportunity for graduate and early career researchers from across Australia to share and receive feedback on their research related to the big questions of identity, sustainability, labour and collective organising in Australia’s diverse visual art sector. Presentations related to the following topics in a range of traditional and creative formats: