Showing all posts tagged: art

Richard Bell, You Can Go Now, a film by Larissa Behrendt

16 January 2023

You may not have heard of Indigenous Australian artist and activist Richard Bell, but he has been at the forefront of political activism for over fifty years. Describing himself as an activist masquerading as an artist, Bell has spent fifty years fighting for Aboriginal rights and self determination, through his art and protest.

One of his best known works, an installation titled Embassy, was inspired by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy protest, which was first established on the lawns outside Australia’s parliament building in 1972. Bell’s installation has been presented in Australia, and cities across the world, including Jakarta, New York, Moscow, and Jerusalem.

Bell’s life and work is now the subject of a documentary, You Can Go Now, trailer, directed by Australian academic, Indigenous advocate, and author, Larissa Behrendt. Behrendt’s most recent novel, After Story, published in 2021, was longlisted in the 2022 Miles Franklin literary award.

You Can Go Now opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 26 January 2023. Bell and Behrendt will also be participating in Q&A preview screenings at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Dendy Cinema, Newtown, on Tuesday 24 January, and the National Film and Sound Archive, in Canberra, on Wednesday 25 January.


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Funding uncertainty may see online database Trove close down

10 January 2023

Trove, an online library database containing digital copies of significant historical and cultural Australian documents, maintained by the National Library of Australia, may be forced to cease operating at the end of June 2023, unless it is allocated more funding, according to its recently published strategy document:

The Library has sufficient resources to maintain Trove until June 2023. The future of Trove beyond July 2023 will be dependent upon available funds. To achieve the full strategic vision will require substantial investment. More modest investment sustained over a longer term would enable achievement of the strategy at a measured pace. In a limited funding environment, Trove may reduce to a service focused on the National Library of Australia’s collections. Without any additional funds, the Library will need to cease offering the Trove service entirely.

While funding for Trove, and other collecting institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia, and the National Museum of Australia, was not part of the recently unveiled National Cultural Policy, Australian federal arts minister Tony Burke suggested the matter would be looked at as part of this year’s federal budget, which is traditionally handed down in May.


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Proposed new policy boosts funding for Australian arts sector

2 January 2023

Speaking at the annual Woodford Folk Festival that concluded yesterday, Australian federal arts minister Tony Burke announced a raft of initiatives to bolster the local arts sector. A proposed five-pillar policy includes an undertaking to increase recognition of the work of Indigenous creatives, and plans to introduce fairer remuneration rates for artists:

The minister promised to treat “artists as workers”, criticising the [previous] Coalition government for exclusions on jobkeeper wage subsidies and for the comments by the former prime minister Scott Morrison praising “tradies … building the stage” but not artists.

In addition, streaming services such as Netflix and Stan will be subject to quotas, ensuring they air more Australian made content. Also the Lending Right Schemes, which pays a royalty to authors when a library loans one of their books out, will be expanded to include ebooks.


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AI creators of artworks may be unable to copyright their work

27 December 2022

AI technologies may make better writers, artists, and illustrators than people. They could well be able to produce stunning works of art, literature, and whatever else, but there is one downside: the Artificial Intelligence creators may not be able to copyright their work.

The United States Copyright Office (USCO) has initiated a proceeding to reverse an earlier decision to grant a copyright to a comic book that was created using “A.I. art,” and announced that while the copyright will still be in effect until the proceeding is completed (and the filer for the copyright has a chance to respond to the proceeding), copyrighted works must be created by humans to gain official copyright protection.

While the USCO is yet to make a final ruling on the matter, I can’t see this small hiccup interfering with AI creators plans for world dominance.


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How to Replace the Sky an interactive comic by Matt Huynh

10 December 2022

How to Replace the Sky: New York based Australian artist and illustrator Matt Huynh explores his relationship between technology and his work.

I probably won’t stop using new devices to make and share my work any time soon. My habits and instincts have been shaped too much by what the gadgets need me to do. But maybe that would all change if only I could shape my tools to suit me instead.

And in the same week ChatGPT lands, and, who knows, stands to change the way we do anything and everything.


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Sydney Modern builders become artworks by Richard Lewer

3 December 2022

The stunning new Sydney Modern Project, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), opened to the public for the first time today. Replete with glass, metal, light tones, and large open, naturally lit spaces, on the upper levels at least, Sydney Modern was designed by Tokyo based Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

While much has been said about their contribution to the project, they are not alone in seeing their efforts recognised. Melbourne based New Zealand artist Richard Lewer spent time during construction of the gallery drawing some of the workers who brought the building into being.

I don’t know how often this happens, but now the industry and hard work of the building crew forms a collection titled Onsite, construction of Sydney Modern which resides on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, which can presently be viewed in the contemporary galleries at AGNSW.


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Archibald winning Australian artist Nicholas Harding dies

3 November 2022

British born Australian artist Nicholas Harding died yesterday, aged 66. Harding won the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 2001 with a painting of Australian actor and theatre director John Bell as King Lear. In addition, Harding was named an Archibald finalist a staggering nineteen times, between 1994 and 2020.


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A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy by Sarah Lazarovic

28 October 2022

A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy by Sarah Lazarovic book cover

Instead of buying the things she wanted to, Toronto based Canadian writer, illustrator, and artist, Sarah Lazarovic decided to paint the objects of her retail desire instead. A year later she gathered the works together in her new book, A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy, which is being published this month by Penguin Random House:

Based on a visual essay that was first published on The Hairpin, A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy is a beautiful and witty take on the growing “slow shopping” movement. Sarah is a well-known blogger and illustrator, and she writes brilliantly without preaching or guilt-tripping. Whether she’s trying to justify the purchase of yet another particleboard IKEA home furnishing, debating the pros and cons of leg warmers or calculating the per-day usage cost of big-ticket items, Sarah’s poignant musings will resonate with any reader who’s ever been susceptible to an impulse buy.

If you’re looking for an introduction to the low shopping movement, A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy sounds like the book for you.


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Still life artworks of food selling like hot cakes on Instagram

17 October 2022

During the COVID lockdown of 2020 Melbourne resident Libby Haines swapped jewellery design for painting still-life artworks of food, and hasn’t looked back since. And with her works sometimes selling within minutes of being made available for sale, wouldn’t you be the same?

“I think after the turbulent past few years people want joy and comfort in their lives, and food and art are the ultimate expression of that,” says Haines, on why the genre is so popular. Her paintings feature scenes of homely meals on colourful tablecloths. Perhaps a glass of wine is accompanied by a used corkscrew, or a lit match sits next to a candle that casts light onto a bowl of pasta.


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Useful resources for creatives working in day jobs

4 October 2022

A collection of useful resources for people juggling day jobs or other work with creative endeavours, put together by Canadian art magazine booooooom.

A couple of standouts include balancing full-time work with your creative side hustle, and advice on turning down ridiculous rates for your work, by Jano le Roux.


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