Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Skilled legal advice with
accessible & personal attention

Changes to public art funding

By johnboy 28 April 2009 57

There’s been a lot of talk over the weekend about announced changes to the controversial public art program.

Oddly enough none of it has appeared online.

So I asked the Chief Minister’s office if there would be a statement on the subject and they have kindly provided this:

    Statement from the Minister for the Arts, Jon Stanhope:

    The economic downturn has led the Government to review its level of investment in public art and the recent decision to cease the Percent-for-Art Scheme.

    New funding to the Scheme will be capped to $1.2 million each year over the next two years and then cease. The Government will then review its capacity to provide ongoing support for public art.

    The decision to cease the Scheme has led to a re-examination of priorities within the now finite level of funding available. A key consideration has been spreading the benefit of remaining funds across the ACT.

    The decision to discontinue the Major Canberra Artwork project has not been taken lightly. Issues raised by the NCA and the continuing level of uncertainty regarding the future of the City Hill site, particularly the strong potential for a change in the height of Vernon Circle, were also significant considerations in discontinuing the project.

So there you go.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
57 Responses to
Changes to public art funding
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
trevar 7:19 am 30 Apr 09

Skidbladnir said :

Things don’t need to be beautiful to be considered art.

+1

The world is not all sweetness and light, so there’s no point having Pollyanna art. And there is a kind of beauty in ugliness. The film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is a good example. Plenty of ugliness in the visceral, but a contextual beauty belies it. [/artspeak]

SammyLivesHere 11:10 pm 29 Apr 09

I like the art work some of it is really eye opening. But how can we enjoy it if we can’t stop the car, walk around it, have a picnic at the bottom of it, watch it in different light, photograph it, read the plague? mmm I say move the Woden one to the side road so we can stop trying to anticipate the propellers moving.. and concentrate on driving!

Pommy bastard 7:38 pm 29 Apr 09

peterh said :

at least it doesn’t look like a prank on the side of the road. The stones on logs on the GDE look as if they were put together by backyard blitz…

+1

RayP 7:00 pm 29 Apr 09

I don’t think that a committee would necessarily be the way to go on selecting public art. Especially not a committee of public servants. It may depend a lot on who was on the committee. But, I am sceptical of committees.

I do think that there should be some sort of discussion – consultation process on how to proceed with public art. How the art was selected should be one of the issues for that discussion.

Gungahlin Al 5:36 pm 29 Apr 09

deezagood said :

trevar said :

Now that I look more closely, I think perhaps they might not be kittens… but they’re cute and cuddly anyway. And I like books. Actually, now that I don’t think they’re kittens anymore, I like it better.

Oh gosh – are they books? Why yes, they are – I thought it was a pile of rocks (as stated previously, I didn’t look too closely the first time). Okay – now that I know this art represents possums (?) climbing and reading a pile of books, I view it differently … maybe a tribute to Mem Fox or other Australian literature? So whilst I now think this has more meaning than a bunch of kittens climbing a pile of rocks, I still don’t think it is particularly beautiful or interesting …

Ah – the dawning… Yes, and remembering many of us call our kids possums, you see that the concept of possums scrambling over open and closed books could have a lot of meaning for many people. Outside shops – I don’t know- is there a newsagent/bookshop there? Outside a school or library – certainly. This looks to be (without seeing the end result in place note) one of those cute whimsical pieces I was referring to. Hence why I like it.

I’m reminded of a response by some school mates of mine too many years ago when I said something about liking David Bowie. They responded in unison “it’s not whether you like David Bowie – it’s whether you get David Bowie”. And such it is with art. Often whether you ‘like’ the piece may be irrelevant – do you ‘get’ the subtext of it?

Skidbladnir 5:30 pm 29 Apr 09

Those strange characters are here.
http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&q=Zdzis%C5%82aw%20Beksi%C5%84ski&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

(The Google image results are by no means his entire set of works)

Skidbladnir 5:28 pm 29 Apr 09

deezagood said :

I still don’t think it is particularly beautiful or interesting …

Things don’t need to be beautiful to be considered art.
Otherwise people like Hans Rüdi Giger or Zdzis?aw Beksi?ski would have (or had, in Beksi?ski’s case) no careers, even though their product is mostly about either selling people their nightmares back to them, or giving them entirely new ones.

deezagood 5:10 pm 29 Apr 09

trevar said :

Now that I look more closely, I think perhaps they might not be kittens… but they’re cute and cuddly anyway. And I like books. Actually, now that I don’t think they’re kittens anymore, I like it better.

Oh gosh – are they books? Why yes, they are – I thought it was a pile of rocks (as stated previously, I didn’t look too closely the first time). Okay – now that I know this art represents possums (?) climbing and reading a pile of books, I view it differently … maybe a tribute to Mem Fox or other Australian literature? So whilst I now think this has more meaning than a bunch of kittens climbing a pile of rocks, I still don’t think it is particularly beautiful or interesting …

peterh 4:51 pm 29 Apr 09

ant said :

They should have a portion of money for buying art BUT they shoudl not tell anyone howmuch there is! The mob tasked with buying the public art should have to put up a case for each art purchase, and then see if it’s good enough AND if there’s enough money in the kitty. Taht would probably see them not buying silly stuff that costs a fortune at any rate. Might get some value for money, which teh pile of girders next to the road clearly isn’t.

at least it doesn’t look like a prank on the side of the road. The stones on logs on the GDE look as if they were put together by backyard blitz…

ant 4:33 pm 29 Apr 09

They should have a portion of money for buying art BUT they shoudl not tell anyone howmuch there is! The mob tasked with buying the public art should have to put up a case for each art purchase, and then see if it’s good enough AND if there’s enough money in the kitty. Taht would probably see them not buying silly stuff that costs a fortune at any rate. Might get some value for money, which teh pile of girders next to the road clearly isn’t.

Gungahlin Al 4:22 pm 29 Apr 09

I didn’t mind the “per cent for art” approach, but perhaps 1% was too high, and encouraged departments towards overly large and expensive pieces. Often times it is the less ostentatious and whimsical surprise art pieces that I enjoy most.

And I’m sure hoping this change doesn’t dint our chances of getting a “Bunyip that ate Canberra” statue outside the upcoming new Gungahlin Library. GCC has had great support from the book’s author Michael Salmon BTW. He even sent a stack of his books for prizes for a kids colouring competition in the latest Issue 111 of our Gungahlin Smokesignals newsletter.

trevar 4:00 pm 29 Apr 09

deezagood said :

Good lord – are they kittens? I thought they were some sort of native Australian animal (maybe opossums??) – but I must admit I didn’t look too hard. If they are kittens, then I like it even less 😉

Now that I look more closely, I think perhaps they might not be kittens… but they’re cute and cuddly anyway. And I like books. Actually, now that I don’t think they’re kittens anymore, I like it better.

deezagood said :

Art is highly subjective really, so my idea of beautiful probably isn’t everyone’s (or perhaps anyone’s!) idea of beautiful. That is exactly why these decisions shouldn’t be made by just a few.

I think that is precisely why they SHOULD be made by just a few. As sepi says, art by committee is bland. Still, the few selecting shouldn’t be little Jonny Stanhope and his drinking buddies. I would like to know how public artworks are selected in Melbourne, as I do like a lot of what you see there. I can’t imagine they’re selected by a large group, or those tastes that you’re talking about would stall the process every time. This is why I’m a bit of a fencesitter on this one, despite feeling quite strongly about it… I don’t like the process as it stands, but I haven’t heard any better ideas yet.

ant 3:42 pm 29 Apr 09

deezagood said :

Who is advising their purchases I wonder?

The artists’ mums, I suspect.

I really like the consept of public art and would like to see more of it. There are pieces that do not appeal to me but may appeal to others. Sure brightens up the drab grey of so many of our suburban shops

deezagood 3:25 pm 29 Apr 09

Especially for struggling artists apparently.

sepi 3:21 pm 29 Apr 09

I like public art, and I don’t think consultation is neccessarily the way to go – unless the art is going in your street, why do you care so much about it. Art chosen via committee is goign to be bland bland bland.

I love the bird/wind sculptures and the little man in civic. Pity the art program has been scrapped, but times is tough.

deezagood 2:56 pm 29 Apr 09

trevar said :

deezagood said :

I guess by comparison to other canberra art, it isn’t too bad … but just think of the beautiful art that could have been purchased.

I am; I’m thinking of the Marquette!

Don’t you like kittens?

Actually, I hate cats of all varieties (okay, maybe tigers are cool), but I like the novelty of it. Yes, it’s peurile, but it’s also fun.

What do you mean by “beautiful”, deezagood?

Good lord – are they kittens? I thought they were some sort of native Australian animal (maybe opossums??) – but I must admit I didn’t look too hard. If they are kittens, then I like it even less 😉 Art is highly subjective really, so my idea of beautiful probably isn’t everyone’s (or perhaps anyone’s!) idea of beautiful. That is exactly why these decisions shouldn’t be made by just a few. I just know that when I go to Melbourne and see random public artworks, I usually think ‘wow’, or ‘isn’t that beautiful’ or ‘I wonder how they made that’ or ‘how clever/amusing’. When I see some of the more recent additions to Canberra’s public artworks, I usually think ‘WTF?’ or just cringe.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site