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FAIRNESS OR FAVOURITISM. (The printmakers return fire)

By Alison_Alder - 14 December 2011 4

Megalo Print Studio and Gallery today expressed its concern at the ongoing campaign of unsubstantiated accusations of favouritism by MLA Vicki Dunne over the organisation’s proposed relocation to the Fitters Workshop in Kingston.

In the latest attack on the organisation’s reputation, Ms Dunne has accused the ACT Government of providing special treatment for visual arts organisations in waiving hiring fees for occasional use of the Fitters Workshop.

However, it was Megalo’s understanding that the ACT Government had waived the same fees for the Canberra International Music Festival’s use of the Fitters Workshop for previous events. Using this as a case for precedent, Megalo requested a similar waiver for its Print Big exhibition at the Fitters Workshop in October 2010, also taking into consideration that Print Big was a free public event over one weekend.

Megalo is also now aware that from June 6 to October 27 this year, MLAs Dunne and Le Couteur have repeatedly spoken in the Legislative Assembly on the Fitters Workshop issue, without contacting Megalo during this period to seek clarification of the claims they were making.

Megalo only learned of the proposed motion to establish an Inquiry the day before the motion was introduced into the Assembly on 27 October.  However, Ms Dunne noted that a representative of the music sector was present in the Assembly when the motion was introduced.

Now that the Legislative Assembly Inquiry has been established, Megalo has welcomed the opportunity to put on the public record its long process of consultation and negotiation with successive ACT Governments for a permanent home dating back to the mid-1990s.  Ms Dunne seems to conveniently ignore the fact that it was Chief Minister Kate Carnell who first suggested developing the Kingston Foreshore as a visual arts precinct in August 2000.

Artistic Director of Megalo, Alison Alder states,

“It would be useful if all parties involved in this debate would allow the Standing Committee, Inquiring into the Future Use of the Fitters Workshop, to undertake its investigations and fulfil its obligations without further unnecessary & unhelpful political interference.”

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
FAIRNESS OR FAVOURITISM. (The printmakers return fire)
creative_canberran 7:45 pm 15 Dec 11

Here’s some interesting tid-bits from a brief history about Megalo: http://www.printsandprintmaking.gov.au/catalogues/bibliography/138249/alder-alison-megalo.aspx

There’s this:
“Canberra in the late 1970s was a hot bed of political activism. We had endured the Fraser government since November 1975…”

And importantly this:
“Paul Ford and myself were the only two people in the group with an art school background. In fact when Megalo started we were still at school. The workshop wasn’t set up as a workshop for artists. (If artists were to be differentiated from ordinary folk which was another ideological argument of the time.) It was set up as an access workshop for people to state their political and social beliefs, act as a cheap advertising resource for marginalised groups, be a teaching facility for unemployed people and the general public, act as an income earning place of work and also to print art editions if required.”

And this:
“As a group of Canberra silkscreeners or interested people concerned about unemployment and pressing environmental lifestyle attitudes we hope a greater strength will develop through this action amongst the community.”

But the Megalo website now states this:
“Megalo was established in 1980 as a community access screenprint workshop for paper and fabric printing.”

If you read the whole history, it very much illustrates a group of temperamental social activists with infighting who were focused on far left causes. The new history though paints an altruistic picture of a group set up for the public good.

I think there’s some creativity with facts on all sides here.

LSWCHP 7:09 pm 15 Dec 11

NoImRight said :

Wow. Wont someone tell me how I should feel about this? Otherwise I might just think its really,really not important

Here’s the scoop.

It’s really, really not important. Don’t start caring. If you have started caring, stop now.

NoImRight 12:02 pm 15 Dec 11

Wow. Wont someone tell me how I should feel about this? Otherwise I might just think its really,really not important

El_Mariachi 9:37 am 15 Dec 11

I love a political media release that suggests other people cease “unnecessary & unhelpful political interference”.

Somewhere a unicorn is dying.

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