Articles on Arts

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Richard Ffarington painted idealised versions of Aboriginal people, as in King George Sound, 1840s. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia

Unknown Land: mapping and imagining Western Australia

The first Europeans to arrive in Western Australia were baffled by the strange land they saw. A new exhibition explores the Arcadia artists tried to transpose over native plants and people.
Many artists become teachers because they struggle to sustain a profession as an artist. from

Do arts teachers have to be artists?

In the hierarchy of subjects, art is usually ranked at the bottom. Would teachers who have an artistic background help raise the status of the subject in schools?
Singapore and Australia have a lot in common. Shutterstock

In a glass clearly: Singapore and Australia compared

You can drive across Singapore (population 5.5 million) in 45 minutes – roughly the same time it takes to reach Gawler from the Adelaide CBD. As an equatorial island, the climate is warm all the year round…
The Mexican artist Diego Rivera was an early contributor to the Pago en Especie program, which allows artists to pay tax with art. Detail of the Rivera mural El hombre en cruce de caminos (1934). Wikimedia Commons

Should artists pay their taxes in art?

Many Australian artists eke out a living, yet government funding is generally heading backwards. Can we learn from Mexico, where artists are allowed to pay tax in paintings or sculptures in lieu of cash?
This human T cell (blue) is under attack by HIV (yellow), the virus that causes AIDS. T cells play a critical role in the body’s immune response. Seth Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer and Austin Athman, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

A cure for HIV: what science knows, and what it doesn’t

HIV research continues to search for a cure. The focus is on developing therapies to cure HIV infection or allow people with HIV to safely stop antiretroviral therapy and keep the virus under control.
Deep funding cuts will affect Australia’s entire arts ecology. Ekke

Carnage in the arts: experts respond to the Australia Council cuts

A 'mortal blow' to the South Australian theatre scene. 'Inexplicable' cuts to centres for photography in two states. The Australia Council's latest funding decisions have left the arts sector reeling and are evidence of a government indifferent to culture.
Artist-run initiatives are a major creative driver in Australia’s art environment. Lesley Giovanelli 'Continental Drift' Articulate project space 2015/Silversalt photography

Small is beautiful: artist-run collectives count, but they’re facing death by a thousand cuts

Small arts organisations are facing savage cuts in May. These vibrant collectives are a vital part of the Australian art ecology, and deserve better than slow strangulation.
Sydney Biennale has recovered from the missteps of 2014. Lee Mingwei, Guernica in Sand. Image courtesy of JUT Museum and Sydney Biennale.

A surprising spectacle rescues the Sydney Biennale from irrelevance

Two years ago, the Sydney Biennale was at a historic low point. But a new, ambitious show puts the event firmly back on the artistic agenda.
Children’s learning improves across all areas when they get the chance to make and appreciate art. Shutterstock

Why taking art education seriously could boost learning

Art education is an important vehicle for all sorts of learning and knowledge acquisition. Teachers must be taught not to view it as a "second class" subject.
Cue: tumbleweed. Iwan Gabovitch/flickr

What makes a film flop?

Many films exist on a knife-edge ... failure is only a screening away.
Graffiti by LMNOPI ( in Brooklyn, New York. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

The artist’s dilemma: what constitutes selling out?

With more and more street artists partnering with corporations, it's important that they don't compromise their moral standing to earn a living.
Rembrandt’s famous painting – commonly known as The Night Watch – doesn’t even take place at night. 'Rembrandt' via

How the painting got its name

The history of the picture title is really a history of the last 300 years.
From Afar on a Hill seeks to dispel misconceptions around the numbers, circumstances, motivations and the actual mechanisms for acceptance of asylum seekers in Australia. Company Upstairs

Too close for comfort: contemplating the plight of asylum seekers in From Afar on a Hill

From Afar on a Hill is an immersive theatre work that provides insight into the lived experience of asylum seekers and lays bare the arbitrariness of Australia’s immigration policies.
To bring arts policy into the 21st century, we need to update and correct the basic economic flaws that were baked into the mid-20th century model. Fabrik Bilder/Shutterstock

Leaving legacies behind: arts policy for the here and now

Turnbull’s 21st century vision for government provides an opportunity to fundamentally rethink arts and cultural policy from the ground up and move beyond its 20th century legacy.

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