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Art Almanac

Art Almanac May 2017

Art Almanac is a monthly briefing on national art news, reviews and exhibitions. Since 1974, Art Almanac has proudly published the most comprehensive gallery exhibition listings in the country. The magazine features extended exhibition reviews and a national roundup of current shows as well as a dynamic and comprehensive online offering.

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11 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
casualties of catalyst

The establishment of Catalyst, originally known as the National Program for Excellence in the Arts, came as the Australia Council’s funding was slashed by $100m over four years – about 15% of its budget – by the Federal government. The ‘trickle-down effect’ of this reduced spending power meant more than 60 small to medium-sized arts organisations lost monetary support. Now, the Abbott-era funding model, that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) branded a ‘ministerial slush fund’, has been given the chop. After almost two tumultuous years of chaos, anger and accusations of political interference, sector-wide protests from the arts community with #IStandWithTheArts and #FreeTheArts dominating social media feeds, a Senate inquiry was ordered. On March 18, after listening to ‘feedback’ from the Department of Communication and the Arts, the Australia Council and…

1 min.

Artspace Mackay is opening up their holdings of artist books to the public through the creation of the purpose-designed Tate Adams Reading Pod (TARP). “We hope that making them more accessible will assist in establishing the legitimacy of artist’s books within the context of Australian art and broaden the public’s knowledge of a fascinating and varied art form”, said the gallery. Artspace Mackay holds the third largest collection in Australia enriched by benefactor Tate Adams who donated a significant number of artist books, bookplates and works on paper to the collection adding to the resources originally sourced by the Mackay City Council Library Service. While the gallery works on a comprehensive digital archive visitors can select up to three books for one hour from either; Director, Curator or Volunteers’ Choice categories.…

1 min.
3rd national indigenous art triennial

Thirty contemporary Indigenous artists from across Australia have been selected to participate in ‘Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial’ at the National Gallery of Australia from 26 May to 10 September. Underlining the ongoing resistance, resilience and defiance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their right to equality, this major exhibition surveys unique practices and also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum granting Indigenous peoples the right to be counted as Australian for the first time. The exhibition coincides with NAIDOC Week 2 to 9 July that celebrates Aboriginal culture, this year’s theme of ‘Our Languages Matter’ emphasises the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity. Art Almanac will review the show in a future issue. nga.gov.aunaidoc.org.au Courtesy the artist, Stills Gallery,…

1 min.
the other art fair

There is an exclusive arena where fine art reaches a select audience through the brokerage, both in taste and power, of art dealers or gallerists. We understand this as an art fair. But with the advent of the Internet and art industry entrepreneurs the model is being reconsidered. The Other Art Fair dismantles the accepted commercial hierarchy offering art to the public endorsed and sold by the artists themselves. Saatchi Art sponsor the event that originated in the UK and is now setting up shop all around the world, with the latest iteration in Melbourne from 4 to 7 May at The Facility, Kensington, Victoria. The fair will feature over 100 artists representing painting, video, sculpture, photography, performance and installations including Abdul Abdullah, Jaye Early, Jackson McLaren, Shane Drinkwater, Helga Leunig,…

1 min.
stills gallery closing

With careful, and difficult, consideration, and after more than 25 years Stills Gallery will discontinue in its current form at the end of June. From 25 May to 30 June the space will showcase important works from the past quarter century of operation by over 50 artists, and encourage you to pay a final visit. As well as this the website will stay live as an archive and the team hope to contribute again to photography’s presentation and sale in a revised approach. Co-directors Kathy Freedman and Bronwyn Rennex thank artists and staff, past and present. The pair reflected, “from small beginnings in Elizabeth Street Paddington in 1991, the gallery has shifted and evolved to keep up with changes in the way we produce, enjoy and understand photography.” Courtesy the artist and…

1 min.
stories from detention

‘They Cannot Take the Sky’ is a new book and exhibition project conceived by Behind the Wire, an organisation devoted to supporting and sharing the stories of people who have sought and are seeking asylum and refuge in Australia. ‘Stories from Detention’ is on until 2 July and will present video, portraits and audio by 22 narrators sharing harrowing journeys as well as universal ideas about love, death and hope. We hear from both those settled in Australia as well as three people who remain in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, including Behrouz Boochani, Iranian journalist and asylum seeker, who explains; “The sky is like a friend for a prisoner, because around you everything is metal fences, but the sky, they cannot take the sky.” behindthewire.org.au Courtesy Behind the Wire and…