David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

15 March 2013

Pay peanuts, make a monkey of yourself.

Did anyone else watch the inspirational address by Simon Crean, Federal Minister for the Arts, at the Canberra Press Club a few days ago? 

We asked this of a gathering of artists and arts researchers yesterday: puzzlement, no one. So often described as "long awaited", this launch over lunch of the first national cultural policy in twenty year, sparklingly entitled Creative Australia.

If you missed it too, our bLOGOS/HA HA arts reporter summarises the Minister's statement thus: Artists are at the centre of this nation, and creativity at its heart. Cheers all round! Many a beret flung into the air!

Back to earth, if you are a visual artist... 

This from yesterday's The Age :

Visual arts

Visual artists have been largely ignored in the federal government's national cultural policy, according to a peak lobby group.

The executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff, said the bulk of new funding announced in the Creative Australia policy had gone to the performing arts.
''I think the disappointing thing is there's no comparable support to the substantial new money being allocated for the performing arts,'' she said.
Ms Winikoff said the policy had not taken up a decade-old finding in the Myer report on contemporary visual arts and craft that artists be paid when they lend work to a gallery or are commissioned to create a new work for an exhibition. NAVA estimates it would cost $3 million to pay artists the minimum standards in the industry code.
''We're disappointed that the modest request of $3 million a year has not been addressed,'' she said.
''It's chicken feed, one-tenth of what's given to the performing arts. Also it's a matter of respect. 
There's an understanding that everyone else will get paid. Why are artists expected to do it for love?''
Ms Winikoff said she would have liked to have seen reforms to tax, superannuation and social security to assist artists in setting up and running viable businesses.
She applauded the policy's support for arts in education, but said this was undermined by budget cuts to state-funded TAFE colleges in Victoria and NSW that had led to the cancellation of arts courses.

Andrew Taylor
click here to read full article

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...