An Artist’s Tanty

I was watching the ABC at 6am this morning. I like to get a good dose of aggro early on Sundays. And I certainly got it from today’s “Insiders”.

Niki-Savva-SPThe subject was the rejection of Transfield sponsorship by the Sydney Biennale because of the connection with the concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Islands. Senator Brandis, our Minister for the Arts has taken the

By Cathy Wicox Used by permission

By Cathy Wicox
Used by permission

attitude that if the Arts do not want commercial sponsorship, then they obviously do not need Government sponsorship. Niki Savva suggested that if the “artists” want to “throw a tanty” they should go and do it elsewhere. I was affronted and angry.

Then I Cheered!

The creative people of Australia are being sent back to the garrets. To that place where they starve and suffer and are driven to create because that is who they are.

I can see where Brandis and Savva are coming from. Everything you get, you earn. No free handouts. Patronage by the rich for those who sell out and starvation for those who remain true to their vision. All good Right Wing Conservative, big end of town ideals.

Yet Brandis, Savva and the rest of the idealogues have forgotten one very important lesson from history.

Revolution’s Source

Revolutions are led by the inspiration of the starving artist. They may not be the leaders of the revolution but they create the songs, the images, the poetry of the revolution. The leaders simply use what has been created and articulate it in such a way as to energise the rest of their generation.whitlam

The last time we saw that happen in Australia was in the 1970’s.

“It’s Time” was invented by Australia’s creative people at a time when they received nothing from the Government. “It’s Time” led to Gough Whitlam becoming Prime Minister. The leaders of that campaign were the songsters, actors, artists of the day.

Later we even had a Pop Group who named themselves “The Whitlams” and they were a successful, talented group. I doubt we shall see a serious Pop Group calling themselves “The Abbotts”. Although we may see a very successful parody group with that name.

I don’t know what phrases, tunes and images our starving creative class will come up with over the next few years. I have no idea what underground movements will begin over coffee and cheap chardonny in the cold garrets of Melbourne and Hobart. In the hot, airless lofts of Sydney and Perth.

Whatever they are, I am sure Tony Abbott and his sycophantic henchmen will not be able to stand against them!

4 responses to “An Artist’s Tanty

  1. Thank you Archie. I missed Insiders this morning, but that doesn’t worry me, because I always groan when Niki Savva is a panelist. Nevertheless, I am furious with Brandis’ blackmail and find the proposition unacceptable. Both my children are performing artists and their life is difficult. Although my 34 concert pianist son is making a name for himself on the international stage, it will be years before he is making enough money to be comfortable despite all the wonderful venues and countries he performs in. My less ambitious daughter composes and performs regularly in her home town. All artists need support and they can still be creative. The time you refer to did not have the less caring and greedy society that we have today where sponsorship of talented people is very difficult to get.


    • I see it all as a part of “Do as I tell you or else” bully syndrome which has infevted the Canberra-based Libs. All a part of the Abbott nastiness. Now we have a Tasmanian Libs in charge and the first thing the new Premier said was “We will be making changes!” Newman has done it in Qld and is disregarding any form of constitutional control. O’farrell and Napthine seem to be a little more “old-style” Libs while Barnett in WA has very little choice. His front and back bench is filled with hard-right bullies. In the NT, the Lib Govt is on the verge of losing all its indigenous members which will put it in a minority. Another classic case of “I’ve got the power, stuff you!” He forgot he relies on the Indigenous members for the numbers in his parliament. Oops- this turned into a full rant 😦


  2. Worry about what will happen in Tassi after ALP/Green lost the election yesterday. The people of the forest will regret what they just what many of us are feeling now that we let the LNP get back into power with their rich friends. Sad


    • I worry about the forests in Tasmania as I worry about the refugees in Australia’s concentration camps. As I worry about the disabled and the elderly and the disadvantaged. I worry about the eduction of our young and the rights of our workers. The rise of the Murdochracy in Australia is a disaster for all Australia and everything which can lead to the majority of Australians coming top their senses is not only wanted, it is bloody necessary!


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