Art and sport: is there really a divide?

As we witness the start of an Olympic Games the world will never forget, it’s worth asking if some long-held beliefs about the divisions between art and sport are in need of a rethink.
performers facing the audience on stage in a sporting formation as if on a soccer field

For Melbourne theatre-maker David Williams (of alternative facts fame), the notion that most artists are allergic to sport is quite simply, a fallacy.

‘I’m a sports-interested person, and it’s rare to find an artist who is not interested in sport,’ he said.

But while there are many sports devotees in the Australian arts sector (as a search for the Twitter hashtag #aflartsmafia reveals), the fallacy continues that loving the arts and loving sport are somehow incompatible.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

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