What art ought to be through practice and engagement

Key topics raised at the recent Sydney Ideas talk on the importance of art in uncovering stories, connecting cultures, and how to secure its future.
What art ought to be. Image is of four people sitting on a stage in front of an audience, in conversation. On the left a woman of Asian appearance, with long dark hair, on her right a woman of Aboriginal appearance in grey and on her right a Caucasian man in black with long grey hair - and they are all looking at a woman on the far right in colourful crocheted attire.

Presented as part of Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney’s public talks program, ‘What art ought to be’ invited Professor Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO, Michael Dagostino and Mindy Meng Wang to participate in a conversation hosted by Jess Scully around what’s next for the arts in Australia. The discussion occurred at a time when the country had recently voted “no” in the Voice to Parliament referendum. Meanwhile the arts sector is starting to see the backbone of the new arts and cultural policy begin to form.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. She took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs and was the project manager of ArtsHub’s diverse writers initiative, Amplify Collective. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram @lleizy_