Why is there no minimum wage for a visual artist?

Visual artists’ incomes are precarious at the best of times, so why aren’t there laws regulating their pay and conditions?
visual artist

If you are a visual artist in Australia it is becoming harder, not easier, to earn a decent living.

As evidenced by arts-economists Professor David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya’s benchmark income surveys there have been downward trends in artists’ earnings in recent years, and similar research by Visual Arts Work shows a concerning number of artists’ earnings are below the poverty line.

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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).