Making the headlines across this week’s arts news

What's on, what's in the headlines, and the latest program releases – to put you ahead of the game this week.
Immersive exhibition of projections at Melbourne Museum

We’ve recapped the hottest headlines, announcements and arts news that shaped the zeitgeist this past week.

Our top stories this week

Views on the future for emerging GLAM professionals
Maintaining relevance in the next 10 years comes down to accessibility, digital transformation and the social function of museums.

Value starts with self-value, then honours follow
If we want to see more artists and arts workers included in the Order of Australia, we need to nominate them.

Nazi allegations put regional art collection under spotlight
Wollongong Art Gallery is working with Sydney Jewish Museum to take a ‘considered and sensitive approach’ after a donor was identified as a WWII-era Nazi.

Top funding news this week

Jump to:
Be in the know
Quick Diary Dates
What’s on
Review highlights

Be in the know

Artswashing dilemma continues to plague festivals
Darwin Festival is the latest arts organisation to fall afoul of protestors demanding the festival divest itself from a sponsorship with energy company Santos.

Why the dance sector needs its own union
While many companies act with integrity, working conditions for freelance dancers can still be fraught. Could a dancers’ union change that?

Festival attendance (SA)

The numbers were in this week: 11,728 visitors came from interstate for the 2022 Adelaide Festival according to ticketing data (or 40% of audiences) – nearly a three-fold increase on the previous Festival’s results. 71 events generated 250 jobs (full time equivalent) and resulted in a gross expenditure generated for SA of $51.8 million.

Fundraising (NSW):

Wendy Sharp’s fundraising exhibition, Her Shoes, raised close to $100,000 for both the Asylum Seekers Centre and the Catherine Hamlin Foundation in Coffs Harbour, for victims of domestic violence.

New gallery (VIC):

APY Art Centre Collective is opening a new gallery in Melbourne, 30 June. It will be located at Tom Thumb Lane, Docklands and extends their activities in Sydney and Adelaide. 

Regional revitalisation (QLD):

The Queensland regional town of Maryborough is using art for revitalisation and tourism. The Fraser Coast Regional Council (FCRC) will transform Netterfield and Palmer warehouse into the Gatakers Creative Space, with a clay space, print room, digital installation abilities, workshops and artisan shop.

NAVA points-based system for the arts:

The new service, WorkForce Australia, will replace the controversial Jobactive program that required jobseekers to lodge 20 job applications a month. In its place, the new points-based activation system (Pbas) will require jobseekers to earn 100 points through an expanded range of activities to keep their payments. NAVA fears thousands of visual artists and arts workers will be at risk of losing their income support payments under the new points-based system for jobseekers that will start on 1 July 2022. 

‘Thousands of independent artists and arts workers currently rely on JobSeeker benefits. Without changes to what is recognised by Centrelink as ‘seeking employment’, many will find it near impossible to lodge the work they’ve been seeking as artists to comply with the requirements under the new points system,’ said NAVA Executive Director Penelope Benton. Learn more.

Quick diary dates

  • Fremantle Biennale’s iconic 200 piece, drone light show First Lights: balarr inyiny, by artist Ilona McGuire, will be making its way to this year’s Darwin Festival, illuminating the skies over Jervois Park for the final three nights of the Festival from 19 – 21 August 2022.
  • The 2022 Horizon Festival has just revealed its program – to be presented across 10 nights on the Sunshine Coast from 26 August – 4 September. For Director Hannah Clissold, accessibility and inclusivity was top of mind when developing this program.
  • Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) has announced its Public Program for its 2022 edition, to be held 5 – 7 August. The in person and online program includes Artist Masterclasses in soft sculpture making, lino printing on fabric, twining with First Nations artists and much more. Over 70 Art Centres join the fair this year.

What’s on

Utzon Music (NSW): The Sydney Opera House has announced the second part of the popular Utzon Music program, for July to October, 2022 – a suite of chamber music in the intimate Utzon Room. From Rachmaninoff to Schubert to Rahim AlHaj’s Letters from Iraqcheck out the lineup.

Soprano Aussie debut (VIC & NSW): The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra will perform with acclaimed Venezuelan-born Paris-based male soprano Samuel Mariño, as he makes his Australian debut for their next concert series The Soprano. Performing arias from the 17th and 18th centuries, including works by Handel, Vivaldi, Hasse and Porpora at Sydney’s City Recital Hall (1 – 17 September) and Melbourne Recital Centre (8 – 11 September). 

Emerging art program (QLD): This week, Outer Space today announced its 2022-2023 exhibition program for its gallery at the Judith Wright Arts Centre (JWAC). Director, Hamish Sawyer’s program reinforces Outer Space’s commitment to an inclusive and diverse program that highlights emerging artists from across Queensland.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said: ‘The Queensland Government provides funding of $400,000 to Outer Space through the Organisations Fund 2022 – 2025 to support Queensland contemporary arts and artists.’

Jekyll & Hyde (NSW): The award-winning creative team behind Sydney Theatre Company’s critically-acclaimed production The Picture of Dorian Gray will realise another gothic adaptation written by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams. Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde will premiere at Roslyn Packer Theatre 3 August – 3 September, with actors Ewen Leslie and Matthew Backer cast in lead roles.

Refugee narratives (NSW): Personal stories of asylum-seekers, migrants and refugees are shared in a new exhibition at Manly Art Gallery & Museum. Settled/Unsettled runs from 24 June – 31 July, to coincide with Refugee Week. It explores the deeply personal and profound stories of war and conflict, and exile and displacement. Artists include Hedar Abadi, Mehrdad MehrAeen, Raneen Shamon, Mehwish Iqbal, as well as Angus McDonald and Penny Byrne. Artist talk Saturday 9 July, 2–3pm. Bookings essential.

Read: Narratives of struggle and healing in Refugee Week

Immersive world (VIC): Opening at Melbourne Museum on 22 July, TYAMA will transport visitors into Victoria’s nocturnal world with 360-degree responsive projections and exquisite soundscapes for a full immersive experience. Grounded in First Peoples knowledge, Tyama (Chah-muh) blends the physical and digital and is about a deeper sense of knowing.

Unique performance comeback (VIC): HotHouse Theatre is welcoming legend of the stage and screen, John Wood to join a local cast in bringing iconic Australian play, EMBERS by Campion Decent, back for one-night only – 24 June at HotHouse’s Butter Factory Theatre. After the performance, join playwright Campion Decent and the cast in conversation, led by HotHouse Artistic Director, Karla Conway. Tickets limited.

Music for healing (VIC): Composer Nigel Westlake and singer-songwriter Lior will reunite with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for A Night of Compassion at Melbourne Town Hall on 29 September in a meeting of contemporary and classical music. The work draws on ancient Hebrew and Arabic poems, proverbs and texts that provide insights into a world struggling with divisiveness and how the main tenets of compassion can provide relief.

Conducted by Westlake, A Night of Compassion will also feature Emma Donovan, Paul Grabowsky, Billie Tumarkin and Alex Burkoy in a program of original music and culturally significant works that address themes of compassion and healing. Ticket on sale this week.

Japanese storymaking (NSW): The Japan Foundation, Sydney’s upcoming exhibition, Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art, evokes images of traditional fairy tales across cultures, and tales of interspecies relationships and transformations. Curated by Emily Wakeling and Mayako Murai, it includes drawings, animation, sculpture and performance art. On view 29 July – January 2023.

Thai art survey (NSW): 16albermarle Project Space is presenting a significant survey of significant Thai art, Other Possible Worlds: Contemporary Art from Thailand. The first part features historical works documenting the responses of leading artists such as Som Supaparinya and Tada Hengsapkul to political events in Thailand, and the second part presents new work by mostly younger artists trying to imagine other possible futures for their country.

The show runs at two venues – 16albermarle in Newtown and Delmar Gallery in Ashfield – from 25 June to 31 July 2022. The opening is at 16albermarle, 3-5pm Saturday 25 June, with a workshop and public programs at Delmar Gallery Sunday 26 June and Sunday 3 July, 2-3.30pm. Artists and the lead curator from Thailand for the opening events.

Julia Hales, You Know We Belong Together. Photo Toni Wilkinson

Living with Down syndrome (NSW): Coming to the Opera House after seasons at Edinburgh International Festival and London’s Southbank Centre, acclaimed actor, writer, daughter and person with Down syndrome, Julia Hales brings the joyous play You Know We Belong Together to the Drama Theatre from 6 – 10 September.

The moving performance of monologues, video, scenes, dance and song stars Hales and a cast of six Western Australian actors who put their own lives on stage, showcasing their deeply personal experiences and day-to-day reality of Down syndrome.

Rethinking sculpture (NSW): UTS Gallery & Art Collection launches an exhibition by Diana Baker Smith, She Speaks in Sculpture, which explores the contested histories of Sydney’s built environment through the work of Australian-American sculptor Margel Hinder (1906-1995).

Baker Smith states: ‘Dance becomes an embodied way to trace the movement of Hinder’s sculpture across the city and a way to honour the methods that underpinned Hinder’s approach to sculpture, one that was attuned to the movement of bodies through space.’ The two-channel video installation is on show 19 July – 9 September.

Stargazing through objects (VIC): A new exhibition at the State Library Victoria features handmade items from 300 years ago to today by contemporary artists, designers and makers alongside 68 historical items from State Library Victoria. A highlight is a giant knitted map of the night sky by Sarah Spencer. Handmade Universe: From craft to code and the spaces between will be on show from 24 June – February 2023.

Chinese cultural explored (VIC): Two new exhibitions opening at Bendigo Art Gallery from 20 August 2022 – 19 February 2023, reflect the vast continuum of Chinese art and cultural traditions and their expressions, as well as importance in both local and international contexts. Treasures of Dai Gum San: Chinese artistry from the Golden Dragon Museum has been curated by Bendigo Art Gallery in collaboration with the Golden Dragon Museum.

It is paired with In Our Time: Four decades of art from China and beyond – the Geoff Raby Collection showcasing a vibrant trove of works by more than 75 artists working in China and in Australia, as members of the Chinese diaspora. Valued at $2 million and comprising 174 objects, the full Geoff Raby Collection was donated to La Trobe University in 2019.

Want more? Visit our Event page.

Review highlights

Musical review: Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical ★1/2 ☆☆☆☆
An anachronistic adaptation of a 90s movie that fails to address outdated attitudes regarding sex and consent.

ACMI’s latest exhibition unpacks light as both phenomena and subject  ★★★★1/2 ☆
ACMI’s new light exhibition pushes you around – mentally – like a rag doll, wowed by a roll call of masters, then mashed up by curatorial smarts that join the dots across time.

Book review: This All Come Back Now, edited by Mykaela Saunders ★★★★☆
A mixtape of Un-Australian First Nations futurism from the collective campfire.

Theatre review: The Sound Inside ★★★☆☆
A slim novel of a play that blurs the line between fact and fiction.

Head to our Reviews page for more.

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina