Anatomy of an Artist Exhibition- Part - 41

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Art Down-Under

Half way around the world, down under, I am relishing the numerous sculptures and murals and architecture design in Perth. On a vacation to visit my son in his adopted home, I am enjoying the galleries and the bright colourful contemporary artworks in the numerous buildings and on the street. Carrying my camera each time we go out to explore the city and surrounding areas, I am glad to have brought extra flash cards which I shall download once home to Canada in a few weeks. The modern new city of Perth is built on the oil, gas, and mining bonanza and I was told candidly by a gallery staff person that is the reason I am seeing so much art and galleries. It has been a boon to artists and investors and collectors eager to infuse money into new projects and new works. I envied the decorative add ons to buildings as large scale ornamentation and mural work. I did think that this was not possible at home because of austerity with construction and the more conservative design structures meant to conserve space and money. Here in Perth it seems the more add ons in form of artistic flavour the better. However, the same gallery person told me there has been fluctuations of late and at the moment there is a stall to purchasing that they have noted. Talking to a few people, they confess to a recent downturn and a pull back they see happening. The worry is that it will get increasingly worse rather than rebound. Although I see so much construction in the area including the nearby massive football stadium with the constant noise of pile driving, I'm told most of these projects are too far advanced to halt and must be completed.

Another city that has benefitted by industry boom, is Fremantle, a historic district where the original settlement was created. The old buildings reminded me of New Orleans with its decorative railings, pillars and gingerbread ornamentation. Here the arts have also flourished with murals and galleries and a share in an outdoor public art making endeavor that continues into other towns. Of course here, as well as in Perth, the tourism, with its many events, restaurants, tours and cruises promote to visitors which brings more economy into the area.

With the underlying concern about the downturn eventually to have an impact on these areas, will much of this monetary enthusiasm for the arts also feel the impact other countries are presently experiencing? Although I am soaking in all I can view here concerning art and feeling refreshed with the new and lively innovations created here by the financial support, I now understand why many artists at home wait on buyers and feel deserted with their careers despite every effort to promote and find support. It appears it's the extreme monies poured into a state or province that moves the arts and encourages rapid experimentation with new creativity. As I continue my vacation, and explore more, I can only hope that with the present boost of arts support, this area continues its passion for public and gallery art making. It has definitely given me a confident exhilarated approach to my art and am eager to get home and apply what I have learned with my projects.
It will be interesting to see which artists will stay the course when opportunities end here and which will abandon the task of survival with their art.

Since returning I have seen two articles on the state of art in Australia as the economy sees changes. One is a comparison to Canada’s current initiation of increasing monies to arts while Australia sees cuts. O Canada, how can we be like you? @