Arts Down Under Fire

Posted filed under Australia.

“This has been a fairly miserable few months for the arts in Australia,” writes Nick Bryant for the BBC. “The national broadcaster ABC axed its flagship culture show, Art Nation. Fans of the programme described the move as an act of cultural vandalism.

The celebrated cartoonist, Robert Crumb, who is renowned for his sexually explicit cartoons, decided to pull out of an arts festival in Sydney. He did so because the tabloid The Sunday Telegraph described him as “self-confessed sex pervert”.

Edmund Capon, the country’s most highly respected arts scholar, announced his retirement from the Gallery of New South Wales, leaving a big void not easily filled.

The arts community has also been mourning the death of one of Australia’s best-loved artists, the fabulously feisty Margaret Olley, who died at the age of 88.

In another blow to the standing of high culture in this country, the Arts Minister Simon Crean was prevented from attending her memorial service in Sydney because the opposition leader Tony Abbott has banned the use of voting pairs in parliament. It means that MPs are confined to Canberra when parliament is sitting.”

Read on at the BBC.

Image above by Daniel O’Toole.