By Andrew Bolt.
Scores of writers – very few of whom you’d have heard, let alone read – are angry the Abbott Government has trimmed arts funding, a blow particularly to artists who cannot find a paying audience:
We also strongly object to the reduction in arts funding, specifically the Australia Council’s loss of $28.2 million…. This decrease in federal support will be devastating to those who make art of any kind in this country, and many important works, works that would inform national debate and expand the horizons of Australia and its citizens, will simply never be made. Ultimately, these cuts will impoverish Australian culture and society.
Gerard Henderson gives an example of the kind of grants the artists want protected and without which we would be “impoverished”:
For example, what a wonderfully sympathetic story by Bhakthi Puvanenthiran in The Guardian-on-the-Yarra yesterday. The Age’s reporter covered the tale of Colombian-born artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso who is married to Ross Harley, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of NSW. An artistic couple to be sure. You see, Ms Cardoso is following up her Ph.D. project on insect sex organs. She scored an Australian Council grant for this important project. Her latest challenge is to examine Australia’s smallest spider species – the one and only Maratus – and has scored another Australia Council grant. Previously, Ms Cardoso did ground-breaking work on snail penises. As Ms Cardoso told The Age :
I think spiders are artists themselves. They know how to dance, they know how to sing, they know how to make visual display, all while mating….Now I will be able to produce artwork to the best standards, better even than BBC documentaries. I will really be able to really push the limits of macro videography. I have been developing this project for the last two years, I have been taking test shoots and now that the next mating season is coming up between September and December, I will be ready.
Ms Cardoso condemned cuts to the Australia Council’s budget by the Abbott government. Here’s why:
[The cuts are”> very unfortunate because artists are the ones who are innovating culture and innovating what it means to be a human.
So there you have it. With the grant from the Australia Council, Maria Cardoso can tell us “what it means to be a human” – with reference to the penis of a snail and the orgasm of a Maratus spider.Amount of grant: $100,000.