NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Edition 26

It will be “business as usual” for arts policy and funding, said Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, commenting on the disappearance of the word “arts” from the title of his government department. A statement that anyone interested in the quality of life in Australia should not find reassuring.

In 2022, the National Art School in Sydney will celebrate 100 years on the site of the former Darlinghurst Gaol, where the tall, convict-built stone walls date from 1822 and the first prisoners arrived in 1841. Looking back at the history of NAS, one of our greatest challenges has been to preserve our independence and protect our successful studio-based teaching model. At times the school had to battle for its very survival.

Artists and art lovers flocked to the Art Schools for Fire Relief opening night at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery on 30 January, 2019. More than $100,000 has been raised for Wildlife Victoria and the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund in an art exhibition hosted by the Victorian College of the Arts at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery.

I’m back in the UK, back here after a really memorable and innovative time at RMIT University; six deeply enjoyable and action-filled years as head of a college crammed with all the creative industries including the oldest School of Art in Australia, with its exquisite studio-based activities in gold and silversmithing, and innovative research and galleries that stand comparison with anything on the global stage.

As academics, artists and designers we are likely familiar with Karl Marx’s famous critique, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it” – for some this is may be a point of academic and political debate, nevertheless, it is boldly inscribed and re-contextualised in the main entrance of Humboldt University in Berlin.

In Canberra no-one is saying Happy New Year. It is not that we have lost our manners but that it seems somehow immoral to talk so lightly when we have been encircled by the suffering of others in a never ending Summer of bushfire.

Sweden has a long tradition of artistic research for knowledge production and well-established doctoral programmes … It was therefore a good choice for all the European Film Schools to gather and discuss Artistic Research and Film Practice in the first GEECT Thematic Day at the Film & Media department of the Stockholm University of the Arts … I am sharing some of my notes here for other film researchers from Australia, who were unable to go there in person.

In this article we consider the theme as it relates to the activities of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), the peak academic body representing the discipline of creative and professional writing in Australasia.

It is accepted that Australian universities run research at a loss, with research cross-subsidised from student fees … Australia’s $9.7b university research sector is massively underwritten by the international student market. This would be fine . . . except that the countries in question are building domestic capability to train students in-country and create an education industry of their own.

“Change” is defined as the act of transforming or making something different from what would have been if left alone. In academia we are in a constant state of change. Things are always transforming – small wins here, steps back there – like a giant snakes and ladders board that can mask the bigger longitudinal picture.