We are very pleased to announce our not-for-profit organisation has received a four year grant from the Federal Ministry for the Arts Catalyst Fund. This is the first recurring funding we have received in 20 years from the Federal government Arts agencies and we are delighted at the support this funding will enable us to give some of the artists in our Cottesloe and Bondi exhibitions.
16 artists in our March 2017 Cottesloe exhibition are receiving support for their sculptures including: Tim Burns; Olga Cironis; and Norton Flavel from WA; Anthony Sawrey from Victoria; and Elyssa Sykes-Smith from NSW; and Elin & Keino from Finland.
“The focus of the support from the Catalyst fund will be for new and innovative artworks that are site specific installations in the Cottesloe and Bondi exhibitions. In this way was can assist those artists whose works have limited opportunities for exhibition due to the financial realities of exhibiting sculptures that interact with the landscape. While we always welcome small intimate site specific installations, the ambitions of many artists in our exhibitions is to take on the challenges of the site and to do so in a big way. This is exciting for the artist and exciting for our visitors and the Catalyst funding will assist a number of artists directly with their costs and all artists with the cost of installation,” said David Handley, Founding Director of the exhibitions.
Importantly, the Catalyst funds are assisting with the cost of the heavy equipment to install the sculptures. Until recently the artists had to meet these costs themselves as our budgets could not stretch that far. This was embarrassing and made our continued lack of public sector arts funding hard to take. In recent year’s we have bitten off more than we could financially chew in covering these costs for the artists, and while this support was greatly appreciated by the artists it was adding to our financial pressures, costing some $200,000 in 2016 for the two exhibitions.
The Catalyst funding will also support our Access & Inclusion program, joining Iluka to fund our Cottesloe program of free tactile tours for 400 people that are being conducted by DADAA. On 15 and 16 March there are beach access days with wheelchair matting on Cottesloe beach south of Indiana’s and our staff and volunteers to guide people to the access ramp.
The fourth component of the Catalyst funding is for the Sydney Sculpture Conference, ‘Sculpture in Public Space’, to be held at the Sydney Opera House on 2 November. This year’s conference partner is the German-based ‘Sculpture Network’. The conference program and early registration will be available from 2 June.
The Catalyst grant is $250,000 a year for four years. This represents a bit over 5% of the budget for the Cottesloe and Bondi exhibitions and is an important step as we move towards our goal of covering each artists’ installation costs, freight and a contribution towards their costs of fabrication.
From all of us at Sculpture by the Sea thank you to the Federal government for this funding.