With the recent cuts on the arts budget we can expect some changes in the arts in the coming years.
Over 100 million axed in Liberals attempts to reign the spendings in, extra warplanes that are a nescessity aside this is a large amount ( the commonwealth budget being 417 billion )( 4 billion for the warplanes....)( one less and we would have a billion for the creative industry of australia..hmm).
Film industry got hit hard with 25 million axed from their budget and the other sector were also hard hit. This doesn't surprise me with Abbott, despite not watching the news or even having a tv the small snippets I hear about him are enough to piece together the seemingly narrow agendas of this man.
I can imagine the cuts will restrict the grants schemes which seem to be the lifeblood of a lot of emerging artists and the Newstart allowance will now come with a six month unpaid standdown for new applicants: It is no secret to any of us in the industry or close to those who are the battle to maintain or even apply for the dole under any premise of being an artist.
It hasn't surprised me and the affect Abbott would have on the arts was one of the first things I could foresee after he won the election. I didn't think of it as a negative thing, lack of support in the arts seems to be in a state of constant flux and I think it will just change how artists will have to approach expenses such as mediums, materials and locations etc.
With the loss to gentrification of inner city melbourne almost to what used to be zone 2-3, the emerging and struggling artist class are flowering out to the fringes and occupying the cheaper land and premises, areas like Coburg North, Preston, South Reservoir, Footscrat and anywhere with a lot of industrial zones able to be converted into studios and workspaces for the artist populace.
Sharehousing is cheaper here beyond the easy reach of the city where bidding wars on the inner city property is the given. Illegal warehouse living is overlooked by the realestates and the landlords in these areas ( mostly ), happy with the secure income that group shares can provide. ( exceptions aside )
And having federal support axed will give plenty of grist to artists for protest. I can remember some of the best street based art I saw in the mid 2000's in Fitzroy and the CBD was the protest art of the anarchists and punks against John Howard. The loss of politically motivated art has been something of an irk to me and though I appreciate the colourful murals and street happenings of modern Fitzroy I can't help wishing it had a bit more discussion and argument, RAWNESS.
It's a mixed bag, there will be losses and many artists will be forced to take up jobs to support themselves, but the real ones will stay and with the thinning of the ranks perhaps new scope for style will emerge, a cusp time, the waning of the old and a dawning for whatever lies ahead.