Pathways

Last week and weekend I attended a two day symposium entitled ” Pathways ” . It was run by the VCA&MCM , supported by Arts Victoria , held at Southbank NGV , and VCA.

fringe book
fringe book
pathways vca
pathways vca

It was two days of talks , presentations , and workshops designed to help arts practitioners find a sustainable , economically viable  career , in the creative fields of their choice . Many talks and presentations were given by visual artists , dancers , musicians , lyricists and music producers , filmmakers , illustrators , painters , sculptors , scriptwriters , actors and playwrights . Whilst the presentation style , and field of expertise , of the speakers varied they all had several underlying themes to their talk .

An artist has to work long and hard at their craft and it requires a sustained , day in day out work ethic . You need to exhibit , display , audition , and somehow be seen in your artistic endeavours . Networking , and self promotion are essential tools for the modern day practitioner , and effective grant writing plays a big part in the sourcing of funds , to make your practice viable . Diversifying into other fields is necessary , so you have to work across a variety of disciplines , not necessarily those of your specific interest , or addressing and complimenting your training .

Skill , talent , rigorous work and training aside , there is also an element of luck involved , ie : of being in the right place at the right time , when an opportunity arises and knowing how to seize it .

The good news is you can hope to earn $13,000 a year from all this , if you’re lucky . The general average yearly income is perceived to be much lower than this .

Artists are driven , passionate and intuitive mark makers . It is not a profession chosen for wealth , prestige , or success . Usually the profession chooses us and for those in its thrall , its a lonely , indescribable process of struggle , but one we usually can’t ignore .

Nicholas Building Open Studios

I went along to the Nicholas Building Open Studios on the 28 th August 2014. It was a brilliant opportunity to see inside an iconic Melbourne landmark , and watch artists at work .

Nine floors of visual delights were unveiled . The building itself is ever so slightly down at heel, just as you would expect from a work in progress . True to the Art Deco period of architecture and ornamentation , it has glass ceilings , iron framed windows and period ornamentation . The staircase alone is worth a visit, and would be suitable for a horror movie set.

melbourne
melbourne

The standout artisans for me were ;

Nicholas Jones , an exemplary artist who creates beautifully constructed and crafted , altered books . Many completed ones were on display , whilst some were a work in progress . Off cuts had been sewn together to create garlands , truly inspiring work .
Another room held textile artists who had magnificent collections of vintage fabrics , marbling kits , large wooden cotton reels and retro sewing accoutrements . Photographers , Printmakers , painters , leather workers , book designers , illustrators and jewellery makers were all on display . A truly incredibly talented group of disparate individuals, all bought together in a mutually inclusive inner urban creative space , it was a joy and privilege to observe them at work .