There is no stability without solidarity and no solidarity without stability.
-Jose Manuel Barroso (2010)There has been much disruptive rumour and speculation about the future of the art schools in Sydney and this has resulted in an overwhelming feeling that an arts education is undervalued and unsupported by current governments. Threats of closures and mergers have led to an atmosphere of uncertainty that makes it almost impossible for both academics and students to function let alone thrive as they should.
Studios are a vital part of an art education and the community of an art school. The studio is a place where creative freedom is supported within a challenging, academically critical environment and this is where an arts community, that continues beyond art school, is established.
Throughout the duration of Solidarity, Articulate project space downstairs gallery will be converted into sixteen studio spaces. Tape will be used to divide the gallery into studio spaces. How each studio space is inhabited will be up to the discretion of each artist and collective. Some artists may choose to use the space as a studio, some as an exhibition space and others may simply leave their space empty.
By focusing on the studio, Solidarity seeks to address what is lost amidst the current rumour and speculation about the future of the art schools of Sydney. What is lost? It is time. Time in the studio to think and contemplate. Time to make mistakes. Time to have breakthroughs. And ultimately – time to focus on art and the creation of art.
In conjunction with the exhibition there will be will be a program of events including a talk (that will focus on the current uncertainty and instability of Sydney's art schools and meditate on what needs to be done in order to ensure the security and diversity of art education in Sydney for the future) and a day of performance art. Program details will be released shortly.
It is hoped that this exhibition will be the start of fruitful collaboration between current and past art school students of Sydney and that future exhibitions will occur, Solidarity simply the first of many to come.