South African Cultural Observatory

Making Art Work

BY 28.11.17

The Marking Art Work survey is the sixth in a series carried out over more than 30 years at Macquarie University, with funding from the Australia Council. The surveys have thrown light on the ways in which professional arts practice has been changing over time. The development of the internet and digital technologies have transformed not only the ways in which artists can participate in the international art world and the global economy, but also the very processes of artistic creation.

At the same time, employment conditions for artists have been changing radically, with increasing insecurity in contractual arrangements, and the replacement of steady employment with the emerging concept of the portfolio career, characterised by a variety of work arrangements. Nevertheless, there is also a sense in which nothing changes. The fundamental processes of creativity, the pursuit of an artistic vision and the passionate commitment to art that characterises art professionals—these things remain at the heart of what it is to be a practising artist. For many artists the real challenge is to keep hold of these core values in such a rapidly changing environment. Download the full report here.

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