One of the most striking moments in recent Aboriginal art history was the emergence of the Lockhart River Gang in the mid-90s. Young people, not elders, pioneered a new style of art from remote Queensland that generated excitement and huge sales and arguably midwifed a rebirth of a viable Aboriginal art movement in Queensland.
They couldn’t have done it without the education that received in the TAFE system.
On September 11 the NSW government announced that it would stop funding art education in TAFE, leaving 4000 students without access to finishing their courses in 2013.
TAFE Art courses are the main provider of art education in NSW, with many prominent artists getting their first ‘hands on’ training in TAFE. The withdrawal of funding will mean that only the wealthy will be able to afford private art education and NSW will suddenly find it no longer has emerging artists with skills coming through.
A rally outside Parliament House is being organised for Wednesday 14 November from 12 until 2 pm. Supporters will be forming a human sign along the length of Macquarie Street, made up of pre-prepared painting canvases.
Save TAFE! For all of us.