NSW degrees in craft studies placed in jeopardy, Darani Lewers, ArtsHub, Nov 15, 2016

February 1, 2017By Agnes MartinMEDIA No Comments

Future degrees in jewellery and glass studies will no longer be available in NSW when the University of Sydney closes Sydney College of Arts in the Kirkbride buildings in Callan Park. Ceramic studies currently available at the National. Art School at Darlinghurst will also disappear if the school is shut down by the NSW Government, as feared. With the concurrent loss of most crafts and visual arts studies at TAFE colleges through out NSW this will bring to an end a broad based tradition of tertiary craft education established over a period of 60 years. It will be almost impossible for future generations of young people to become professional jewellers, silversmiths, glass and ceramic artists unless  they study interstate or overseas.

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SOSSCA Retrospective Exhibition – Verge Gallery – 11th October 2016

November 9, 2016By Agnes MartinExhibitions

A retrospective of the artworks and materials produced in the campaign to save Sydney College of the Arts.

SOSSCA invite

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It has been a troubled year for the visual arts in NSW, with the on again, off again merger of Sydney College of the Arts and the threatened closure of National Art School in East Sydney.
In November last year, University of Sydney announced plans to ‘gradually over the next three years’ move SCA out of the historic Callan Park campus. Then in a surprising turn in June 2016, Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence announced that University of Sydney and UNSW had signed a Heads of Agreement for students at the college at Callan Park to transfer to one of the courses offered by UNSW Art & Design in Paddington. What was touted as a merger was really the closure of SCA.
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Tim Silver delivers impassioned speech in support of SCA July 15, 2016

November 7, 2016By Agnes MartinENDORSEMENTS

Tim Silver delivers empassioned speech in support of SCA, July 15 2016

I completed my BVA at Sydney College for the Arts, and later went on to do my post-graduate Masters at the College for the Arts, now UNSW Art and Design. My decision to do so was based on not wanting a singular voice to inform my art education. If art is about a larger conversation, if it is about an exchange of dialogue, then that needs to happen, first and foremost, in it’s own local as a first step. We can not talk to the world if we do not know how to talk amongst ourselves. Anyone who suggests that a homogenous experience of the arts is a step towards excellence clearly has no insight into the multi faceted ways the visual arts are informed.

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Agatha Gothe-Snape speaks on the steps of the AGNSW in support of SCA

November 3, 2016By Agnes MartinENDORSEMENTS

THE BELOW IS AN ITERATION OF A SPEECH WRITTEN FOR THE SAVE SCA PROTEST ON FRIDAY 15TH JULY OUTSIDE THE AGNSW. I WAS INVITED TO DELIVER THIS SPEECH BY KATH FRIES ON BEHALF OF THE FRIENDS OF SCA. THIS VERSION HAS BEEN REVISED FROM THE ORIGINAL SPEECH IN COLLABORATION WITH SHANE HASEMAN.

Agatha Gothe-Snape delivers her speech SOS SCA, 15th July 2016
Agatha Gothe-Snape delivers her speech SOS SCA, 15th July 2016

I studied at SCA as both an undergraduate and post-graduate student. My colleagues, many of whom continue to make work as artists of much note, were also my classmates at SCA.

Last night I was recalling some of this cohort: Mark Shorter, Bilijana Jancic, Clare Milledge, Jonny Nietsche amongst many others. What struck me about this group was its weirdness. Each artist, including myself, has this sticky-ness, or, sense of resistance in their practice.

Even though I can imagine nothing more different than these four artists and their cultural harvests

– Renny Kodger’s giant appendage, Clare’s marsupial sorcery, Biliana’s unwavering formal and political discipline, and the smooth, unbroken sheen of Johnny’s surfaces – I can also see something in common.

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PULP update of end of OCCUPATION at SCA

October 25, 2016By Agnes MartinNEWS

Over 20 police and security guards raid SCA occupation

Over 20 police and security guards raid SCA occupation

Photo source: Thandi Bethune

Jemima Wilson reports

Police and security guards have forcibly entered the occupation headquarters at the Sydney College of the Arts, physically escorting one protester and dismantling the space at 6.45 am this morning.

Protesters had been occupying the administration buildings at SCA for 65 days prior to their removal this morning.

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The city that values art works but not artists, SMH, Jemima Wilson, Sept 19, 2016

October 25, 2016By Agnes MartinMEDIA, NEWS

It is an uncertain time to be a student of visual arts in Sydney, or indeed Australia. Funding cuts and campus shutdowns send a toxic message to young people whose ambitions and talents lie in the arts. These same young people are now fighting back – the past month has seen sit-ins at the Archibald Prize, citywide marches from all art schools, an ongoing occupation of Sydney College of the Arts, and 138 visual arts students lodging legal claims totalling $4.1 million in damages against the University of Sydney.

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Tim Silver’s endorsement of SCA delivered on the AGNSW steps, July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016By Agnes MartinENDORSEMENTS
Tim Silver delivers empassioned speech in support of SCA, July 15 2016
Tim Silver delivers impassioned speech in support of SCA July 15 2016

I completed my BVA at Sydney College for the Arts, and later went on to do my post-graduate Masters at the College for the Arts, now UNSW Art and Design. My decision to do so was based on not wanting a singular voice to inform my art education. If art is about a larger conversation, if it is about an exchange of dialogue, then that needs to happen, first and foremost, in it’s own local as a first step. We can not talk to the world if we do not know how to talk amongst ourselves. Anyone who suggests that a homogenous experience of the arts is a step towards excellence clearly has no insight into the multi faceted ways the visual arts are informed.

Indeed, the art inside this building here today would suffer for a lack of diversity. And we acknowledge that the art about to be unveiled here today in these exhibitions is only one small sample of the massive diversity out art institutions produce. A homogenised art will take decades for the rot to set in, occurring at the same time we celebrate what we have to lose. It will take many more decades to resurrect – and only then if there is the will.

I have been fighting for the last two decades on primarily the same issue, but at no time more important than today. As our cultural leaders boast ever increasing attendance figures to our institutions, and rightfully demand their expansion – which we support – do we as Sydney siders – a global city I am informed – want to be a city that produces our own culture, our own stories, or only one which imports it from elsewhere.

From the best available evidence to which has been made public, there is no merger between SCA and UNSWAD. This is a disappearance. It is a disappearance of a cultural legacy gifted to the University of Sydney under the so called Dawkins Revolution. In 1993, as a young boy from Tasmania, I applied to three institutions; College for the arts at UNSW, Sydney College for the Arts, and east Sydney technical college, now National Art School… Sydney College for the arts was the only institution that accepted me. As I stand here today, with my art exhibited inside this building, and celebrating many other international achievements, I ask you to consider that diversity isn’t just the voices these produce, but those that they accept. There is no way I believe a singular art institution, no matter how excellent, (and how unexceptionally so those are choosing to lead such an adventure), can truly represent the diverse range of voices which make up our city of Sydney.

Let’s be clear here for what we are fighting for: An infringement on our diversity – as artists, as a people, as a city as different from Melbourne or Adelaide or Brisbane. As different as SCA, UNSWAD, as NAS – A diversity of voices excites, it stimulates a confluence of opinions – a conversation. A singular voice is one, once again, no matter how excellent, is one easily controlled, even manipulated, by the state. Today, I ask you to celebrate diversity – because anyone moronic enough to champion a singular Centre for Excellence – without irony – has been completely unaware of the arts debate of the last twelve months – and do not deserve the privilege of leading our arts future.