RT48 Editorial

RealTime

The death of an artist

Just before we went to press we were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the accidental death of Neil Roberts, a fine artist and a wonderful person. Roberts was based in Queanbeyan. His death coming so soon after that of David Branson in Canberra makes this an even darker time for the ACT arts community. As some of you will know, we were to publish in this edition of RealTime an interview with Neil’s partner, the performance artist Barbara Campbell as a prelude to a retrospective of her works at Sydney University for the Department of Performance Studies. The interview has been held over. An obituary for Neil will be published in the next edition of RealTime. All our thoughts are with Barbara.

RealTime & festivals

Our absence at the Adelaide Festival this year was noted. Thanks for the many wish-you-were-heres—it’s nice to be missed. A few wondered if we’d abandoned the festival. In previous Adelaide Festivals and at LIFT97 in London, the 1999 MAAP-Asia Pacific Triennial, the 2001 Queensland Biennial Festival of Music and other arts events, RealTime had been on the official festival programs. We weren’t invited to the 2002 Adelaide Festival and our limited budget couldn’t stretch to an on-the-ground team. It’s a very expensive and labour intensive business. Our commitment this year is to Next Wave, the festival for young artists and audiences in Melbourne (see page 27), where we’ll be working with 10 young writers turning out daily responses to the festival online and in print. Watch out for these on online, May 17-26.

Farewell Kirsten Krauth

Our invaluable Assistant Editor and OnScreen Editor, Kirsten Krauth, has left us after 4 years to work full-time at the Australian Film Commission. Her quiet thoroughness, her considerable writing and editing skills, and the warmth of her relationship with RealTime staff, editorial team members and writers will be greatly missed. To find someone with all her skills and interests is going to be quite a challenge. We wish Kirsten well in her new position.

NSW Arts—the future commences

As you’ll read in the last paragraph of the fascinating interview with Director-General of Arts, Roger Wilkins, there has been a major arts development in New South Wales. Following the considerable investment in arts infrastructure recently in western Sydney, it was announced that the State Government has purchased the Eveleigh Carriage Works in inner-city Redfern to house performance companies like Legs on the Wall and a new performance space. Although the issue of sustainability still dogs most small to medium performance companies and has to be seriously addressed, the needs in respect of working spaces and performance venues are being tackled by the government. The extent of the investment (what kind of facilities in the new centre and whether or not Performance Space will play a key role) is ever on our minds.

A birth

Our fondest congratulations to long-time RealTime contributor and editorial team member Zsuzsanna Sobsolay and partner Tim Moore on the birth of Ruby Saffron.

Young & emerging?

Perhaps Ruby Saffron will be interested in the Australia Council RUN_WAY and Start You Up! funding programs for new artists. Our most recent survey showed that 19% of our readers are aged 18-25 years: it’s interesting that they didn’t substantially figure in earlier surveys. RUN_WAY, a program of the New Media Arts Board, is aimed at under 30 year-olds, encouraging them with grants of up to $5000 to explore interdisciplinary/new media arts practice in any number of ways (Reed Everingham, 02 9215 9132, 1800 226 912 or r.everingham@ozco.gov.au). The Theatre Board is also offering grants of up to $5,000 but the age limit is 26 and the goal is for new artists to create small works for public showings (Gemma Pepper, 02 92159301, 1800 226 912, g.pepper@ozco.gov.au). A similar program, 2ExciteU, has been initiated for new artists under 26 from non-English speaking background (Michelle Kotevski, 02 9215 9030, 1800 226 912, m.kotevski@ozco.gov.au, see advertisement, p40). It’ll be interesting to see what effect these small seeding grants will have on the development of new artists and whether or not some of the cost is going to fall on established companies and organisations as the artists search for support, venues and credibility. RUN_WAY is in its second phase, so we should see some results. In an era of initiative-driven arts funding, suspicion of pragmatism and opportunism is inevitable. Let’s hope that these new programs deliver in the longer term.

RealTime issue #48 April-May 2002 pg. 3

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 April 2002