Friday, March 12, 2021

Platform Paper No 63 - Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE                                        Wednesday, 10 March 2020

Currency House, Sydney.  Media enquiries to Martin Portus on or +61 (0)401 360 806

Posted by Frank McKone


As artists and companies emerge from the COVID crisis, veteran theatre critic and publisher Katharine Brisbane AM delivers a landmark new Platform Paper defining the major issues and disruptions facing Australian arts and culture this century.  

On the Lessons of History reviews the challenges raised by the leading artists and cultural experts who authored 62 diverse Platform Papers published by Brisbane and Currency House since 2004.  

Her provocative response will be launched by departing Sydney Festival director Wesley Enoch at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney at 5.30pm on Wednesday, 24 March.  

These writers have raised concerns and given insights into work practices, censorship, copyright, public policy, export, finance, environmental sustainability, welfare, indigenous work, diversity and all genres of the performing arts including film, television and ever-expanding digital media. All express the need for change.

“Currency House was conceived out of a conviction that the arts are fundamental to a civil society; that a society that does not value its own arts is a nation alienated from its own culture,” says Brisbane, aged 89.  

“But the survival of our artists – and many of our public institutions – is now more precarious.  This exploration left me with a major question. Why, when the Government set up a system to support the creative arts, was funding directed at the product rather than the creator?”   

Diversity, she says, has been weakened by hyper-division into art forms, major and minor arts organisations and by a new entrepreneurialism which encourages competition over collaboration.  

Brisbane reflects on Papers by Robyn Archer, Andrew Bovell, Alison Croggon, Kim Dalton, Wesley Enoch, Jane Harrison, Lindy Hume, Lee Lewis, Lex Marinos, Chris Mead, Leigh Tabrett, Lyndon Terracini, David Throsby and others.  

The March 24 launch will introduce the new Director of Currency House, Dr Harriet Parsons, who succeeds her mother, Katharine, who has retired as its founding Chair. Julian Meyrick, theatre director and Professor of Creative Arts at Griffith University, will also speak as its new general editor.

Following On the Lessons of History, a two-day convention in July is inviting all authors to debate how to create a paradigm shift in Australia’s view of the arts. It will be hosted by the School of Literature, Arts and Media at the University of Sydney, a proud sponsor of Platform Papers.  

The next Paper No.64, Changing Tack, by arts consultant Dr Jo Caust will chart this new direction in November.  

Platform Paper No.63 is for sale on  Enquiries 02 9319 4953