Art Incubator, a Sydney-based art foundation and artist studio, has launched a COVID-19 Art Project to provide support for artists during the lockdown and global pandemic. Established in 2014 by Teresa and Andre Biet, Art Incubator provides all-important help for emerging Australia artists through grants, exhibitions and professional mentoring. Alongside this, in 2019, they launched Shirlow Street Studios in Marrickville, providing subsidised studios for eight artists.
Over the unprecedented-bushfire-filled summer, the Biets watched as artists joined together for relief aid—now, she realised, was our time to help artists. “I’m hoping that we can bring some relief to the artists and motivate them to continue to inspire us with their creativity,” Teresa shares. “The immense value of giving and showing solidarity while acquiring a special artwork offers an opportunity for us to all make a difference.”
Each artwork is fixed at $950, so set your alarm to 10am on 13th May, when a catalogue releases links to all the artworks (sign up via the Art Incubator Newsletter). The virtual showcase will only be open until 3rd June at 6pm, meaning you have a month to purchase the works — if they stay available for that long!
The COVID-19 Art Project brings together 14 past and current Art Incubator grant recipients and resident artists of Shirlow St Studios; including, Alice Couttoupes, David Griggs, Eunjoo Jang, Izabela Pluta, Kate Mitchell, Mason Kimber, Matthew Bromhead, Nadia Odlum, Phil James, Seth Birchall, Stevie Fieldsend, Tim Silver, Victoria Hempstead and William Cooke.
“In times of isolation, I think artists are lucky,” shares current Shirlow St Studio resident, Mason Kimber. “We possess life-long passion for creating that will never allow for boredom —only more potential future projects.”
The arts philanthropists fill the gap between the little government help available and hard to obtain commercial art representation— especially crucial during this time. But as Teresa reveals, “if we show people-power in supporting the arts, perhaps this will create greater awareness and motivate government at all levels to support culture and creativity.”
The artworks provide a link between collectors, buyers and artists, at an affordable price range — bringing focus and drive to the artists’ practice, and a dose of artistic creativity to the lucky purchasers. Teresa adds, “all the works come from an emotional response, and I love that they range from the humour of Phil James to the bleak reality reflected in David Grigg’s drawings.” In Stevie Fieldsend’s sculpture, the artist responds to the bushfires with glass sculptures resting carefully on burned timber. And Izabela Pluta’s photographic works take us to a place of ruin and beauty, which, Teresa reflects, “is how I feel about our lives right now.”
The COVID-19 Art Project reveals the resilience in the industry, but the support needs to run deep in a collective responsibility to keep creativity alive. “For this to happen we need visibility; we need leadership, we need funding,” Teresa concludes.
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