It’s the federal budget week in Australia and, while we don’t want to dwell on this rather dreary subject too long, it does give us pause to reflect, again, on what a roller-coaster year it has been. Not that we need any reminding, however, our recovery does require generating new cultural opportunities, jobs, and spending. And who better to lead this initiative with considerable flair, creative thinking and positivity than our artists and the arts.

For those winners in Josh Frydenberg’s 2020 budget, there are many ways to spend tax incentives online on all sorts of goods and services. Our call to action is for people to make a conscious decision to invest in culture and support local artists by putting dollars into contemporary art and craft, as well as online performances, music and creative workshops. It’s a good thing to do for our recovery, our culture and economy but, more importantly, it’s good for the health and well-being of our artists and the broader community. A little goes a long way and creatives are used to expecting little and giving a lot. They are crucial to rebuilding a thriving culture.

Our argument is sound and makes perfect sense, however, don’t take our word for it — the people have spoken! The findings of the Australia Council for the Arts ‘Creating Our Future National Arts Participation Survey’ captures Australians’ engagement with a diverse range of creative activity, “arts in the eye and experience of the Australian public.” Prior to COVID-19, 98% of Australians engaged with the arts in some way and 68% attended live events, from the visual arts and crafts through to theatre, festivals and literary events, while 16% of the population surveyed were involved in community arts of one kind or another. 56% of people also reported that arts and creativity positively impact our sense of wellbeing and happiness. So there you have it.

Dollars and [Non]sense is an exhibition that responds to the federal budget week with some insights and abstract contemplation, as well as humour and nonsense. Focusing on work by Boris Cipusev, along with artists Peter Ben, Samraing Chea, Valerio Ciccone, Adrian Lazzaro, Julian Martin, Chris O’Brien, Gavin Porter, Josef Power, Paul Quick, Lisa Reid and Cathy Staughton.

Walk through the exhibition via entering a virtual room, scrolling the slideshow below or downloading the Dollars and [Non]sense (this link redirects to a PDF).


Mapping Our Own Future is a weekly series of solo and group virtual exhibitions curated from the Arts Project Australia stockroom. An extension of the gallery to a virtual space, the series offers a place to connect with APA artists from home. Visit other virtual exhibitions here.

Dollars and [Non]sense has been produced by Arts Project Australia curator and gallery manager Sim Luttin.