Speeches and Opinion
28 February 2019
It is an absolute honour to open CONCRETE, the final exhibition in Jam Factory’s acclaimed ‘art design architecture’ series, which has celebrated the links between these three disciplines through the very materials that surround us: WOOD, GLASS, STEEL, and culminating with CONCRETE. The CONCRETE exhibition we celebrate tonight is a potent example of the extraordinary artistry and skill that Australia is home to. It’s central to my mission as the new CEO of the Australia Council to ensure that there is greater recognition of the true public value of arts and creativity in this country.
24 September 2018
Five years ago, our then Chair, Rupert Myer, and I visited a visual art exhibition in Perth HERE&NOW13. This project wasthe result of an exceptional partnership between the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at University of Western Australia and DADAA. It brought together eleven of Western Australia’s outstanding artists with disability to explore processes of communication, embodiment and narrative through a variety of art forms including painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, performance and the digital medias. Rupert and I had been in Perth for a Board meeting and had been encouraged to stay on for the weekend to visit the exhibition. I remember distinctly walking into the grounds of UWA – a campus with striking and commanding buildings, sweeping lawns, and then into a gallery I had not visited before. I hadn’t really prepared or read the background for the exhibition nor what to expect of the gallery.
18 September 2018
The Australia Council has long seen culture as an essential pillar of sustainable development. We know that investment in the arts improves civic engagement, nurtures individual wellbeing and contributes to happier, more vibrant communities. Indeed, in Australia, like in so many countries, art, culture and commerce have helped knit our society together. Here, we also have the incredible contribution of our 70,000-year history of Indigenous culture and storytelling, which underpins and provides a unique foundation to the past two centuries of settlement and migration from around the world.
11 September 2018
“My reflections on leadership, learnings and legacy” Tony Grybowski, CEO, Australia Council for the Arts. · Acknowledgement of Country – The Nalama People. · Acknowledgement of PAC Australia and the invitation to attend. Two weekends ago I was in Melbourne at the opening of a show, by visual artist, Danie Mellor, in a commercial gallery. Known for his large contemporary pieces evoking landscape and cultural history, he created a significant and inspiring new work stretching across an entire wall, titled “Land Story”, using infra-red photography showing hidden stories of the past in the present image.
02 August 2018
On 6 July 2018, outgoing Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts Rupert Myer spoke at the opening of a major exhibition by Australian artist Imants Tillers at the Latvian Museum of Art. The exhibition, which references Tillers’ Latvian background, was proudly supported by the Australia Council.
04 April 2018
'No pre-determined, thematic manifesto or master narrative.' Curator Erica Green This language and these expressions are generous in themselves, fresh and insightful. They speak of a greater cultural democracy with the warmth of inclusion and the rejection of a singular totemic view, determined by only a few. This approach honours the view that ideas are hotly contested spaces requiring broad views of histories and hugely diverse views of the present.
04 April 2018
I think that it is a trait of a great artist that occasions arise where our real life imitates their art, when we encounter scenes that instantly reminds us of how that artist would view it: a stand of cyprus pines, a singular figure on a beach, a park with a pavilion, a certain light or time of day, the way a shadow might fall across a form, an architectural completeness observed from an unintended perspective. A knowing smile and a small nod of the head – that is a Rick Amor we would say.
04 April 2018
By providing powerful visual arts experiences to the local community and to visitors, you are defining taste, creating cultural memories and ensuring that the great tradition of thoughtfully presenting works of art is honoured and maintained. Have no doubt that, with your imagination, talent and skills, you change lives by what you do.
20 March 2018
Nigel Helyer, Pat Brassington, Phillip Adams, Edwin Kemp Attrill, Christian Ramillo, Liza Lim, Bruce Pascoe and Liz Jones…what a privilege to have this line up of artists in one place, being celebrated for their contribution to their art forms and to the way Australian arts and culture is appreciated internationally. And we honour and recognise the training and education, time, skill, devotion, persistence, resilience, tenacity, triumph, failure, rebuilding, energy expended, generosity.
20 March 2018
As in this Sydney Biennale, it is the sum of freshly minted insights as well as the reinterpretation of ancient ideas that should enlighten audiences, and be thoughtful, provocative and challenging. It is the plurality of ideas, the broad views of histories and hugely diverse interpretations of the present that save us from the narrow views and propaganda of some. What a comfort it is to know that art and artists play a central and critical role in this.