The Clothing Store Statement: Carriageworks enters voluntary administration

Image: Sam Cranstoun, Utopia & Tom Mùller, GHOST LINE, fog generators, Carriageworks. Photo by Cherine Fahd.

This statement was prepared independently by Carriageworks' studio artists, many of whom are NAVA Members, and is supported by NAVA.

We are a group of eleven artists who call The Clothing Store at Carriageworks our home. Tony Albert, Eugene Choi, Sarah Contos, Dean Cross, Cherine Fahd, Brian Fuata, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Tina Havelock Stevens, Kate Mitchell, Nell & Thea Perkins.

We are deeply concerned that Carriageworks has entered voluntary administration. We call on the NSW Government to work pro-actively with Carriageworks and the administrators to secure an ongoing and sustainable future for Australia’s leading multi arts institution.

We are troubled by the precarious state of the arts in NSW. New investment from the state and federal government is needed immediately to support arts organisations whose income has been devastated by the COVID-19 health crisis.

Arts and culture are a $17bn industry in NSW. The work of artists is at the heart of that multi-billion-dollar value. Artists generate significant financial as well as cultural value for NSW, and in Sydney that’s centred on Carriageworks.

While the NSW government has contributed $6m in response to COVID-19, this response is taken directly from the existing budget of Create NSW, meaning the funds granted are at the expense of existing Create NSW funding programs that would have been accessed by independent artists and small-to-medium organisations.

In contrast, we see Victorian, Queensland and South Australian State Governments provide significant support to the arts sector, in addition to regular arts funding. The Victorian Government, for example, has contributed $16.8m in new money directly from government to support Victorian arts sector to weather the impact of COVID-19.

Artists are often working under difficult circumstances. It is for this reason we need strong institutions like Carriageworks to help us contribute to the cultural life of Australia so that we can share the next generation of diverse Australian stories.

Our relationship with Carriageworks has been positive and significant in developing connections between artists and audiences both locally and internationally, as well as connecting art with the broader community through workshops, public programs and education pathways.

We give Blair French (CEO) and Daniel Mudie Cunningham (Director Programs) as well as all the Carriageworks team our full support and are honoured to be affiliated with the institution.