The lack of educational opportunities, a poor arts infrastructure that limits the provision of, and access to, museum collections and exhibition spaces for modern and contemporary art, the scarcity of arts publishing and arts criticism combine to create a climate in which artists often need to make work that sells, in order to survive. There seems to be a reluctance to critique work and limited understanding, among artists and audiences, of how to receive and engage with work.
The research identified six areas that would benefit from development and investment:
Professional skills: particularly in curatorial skills, the assessment and analysis of work, critical thinking and writing.
Practical mentoring: in visual arts project management, especially in planning, communication and marketing, to address the continuing prevalence of white people in the profession.
Artistic exchange and collaboration: with the objective of stimulating, identifying and facilitating ideas and connections within and beyond the region, promoting sharing and building confidence within the sector.
New ways of showcasing work: to create different kinds of exposure for artists and their work and different kinds of experience for audiences. There are particular opportunities to do this in art in the public realm.
Research: advocating, illustrating and demonstrating, to artists and curators, the role of research in the creative process and to challenge the tendency to focus solely on the execution of the work.
Audience development: while continuing to encourage the buying of art, there is an opportunity to increase public knowledge and understanding of the range of work made by artists, lasting and ephemeral, and to promote discussion of its non-monetary value.