Minister Peter Garrett visited Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle on the inaugural day of the Resale Royalty Act.

Joanna Robertson, Director of Kidogo Art Institute welcomed Peter Garrett. Miranda Farmer, local Nyoongar artist, offered a wonderful Welcome to Country. On the walls of the gallery was a beautiful display of artworks, MARRA MOORDITJ, a display of the artworks of Aboriginal artists studying at Kidogo Art Institute, who represent a mix of heritages, generations, and levels of artistic experience.

The Aboriginal students of Kidogo Art Institute were among the guests, and supported Joanna Robertson’s vision of providing a positive and peaceful study environment which nurtures professional practice. Ms Robertson said, Probably one of the most exciting aspects of the program of study here at Kidogo Arthouse is that WA’s best non-indigenous painters can study alongside leading and emerging Aboriginal Artists, and visa versa.

Ms Robertson said the aims of Kidogo Art Institute are: We really want to do something significant to contribute towards nurturing the development of fine painting and drawing in Australia which is why we are launching the Kidogo Art Scholarship Program, which will attract private funding from art patrons and would offer a year long series of Masterclasses in Fremantle with local, national and visiting international artists. This program would be open to all Australians of any religion, heritage, or region of Australia.

Minister Peter Garrett then made his announcement about the Resale Royalty scheme which is being introduced Australia-wide today, the 9th June 2010. Today is a landmark day in Australian artists and for Australia, he said, Finally, and deservedly, Australian Visual Artists will join the country’s writers and musicians in being recognised for their contribution to society. It is a proud day for this country and for the government. It recognises that art enriches our lives, and that artists should be rewarded. My expectation is that there will be ongoing communication between the arts dealers, artists and the Copyright Agency.

The Minister elaborated on the positive effects of the act, including the beneficial effects on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. He said, Support for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists is especially important. We know that the encouragement for people to continue to create work is important, and the Resale Royalty Act will provide an additional income and incentive to these established and emerging artists, like those we are seeing exhibiting at Kidogo Arthouse today. I am really looking forward to the day when the first resale cheque is handed over to an artist.

After the speeches, Kidogo Arthouse was bathed in sunshine and the guests milled outside. Artists provided a delicious array of refreshments which included kangaroo kebabs cooked on a barbeque on the beach, along with damper, nuts and fruits. Minister Garrett made the time to view the studios where the artists work with views overlooking the sparkling ocean of Bather’s Beach. The event was attended by leading figures in the Arts in WA, including Lance Chadd Tjyllyungoo; Janet Holmes a Court; Dr Stefano Caboni (Director of the Art Gallery of WA); Brad Petitt, Mayor of Fremantle; Melissa Parks, Member for Fremantle; Fred Cheyney; Henry Boston (Australia and the Business and Arts Foundation), Fred Lyons (Yirra Yaakin), Jude van de Merwe (Manager of Artsource). Everyone enjoyed the ambience of the gallery and the great welcome offered by the Aboriginal artists.

All Media Enquiries to be Directed to:

Emma Chapman at Kidogo Art Institute
9335 9636