29 March
Central Australia. Still from a video by Robyn Ayres.

Artists in the Black: On the road and in the sky

These past twelve months have caused so much disruption to artists and arts communities across the country. As the pandemic began, exhibitions, performances, festivals, events and conferences had to be cancelled or indefinitely postponed, and so many artists and arts workers required legal advice to know their rights to face these challenges. Artists in the Black remained open for business to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, art centres, businesses and organisations, giving our clients the tools they needed to put their resilience into action and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

We are both excited and relieved to be back on the road and in the sky, with our team this month making our first trips outside of New South Wales since the pandemic began. Arts Law’s CEO Robyn Ayres landed in Perth for Revealed’s Professional Development Program for Aboriginal artists and art centre workers (25 March to 23 May 2021), the annual exhibition for emerging Aboriginal artists in Western Australia. At time of writing, Artists in the Black Coordinator John Waight and Senior Solicitor Donna Robinson are preparing to fly into Alice Springs for the annual Desart Art Centre Conference (March 30 and 31 2021). Earlier in the month, Donna was in Queensland where she attended the opening of Woorabinda Arts and Cultural Centre in Duaringa.

In the meantime, we have been hard at work on a number of ongoing projects to support artists, businesses, organisations and art centres during these tumultuous times. In 2020 we commenced the ‘Licensing the Right Way’ project to provide advice and guidance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from all mediums by reviewing agreements, recommending our template licences, and by advising on what to do when you see a fake copy of your work available for sale online. We are also continuing to support art centres by offering low-cost assistance in securing artworks on consignment on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) with our pro bono partners, Dentons, and are available through our Wills Project to provide a free will-drafting service to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists across the country.

If you are an artist or arts organisation who needs legal advice, or if you have a problem and are unsure about how to solve it, please get in touch on our website, call us on (02) 9356 2566 or 1800 221 457 (toll-free) and a member of our team will be in touch with you to see how we can help.

2021 has brought with it some amazing opportunities to get out into regional and remote Australia and we are so excited about some of the things we have in works.

Watch this space and we might see you soon.

Keep up to date on legal issues affecting the Arts, with our monthly newsletter, Art + Law.