Home' Commercial : Commercial 2014 Contents culture and the arts
– DIRECTOR OF THE
ART GALLERY OF
If we do things right, Perth will be
a city that is well-connected and
has grown exponentially, especially
in height. It will have a series of
cultural offerings that are spread
throughout the year and multiple
cultural places throughout the city
so there is the perception that it is
a very lively, vibrant city. As a city,
we will be confident of who we are,
and what our place is in the world.
We will have our own identity,
self-confidence, sense of belonging
and of owning this place.
Not only do we need to cater for the growing
population in terms of infrastructure, we need to
cater for a much more diversified population and
develop annual plans for a consistent and solid
offering of diverse cultural and arts activities.
Cultural activities are a vital part of society and for
personal development. It’s in the nature of man to
think in a deeper, creative way.
It’s important for the next generation that the Art
Gallery of WA (AGWA) grows exponentially. A great
architect would probably manage to keep us in the
Perth Cultural Centre by integrating the existing
1979 building and two heritage buildings
into a new structure. But on the other hand,
in a growing city there may be the need to have
a fantastic art gallery somewhere else as well. The
cultural centre is a great hub at the moment, but in
a future city of more than 3 million people, one hub
is not enough. You need other places for people to
visit and add a sense of the depth of the city.
With WA being so rich in Indigenous history
and art, Perth is certainly one of the best
candidates to have a national centre for
Indigenous culture. If it’s properly planned it
should benefit from both federal and state funds.
The location should be chosen in very close
discussion with the Nyoongar people, who
should have the most substantial input.
In countries like Australia, the United
Kingdom and Europe in general, it’s often
expected that government funds new buildings
entirely. Certainly government should have
the larger responsibility, but in a growing
city, a percentage of the funds for new public
buildings should come from private sponsorship.
It’s only through both public and private efforts
that you can achieve excellent results. We should
be looking in part to the American model where
philanthropy is often the only driver behind
In my ideal world, public institutions in WA
would have a mixed funding base. Provided the
state funding is enough to run the building
Barcelona and Vancouver are also
excellent examples of how cities
can become destinations because
of their cultural offerings.
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