Friday, May 23, 2014


The last round of grants from Creative New Zealand indicated a welcome shift. The Visual Arts mopped up 24 per cent of the $1.7 million up for grabs. That's a decent increase on the usual 16 per cent or so.

The King hit is Billy Apple who takes home 16 per cent of the total funds awarded to the Visual Arts. It's interesting to see that the grant goes direct to Apple to produce ‘new work for a survey exhibition’ rather than being channelled to the organising institution, in this case the Auckland Art Gallery. 

How did women do? Total grants to individual women (or teams) came in at just under $101,000 of which $76,000 went to the direct creation of work and the rest to post graduate education. The guys collected $107,000 with $12,000 of it pegged to an off shore post grad course.

In total $142,879 of the grants went to off shore to Australia, Germany, Stockholm, the UK and Canada. And of that 85 per cent went to projects by New Zealand artists living and working outside New Zealand.

One question. Why is CNZ funding tertiary education opportunities? With pressure growing to get higher qualifications this is a bottomless trough industry. For 2013 the CNZ's funding budget was just under $40 million compared to a total tertiary education budget of over four billion dollars. Most of this post grad education is done to keep teaching options open and training teachers is not a job for CNZ.

Top three mine’s-bigger-than-yours grants? Billy Apple ($65,000), the Montreal Biennale to show German based Simon Denny ($39,653) and Stockholm based Amanda Newall ($36,382) to make new work.

And funding for South Island artists and institutions? How did the South Island make out given that is has just under a quarter of the country's population?  Wow, is that the time? Got to go.