First Nations artists produce and market some of Australia’s most dynamic art, generating income and employment opportunities while maintaining and transmitting culture. First Nations arts and culture also make a significant contribution to regional development, particularly in remote areas with higher First Nations populations.
There is significant potential for art and cultural production to contribute to the economic sustainability of – and provide a culturally-relevant livelihood for – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote areas of Australia.
Six region-specific surveys into First Nations art and cultural production in remote Australia are being undertaken by Professor David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya at Macquarie University. These surveys investigate and analyse the extent to which art and cultural production can provide a viable pathway towards economic empowerment for First Nations people living in remote and very remote regions of Australia.
A National Database of Art and Cultural Production by First Nations Artists in Remote Australia will bring together the results of these six region-specific surveys and build a national picture on how First Nations artists in remote Australia establish, maintain and develop their professional art practice.
The National Database will integrate the insights from the surveys and build a national picture on how First Nations artists in remote Australia establish, maintain and develop their professional art practice.
This research sits alongside a landmark series tracking trends in the careers of Australian professional and practising artists over more than 30 years by Macquarie University for the Australia Council. Making Art Work: An Economic Study of Professional Artists in Australia, published in 2017, is the sixth and latest report in the series (with the next survey to be published in 2023). Together, the National Database and the artist survey series provide crucial evidence to underpin support and advocacy for Australian artists’ integral role in our society.
Four of the six individual surveys comprising the National Database have been completed. Due to COVID-19 disruptions, the final two surveys have been delayed and are currently scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023. Once completed, this webpage will be updated and will ultimately host the National Database of Art and Cultural Production by First Nations Artists in Remote Australia.
Access the reports
Click on the links below to read detailed reports on the four completed region-specific surveys.