Letter of support by artists

26 11 2918 letter signed by artists in Crime St, St Kilda

While currently coordinating a letter of support by artists for the alternative proposal, this letter dated 26 November 1978 comes to mind. It was signed by artists and art historians, seven in total: Robert Jacks, Lesley Dumbrell, Janine Burke, John Davis, John Nixon, Peter Kennedy and Jenny Watson. All signatories were at flat 2, 7 Crimea St, St Kilda, to type then sign the letter. The letter calls for The Biennale of Sydney to increase the number of Australian artists to match European artists, and to increase the number of female artists to 50%. What is disturbing about the letter, is that Australian artists had actually to ask for what is sensibly fair. In other words, fairness is not automatically granted, but has actively to be sought in an inspired, collaborative, organised and determined manner. The other disturbing thing about this letter, is that if these artists had not sought fairness, no one else would have cared enough to have sought it for them—except, of course, the art historians who signed as well.