Awkward Politeness: Public Artwork in Western Australia and Critical Discourse

Darryn Ansted
2009 Conference

This paper studies the obstacles to placing large public artwork commissions in Western Australia into a critical discourse. In terms of the production of public art, it contrasts private commissions with government commissions, discusses the review of the state government’s ‘Percent for Art’ scheme, and contrasts this to the review of the similar ‘Art Built-In’ scheme in Queensland. It suggests that the Keniger report into the ‘Art Built-In’ scheme envisions a role for education and curatorial practice that could be embraced by the ‘Percent for Art’ scheme.

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About the author

Darryn Ansted is the Head of Painting at the Curtin University School of Design and Art. He is currently completing a PhD on Gerhard Richter through the University of Western Australia. He is a practising artist and academic with various active current research interests. His creative production includes recoding aesthetic strategies of autonomous painting styles to critique and engage extrinsic political, cultural and social dimensions of contemporary life. His academic research interests include expanding the view of the artwork as a basic unit of meaning to a view of the artist’s entire practice as a subject of study, developing theories of poststructuralist radical alterity in painting, and curating and engaging with contemporary artists of diverse interests.