As a student we often place the art scene outside of ourselves. It belongs to the professionals, the professors, the curators, the people getting paid. This makes it easier to take risks and try out new things because what we are doing will not be included, will not reflect upon the city and its art inhabitants.
And yet, there are so many times, now that I have moved beyond the student stage in my life, that I still think of it as belonging to someone else, to another group of people. I hear complaints that the art scene in our city is dead, inactive, unlively, unproductive to a further career. But whose fault is that? Who are these others not doing enough, not invigorating our art scene with artistic fervour? Is this not our responsibility? Mine.
By placing blame outside of our own abilities and dedication, I think we are doing a disservice to our community. The arts are ours wherever we live. Take action and make them what you want. Create connections with those within our community and with those in others. Share ideas, opportunities, friendships. Attend as many events as possible without wanting to smash your head into a wall. Find ways to enjoy the art rather than making it a chore and to share that enjoyment. Create events rather than wait for the opportunities to find you and be welcoming of those who are new.
Let’s encourage each other, while maintaining criticality, and together we will make our work stronger and more engaging and our art scene a fun and productive place to work in.
P.S. I say this from the comfort of my living room in a bathrobe. I know that making things happen is difficult and terrifying. But the thought remains the same. No more blaming the scene, only encouraging the people.
P.P.S. I stole this picture of a recent art event in Victoria titled Feral. I’m not sure who took it, but sorry and thanks.