Annual Review – Chairman’s Address
We know that to keep creators creating, we need effective and fair copyright. Without it, it’s less likely we’ll see the next generation of Namatjiras, Olleys and Whiteleys.
So in 2016 we launched a landmark advocacy project, Voice of the Artist, which included research into our Australian and New Zealand artist’s views on how they manage the use of their image in the online environment. These issues were more deeply explored in a special, feature-length publication, which launched at an event featuring local and international speakers in partnership with Vivid Sydney. The research White Paper was delivered directly to politicians in Canberra and, importantly, helped inform submissions to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry on Intellectual Property.
Our continuing and vital work to educate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists about their rights, licensing their artworks, and registering for resale royalty, reached out to artists in remote communities in northern and central Australia. The annual John Fries Award again attracted more entries than ever before, with nearly 1,000 artists, from Western Australia to Christchurch, making submissions.
I’m pleased to report revenue from licensing artistic works grew by 13 per cent to $2.6 million in 2015-16 and our membership also jumped to nearly 13,000.
Our partnership arrangement with the Copyright Agency – now in its fourth year – has been an unquestionable success. Under this arrangement, we have access to people with a broad skill set within a supportive and innovative framework. Our business simply wouldn’t be as strong as it is without this. I’d like to thank CEO Adam Suckling for his leadership and every one of his team in managing our business so successfully, and in alignment with the values our Board and membership share.
The challenges of artistic practice manifest in numerous ways – but then so do the rewards. Rest assured that in all we do, Viscopy aims to keep creators creating.
For the upcoming festive season and on behalf of the Viscopy Board, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to an even better 2017.