I know a friend who lent some money to an artist friend, but the money has not been forthcoming for a few weeks. I tried to explain the big picture situation and how times are pretty tough. That is true but people think a relatively small amount of money isn’t that hard to pay back. This is also true but people don’t realise the big picture situations and don’t want to think about those things. At the same time, people can have problems with alcohol and stimulants. They live week to week and have no savings or much cash flow.
If I cast my mind back I can think of all the artists I have known who have left Sydney because it was so unaffordable. That started in the mid-nineties and by 2012 pretty much every artist I was in touch with was gone. I can’t exhibit in Sydney because all of the approachable artist-run spaces are gone, all of these artists went regional as the government sent the funding to the regions rather than Sydney.
Artists are the poorest most hard done by group, they had to leave Sydney because it is mostly commercial and high end. People see all of the shiny new buildings, all of the money was either foreign or came straight out of the smaller vulnerable communities. It all comes from where it isn’t in my opinion, of course, that is debatable but it doesn’t change the equation that most people have become quite desperate.
It was the artists who were bitten first and over the past decade, it has hit everyone, even people who seemed untouchable. That is the problem, people don’t see the big picture and don’t care that it affects other people and then suddenly they become the victims. That is the sad part of all of this. You can’t even lend someone a small amount of money because you may never see it again. I can see the smaller details and know a bit more than I am letting on but at the same time, I see the big picture and know that the situation is difficult.