Making Art Work

Making Art Work


8 June–31 December 20208 Jun–31 Dec 2020


A commissioning initiative of the Institute of Modern ArtMaking Art Work proposes an experimental role for the institution as administrators of economic stimulus for artists. Drawing on the historical model of the Roosevelt administration’s New Deal Federal Art Projects of the Great Depression, this expansive project reimagines the idea of ‘relief measures’ for artists working in the 21st century.

Taking place across 2020—during and post COVID-19 lockdowns—the project saw over 40 artists create new works that reinforce the importance of creative labour in a time when the cultural and economic value of art was diminished. Drawing from the politicised language of our current crisis, each artist has been asked to respond to the provocations posed by four curatorial pillars; Unprecedented TimesIndustrial ActionsPermanent Revolution, and Relief Measures.

Released in four rounds of presentations, commissions will span new artworks, texts, workshops, ephemeral projects, and more. The outcomes were presented via and at the Judith Wright Arts Centre gallery space.

In the spirit of solidarity, organisational resources were reallocated to provide opportunities to as many artists as possible. IMA staff from across the organisation have collaboratively developed Making Art Work and were engaged as curators, managing different aspects of the project.

As a whole, this initiative not only responds to the current global emergency, but more importantly reinforces the value of artists during a time of increased precarity and apathy towards the arts. A call to action, Making Art Work demonstrates the public ‘use’ of art and the art institution in contemporary life.

View here.


Tony Albert, Kieron Anderson, Mariam Arcilla, Maeve Baker, Richard Bell, Mia Boe, Hannah Brontë, Michael Candy, Emil Canita, Jacquie Chlanda, Monika Noémi Correa, Merinda Davies, Julian Day, Digi Youth Arts, ∑gg√e|n, Ana Paula Estrada, Chantal Fraser, Hannah Gartside, Mindy Gill, Channon Goodwin, Kinly Grey, Daisy Hamlot, Susan Hawkins, Rachael Haynes, Gordon Hookey, Natalya Hughes, Inkahoots, Peter Kozak, Jenna Lee, Jon Tjhia & Mia McAuslan, Amelia McLeish, Tori-Jay Mordey, Archie Moore, Sally Olds, Steven Oliver, Sarah Poulgrain, Kiah Reading, Angelica Roache-Wilson, Amy Sargeant, Shandy, Jacqui Shelton, Des Skordilis, Hannah Smith, David Spooner, Grant Stevens, Tyza Stewart, and Liesel Zink

Off-Site Venues

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.