Gathering thoughts – doing the undoing

Over the past month the flow of questions on how we gather, what we share and how we connect have indeed received a singular global amplification in the context of COVID19 virus. Within the torrent of information and readjustment of plans and civic and personal responses we hope you are keeping safe, well and strong.

At Punctum, while working on how gathering might be framed in the future, we’re paradoxically undoing some of our gatherings, unravelling some of our plans, and un-producing some of our projects. We are not alone in doing this, but it does feel a little counter intuitive to our daily practice and sometimes quite uncoordinated. With each day’s arrival of new understandings of gathering and what we share, yesterday’s decisive step can become today’s false move.  Flow has become fragment. Rethinking gathering has led us to question ‘how’, and to consider how ‘beautiful communities’ might flourish.

Researching and Developing

We’re bringing all our research and development forward. Our ‘entangled approach’ to creating, will inform our projects and programs through to July next year. Currently this includes research and development for a program of new works and a seedpod residency series.  We’ll shortly know what shape these will take and the residencies we can offer. We’ll keep you posted via our e-news, website, and Social Media platforms.

Gathering news – supporting the unsupported

We warmly heart and applaud the incredible small arts organisations across Australia who on Friday 3rd April received notice of four-year funding support for their wonderful work in gathering artists and audiences together. The vitality that these organisations and companies bring to our lives is critical and will be even more so over the forthcoming years.

Our heart also truly breaks for all those excellent, deserving and now unfunded small organisations and companies who last Friday received devastating news. Many subsectors of the arts and cultural industries have been affected. The next 12 months will see them riding an extra wave of uncertainty and their incredible work over many years being dismantled. Indeed, spirits might prevail but can art?

Information and support

We are keeping up to date with advocacy and information available at local, state and national levels to support independent artists and small arts organisations and help with their ongoing practice.

In the past three weeks; we've figured the following...

  • Punctum’s self-generated income from work that has taken years to develop has been placed in jeopardy due to cancelled opportunities for public gatherings; this is almost 13% of our 2020 annual turnover
  • Punctum’s potential funding for the organisation’s research and development program is also in jeopardy due to redistribution of funding programs and priorities; this represents a further 19% of our 2020 annual turnover.
  • In total the above comes close to 32% of our 2020 annual turnover.

The above figures do not prevent  us from thinking beyond the limitations of our own boundaries as an organisation but they do reflect the way we are a part of a much bigger whole. To that;

  • These figures do not occur in isolation and are fundamentally connected to our industry partners such as; presenter venues, co-producers, the local governments we work with, state and national cultural and academic institutions, global research platforms, NGO’s and philanthropists.
  • It also effects the people we contract and employ and for this small company that represents approx. 40 contracts with regional sole traders and small businesses in 2020.

No one can forecast what the social responses will be after COVID 19 but we do know that the creative industries will play a fundamental role in building social cohesion.

If you’re a regionally based arts practitioner, feel free to contact us via email should you want or need to discuss advocacy and information.

We are working from home and office and one of us will get back to you.

Stay safe, isolate and wash you hands

Much love

Jude and Steve