Can someone please help me out with this one?

Wesfarmers, one of Australia’s largest corporations, proactively supports the arts. Initially I was super excited. Now, less so.

After closer inspection I find that the art they are behind is far from celebrating Australian culture. Why else would an Australian company bother with art right?

Richard Tognetti, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Bell Shakespeare Company and Musica Viva Australia are just some of the individuals and organisations Westfarmers supports. They interests revolve around promoting a ‘high achiever’ mentality. You can just imagine their CEO speaking at a conference with a picture of hot classical musician in the background – “we support your great work!”.

When did art appreciated get mixed up with the ‘high achiever award’.

Is there no marketing power in celebrating a more organic accessible local community relevant artistic culture? Are we consumers simply not interested in real life Australia?

In my view, supporting the arts means supporting culture. It means focusing right in on real life, place, emotion, connection and giving a voice to the complexities of our immediate chaotic existence. Classical music and oil painting is good for some but I find that it’s irrelevant for most of the community.

Again they tricked me. Initially I was excited about Wesfarmer’s “Attention Local Talent: We Want You!” call out. After closer inspection I found that it was a token effort. They are offer spaces in the Hurstville branch to buskers.

“At a time of public cynicism about corporations, people appreciate and remember those companies that are making a difference for the better. We gain so much when we open ourselves to new conversations. Supporting creative endeavour is a sound business strategy.”
– Richard Goyder, Managing Director of Wesfarmers

There is something very strange about large corporations using the genuine passion of fine artists to encourage their workers. Why not send them on a art course? Pay a local music teacher to educate your employees at a captivating and brain swelling weekly music lesson?

I’m convinced there is a massive gap in the corporate support of middle class artistry. Wesfarmers is missing out. There is real value in the songlines and storylines of contemporary Australia.

Stay tuned, Musomap is going to fill the gap.