United Kingdom

Outrage as 'political' artists are given $7.6MILLION in taxpayer cash

Australians are paying millions of dollars to support 'political' artists including a woman who knitted from a yarn placed inside her vagina and a climate activist who wraps wool around trees.

The 2020 Resilience Fund has handed out $7.6million of taxpayer cash to help artists struggling to pay their bills during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But critics say a large chunk of the cash has been handed to artists 'obsessed with identity politics' and the grants are not in the national interest. 

Casey Jenkins (pictured) is being supported with taxpayer cash. Her previous work (pictured) includes knitting from a yarn placed in her vagina for 28 days

Casey Jenkins, from Melbourne, is being supported for a project that involves her performing monthly live self-inseminations.

She claims the project, titled Immaculate, 'elevates the experience of queer reproduction and disrupt heteronormative parenting narratives'.

It is backed by art group Vitalstatistix Incorporated which was given a $20,000 grant, reported the Daily Telegraph. 

Ms Jenkins' previous work includes knitting from a yarn placed in her vagina for 28 days.

Other artists who have been supported include climate activist Kelly Leonard who 'weaves props for the environment' and places them near coal mines.

On her website she says: 'A deep empathy for landscapes at risk from the impact of coal-mining and global warming informs my work.' 

Leonard was given a $10,000 grant along with artist Sarah Norman, who identifies as a 'non-binary transmasculine person and a diasporic Koori of Wiradjuri descent'.

Norman's previous work includes being cut on the back 147 times in front of an audience.

Julie Vulcan, whose works include an installation featuring her own blood on pieces of cotton, was also handed $10,000.

The Australia Council for the Arts, a government body, decides who gets funding.

Dr Bella d'Abrera of free-market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs said the money was being 'dished out to fund an identity politics ­obsession.'

Other artists who have been supported include climate activist Kelly Leonard who 'weaves props for the environment' (pictured) and places them near coal mines

She told Daily Mail Australia: 'Thousands of Australians are losing their entire livelihoods, yet we are paying for artists to literally send things into outer space. This has to cease immediately.

'It's astounding that the Australia Council for the Arts is spending taxpayers' money an array of potential artistic projects which will be of absolutely no benefit to mainstream Australians. 

'Artists should be able to make all the political statements they wish, in whatever mediums they choose. But Australian taxpayers should not be picking up the tab.'  

A spokesman for the Australia Council said artists who are get the grants are required to 'fulfill obligations of accountability to the Australian Government'.

'We cannot share individual acquittals for privacy and commercial in confidence reasons,' the spokesman said.

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