In the same week that the Federal budget was handed down, cutting some 20 percent of funding from the Arts portfolio, Federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher revealed that he wrote to the Australia Council last month, expressing his concerns about recently funded projects.

Paul Fletcher

Minister Fletcher revealed this himself in a storypublished in Sydney’s Daily Telegraphthat featured criticism of a number of recent Australia Council grant recipients by both Minister Fletcher and by Dr Bella d’Abrera of conservative think tank the Institute for Public Affairs.

The projects targeted in the Daily Telegrapharticle include:

  • NSW multidisciplinary artist Abdul Abdullah, received $33,236 to “to defend his Muslim heritage by shining a light on the nationalistic, sometimes fascist, behaviours of sectors of Australian community”;
  • Video artist EO Gill, who received $19,000 for his work, which “interrogates gender, class-politics and intimacy using self-reflexive documentary style”;
  • Writer, researcher and artist Sumugan Sivanesan, who received $10,000 to contribute to costs for the Helsinki International Artists Programme Residency;
  • Harriet Gillies, an award-winning NSW performance artist whose most recent solo performance, The Power...