The Arts of Nowhere

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From top: Directors, actors, producers at the launch of the Bord Scannán Na hÉireann/Irish Film Board (IFB) 2016 Production Catalogue; Anne Marie McNally

Take a bow.

Ireland is bottom of the European league for Investment in Culture and the Arts.

Anne Marie McNally writes:

It’s us. We sing, we dance, we make music, we count some of the greatest literary giants among our current and past heritage and we have stage & screen actors who are the envy of the world. That’s before we talk about directors, producers, casts, crews, and a whole plethora of people involved in creating and fostering the arts in this country.

Each one equally important & the need for us to support and nourish these talents is surely a no-brainer. You would think wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong.

Last Week Enda unveiled his latest instalment in the long-running saga ‘distorted democracy’ by announcing his 18 -count ’em-18 Junior Ministers.

A Government with just 59 seats now has 33 ministerial posts. But try as you might, you cannot find a Minister with responsibility for Arts among that 33.

From Government ranks there are shouts about the millions that have been pumped into the Arts recently. What they’re not clarifying is that the vast majority of that funding was specifically for State commemoration events related to the 1916 anniversary. It was not sustainable targeted investment in the arts.

We are bottom of the European League for Government Investment in Culture and the Arts. According to the National Campaign for the Arts , data from the Council of Europe shows that in 2012 Ireland spent just 0.11% of GDP on the Arts and Culture, compared to a European average of 0.6% of GDP.

It’s hasn’t gotten any better, in any form of real sense, since 2012.

The Arts directly employ approximately 21,000 people and that doesn’t count the many volunteers or unemployed artists across the country striving away at their passion and trying to bring joy into people’s lives through a kaleidoscope of creative endeavours.

During the recent 1916 commemorations the outpouring of pride and sheer awe that followed the hour long celebration of our culture on RTÉ, ‘Centenary’, was indicative of how important our creative side is to us.

Twitter went into overdrive and every demographic roundly commended the project as stunning. It was followed closely by Laochra in Croke park. A similar spectacle that showcased the strength of our music, dance, and theatrical efforts.

It’s just such a pity that the State’s interest was fleeting and only preoccupied with this specific window of time. Imagine if the same effort and funding was directed towards the Arts in a consistent and sustainable fashion?

Imagine the talent that would be nurtured and fostered and how the strength of our artistic output could continue to wow both the domestic and the international crowds.

The Campaign for the Arts estimates that for every €1 invested by the Arts Council, more than €0.70 returns directly to the exchequer in taxes.

For a net cost of €0.30, Arts Council investment generates €2.50 in turnover, more than an 8-fold return on investment. Any decent financial brain would see the merits in those returns.

But the economics of this, while hugely important, should not be the sole driving factor.

We are talking about the very fabric of our society-the je n’sais quoi that makes diaspora around the globe feel connected to home, makes third and fourth generation emigrants identify with Ireland and makes us here at home proud of our immense talents and our cultural identity.

Those artists who create this magic are not an infinite resource, they are most assuredly finite and if Government policy continues to disrespect and undermine the arts then we will watch helplessly as our vibrant artistic community withers away and our reputation for world class artistry goes with it.

Anne Marie McNally is a founding member of the Social Democrats. Follow Anne Marie on Twitter: @amomcnally

153 thoughts on “The Arts of Nowhere

  1. Harry Molloy

    Think you may have taken this idea from Ms Mulally Anne Marie ;-)

    I can totally understand why funding would be but, given the near decade we have had, but am also in favour of more investment regardless of the return, I think it’s good for a society. Saw an interesting piece on the glass bottle site and some film studios this morning also.

    I wonder do those figures take into account the artists tax exemption which is a fairly huge perk towards being an artist in Ireland?

    1. Condescending nana

      huge perks? like what 44k tax exempt? how many artists do you know who even make 10K a year? Have you tried living on 10, 15k a year? Huge perks me hole.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          No it isn’t. It’s a benefit but the word ‘perk’ is just stupid. Nobody earning less than 15k a year has any “huge” perks, FFS.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Nope. It’s just a benefit. I don’t know why you’re trying to paint people on less than 15k a year as lucky. Why are you doing that?

          2. Harry Molloy

            You don’t think being tax exempt to 44k is a huge benefit?
            Try telling that to anyone else who is self employed, or to any artist making a living.

            You’re a strange man Moyest :-)

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            And you are a very dishonest and obviously none too bright man who has purposely dodged my question to respond to a strawman and genuinely hoped I wouldn’t notice. I’ll ask you again, why are you trying to paint people who take in less than 15k a year as lucky? Do you have enough dignity to actually answer that question?

          4. Harry Molloy

            You’re being disingenuous here my man, we’re talking about industry rather than individuals on 15k, who I never said were lucky and a huge benefit to those who are successful in that industry is the tax exemption. Thank God for it, ask the many artists in Westport for example and they will agree.

            I would hope you would still agree with my original comment where I said I am in favour of more supports?

            I think you’re just looking for another argument you old rascal but you won’t get it from me today, good day sir! :-)

          5. ALisonT

            If it is not a perk or a benefit then perhaps the Gov should take it away. Almost all great art has been created without government assistance, giving grants dulls the creativity of artists.

          6. Nigel

            The great wealthy patrons of the Renaissance, usually rulers in their own right, sort of passed you by didn’t they?

          7. MoyestWithExcitement

            “You’re being disingenuous here my man, we’re talking about industry rather than individuals on 15k”

            Did you not think I could just scroll up and ready your original post? This is what you said;

            “I wonder do those figures take into account the artists tax exemption which is a fairly huge perk towards being an artist in Ireland?”

            Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? You literally said it was a perk for “being an artist.” On this very page. How can you lie without thinking people wouldn’t see what you said first ON THE SAME PAGE? Bizarre.

          8. Harry Molloy

            you’re so angry the last couple of days, picking random sentences and taking issue with them.

            if somethings bothering you I’m happy to talk with you offline but maybe the comment sections aren’t the best place to vent your frustrations.

          9. rotide

            Let’s scroll up and see what you wrote Moyest

            “It’s a benefit but the word ‘perk’ is just stupid.”

            You are literally arguing that 2 synonyms mean different things.

            You witless moron.

          10. MoyestWithExcitement

            “picking random sentences and taking issue with them.”

            You mean I’m pointing out your lies. A reasonable thing to do when someone lies. 7ts cute watching your attempt to change the subject to me. Idiotic trolls like you tend to do that when you have no argument.

          11. MoyestWithExcitement

            Thanks. You initially said the tax free cut off point was a huge perk for being an artist. When pressed, you said you weren’t taking about artists and were talking about industry. That was a lie.

          12. Clampers Outside!

            ” And, in actual reality, how many artists are taking hone 44k a year? ”

            Em…. wha…. why exactly do you need to ask that question. The govt has done it’s part, the artist now need to find that talent in themselves that will deliver financially.

            If they don’t ….well, in all seriousness, maybe they are a shit artist.

            @Ethereal… Exactly ! How many PAYE take home that amount ! So if artists are gievn the scope to earn “that amount” tax free, that’s a HUGE scope and a HUGE benefit to the artists with the talent to earn that.

            Not all artists, or persons who go into the arts are talented. This benefit leaves it open to the artist to maximise their earnings from their talent… and if they don’t earn it, maybe they are just crap FFS.

          13. Vote Rep #1

            Does Moyest have an issue with the artists tax exemption or is his whole hissyfit over the fact that Harry called it a perk as opposed to a benefit?

          14. Harry Molloy

            Think he’s denying it’s a benefit because I said it was one and he thinks I’m a right wing scumbag because I don’t agree with him on how crap everything is.

            Truth is that I just want to be his friend, opposites attract and all that.

          15. Owen C

            Was Anne Marie “lieing” when she said there no Minister with responsibility for Arts? Or is it just “lieing” when you don’t agree with the argument?

          16. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Em…. wha…. why exactly do you need to ask that question.”

            Because I think it would be just swell if people conversed about reality as opposed to narratives. It might be a “huge perk” they don’t pay tax up to 44k but how many actually earn that kind of money? If it’s sweet FA, then there’s sweet FA artists getting “huge perks”. It’s just a narrative. It’s an excuse, an invented one, to bash artists.

          17. Clampers Outside!

            “Because I think it would be just swell if people conversed about reality as opposed to narratives. It might be a “huge perk” they don’t pay tax up to 44k but how many actually earn that kind of money? If it’s sweet FA, then there’s sweet FA artists getting “huge perks”. It’s just a narrative. It’s an excuse, an invented one, to bash artists.”

            That’s not your usual Moyest… is the arts a grating topic for you, a bit like me and the Shinners maybe? :)

            How many actually earn that money? The good ones. The numbers of them earning is down to talent.

            I really did like this line though, it’s got WOW! written all over it :)…. “It’s just a narrative. It’s an excuse, an invented one, to bash artists.” Giving artists the scope to earn a good living is something to bash them with… wha…..?

          18. MoyestWithExcitement

            “is the arts a grating topic for you,”

            No but tired clichés, intellectual laziness and trying to belittle or criticise others for the benefit of one’s own self esteem is, however.

            “Giving artists the scope to earn a good living is something to bash them with… wha…..?”

            No but trying to paint a community of people earning barely any money as being lucky because they won’t be taxed on an amount of money they’ll never earn because you hate your office job is though.

          1. Harry Molloy

            Not every artist earns eff all and to those who do, I suppose it’s best to supplement your income and keep plugging away.

            Unless we should give large cash jump sums to anyone calling themselves an artists. Guess that would make them dole artists, ha!

      1. Baz

        If you can’t make 10k or more pa as an artist perhaps artist is a self selected description

        In a global market you can sell your offerings anywhere, guess there’s not much of a market for spoofers and crap art anywhere.

        1. Starina

          ah, yes. every time there’s a discussion on art here on BS, people try to equate earnings with success and artistic merit. not all art is graphic design, Baz.

  2. Owen C

    “A Government with just 59 seats now has 33 ministerial posts. But try as you might, you cannot find a Minister with responsibility for Arts among that 33.”

    Isn’t Heather Humphreys Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht?

    1. Raymondo

      No, she’s minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht. Two new areas added to her brief, Arts shunted to the back and Heritage dropped altogether. With no Junior Minister with specific responsibility for the Arts. Enda sh*tes on in the US about the importance about Heritage and the Arts, then proceeds to drop Heritage from the cabinet.

      1. Owen C

        Is there a Minister with responsibility for Arts? Yes

        When was there last a dedicated, with no other role, Minister for Arts (junior or senior)?

        1. Raymondo

          Michael D as Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht perhaps came closest and did most to raise the profile of the ministry. But just because there hasn’t been a sole Minister in the past, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be one now.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          In name only. Again, the point of this article is that spend less on the arts than any other country in Europe. Obviously art doesn’t take up much of her time. But idiots are happy with box ticking so I guess you’re satisfied.

          1. Owen C

            “But try as you might, you cannot find a Minister with responsibility for Arts among that 33”

            She put it in bold lettering for God’s sake.

          2. Owen C

            that would actually be interesting. Does Broadsheet decide what is to be bolded and what is not? I would have (casually) assumed that was the author’s remit.

            If it is Broadsheet making that decision, then Broadsheet has made her look stupid by overemphasizing an inaccuracy.

  3. DubLoony

    Enda announced Joe Biden’s vist at the launch of an Irish Arts & Culture festival in Washington DC as part of 1916 commemorations.

    He has no problem using Arts for diplomatic and political reasons when it suits him.

  4. Tish Mahorey

    Everyone except the Irish are educated in our rich literary heritage.

    We just know one or two lines from the odd song or poem.

    “Oh stoney grey soil of Monaghan… eh… em… another six pints there Malachy please”

  5. rotide

    Anne Marie, Not only is there already a minister with responsiblity for the arts like you said, you completely skipped over any mention of section 481 which has been maintained and increased by succesive governments including the last one and provides a huge amount of employment in film in this country.

    Try to research your facts a bit more next time.

    1. rotide

      It’s also massively ironic that you published this article today with the news about a planned studio breaking. That will more than likely have government help. I’ll let you research that one lest i be accused of mansplaining.

  6. Clampers Outside!

    This really is a terrible column… few links to the dubious claims Anne Marie please. And links showing the like for like comparisons of investment in the Arts…. otherwise it’s anotherline of hotair on the web… and that’s what us commenters are here for, not the conversation starters or FIGHT instigators :)

      1. Clampers Outside!

        Eh…. so I am to just take it on board that Anne Marie is comparing like with like…. seriously, why should I believe that?
        Most politicians would show you an apple and an orange and tell you they are the same thing if it helped them win an argument. just because I support a party doesn’t mean I accept everything as fact from them.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          My comment had nothing to do with political parties. It had everything to do with you belittling the piece with a condescending tone and no reasoned critique of the piece. That’s what the trolls here do. They’re not smart enough to actually respond to the substance of it with counterpoints so they just write things like ‘This is terribly written’ as if they’re an English teacher appraising someone’s homework. That behaviour tends to be for bitter, socially retarded shut ins who’ve done nothing with their lives so that they can at least tell themselves they’re smarter than people who actually have done something with their life. Don’t put yourself in that box.

          1. Harry Molloy

            I don’t want to speak for Clampers but it appears to me that she did critique the substance of the article. Just saying.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            How can I critique figs I don’t believe or trust and come with no reference in fairness.

            Maybe I should have just written the above sentence. It’d have been a more polite way to say it. But the request for links still stands… and I’d bet the comparisons made, probably don’t hold up either. But, I’d be happy to be corrected.

            Healthy skepticism of politicians claims is a good thing Ted. Blind support is not.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            ‘If you don’t provide links then this whole thing is hot air’ is not a critique. It says a lot about you that you think it is though.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Healthy skepticism of politicians claims is a good thing Ted. Blind support is not”

            Sure it is but that’s not really what happened in your post. You just wanted to speak *down* to her. You literally said the whole thing is hot air without links. No attempt to tackle the message in her piece.

          5. Owen C

            “You just wanted to speak *down* to her.”

            The new version of mansplaining accusations.

          6. Clampers Outside!

            I never said it was a critique of the content, I said I can’t critique the claimed ‘detail’ in it because it’s hot air…. :) That’s just a comment (or critique, if you wish) of how it is written, not the content.

            The ‘substance’ of the piece is potential factoid wishy washy stuff that doesn’t warrant a proper critique without confirmation of claims made in it, that is why I said it is poorly written. And on that I still stand.

            I didn’t put myself in any box, you did :)

            How many coffees have you had this morning?

          7. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            @Clampers – not providing links to your supporting evidence is a completely a critique. Unless you are Moyest and are always right.

          8. Clampers Outside!

            “No attempt to tackle the message in her piece.”

            Again, I cannot tackle a message potentially built on hot air.

            Giz a hug Moyest ya big galoot !

            As for the speak down bit, thanks, but no, that’s you making stuff up now. I think Owen C answered that perfectly.
            Thanks Owen C.

          9. MoyestWithExcitement

            “I said I can’t critique the claimed ‘detail’ in it because it’s hot air…. :)”

            Exactly. You are positioning yourself as someone she has to satisfy, as if she’s posted it hoping for your validation.

            “The ‘substance’ of the piece is potential factoid wishy washy stuff”

            Potential. Important word there. You don’t actually know if it’s hot air. It could be completely factual. You just wanted to criticise.

            “that doesn’t warrant a proper critique without confirmation of claims made in it,”

            So Google the claims and then respond to them if you’re not prepared to take them as written. If you were actually interested in what she was saying, that’s what you would do. Again though, you just wanted to criticise *her*.

            “How many coffees have you had this morning?”

            None. Coffee is horrible.

          10. Clampers Outside!

            Whatever Moyest…. you’re either in a mood or trolling me.

            One last point… “It could be completely factual. You just wanted to criticise.”

            could,
            could,
            could,
            could,
            could…. be cold out later.

            I just wanted clarification on ‘could’.

          11. Owen C

            “Potential. Important word there. You don’t actually know if it’s hot air. It could be completely factual….So Google the claims and then respond to them if you’re not prepared to take them as written”

            I mean, this is awesome. It might be true (supporters admit we don’t know), but you can’t suggest it mightn’t be (cos supporters point out it might be), or, it appears, even ask for the links to confirm it (supporters suggest you do that yourself). This is an absolutely brilliant way to shut down debate. And, as I found, even if you do categorically confirm something to be not true, then its just mansplaining/putting down/just wanting to criticize. You are always going to be wrong when matched by this sort of intellectual magnificence.

            One part i fundamentally disagree with though:

            “You are positioning yourself as someone she has to satisfy”

            She wants to be a public representative. This is part of the job. Grow the fupp up you clown.

          12. MoyestWithExcitement

            “you’re either in a mood or trolling me.”

            No, I just said your original post on this mini thread was the behaviour of a troll and explained why when you asked.

            “I just wanted clarification on ‘could’.”

            Huh?

  7. Boba Fettucine

    All these cries for a dedicated dept of Arts/Culture, extra funding etc are well meaning but will only result in the creation of another layer of Civil Servants who will then make arbitrary decisions about whom is funded. Bring in the standard minimum payment for all citizens (instead of Byzantine benefits system) and you’ll get art/music flourishing.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Good idea. Won’t happen this generation though. Too many economically illiterate social conservatives who are naturally suspicious of people and won’t be able to understand the benefit to us all.

      1. ahjayzis

        I really don’t want it brought in by a right-wing government in a right-wing way anyway. They’ll use it as a savings mechanism only.

  8. Junkface

    The Irish Govt falls over itself to credit the talent of Irish people for any successful achievements in the Arts, especially Film & Animation, they love getting lots of photos beside award winners, but thats where it ends. The Arts are hugely important to Irelands influence in the world and need proper investment, especially in the Art Colleges and Film schools around the country, who in the majority run everything on a shoestring budget.

    If the Irish Govt had any real ambitions to nurture talent here and make Ireland a powerhouse of Creativity in the Arts they would have invested more of the GDP long ago. Its typical short sightedness

    1. rotide

      Well that sounds like uninformed rubbish.
      Actually, they’ve been pretty good on the film side of things, look at the film boards involvement at the oscars this year.

      1. Junkface

        Christ! The Film/Animation industry in Ireland achieves things despite the lack of real financial investment in this country because they are very talented people, not because the government are doing a great job helping them out. Look at what Lenny Abrahamson has been saying in the media. Also a lot of Art & film Colleges around the country have out of date computers, extremely limited budgets for new software and systems struggling to manage the numbers of students that enroll every year. I know because I work with a lot of these people.

        You are the one spouting uninformed rubbish.

        1. rotide

          Right, so the govt should prioritise spending money on art colleges over housing homeless people and paying off debt?

          Or should they continue to fund worthwhile projects like every single one of Lenny Abrahamson’s films and grow the industry that way?

          1. Nigel

            If the government can’t at some stage start to properly fund education, regional development, and all kids of infrastructure it’ll be spending all its money on hosing homeless masses for the foreseeable future. There’s a lot of failures and false starts and stuff-ahead-of-its-time in the arts that seems futile, foolish and grubbing, but it’s the same with businesses, and, setting aside other areas with possibilities of their own, considering the potential for Ireland to punch above its weight in terms of film and television talent – multi-billion industries – it seems like yet another horribly wasted opportunity and stupid short-sightedness not to provide dedicated sources of investment and support.

          2. Nigel

            Absolutely nowhere near it. Particularly with the market for quirky, distinctive high-quality TV drama. RTE should be involved with university-standard degree courses in TV scriptwriting and production with placements in the BBC and the US and on the continent then bringing that experience back to produce a number of prestige dramas and comedies every year to sell on international markets.

          3. Nigel

            Well about as simple as water charges, electronic voting, water sports complexes and Garda computer systems apparently. All simple good ideas beyond our ken.

      2. Nigel

        I think this might be more about the government taking credit for miracles the artists achieve in the face of dismal support.

        1. rotide

          I’m arguing that its not ‘dismal’ support. Of course it could always be better, but in case you hadn’t noticed there isn’t a massive amount of money to go around.

          As mentioned above section 481 and the film board are 2 very good examples of the government supporting the arts without being able to hand out lottery winning sums to everyone with a handycam.

          1. Nigel

            I imagine this isn’t so much about funding as is – the less established people in the arts arts used to feeling the pinch first during austere times – and more about being left behind during a putative recovery and challenging the government’s frankly rather arbitrary and impenetrable priorities. Joined-up thinking and coherent long-term strategies may be a bit thin on the ground going forward. One suspects that spending won’t be determined by reasoned arguments or exciting opportunities but by the need to keep both allies and enemies happy in the Dail to keep the government alive. The only thing those without power or connections can do in such circumstances is keep shouting.

  9. J

    Given the plethora of politicians, wives of rugby players, sindo darlings , RTE hustlers availing of the artist’s exemption, should it not be revised?

  10. Eamonn Clancy

    On Twiiter a campaign for an arts dept has been hijacked by mostly failed actors. The fact that very few established artists have commented in the press speak for itself; the top division players don’t care.

    1. Andy

      It’s all about champions league qualification.
      One artist said to me “It’s top 4 or go home”.

      Jumpers for Easels.

  11. Harry Molloy

    It’s getting to be a bit of a joke tbh when you look over this comment section and see how much of it is devoted to people explaining themselves to one particular poster.
    We see this almost every day.

    1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      + 1 , providing a third of the #content on here must be a source of pride

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Wow. You really don’t like people telling you you’re wrong, do you. 2 weeks later and you’re still bitter.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            I’ll do my best. You’re, genuinely, a nasty and manipulative piece of work. That should get me another 5% anyway.

          2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            That’s the spirit, though your maths need work

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            No, saying I’ll get 5% from that doesn’t mean I think I’ll be on 40%. You might need to work on your reading comprehension. Found any more rugby player memorials to pish on recently while we’re chatting?

          4. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            That isn’t the maths I was referring to but you’re up to 35 so you’re doing well!

            “Found any more rugby player memorials to pish on recently while we’re chatting?”
            I’m sorry, that seems a little bitter to me. Poor Moyest.

            Interesting you reply to me but not to Harry’s original comment. Probably because he’s completely right.

            Have a nice day y’all!

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            1. Read the comment directly below Harry’s one. That’d be responding to him.

            2. I’ve responded to you because you’ve been taking petsonal shots at me from the sidelines of arguments I’ve been having with other people for 2 weeks now all because I had the cheek you find fault with something you said. Your ‘Moyest thinks he’s always right’ is just projection from you.

    2. Kieran NYC

      As I posted the other day:

      Have you not met Moyest before? He’s going to try to bludgeon you to death with inanity and get increasingly snippy so he can be seen to have the morally superior ‘last word’. Not worth the aggro.

      Yiz were better at copping on to ABM’s trolling, in fairness.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “Not worth the aggro”

        And yet you felt the need to post that twice and direct a message in between. You’re a silly little man.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Direct a message to me I mean. 5 minutes before you posted that one, you absolute clown.

          1. Kieran NYC

            Dang it, you’re right again! I just don’t know how you do it.

            You should call me ‘retarded’. That would be so amazing.

            I’ll let you have the last word now. I know you just live for that.

      2. rotide

        What I cannot understand is that since he’s quite clearly deliberately trolling and not shy of hurling personal abuse at every oppurtunity, how come he hasn’t got a slap on the wrist yet?

        I got naughty listed for mentioning the owners name and also for having a go at bodger about consipiracy theories, yet Junior here abuses all and sundry as he pleases.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            I do enjoy watching you abusive trolls wetc yourselves when you get a dose of your own medicine i must say.

      3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        Careful now or you’ll get accused of bitterly picking on him

          1. Tony

            Moyest and Don. A match made in a black hole. Hopefully you both cancel each other out into dust.

          2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            It makes you hard Tony, so hard.

            But sadly, Moyest is too annoying even for me, a green-voting, pinko, commie, feminazi Islington luvvie. Says something.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yes, it says even green-voting, pinko, commie, feminazi Islington luvvies can be nasty minded manipulative bullies.

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Moyest with the spit from his own foaming mouth of rabidity

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Don and her schoolyard response of personal abuse to anyone who dare say she might be wrong about something. 2 weeks. 2. Weeks. You lunatic.

          3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            That’s not school yard. school is you calling people retarded or idiots but lacking in self awareness to see how this p#£sses people off. You just keep on and on, with increasing insults. That’s why no one listens and it makes BS a poorer place. I am not the only person to point this out, I think everyone has tried at least once.

            The only disagreement we have had was exactly about this. I tried to explain that if you calmed down a bit people would listen more but you went off on one. just chill out and people might actually listen.

            Peace out.

  12. Turgenev

    The artists’ tax exemption is only on the sale of the actual artworks. For instance, writers are unlikely to make much from people buying their books – the publishers make more from that. Writers may make a little more from readings, classes, etc; however, these are taxable.

    Perhaps we shouldn’t be pointing out that most writers earn well under €15,000 per year, but asking why this is so.

    The answer is kind of obvious from the posts above – most Irish people do not value the arts, certainly don’t value writers and artists, and have a nasty, self-corrosive envy of anyone creative that leads them to be spiteful towards any perceived advantage for artists, however illusory that is.

    1. Owen C

      “most Irish people do not value the arts”

      If most Irish people do not value the arts and have a nasty, self corrosive envy of anyone creative, then the government definitely shouldn’t be doing any additional funding of said artists. That’s called democracy. I really hope this isn’t used as an argument in favour of more funding – “but people hate artists, we should definitely give them more money”.

      1. Nigel

        Meh, to listen to some of them you’d think Irish people hate everything and have nasty, self-corrosive envy of everyone and everything. I don’t think it’s most of them, I think it’s enough of them to make life miserable for anyone trying to do damn near anything worthwhile. Cyncism keeps leading us down moral, creative and political dead-ends.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Waterford Writers Weekend a few weeks back had a great wee discussion on why the short story is nearly always based on some ‘misery’.

            They also concluded unanimously that there is little to no money in short stories.

            just sayin’, I ain’t no writer, I was there just to enjoy the weekend.

          2. Nigel

            It’s certainly one approach, and a decidedly literary one. And no, not much money in literary short stories. Bit more in genre, funnily enough – fantasy, sci-fi, horror, romance, mystery etc. Lit mags tend not to pay, genre mags do, and there are a lot of them online. Still unlikely to make a living that way, though, without being productive and good.

      2. Andy

        I was home 2 years ago for x mas and passed a local gallery which prior to emigrating used to sell all sorts of beautiful and IMO ugly paintings in the €1,000 to €10,000 range. It’s stock now primarily comprised of replica works priced at €150 to €1,000. I asked the lady working there what had changed and she said Irish people are no longer willing to spend much on original works – a €1,000 priced original piece would sit on her shelf for 3 months while she’d sell 20 small knock-off Banksy type prints in a month for €100. So everyone is buying the same thing and the only people making money are printers and framers.

        There’s 3 or 4 big art fairs near us each year – some are mega bucks prices but there’s another one which is an Affordable Arts fair where well known & up&coming artists supply works so the commoner can afford them – amazing pieces for under €2,000 and the place is always thronged.

        Maybe an affordable arts fair for Dublin would be a good idea.

        1. Harry Molloy

          There’s artists selling their works around the railings of St Stephens Green on Wednesday each week or each month or something. I’ve often seen them and spent a nice bit of time looking at them, some great stuff there. I look forward to buying a few pieces to decorate my house when it’s finished.

    2. J

      I support the arts and I support the exemption. One’s overall income however should be taken into account . If Joe Duffer on his big fat salary is able to avail of this exemption, then somehting is clearly wrong.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Not a bad idea. Maybe once you earn over a certain amount, you start to pay tax.

        1. Nigel

          I’d frankly get over people grinding their teeth about celebrity figures suddenly availing of the exemption because they suddenly sell a book or draw a picture. The exemption is narrowly defined anyway, and if it encourages high-profile high earning artists to relocate here – much in the way corporations do – I think the benefits in terms of prestige and general boosts to local and national arts scenes would be worth it. For example there are a metric ton of literary festivals that take place in Ireland over the year, though particularly the summer, and they attract major names and international audiences. So much the better if international best-selling authors are living down the road and amenable to an invite for a reading or a panel or just to turn up at launches and receptions. A lot of this seems to fly under people’s radars but it’s a thriving scene and has major benefits for local economies and national tourism.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            I don’t disagree with any of that. As far as I know though, the purpose of exemption is to encourage people to create art; implication being that your probable income from it is too low to bother if it were indeed taxed. If you’re taking in hundreds of thousands a year, then you don’t really need the exemption and society could do with the tax. I’m not strongly opinionated on that though so I’m open to argument.

          2. Nigel

            I think the reason it’s such an admired piece of work is that it both provides relief to low-income artists AND encourages high-income artists to remain and work in Ireland. The latter tend to have other streams of income which are taxed.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            “AND encourages high-income artists to remain and work in Ireland.”

            That’s a good point but then should we also afford that to international corporations? They bring jobs and business for local suppliers as well.

          4. Nigel

            There’s no moral imperative to replicate one approach in another area. If it works it works. I suspect if the approach to corporations both encouraged small businesses even as it attracted large international businesses without obliterating every source of tax revenue from them, it’d be lauded by all.

  13. Kieran NYC

    Broadsheet – any chance Annie West could write a piece telling us what it’s actually like making a living as an artist, based on her and her friends’ experiences?

    Might help move the discussion forward :)

      1. Kieran NYC

        Thanks, Bodger.

        Annie answered in her own column posted later when I asked her. Cheers, though! :)

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