Sit For An Artist vaccination campaign

Maha Obeid
By Maha Obeid | 22 September 2021
Thea Perkins by Lauren O Photography.

The National Association for the Visual Artists (NAVA) today launched its Sit For An Artist campaign, urging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to support Australia’s creative recovery.

Nick Garner of Playground Films/ArtVid produced the campaign which is named after the age-old concept of sitting for an artist for a portrait. Instead, NAVA is asking Australians to sit for a COVID vaccination.

NAVA leads advocacy, policy and action for a contemporary Australian arts sector that's ambitious and fair. Research commissioned by the association showed the impact of Covid on the visual arts sector.

According to Pulse Survey data of 1224 artists, arts workers and arts managers, 81% of visual artists earned less than $25,000 in the 2020-21 financial year, and 50% reported an income decline of up to 100%.

The campaign film features artists including Thea Perkins, an Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman with an emerging painting and installation practice.

NAVA (SA) co-director Mimi Crowe, who has more than a decade’s experience as an arts and creative industries leader and advocate, says art is an avenue for storytelling.

“Art is one of the critical ways Australians tell our stories, understand our world, and reflect on our collective experiences,” Crowe says.

“In response to every national disaster, hardship and crisis, the arts are at the front of efforts to raise funding, awareness and hope. Art is a vital part of our nation’s recovery. Let’s all do our bit for Australia’s visual arts sector by supporting NAVA’s campaign to ‘sit for an artist’.”

Campaign producer Nick Garner says visual art has an impact on everyone.

“Visual art can largely go unnoticed, but it affects every one of us in some way. At the heart of the creative for NAVA's vaccination campaign is a flip on a simple idiom: to sit for an artist,” Garner says.

“It speaks to both the urgency of the problem and the need to connect with the community, to inspire the viewer in our way out of here. A lot of heart went into bringing this campaign to life, to get people vaccinated, so our artists can get back to what they do best: bringing us together."

Artists' stories are also conveyed in the behind-the-scenes video, filmed at the historic National Art School in Sydney.


Creative Agency: Atypical
Creative: Tim Chenery
Creative: David Barker
Production Company: Playground / ArtVid
Director/DOP: David Barker
Producer: NIck Garner
Editor: Marianne Khoo
Sound Production: Pete Jones @ RanRun
Photographer: Lauren Orrell
Location: National Art School

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