Gadens has teamed up with the Arts Law Centre to launch a pro bono initiative to protect the artworks of indigenous Australians.
The firm is offering its legal expertise to the National Indigenous Art Registration Service to ensure indigenous art is correctly registered under the Australian Government’s Personal Property and Security Register (PPSR).
The project was officially launched on Tuesday night (26 November) by Arts Law Centre board president, The Hon. Justice Margaret Beazley (pictured), and Gadens’ head of pro bono Jodie Wauchope.
Around 120 members of the arts, business, legal and indigenous communities attended the launch.
Gadens senior associate Anthony Walsh, who is leading the project, said many artists were unaware of the risks of sending their artworks on consignment to commercial galleries.
“When commercial galleries face financial difficulties, indigenous art centres and artists can be the real victims,” he said.
Walsh explained that since the introduction of the Personal Property Securities Act, art centres and artists can no longer rely on their legal title to recover artwork that has not yet been paid for by a commercial gallery that becomes insolvent.
“It is now necessary to also register these arrangements on the PPSR in order to avoid the risk of an artist losing their artworks on the insolvency of a commercial gallery,” he added.
The National Indigenous Art Registration Service invites indigenous art centres to complete a registration form hosted on the Arts Law Centre’s website. Gadens will then register both the art centre and the individual artworks to meet the requirements of the PPSR.
“The service that Gadens and the Arts Law Centre have developed has undoubtedly been a significant undertaking. It is an absolutely essential program and an inspiration to the business community on how we can work together to help close the gap,” said Justice Beazley.
Pictured: (l-r) Gadens solicitor Rajeev Pillay and Igor Rigney at the launch event in Sydney