Dealer Member focus: Artist/s requests for transparent information

The Indigenous Art Code (IartC) supports artists to have access to transparent information about any commercial arrangements they enter around their artwork.

Transparency in the process of promotion and sale of Artwork is one of three key pillars of the Code and its purpose. Transparency means actively and openly communicating with artists to ensure the arrangement is fully understood, providing all information necessary for artists to make informed decisions and maintain agency in relation to any commercial dealings being entered into.

– Stephanie Parkin, Chair of the Indigenous Art Code

Sometimes artists come to the IartC to seek guidance on how to best access information from dealers (including art centres) they work with. At times artists’ request that the IartC seek this information from dealers on their behalf.

These requests are in line with what is expected of Dealer Members in the Code (particularly clauses 4.1 and 4.2). We realise that this is information that dealers are often already supplying to artists. We recognise that for many of our Dealer Members transparency and fairness sit at the heart of their operating model.

If approached by an artist or the IartC for access to transparent information, we encourage you not to become alarmed or concerned and rather take the request at face value – that the artist is keen to understand more about the arrangement and maintain agency in decision-making. This is a good thing for all parties.

Artists, or the IartC on their behalf, may request in writing lists of all work created by the artist (and consigned or sold to you) over a given period, including the title, size and date of creation of each work. Detailed information may also be requested in relation to licensing arrangements and agreements.

In line with clause 4.1 of the Code, you may be requested to supply in writing the following information as it relates to the relevant artist:

details of Artwork held by the Dealer Member for sale;

the type and quantity of Artwork sold by the Dealer Member;

the price received by the Dealer Member for the Artwork sold;

and details of the payment to the Artist (including the amount, date and method of payment) and details of each amount deducted by the Dealer Member from the sale price of the Artwork (for example, the Dealer Member’s commission on the sale).

This information should be supplied in an easy-to-read format and if feasible, we encourage you to discuss the written information provided with the artist.

If the information is supplied to the IartC on behalf of the artist, the IartC will discuss it with the artist. All information supplied to the IartC remains confidential and will only be shared with the relevant artist.

Artists having access to transparent information and clearly understanding any commercial arrangements around their artwork is key to the ongoing health and integrity of the entire Indigenous visual arts, something important to us all.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Indigenous Art Code acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to the land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to their Elders past, present and future