Major Australian Art Gallery Caught Stealing from Independent Australian Artist

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE. MAY BE COPIED, DISTRIBUTED AND PUBLISHED

(All images remain the property of the artist. They may be used for illustrative purposes in all media, published, digital and video)

KJ Halliday, an independent Australian artist, made the unpleasant discovery that MONA (a major art gallery in Tasmania) had blatantly used their intellectual property for their 2019 Dark Mofo festival.

The intellectual property theft was first noticed at the end of the Dark Mofo festival as the artist saw a reproduction of their work on an ABC Arts Program (Australian national broadcaster) around the end of June 2019.

While Dark Mofo first posted images of their reproduction of the artwork in mid April, the original creator had first shared images in early to mid March, including a listing in their online store on March 22 and a direct tweet at MONA on Twitter asking them to explore their latest work (Titled “Salvation”).

The art in question was part of a work over 10 years in the making, including written, visual and digital installation elements with the stolen image used across multiple sites and visual art pieces.

The element stolen by MONA and the creative team at Dark Mofo was especially personal to the artist, as they made it early in 2019 after their one year old daughter was in an intensive care unit at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia.

When asked for comment, the Australian artist said “I really couldn’t believe a supposedly reputable gallery and festival would steal my art. It was heart wrenching to see my work dedicated to my daughter’s survival in hospital be used in a festival that celebrates mock demon worship, ‘dildo shrines’ and generally the celebration of evil, it was like it was done on purpose”.

To view the original art work in context you can visit the artists online installation at Salvation.net.au and Beautifulbeaches.com.au and their online gallery at AVAVA.me. You can also view the artists creative response to the intellectual property theft here.

IMAGES

(May be used freely by media and websites. Art shown in these images remain the intellectual property of the artist KJ Halliday)

Time stamp one of the original art images dated 19th of March. A month before any mention by MONA and Dark Mofo.

The artist inviting MONA (who operate Dark Mofo festival) to explore their latest Art Installation. With image on Twitter profile as well. The artist has since ceased using Twitter because of MONA and Dark Mofo’s theft of their intellectual property.

The ‘creative director’ of Dark Mofo and MONA employees posting their copy of the original art over a month after the artist. Crediting themselves for creating it.

The original image in red, which is also used on the Salvation.net.au project and connected sites.

The main motif on the BeautifulBeaches.com.au project.

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