Unfortunately Art has always been far too bound up with notions of value.

It was Warhol and Du Champ who made its purpose questionable.

Further back most of it was for the Church and the glory of God or the vanities of its cardinals. Or it was for Royalty to show off their prize animals and flattering portrayals of their family.

Essentially a great deal of the motivation behind acquiring art is for the purpose of possession, and today it’s even crazier when the corporate world don’t seem to care what the art is, as long as it can be used as financial leverage.

Rarely is it for the ‘people’, because most can’t afford the good stuff or just don’t understand it.

The Russian communists tried to reverse these apparent bourgeois pretensions, but most of it was either plainly bad or their artists with real vision were hampered by local departments of propaganda.

Artist, Michael Needham, a native to London with a Greek father, has over the past few years been visiting Melbourne with the intention of collaborating with local galleries and communities.

Needham doesn’t work for Royalty; he prefers to work with the underprivileged to make his art. And this art is not for sale, it’s for the betterment of the hearts and minds of the members of the communities he’s met during his time here.

“I’ve worked mostly with Housing Estates, like I do back in London” Needham said. “In Melbourne recently, it’s about a co-operation between the Gertrude Contemporary Gallery and The Atherton Gardens Estate in Fitzroy”.

He’s presented a number of works so far; in November it was with a Chinese Dancing group on the Estate. “The result was great and really positive,” Needham said.

Some would fob this off as ‘Community Art’, but who really has the right to say what art is or not? Needham will be returning to Melbourne “to continue these very worthwhile projects next year”.