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FROM GALLIPOLI

Saturday, April 18th, 2015 Blog,

When George Lambert travelled to the battlefields of Gallipoli in February 1919 he found a landscape transformed into “a perfect rabbit warren’, riven with trenches and littered with bones. “The jackals, damn them were chorusing their hate, the bones showed up white even in the faint dawn, and I felt rotten,” he wrote. “The worst […]

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Michael Schlieper (1947-2015)

Saturday, April 18th, 2015 Blog,

Artists with superior technical abilities are often studies in disappointment. When you can paint like an Old Master it is depressing to see the kind of stuff that turns up in Biennales and public collections. Neither can one un-learn abilities that have become second nature. It’s a predicament that breeds fatalism. Michael Schlieper had all […]

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What Betty Knew

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 Blog,

Betty Churcher (1931-2015) knew that if you wanted the best loans for an international exhibition you had to get the museum directors of the world to go along with the journey. This required an initial charm offensive followed by a persuasive argument about the nature of the show you were proposing. It couldn’t be a […]

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Betty Churcher

Saturday, April 4th, 2015 Blog,

Betty Churcher was one of those rare figures who could bring the world of art alive for the general public. In this, she was a woman out-of-step with an era that has seen the visual arts develop its own impenetrable jargon and snobberies. This was anathema to Churcher, a born educator whose love of her […]

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Learning from Peter Lik

Saturday, March 14th, 2015 Blog,

One day, with a photographer friend, I wandered into the Peter Lik Gallery in Cairns. It felt more like a chintzy tourist restaurant than an art gallery. The lights were low, the walls painted a charcoal colour. The furniture was new and gleaming, music played in the background. Lik’s landscape photographs were hung thickly on […]

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Colin Lanceley 1938-2015

Saturday, March 7th, 2015 Blog,

Although he withdrew from the art scene suffering from declining health and a growing sense of disenchantment, Colin Lanceley’s work was one long chorus of joie-de-vivre. To look at his paintings from any period is to see an artist who believed, with Matisse, that art should be a celebration of life and beauty. In Lanceley’s […]

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The Artist as Professional

Saturday, February 28th, 2015 Blog,

In 1903 Cézanne wrote to his dealer, Ambrose Vollard: “Must art indeed be a priesthood, demanding that the faithful be bound to it body and soul?” Today the question would be greeted with derision. Art in the 21st century is not a spiritual calling, it is a profession. The artist is not motivated by inner […]

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Guan Wei: Promised Land

Saturday, February 21st, 2015 Blog,

Guan Wei is one of a generation of Chinese artists who settled in Australia in the wake of the Tiananmen Square events of 1989, and found themselves balanced between two cultures in a way that was simultaneously confusing and stimulating. While Guan Wei’s work has remained distinctively, unmistakably Chinese, he has drawn a large part […]

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Paths to Stardom:

Saturday, February 14th, 2015 Blog,

Birdman, the new film by Alejandro González Inárritu, tells us everything we need to know about the ever-changing path to stardom. Riggan, played by Michael Keaton, is an actor who has become famous for playing a comic book superhero, but craves the prestige and ‘authenticity’ conferred by the Broadway stage. In the twilight of his […]

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Colin Lanceley 1938-2015

Saturday, February 7th, 2015 Blog,

Colin Lanceley was an artist of rare integrity who pursued his own ideals of beauty in an artworld that made a fetish of ugliness. He was a thinker, and a wonderfully articulate speaker who could address a large audience with the ease of a dinner party conversation. He was a dedicated advocate for causes such […]