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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Michael Bell, Solomon Kammer

February 23, 2021

It’s rare to step into an exhibition and feel bowled over, but this was the case with Nyapanyapa Yunupingu’s exhibition, The Little Things, at Roslyn Oxley9. Over the past decade Nyapanyapa has been a shooting star in the indigenous art firmament but with this body of work she has moved onto another plane. It’s tempting […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Thresholds

February 19, 2021

Thresholds is the very model of an underground art exhibition. Between 2016-19 Julia Davis and Lisa Jones explored the subterranean spaces near St. James Station, taking photographs, shooting video and making unconventional large-scale drawings. The results of their investigations are displayed at the Tin Sheds Gallery,  Sydney University. There’s an intrinsic fascination in such a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

NGV Triennial 2020

February 16, 2021

It’s an old adage that success breeds success but it’s just as true that success breeds complaints. In recent years no Australian art institution has come within coo-ee of the National Gallery of Victoria when it comes to organising spectacular, ambitious exhibitions. These shows have been intended to draw the biggest possible audiences and in […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Wendy Sharpe: Ghosts

February 2, 2021

When a gallery offers virtually its entire exhibition space for an artist to do whatever she likes it’s both tempting and intimidating. Nothing, however, is too much for Wendy Sharpe. Ever since she took on the challenge of creating eight mural-sized works for the Cook & Philip Park Acquatic Centre in 1997, Sharpe has never […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Pat Larter

January 26, 2021

Encountering Pat Larter for the first time, people often said: “I’m sure I’ve met you before somewhere.” Most probably it was in one of the many versions of Pat painted by her husband, Richard Larter. Once seen these pictures were hard to forget. It’s not unusual for an artist to take his wife as muse […]

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Sydney Morning Herald Column March 2, 2021

Five Artists, Seven days

It seems like an age ago but in September 2019 I travelled with five artists and a film crew to Mount Zero Taravale in far north Queensland, a property owned by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC). We spent a week in the bush preparing for an exhibition that has just opened at Defiance Gallery, Mary […]

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Film Reviews

Jewish International Film Festival 2021

February 26, 2021

No-one could ever accuse the Jewish International Film Festival of taking soft options. Most festivals choose to screen something suitably light-hearted on opening night but the 2021 JIFF was launched with Yaron Silberman’s Incitement, a film about the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Incitement was crammed with political dialogue and small, significant […]

Film Reviews

Minari

February 19, 2021

At last year’s Oscars South Korea reaped the rewards for an investment in screen culture when Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite took out the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature. Parasite may be a hard act to follow but in 2021 Koreans are feeling optimistic about an entirely different kind […]

Film Reviews

Another Round

February 12, 2021

Being known as the sexiest man in Denmark may be a dubious honour – it is, after all, a country of fewer than 6 million people. Nevertheless there are plenty of other places where Mads Mikkelsen’s charms are appreciated. Australia, for instance. Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round does not immediately show Mads at his strapping best. […]

Film Reviews

The Nest

February 5, 2021

Filmmakers often wax nostalgic when they look back on the 1960s, but nobody seems to remember the 1980s with much affection. It was the era of Reagan and Thatcher, when the finance industry was deregulated and fortunes made overnight. It laid the foundations for the exorbitant wealth of the present day, with its roller-coaster markets, […]

Blog

2020: The Year in Review

February 9, 2021

In March last year a friend in Bangladesh forwarded a news item that said Australia’s borders would be closed until September. “Is it true!!!!” he exclaimed. I was sceptical and replied that neither the economy nor people’s limits of endurance would allow the closures to last that long. I thought we’d be flying again within […]

Blog

Swimming Pools: Deep & Shallow

February 5, 2021

When David Hockney moved to Los Angeles in 1964 it was the swimming pools that made the most vivid impression. He had noticed them from the air – thousands of small patches of bright blue. No desirable Hollywood property was complete without one. The swimming pools of LA were the most tangible point of difference […]

Blog

Alex Seton: Meet Me Under the Dome

January 15, 2021

In The Ghost of Wombeyan Alex Seton has created a life-sized marble figure that lies prone on a slab beneath a heavy shroud. Should we see it as a body, or merely the impression of a body preserved in solid marble? Either way, the piece has a strong funereal connotation. The ‘ghost’ is a childhood […]

Blog

The Art Market in the Time of COVID

December 1, 2020

A new Australian auction record for Brett Whiteley’s painting, Henri’s Armchair, puts the star on top of the Christmas tree for the local art market in a year when only doom and gloom were predicted. Indeed, one local auction supremo tells me that things have never been better. The plague year 2020 has seen a […]