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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Les Sculpture Refusées & Sculpture in the Vineyards – Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival

October 27, 2020

At this time of any other year Sydney is getting ready for its regular fix of Sculpture by the Sea (SXS), one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the cultural calendar. But like so many things in the era of COVID-19, the thought of hundreds of thousands of people rubbing shoulders on the trail […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop

October 20, 2020

Lindy Lee grew up in Brisbane in the 1960s, the daughter of Chinese parents who left Guandong when the Communists came to power. She is ethnically Chinese but Australian born and bred, a duality that has coloured her entire life. She remembers being the only Chinese face in her classes at school, which meant she […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2020

October 13, 2020

There must be a limit to the industrial quantity of portraits served up annually to the Australian public. This year we’ve already had the Portia Geach Memorial Award at the S.H.Ervin; the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award in Bega; the National Photographic Portrait Prize and the Darling Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2020: A Trilogy

October 6, 2020

The Archibald Prize 2020: A First Look   Scomo is out, but Albo is in. And so is Jacinda Adern. If the Art Gallery of NSW were not a steadfastly apolitical institution, one might imagine there is some comment intended in the selection of finalists for the 2020 Archibald Prize. In olden days a portrait […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Endeavour Voyage

September 29, 2020

In the Bicentenary celebrations of 1970 Captain Cook was hailed as the discoverer of Australia. At primary school we received a special booklet telling us about the great navigator and his achievements. There were commemorative coins, badges and postage stamps. Every form of sporting competition had its dedication to Cook – from surf life-saving to […]

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Film Reviews October 29, 2020

Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm’

We know what to expect from a new Borat movie: The Worst. We know it will be stunningly vulgar, packed with stunts and gags that seem guaranteed to generate a violent response. The satire will be so broad it offends fans as well as foes. It will be kind of disgusting, with lots of moments […]

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Film Reviews

Corpus Christi

October 23, 2020

According to that famous former nun, Karen Armstrong: “The great sages of religion have always said that you don’t start out deciding metaphysical questions about the existence of God or the viability of the resurrection. You first live in a certain way.” Polish director, Jan Komasa, provides a dramatic illustration of this idea in Corpus […]

Film Reviews

Jean-Pierre Melville

October 15, 2020

With Hollywood saving its blockbusters for better days the cinemas are turning to classic and foreign films to fill the void. This is not a stopgap, but a great opportunity. If only a small percentage of regular cinema-goers take the chance to broaden their horizons it would be marvellous thing for film culture in this […]

Film Reviews

On the Rocks

October 9, 2020

Born into Hollywood aristocracy, Sofia Coppola was playing small roles in her father’s films while still in nappies. She made a promising directorial debut in 1999 with The Virgin Suicides, but it was her second movie, Lost in Translation (2003), that established her as a rising star. A beautiful, melancholy, funny film about an impossible […]

Film Reviews

St. Ali Italian Film Festival 2020

October 2, 2020

This year the celebrations are slightly muted, but the Italian Film Festival is back. Normally the wine and coffee would be flowing freely, with a few glamorous movie stars on hand for premieres. In place of the usual demonstrative Italianisms, director, Elysia Zeccola, says audiences will have to be content blowing kisses to each other. […]

Blog

Brett Whiteley Catalogue Raisonné

September 30, 2020

Last week the Brett Whiteley Catalogue Raisonné 1955-1992 arrived on my doorstep. When I bent down to pick it up, I thought I’d need a forklift. Lugging it inside I made straight for the bathroom scales, which registered 22.9 kilos. Upon opening the package I discovered a gleaming white case in which seven white volumes […]

Blog

Paul Higgs: Material Energy

August 25, 2020

Art is revolution, improvisation, impetus, enthusiasm, record-setting, elasticity, elegance, generosity, superabundance of goodness, drowning in the Absolute, struggle against every hindrance, an aerial dance on the burning summits of passion… Filippo Marinetti   “Scattering” in physics, is what happens when waves of energy are forced to change direction due to a collision with various particles. […]

Blog

The Murder of the Powerhouse Museum

June 26, 2020

It’s not a museum. This is not a matter of opinion, it’s not a slander being spread by critics of the project. The proposed building in Parramatta the NSW government would like us to see as the home of a ‘relocated’ Powerhouse Museum will be nothing more than an entertainment venue stuffed with cafes and […]

Blog

Christo – His legacy in Australia

June 11, 2020

Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia. The most important piece of avant-garde art ever made in this country, or the the work of a madman? Both views got plenty of traction at the end of October 1969, when Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009), undertook the monumental task of wrapping part […]