Newsletter 305

Published September 23, 2019
The only thing I'm reviewing this week is the Rufus Betong

As you read this newsletter I’m at the Mt. Zero-Taravale wildlife sanctuary, near Townsville, well out of range of Internet and mobile phone communications. This means I’m filing a hasty newsletter before I get on the plane. Mt. Zero is a property owned and managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, one of this country’s leading environmental groups. For the past few years I’ve been visiting AWC sites with artists who make work for a fund-raising show in a year’s time.

The participants this time are Tim Allen, Alison Coates, David Collins, Peter Stevens and Mary Tonkin. I’ll be on-site for a shorter time, as I don’t need to complete any artworks, but long enough to see everything, and put together some written and documentary material.

The art column looks at Savanhdary Vongpoothorn’s impressive survey, All That Arises, at the Drill Hall Gallery, ANU Canberra. I went along thinking this would be a good show, but it exceeded expectations. I won’t dwell on the subject here.

This week’s movie review is Ad Astra, which features Brad Pitt as a rather miserable astronaut who goes searching for his long lost father in deep space. It’s the first feature by American director, James Gray, that I’ve actually enjoyed. Most of the time Gray’s films can be laborious to watch, but this time the deliberate pacing works to the advantage of the story. If Ingmar Bergman had set out to make a science fiction movie it might have looked something like Ad Astra.