Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

John R. Walker: Journeys and Return

Wednesday, December 6th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Inspiration” is a word we use in the most casual fashion, but it originally meant being under the direct influence of God. For the artist, John R. Walker, it has retained that significance. As a practising Christian, Walker believes there are paintings that are divinely inspired, the breath of God having touched something in the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2023

Monday, November 27th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Has the Portia Geach gone political? That was the inescapable suspicion when this year’s prize went to Kate Stevens for The Whistleblower, a portrait of military lawyer, David McBride, currently in court over breaches of the Defence Act, having pleaded guilty to leaking classified documents that detailed alleged Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. McBride’s argument […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column


Monday, November 20th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In 1982, the Art Gallery of NSW hosted the show, Kandinsky, which featured 40-odd works from the Guggenheim collection. Forty-one years later, the AGNSW is hosting the show, Kandinsky, which features 40-odd works from the Guggenheim collection. Comparing the two events, the chief difference is that the earlier exhibition ran for only a month, before […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

1,001 Remarkable Objects

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A childhood experience that stays lodged in my mind is seeing the Transparent Woman at the old Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Ultimo. It didn’t matter where it came from or who made it, I was simply awestruck by the spectacle of the human body with the skin removed, by the sight of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hoda Afshar

Monday, November 6th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

For an artist to see their work on the walls of a museum today, it may not be sufficient to have talent. Hoda Afshar – whose mid-career survey, A Curve is a Broken Line, has miraculously materialised at the Art Gallery of NSW in a year which has been a desert for exhibitions – shows […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tarnanthi 2023 & Vincent Namatjira

Sunday, October 29th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In the wake of a failed referendum, Tarnanthi 2023 delivers a resounding reminder of the vitality of Aboriginal culture. It was obvious for weeks that the ‘Yes’ vote had Buckley’s chance, so let’s accept the result and get on with the job. I know Albo was honouring an election promise, but in hindsight it might […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sculpture by the Sea 2023

Wednesday, October 25th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As a looming El Nino system promises a hot, dry summer, Sculpture by the Seahas once again demonstrated its magical powers as a bringer of rain. Threatened by droughts and bushfires, perhaps we should abandon the unreliable science of meteorology and organise outdoor sculpture exhibitions in the driest parts of the country. Last week, as […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Korean Komparisons

Tuesday, October 17th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Last month, within 24 hours, I travelled from the Sydney Contemporary art fair to two fairs in South Korea: KIAF Seoul and Frieze Seoul. The contrast was striking, as are most cultural contrasts between Australia and South Korea. Sydney Contemporary, celebrating its 10th anniversary, was held at Carriageworks over four days. It featured 96 galleries, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Fearless & Parlour Parlëur

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There are lots of people who acquire a few trendy works and call themselves “art collectors”. To all those aspirationals, who may well go on to greater things, I would ask them to take a look at Fearless: Contemporary Indigenous Women in the Hassall Milson Collection, at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, to see what can […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Liam Young: Planetary Redesign

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Climate anxiety is the neurosis of our age. According to a recent study, one in ten Americans report symptoms of anxiety because of global warming. For those between the ages of 16-25, the number jumps to an alarming fifty percent. In Australia, a survey of last year found that 38 percent of young people were […]