Tag: ceramics

Sydney Morning Herald Column

An Idea Needing to be Made: Contemporary Ceramics

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

No definition of ‘contemporary art’ is acceptable to everyone. Is it simply the art being made today, or is it something else? The chronological definition holds scant appeal because artists would like to believe their work has a special quality that sets them apart from the amateurs and the traditionalists. With all the charm of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Journey of Time

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When James Abbott McNeill Whistler defended himself in court by saying that a dashed-off oil sketch represented the knowledge he had “gained in the work of a lifetime” he gave every lazy artist an excuse to feel important, and unwittingly established battle lines between art and craft. Nowadays it’s broadly accepted that one may create […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column


Friday, June 10th, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Mention the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE) and I think of Robert Van Gulik’s character, Judge Dee – the Sherlock Holmes of ancient China. Di Renjie (c.630-c.700) was a real magistrate of the Tang period but became the fictionalised hero of a series of detective stories set in those times. The inspiration came from a story […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Adelaide Biennial 2016

Thursday, March 10th, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Adelaide has thrown down the gauntlet for this year’s Sydney Biennale with a show that sparkles like a revolving disco ball. I can’t recall an exhibition of contemporary Australian art which has opened with more positive energy than the 2016 Adelaide Biennial: Magic Object. It’s a tour-de-force for the undervalued Australian art scene, and a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Grayson Perry

Thursday, December 17th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“On the whole I make very common categories of cultural product,” says Grayson Perry, “clay vessels, textile wall hangings, framed prints, figurines.” There is, however, nothing ‘common’ about the subject matter of Perry’s work or about his public persona – unless we take the word in a pejorative sense: “Oh my God, Grayson is so […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

A Golden Age of China

Saturday, May 30th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Imagine a painting titled: Tony Abbott admiring lotus while playing a zither, and you have glimpsed the cultural chasm that separates our world from that of the Qianlong Emperor. While the rulers of the Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911) were careful to surround themselves with symbols of conquest and martial prowess, they were equally assiduous in […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column


Saturday, September 20th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s been a great year for ancient American culture down under. 2014 began with the Incas at the National Gallery of Australia, and now the Aztecs have taken over the Australian Museum. There are many similarities between these two famous civilisations, both destroyed by the Spanish invaders – the Aztecs in 1521, while the Incas […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Peter Rushforth

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Pottery today is in a paradoxical position. Alongside the wraparound videos, sculptural installations and performance works favoured by the contemporary art museums it seems decidedly unsexy. Yet stand in a gallery in front of a great pot and it is hard to think of anything more sensual, more engaging, more reflective of the human hand […]

Art Essays

Geoff Dyer, Stephen Bird, Etsuko Fukaya, Joanna Braithwaite

Saturday, February 11th, 2012 Art Essays, Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When Thoreau wrote: “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”, he probably wasn’t thinking about art dealers. Yet the phrase springs to mind when one considers the sluggishness of the commercial art scene over the past couple of years. While the art market weathered the GFC better than was generally expected, an extended […]

Art Essays

Ildiko Kovacs / Simone Fraser

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

May is becoming a crowded month, with works for the Head On Photo Festival being shown in more than 80 venues across the city. In addition there is a new round of exhibitions at the Art Gallery of NSW, and also a touch of musical chairs. Sullivan and Stumpf relocated to a spacious new venue […]