Tag: indigenous art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

2024 Biennale of Sydney: Ten Thousand Suns

Saturday, March 16th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ten Thousand Suns may be the most joyous theme we’ve ever had for a Sydney Biennale. Whether we think of the Pharoah Akhenaten trashing the entire pantheon of Egyptian deities in favour of the Sun God, Aton, or the last words of J.M.W. Turner, who allegedly muttered “the sun is God”, it’s axiomatic that the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Jonathan Jones & Imants Tillers

Friday, January 19th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

  “We promised at the election that we would preserve the Wran legacy and keep the Powerhouse open. We are doing just that,” said NSW Arts Minister, John Graham, in a press release of 2 September, last year. In direct contradiction of that election promise, the Minns government is now planning to close the Powerhouse […]

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

Ramsay Art Prize 2023

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

To the best of my knowledge, until late last month there had never been a major Australian art prize awarded to   a performance piece. It had to happen eventually, and the breakthrough moment came at the Art Gallery of South Australia, where local girl, Ida Sophia, took out the $100,000 Ramsay Art Prize, for her […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Wynne Prize 2023

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Although the Wynne Prize for landscape (and very occasionally, figurative sculpture) is twenty years older than the Archibald Prize, the portrait show gets all the headlines. It seems local audiences agree with Clement Greenberg, the champion of late modern Abstraction, who said landscape was “overrated”. Not being an Aussie, he did not proceed to transfer […]


Julia Gutman is the Winner

Friday, May 5th, 2023 Blog,

This year’s Archibald Prize is a victory for youth. A 29-year-old artist has painted – or rather stitched – a portrait of a 27-year-old pop star. It’s not the worst work in the show, but I wouldn’t have called it as the best. My first impression of this year’s selection was that it was exceptionally […]


Museum Dreaming

Friday, April 7th, 2023 Blog,

When it comes to cultural matters, Australia is the land of wishful thinking. The entire rationale behind the Art Gallery of NSW’s Sydney Modern Project, valued at $344 million, was “build it and they will come”. After three months this is already looking like a pipe dream. The former NSW Government’s planned destruction of the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ever Present in Singapore

Sunday, September 4th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Not so long ago, Aboriginal art was fighting for a place in the mainstream, trying to shake off the anthropological baggage that allowed sceptics to dismiss its claims to contemporary relevance. White fellas made ‘art’, blackfellas made artefacts. It wasn’t all that different to a once-popular distinction between men who made art, and women who […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Heart of Country

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One wonders if audiences are finally coming to terms with bark painting. It’s simultaneously one of the oldest living art forms on the planet, and one of the newest. The roots of the medium stretch back into prehistory, not only pre-dating western forms of painting, but the invention of paper, and even the papyrus used […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

NATSIAA 2022 in Darwin

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

For almost 40 years Telstra has had a dream run with its sponsorship of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). Held every August at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), the competition has become the primary focus for Indigenous communities and individual artists from all parts of […]