Tag: religious art

Sydney Morning Herald Column


Friday, May 15th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A successful artist needs more than talent. There has to be a taste – perhaps a need – for solitude. The movies portray artists as great Bohemians who carouse in bars and cafés, have fierce arguments about art and embark on passionate, doomed love affairs, but this is only what they do in their spare […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

After the Black Death

Thursday, May 7th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It may be a symptom of morbid curiosity but the coronavirus lockdown has generated a new interest in novels such as Albert Camus’s The Plague, and movies such as Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. Both are speculative fictions that draw on our knowledge of the causes and behaviour of an epidemic. It’s commonplace to talk about all […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Blake Prize 2018

Thursday, May 31st, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s been seven years since I last wrote about the Blake Prize, which seemed to have reached a point where it couldn’t get any worse. The good news is that it hasn’t gotten worse: it’s just as bad as it was seven years ago. When it was founded in 1951 the Blake Prize was intended […]

Art Essays

The 60th Blake Prize Exhibition

Saturday, October 1st, 2011 Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In recent years I have cheerfully avoided the Blake Prize and might have done so again in its 60th anniversary year, had not Rachael Kohn from Radio National asked me to comment on the show. The reason why I generally avoid the Blake is not because I’m irreligious – which I freely admit – but […]

Art Essays

Justin O’Brien

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Thinking of Justin O’Brien my memory flies back to a day in Rome when I was taking “Justin’s tour” with his old friend and fellow expatriate, Jeffrey Smart. As we approached the church of Sant’Agostino, which contains works by Caravaggio and Raphael, we were met with a blast of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue. A funeral […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Blake Prize

Monday, September 20th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If all religion were as vague and non-descript as the works in the Blake Prize, the world would be a much more peaceful place. Nobody could ever be passionate, let alone fanatical, about the lame and timid entries in Australia’s leading competition for religious art. Or should that be ‘spiritual’ art? This is the 59th […]