Archive | Spectacle

AFL Grand Final 2010, take 2

Something strange happened to football on the occasion of the replay of the 2010 AFL Grand Final. With all sponsors, corporate freeloaders and once-a-year ‘opera goers’ sated the previous week, the gates were flung open to the average punter. For the first time in years, a ticket to the Grand Final was within reach of […]

Continue Reading

Eyes on the ball: images of Australian Rules football, 1995

Having pursued the topic further since this article was first published in 1995, I’d modify some of my comments. The issue of what precisely was meant by ‘national’ in Arthur Streeton’s The national game is still to be resolved but there are strong leads. Contrary to what I state below, ‘national’ could mean ‘geographically expansive’; […]

Continue Reading

AFL Grand Final 2010, take 1

The 2010 AFL Grand Final, contested by Collingwood and St Kilda, ended with a draw and required a rematch the following weekend. ‘The Age’ had commissioned articles from both my wife and me; knowing that we barracked for Collingwood and St Kilda respectively, they were looking for a his and hers story. Among the most […]

Continue Reading

William Shakespeare vs Old Van Theatre Company, Nangiloc 2010

I spent April 2010 as a writer-in-residence at Art Vault, Mildura. I’m not a regular theatre-goer but a production of Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’ at a small football club in nearby Nangiloc was tempting. The production was directed by Fiona Blair for The Old Van & NCDCA. The performance was at the Nangiloc Football […]

Continue Reading

The games people play, 2008

There’s a marvellous photograph of a corner of Sidney Nolan’s studio taken in 1949. On a small work table are the usual trappings of the bohemian laboratory: tobacco tin, overflowing ashtray, dog-eared books, and candlesticks picturesquely caked in melted wax. The only unfamiliar element in this ad hoc still life is a photograph pinned to […]

Continue Reading

Football superstitions, 2008

Ostensibly, this piece is a reflection on football fans. But really it’s about how I live my life. No Nick Hornby-style meditations; it’s just some stuff that happened. Forget the prognostications of pundits and statisticians, omens are the crux of any football prediction. With the Grand Final looming, they count for more than at any other […]

Continue Reading

Art and football, 2008

The arts editor of The Age called me a few days before the 2008 Grand Final wondering if I could string together something about art and sport. Just happened to have something lying around! Earlier in the year I’d been working through André Gide’s diaries; here was a chance to use his oddly gleeful discovery […]

Continue Reading

website by