Tag Archives | Sidney Nolan

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 […]

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Snuff art: Brett Whiteley’s Christie series, 1999

I wrote this piece as a first step towards mapping what I thought might be a distinctive characteristic of Australian art (and perhaps colonial art in general); a preoccupation, shared by artists and audience alike, with what kind of artist Australia needed. At the same time, I wanted to demonstrate that iconic art works weren’t […]

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Fair game: art versus sport in “the lucky country”

My involvement with the Basil Sellers Art Prize—a biannual $100,000 award for contemporary art on the theme of sport—means that I’m often asked to comment on the supposed conflict between athletes and aesthetes. I usually begin by pointing out that this wasn’t always so. In this article I tried to identify the historical moment at […]

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