Art Critic articles

Charity begins in Bourke St

Charity begins in Bourke St

By Rhonda Dredge Publishers are rushing out Christmas specials this year to make people think. Myer’s sells cards to support the needy but the publishing industry can be just as charitable.  Boxes were arriving at bookshops as early as September. By October the specials were laid out on tables for bookshops to recommend. One delivery

On being a goddess …

By Rhonda Dredge What a relief it is to indulge in fantasy at the show in Craft Victoria’s new gallery in Watson Place just off Flinders Lane. Strange headpieces for goddesses hang off the ceiling, oversized earrings dangle from imaginary ears and warrior vests in brilliant orange dissolve into the general moodiness of the display.

Wearne and his mates

By Rhonda Dredge The world might have become more tonal but our poets still have an ear for the old vernacular. We were an upfront lot who didn’t leave much to the imagination. Alan Wearne, in his latest book These Things are Real, is blunt, threadbare and sardonic – forever the lad. The old guard

The staying power of fiction

By Rhonda Dredge Many events had already sold out for this year’s Melbourne Writers’ Festival within two weeks of them going on sale. The rush to be literary has increased unabated since the first festival was staged more than 30 years ago in the Malthouse. This year’s festival starts on August 25 and focuses on

The word from the garret

By Rhonda Dredge The urban artist today is likely to be a spatial specialist who builds installations out of found materials in out-of-the-way corners of the CBD.  References are unlikely to be recognisable people or settings from everyday life. Marie Darrieussecq in Being Here documents the way an artist at the beginning of the 20th

Drowned by history

By Rhonda Dredge Two plays recently performed in the CBD vividly demonstrate the difference between prose and drama by resting too obviously on their historical settings. In prose, a writer has a lot of mileage to set the scene, narrate on behalf of characters and generally give reality a twist so the reader can visualise

All work and no play

By Rhonda Dredge The lovely anarchic sensibility of painter Bill Hay is on show at fortyfivedownstairs, inviting visitors to join in the fun. While other shows around town present a thesis for the viewer’s interpretation, Hay has his slogan printed on a document for all to see. Twenty gouaches on paper take advantage of the

Celestial calling for CBD foyer

By Rhonda Dredge As the city fills, every little corner is laden with signs. In the past, letters came addressed to particular tenants. Their contents were strictly protected from prying eyes. Now artists are leaving hints in their place that personal messages are a thing of the past. At 141-143 Flinders Lane, seekers of knowledge

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