Art Critic articles

Tweet or deWitt: that is the question

By Rhonda Dredge Standing in a queue for a book signing is one of the hidden pleasures of the Melbourne Writers Festival, a place where you can hang out to pick up tips from great storytellers or just get close to fans. Near the front of the queue for the clever author of French Exit

Casual encounters with the past

By Rhonda Dredge Radical families are inspiring and the van Schaiks are a name when it comes to the CBD, in architecture and now art. In fact, Leon van Schaik, Emeritus Professor of Architecture at RMIT could be named a CBD hero.  Back in the ’80s when heritage remakes were the rage, he was responsible

When the press performs well

By Rhonda Dredge Way above the CBD in a lovely little apartment hidden within a hotel on Highlander Lane, two thinkers work on articles for publication in the academic press. Leonie Huddy and Stanley Feldman are political psychologists and they like the quiet of a high-rise location.  But a haven in Melbourne’s CBD does not

The tenderness of artistic types

By Rhonda Dredge The path of a writer is hellish. Many take the safer journey into genre. Organisations abound to help crime writers. Fantasy goes down well on the internet.  But the plain old realist with mental health issues and a desire to expose the pretensions of Melbourne’s literary industry has to rely on his

An outrageous Gothic wit

Rhonda Dredge Strange Arctic landscapes by Janice Gobey were exhibited at fortyfivedownstairs in May with the figure of a white wolf staring knowingly out of the canvasses. This was Gobey’s fourth exhibition of paintings in the CBD and she is slowly building a following. Art mounts an argument and this exhibition is playing with the

Moments of cruelty exposed

By Rhonda Dredge Cruelty to animals will touch the nerve of most readers and Janet Malcolm uses it to great effect in her latest book of essays, Nobody’s Looking at You, just released by CBD company Text Publishing. In a profile of New York fashion designer Eileen Fisher, known for her simple yet elegant styling,

Caught in tight places

By Rhonda Dredge The CFMEU office is at the centre of Lindsay Tanner’s new novel Comeback as the union tries to sort out a crooked developer with shonky safety practices and traps a taxi driver in its web.  Jack van Duyn is back as the protagonist with a taxi full of troubles and a few

On board a humiliating journey

Local William St company Text Publishing had three titles in the short list for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards but was pipped at the post by an extraordinary book written on Manus Island. The book No Friend But the Mountains had sold out in Melbourne’s bookshops by the time the award was announced in February.

An open mind in the big city

By Rhonda Dredge It’s 5.45 on Friday night and the bar at Young and Jackson is full of workers but you can still feel alone.  The hotel is a favourite watering hole in Melbourne, particularly among interstate visitors. Boutique beers are on tap and there’s a friendly crowd who will swap business cards at the

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