Art Critic articles

An outrageous Gothic wit

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

Suits the urban peasant

By Rhonda Dredge There’s a great little setting up the top of Bourke St on McIlwraith Lane with a truck parked out front and the brick walls of a suburban factory, in stark contrast to the dressed-up ladies of town. Upstairs there used to be a camera repair shop. Now you can stand in the

Difficult stories attract punters

By Rhonda Dredge Melbourne’s City of Literature turned 10 last month without a fanfare.  It was business as usual as laconic CBD bookseller Bill Morton manned the book table with his partner Andrea Lindores at yet another literary event.  The booksellers were at the Wheeler Centre with the latest release by a Melbourne author, The

Even darker

By Rhonda Dredge The last day of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival fell on Sunday, September 2. A reader, feeling a bit low, rushed into the city, hoping to find inspiration among the wordsmiths and soothsayers of the day. The reader hadn’t booked for any sessions but hoped to mingle with a literary crowd out for

Disconnected from place and cause

By Rhonda Dredge Nature and all of its anarchies was put on a pedestal in June as the literary industry fired up with two bookshops offering wine and ideas for the wintery months ahead. The bookshops occupy a similar habitat in the CBD, tailoring their good reads to suit the individual. The Paperback runs a

Did the earth move for you?

Rhonda Dredge The facade is light brown stone with chiaroscuro in the monumental sunken windows at the top, which peek out above the trees of Swanston St like an alien intelligence. Five galleries are hidden within the bunker as are other altruistic groups dedicated to romancing culture. This month demolition began on the annex of

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