Art Critic articles

On board a humiliating journey

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

Someone is following

By Rhonda Dredge The Shoalhaven area up the east coast holds a special place in the hearts of even the most jaded nature watchers.  Sea eagles soar, shags sit on rocks and kingfish swim just offshore at dawn. Even humans have left their strange detritus in a series of shipwrecks memorialised in legend. A recent

Pining for a lover

By Rhonda Dredge Last year someone at Dymocks bookstore in Collins St left a stray novel amongst those on the 2017 Stella Prize shortlist for women’s writing and the CBD News picked it up mistakenly out of the pile of hopefuls. An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen had just been released and must have missed

The emptiness of status

By Rhonda Dredge Curators tend to look at the careers of artists, their exhibition history, critical assessment published in art magazines and updates of the artist’s website to provide an objective measure of their status.  These are key signifiers of how much attention an artist pays to their followers and how much he/she might be

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