Kate Holden

is the author of The Winter Road, winner of the 2021 Walkley Book Award and the 2022 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Nonfiction.

By this author

The Influence April 23, 2022

Daniel Riley

For Australian Dance Theatre’s new artistic director, Daniel Riley, William Forsythe’s Three Atmospheric Studies – a dance work about the American occupation of Iraq – was a formative experience.

The Influence April 09, 2022

Ian Strange

Ian Strange’s artistic investigations of suburban houses draw on Gordon Matta-Clark’s works on the fragility of home.

The Influence March 26, 2022

Bruce Gladwin

Back to Back artistic director Bruce Gladwin found the brilliance of the ordinary in Jeremy Deller’s re-enactment of the battle between striking British miners and the police.

The Influence March 12, 2022

Dimity Azoury

For The Australian Ballet’s Dimity Azoury, the power of Simon Stone’s 2013 production of Hamlet opened up the possibilities of performance.

The Influence February 26, 2022

Robert Lukins

Watching Jane Campion’s work showed Robert Lukins that writing can be as collaborative as filmmaking.

The Influence February 12, 2022

Alice Cummins

Maguy Marin’s Beckettian dance work May B has fascinated and moved dancer and choreographer Alice Cummins since she first saw it in 1992.

The Influence January 29, 2022

Angela Tiatia

For Angela Tiatia, the performance art of Latai Taumoepeau was revelatory.

The Influence December 18, 2021

David Hallberg

The Australian Ballet’s artistic director, David Hallberg, says French choreographer Jérôme Bel opened his eyes – and broke his heart.

Culture December 04, 2021

Emma Donovan

The deepest influence on ARIA-nominated Emma Donovan is the music of her grandparents, Micko and Aileen Donovan.

The Influence November 20, 2021

Amrita Hepi

Multidisciplinary artist Amrita Hepi pays homage to Adrian Piper’s groundbreaking short video Funk Lessons.

Culture November 06, 2021

Stephen Dupont

Acclaimed war photographer Stephen Dupont traces his vocation back to the shock of first seeing Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son.

Culture October 23, 2021

Jo Lloyd

For choreographer Jo Lloyd, the discomfort of Leos Carax’s film Holy Motors is part of its uneasy brilliance.

Culture October 09, 2021

Charlotte Wood

Author Charlotte Wood explains how the still-life paintings of Jude Rae help her write.

Culture September 25, 2021

Robynne Murphy

Filmmaker Robynne Murphy is inspired by the collective genesis of a painting by sisters Lorraine Brown and Narelle Thomas.

Culture September 18, 2021

Damiano Bertoli (1969–2021)

Melbourne artist Lisa Radford, a friend and colleague of Damiano Bertoli’s, remembers his major work Le Désir, a series of performances of a little-known play by Picasso.

Culture September 04, 2021

Marco Fusinato

The whole-work aesthetic of Japanese doom-metal band Corrupted has been a major inspiration for the noise art of Marco Fusinato.

Culture August 21, 2021

Mitch Cairns

A 2007 retrospective of Tom Kreisler’s art has had a lifelong impact on Mitch Cairns’ work.

Culture August 07, 2021

Andrew Ford

Broadcaster and composer Andrew Ford discusses how Luciano Berio’s O King showed him how to start with the simple.

Culture July 24, 2021

Amanda Lohrey

Miles Franklin award-winner Amanda Lohrey on how the Hindu god Shiva danced creation into being.

Culture July 10, 2021

Constantine Costi

Opera and film director Constantine Costi discusses how Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ has influenced his approach to staging.

Culture June 26, 2021

Bryony Anderson

Artist and puppet-maker Bryony Anderson talks about the influence of Fiona Hall’s Paradisus Terrestris (1989-90) on her work and outlook.

Culture June 12, 2021

Alexander Briger

Alexander Briger AO, an Australian and international star of classical music, discusses the influence of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony on his career.

Culture May 29, 2021

Lynette Wallworth

Award-winning documentary and digital installation artist Lynette Wallworth describes a work that influenced her.

Culture May 15, 2021

Toni Jordan

Last year, author Toni Jordan decided to write fiction full-time, in order to pursue her goal of subverting capitalism by making people feel less miserable. She is editing her sixth book and has started writing the next one.

Culture April 24, 2021

Ling Ang

A filmmaker, cinematographer and visual artist, Ling Ang has been documenting her dreams for three years with 3D graphics, installations and now a book.

Culture April 10, 2021

Rhoda Roberts

One of the pioneers of Indigenous presence on screen, Rhoda Roberts has spent her life breaking barriers for First Nations artists. But with her new job, she may finally find some time for her own art.

Culture March 27, 2021

Ben Salter

Musician Ben Salter is ensconced in a studio at MONA, making music in front of the museum’s patrons as a kind of performance art.

Culture March 13, 2021

Ursula Dubosarsky

The children’s author Ursula Dubosarsky says books can be like cats, sitting at the back of your mind demanding your attention.

Culture February 27, 2021

Dan Golding

Games composer, teacher, broadcaster and critic Dan Golding balances his different worlds in a chaos of creativity.

Culture February 13, 2021

Nardi Simpson

For Yuwaalaraay singer and writer Nardi Simpson, author of Song of the Crocodile, a sense of place is fundamental to all her work.

Culture January 30, 2021

Liza Lim

Composer Liza Lim is old-school – she still handwrites her scores, as the tactile act of notation flows into her music-making.

Culture December 19, 2020

Garth Nix

Garth Nix, one of Australia’s most internationally successful authors, says lying on the couch with his eyes shut is a crucial part of his working life.

Culture December 05, 2020

Kate Mulvany

Playwright and performer Kate Mulvany is working on her next play in an unusual space – under quarantine in a Brisbane hotel room.

Culture September 12, 2020

Choreographer Shaun Parker

On his company’s 10th anniversary, Shaun Parker – one of the stalwarts of Australian contemporary dance – looks over his shapeshifting career. “It’s weird, I didn’t like it. I loved it. You’d think I’d be more terrified, but I think, beginning to sing or dance or act, you’re becoming another role. I love that feeling of becoming someone else.”

Culture August 15, 2020

The Guaia

“The Guaia is three-and-a-half feet tall, with arms as long as she is high. The pads of her fingers are as dark and shiny as wet wood, and splayed like a tree frog’s. Her face is forever young yet strafed, all hollow and crag, sexless. She sleeps behind …”

Culture September 14, 2019

The high notes of ACO violinist Satu Vänskä

As the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s principal violin, Satu Vänskä teases astonishing music from her centuries-old instrument. But away from the stage, Vänskä’s musical tastes march to a very different beat. “You know what’s really sad? You can go through your whole life without ever hearing ’90s grunge. Not to mention Bach or Mozart. Or 1970s popular music. If we want to keep our art form alive … we try to bring back music in everyday conversation, so you can encounter something and awake that curiosity.”

Culture April 27, 2019

Angelica Mesiti emergent in Venice

As Sydney-born, Paris-based artist Angelica Mesiti prepares to show her three-channel video work Assembly in the Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale, she talks about emotional responses, music as a salve and the vital need for connection. “Dissonance is a word that was really important to this work. Basically, the work is using music as a metaphor. It travels through dissonance, through harmony, through polyphony, through cacophony.”

Culture March 16, 2019

Unlike the Heart

A woman has a baby and she can’t stop crying. She cries not just on the third day after giving birth with the “baby blues”, but as she feeds him, as she takes congratulatory cards from the letterbox, as she watches television and opens a tin of …

Culture June 30, 2018

Artist Yvette Coppersmith on the meaning of self-portraiture

Archibald Prize-winning artist Yvette Coppersmith’s principal subject is herself, in works created with little concession to how they might be perceived by others. “To make a work without an awareness of an audience is virtually impossible, even though I began doing portraits or drawings of faces to hang in my childhood room, and that’s probably what I still want to do. It’s a very private process. It’s really private, actually. It’s only the fact that you’re an artist and part of your role is to share your work.”

Portrait June 23, 2018

Choreographer Diane Busuttil

A conversation about movement and personal history, with dancer Diane Busuttil.

Culture April 21, 2018

Evelyn Ida Morris’s piano forte

After a decade of critical acclaim as Pikelet, musician Evelyn Ida Morris is releasing the first music under their own name – a grand suite of piano songs, both sung and speechless, about the experience of being non-binary. “Non-binary is very strange, because it’s about preserving that internal space, and feeling proud of it, and finding ways to communicate it.”

Portrait February 24, 2018

Artist Stuart Ringholt

Inside the studio with conceptual artist Stuart Ringholt.

Culture November 11, 2017

Yorgos Lanthimos on the alienation of realism

Yorgos Lanthimos teams mundane musings and deadpan delivery to create humour and horror. The Greek filmmaker talks about what inspires his twisted metaphors, and who they are for. “We would never make a film to give a solution or preach something or teach something. It’s just human beings, you know, being in this world and trying to make sense of it and exploring various sides of it and going, ‘Huh, what do you think about that?’ ”

Culture October 28, 2017

Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth

As a pioneer of conceptual art, Joseph Kosuth’s reflections on the world’s great thinkers glow with deeper meaning. “It’s not about how, it’s about why,” he says. “So I think – not to be vainglorious about it – I instituted, for very selfish reasons, a view of art as something quite different from the inherited tradition.”

Portrait September 23, 2017

Artistic director Darren O’Donnell

A chat with urban planner, author and artistic director of the theatre company Mammalian Diving Reflex Darren O’Donnell.

Portrait August 12, 2017

A day in home daycare

Daycare operator Eliza and her life committed to children.

Portrait June 10, 2017

Theatre director Adena Jacobs

The Book of Exodus director Adena Jacobs on the ethereal connection between the stage and the audience.

Portrait February 18, 2017

Designer and film historian Peter Dietze

A pioneering Melbourne designer discovers a family link to the birth of the Indian film industry.

Portrait January 28, 2017

Dancer and choreographer Eisa Jocson

Philippine pole-dancer performance artist Eisa Jocson.

Portrait December 10, 2016

Abstract artist John Nixon

In the workroom with punk veteran and abstract artist John Nixon.

Culture October 01, 2016

Behind the scenes with Back to Back Theatre

Back to Back Theatre disorients and mesmerises audiences with large themes developed from very personal workshopping.

Portrait September 10, 2016

Choreographer John Neumeier

John Neumeier rehearses Nijinsky with the Australian Ballet.

Portrait July 23, 2016

Joe Scotland and his House of Voltaire pop-up shop

Studio Voltaire director Joe Scotland on how art can help us think about and understand the world.

Culture April 16, 2016

The irony of Father John Misty

Father John Misty delivers bruising piss-taking, knowing manipulation of celebrity, and surprisingly sincere love songs.

Portrait April 02, 2016

Carolyn Burns and Simon Phillips

A seat side stage with theatre production pair Carolyn Burns and Simon Phillips.

Portrait February 27, 2016

Futurist Daniel Crooks

A chat in the back shed with futurist and artist Daniel Crooks.

Portrait November 21, 2015

Hail Mary Coustas, aka the irrepressible Effie

Mary Coustas on comedy, her quest for motherhood, and not losing her ‘floral bits’.

Portrait October 31, 2015

Artist-photographer Richard Mosse’s journey to The Enclave

Richard Mosse turns the war-torn landscape of the Democratic Republic of Congo shockingly pink.

Culture August 15, 2015

The complex art of TV Moore comes to Melbourne’s ACCA

Acclaimed NYC-based multimedia artist TV Moore brings his immersive work home to Australia.

Portrait July 11, 2015

The ardour of Sibyl

Chapel Street's Benevolent ALIen.

Portrait April 25, 2015

On hallowed sound

Glyn Johns knows what it's like to be in a dark room with Keith Richards.

Portrait March 14, 2015

Conducting becoming for MSO’s Sir Andrew Davis

All the world’s a stage for Melbourne Symphony Orchestra maestro Andrew Davis.

Opinion December 06, 2014

Malcolm Turnbull’s loyal remaking

“Few have noticed the highwire upon which Turnbull has been perched ever more precariously since the election. Only now is the wobble beginning to show. ”

Portrait November 29, 2014

Daniel Andrews, Dan of the people

The Victorian Labor leader stands taller ahead of the election.

Portrait November 22, 2014

Actor Angus Sampson plays a stubborn mule

In the world of Australian film and television, few people have spent more time on our screens than Angus Sampson.

Portrait September 13, 2014

Skin in the game

How a Footscray fitter and turner became the king of Crown Casino's male burlesque hit, Princes of the Night.

Culture July 12, 2014

Dan Sultan’s rules

For two albums, singer-songwriter Dan Sultan was ‘a collaborator’. Now he is himself.

Portrait June 14, 2014

All the world’s a stage for Robyn Archer

Quiet please, there's a lady on stage. Lights go up on renowned artistic director Robyn Archer.

Portrait May 24, 2014

There in a crisis

Dealing with tragedy, raw grief, blood and gore is just part of the job for a paramedic. Thank God they can do what they do every day.

Culture March 08, 2014

How comedian Greg Fleet survived heroin addiction

“"I didn’t want to be the boy who cried sober."”