Steve Dow
is the 2020 Walkley Arts Journalism award recipient.

By this author


Culture June 27, 2020

Belvoir artistic director Eamon Flack

The coronavirus crisis has left many in the arts struggling. But Belvoir artistic director Eamon Flack is determined to use the shutdown as a catalyst for positive change and to push ahead with bringing new Australian works to the stage. “Really early on in this – when we didn’t know how bad it was going to get – we decided that this was going to be a good time to rethink a whole lot of things. We wanted to come out of this crisis, however long it went on for, having fixed some things, and having made some deep, permanent changes.”

News May 09, 2020

The collapse of Carriageworks

With the Covid-19 lockdown forcing Sydney arts precinct Carriageworks into voluntary administration, the embattled cultural sector is bracing for worse to come.

Culture May 23, 2020

Griffin Theatre Company artistic director Declan Greene

Four weeks after becoming the artistic director of Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company, Declan Greene had to cancel two plays because of Covid-19. He speaks about this extraordinary challenge, his childhood flair for drama and his ambitions for the company. “I’m constantly thinking I should do more to change things in the world … I’m interested in reconfiguring the space I work in to make it a more equal place.”

Culture April 25, 2020

Hearts and Bones director Ben Lawrence

In Hearts and Bones, director Ben Lawrence explores masculinity and trauma through the story of a war photographer befriending a South Sudanese refugee. He speaks here about how his experience of parenthood has influenced his work, and the parallels between himself and his father, director Ray Lawrence. “Through the period of writing Hearts and Bones and being involved in Ghosthunter, the idea of being a father, what it means to raise a young boy in this era, all became fascinating to me.”

Life April 18, 2020

Pet adoption booms in lockdown

As the RSPCA reports a boom in pet adoptions during the coronavirus lockdown, the author and his partner have also welcomed a new addition to their household.

Culture April 11, 2020

Bluey creator Joe Brumm’s dog days

Inspired by the interactions between his young daughters, Joe Brumm created a one-minute pilot that would become the kids’ television juggernaut Bluey. Here, he discusses the challenges of writing the show and reminisces about the blue heelers of his childhood. “Each episode has a number of components to make it good … It’s not just about coming up with a funny game.”

Culture February 22, 2020

Actress Cate Blanchett

As a co-creator of the new ABC series Stateless, Cate Blanchett hopes to challenge Australian attitudes towards asylum seekers, particularly as the climate crisis threatens to displace many more people. “The rhetoric of protection and the language has separated Australians from their humanity, and encouraged the public through a lack of transparency in information to tolerate or ignore human rights abuses that are going on offshore.”

Culture January 25, 2020

Vernon Ah Kee’s The Island

The power of Vernon Ah Kee’s latest show, The Island, lies in its ability to spotlight the experiences of First Nations people and refugees as the antithesis of privileged white Australian culture.

Culture December 07, 2019

Packer & Sons

Tommy Murphy’s Packer & Sons at Belvoir examines the inherited and inherent misbehaviour and barbarism of Australia’s best-known media dynasties.

Culture November 23, 2019

Actor Damon Herriman

A screen actor since he was 10 years old, Damon Herriman is all too aware of the precarities in his line of work. He speaks to Steve Dow about the ups and downs of his career and his new film, Judy and Punch. “It has a dark fairytale vibe. You can watch Judy and Punch as an allegory or a feminist revenge tale, or you could watch it as a really entertaining fairytale fable, or both.”

Culture October 05, 2019

Chinese cultural hero Yang Liping

At age 60, dancer and choreographer Yang Liping is still going strong, determined to keep the cultural traditions of China’s ethnic minorities alive. She speaks about her 50-year career and her striking new version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. “I want to fill the movement with traditional culture and art to make it more solid, more relevant, and more how I think contemporary dance should be.”

Culture September 28, 2019

Actress and director Rachel Griffiths

Throughout her illustrious acting career, Rachel Griffiths has often spoken out against injustice. She discusses power and its abuses, her upcoming ABC series, and how Catholicism informs her feature-length directorial debut, Ride Like a Girl. “I think my faith is aesthetically Catholic, not through any allegiance to Rome. I have no faith in the Catholic structure or any structure that doesn’t include women and is designed to entrench power using secrecy and threat.”

Theatre September 14, 2019

Avalanche: A Love Story

In Avalanche: A Love Story, Maxine Peake’s powerful and personal performance charts the pain and yearning – but also the wry humour – found in writer Julia Leigh’s account  of undergoing IVF.

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