culture March 17, 2018

Ciara Phillips’ Biennale workshop

For the 21st Biennale of Sydney, artist Ciara Phillips is creating a collaborative printmaking studio, posters from which will run each week in The Saturday Paper. She talks about the role of art in social change. “I find it really difficult to explain: how do you make art? Basically it’s the sum total of all the things I think about.”

culture March 10, 2018

Gail Jones and the art of words

Author Gail Jones’s latest novel, The Death of Noah Glass, reflects the cross-cultural interests of an enthusiastic traveller who finds inspiration in getting lost. It also revisits her original passions of art and art history.

culture March 3, 2018

‘Single Asian Female’ writer Michelle Law

Michelle Law is a prolific writer, working across stage and screen, whose biggest achievement is in telling the stories of an unrepresented migrant experience. “A lot of people would come out and be like, ‘I’ve never seen a story that I could relate to in that way’ and ‘That was me growing up’ or ‘That’s me now’.”

culture February 24, 2018

Tamara Dean’s dusk photography

For photographer Tamara Dean, nature functions as a watermark in her work, immersing the viewer in both the personal and universal. Now she takes her melancholic and mysterious pictures to the Adelaide Biennial. “I started delving into allegory and more universal, personal stories. I learnt a different type of patience. I went from spending all my time shooting to all my time planning. I’d wait months or years for images to take shape.”

culture February 17, 2018

Christopher Hitchens: The lost interview

Writer Christopher Hitchens first met Peter Wilmoth in 1989, covering the Romanian revolution. In 2010, two weeks before Hitchens was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, the pair caught up for lunch in Sydney. Hitchens died 18 months later, and the tape of that conversation was missing until now. “I know I get very oppressed by the way that every day is more and more subtracted out of less and less.”

culture February 10, 2018

Knowing Helen Maudsley

A firm believer in the importance of understanding the ‘grammar’ of visual arts, Helen Maudsley is celebrating her 90th birthday with a solo exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria. “Art is a language like literature is a language and music is a language, and you have to learn it.”

culture February 3, 2018

Theatre director Ivo van Hove

Theatre director Ivo van Hove is often drawn to adapting film screenplays for the stage, but his latest work, juxtaposing three warrior kings from Shakespeare’s histories, shows he also finds contemporary relevance in the classics. “Richard III just wants to be king, but once he’s got the crown, he’s totally bored. He can only reign, only live, only feel in order to have power.”

culture January 27, 2018

Lisa Reihana’s historic reckoning

Artist Lisa Reihana, creator of the acclaimed video tableau In Pursuit of Venus (Infected), talks about growing up in bicultural New Zealand and her queering of Captain Cook. “The way that I feel things, I feel like sometimes I get messages from other places. I might be thinking about an idea, or in a conflict, and then I might come to a conclusion. It’s to do with intuition. For me, I’m thinking it’s from my people.”

theatre December 23, 2017

Theatre director Elizabeth LeCompte

As Elizabeth LeCompte’s theatrical take on a controversial 1971 debate about women’s liberation heads to the Sydney Festival, the director talks about art and feminism, then and now. “We thought [The Town Hall Affair] was too urbane and distant for most people to be interested in,” she says plainly, but “things just broke around it”.

culture December 16, 2017

Video artist Candice Breitz

On the eve of the NGV Triennial, artist Candice Breitz turned a work about refugees into a work of protest directed at the gallery’s security contracts. “While I am grateful for the immense support I have received from the NGV,” she announced, “it would be morally remiss, in light of the above knowledge, for me to remain silent in the context of the current conversation that is taking place around the Australian government’s ongoing and systematic abuse of refugees.”

dance December 9, 2017

Choreographer Lucy Guerin

Choreographer Lucy Guerin says ballet’s physical perfectionism may see off young girls from their passion for dance, leaving headstrong boys to take the reins in later life. “Women have really defined dance through the ages, especially in America, with a lot of female choreographers, and in Europe. Yet it feels like it’s going backwards a little bit.”