profile

music June 15, 2019

Queering the air with musician and producer Paul Mac

Paul Mac has gone from playing the organ at church to forming a band with Daniel Johns, remixing tracks by Kylie Minogue and recording his latest album, Mesmerism. Here, he discusses his art, his love of trains and his political activism. “Unless we are continuously vigilant about the rights that we’ve gained, they can quite easily disappear again.”

art June 8, 2019

AGSA director Rhana Devenport

After achieving significant success as the director of two major New Zealand galleries, Rhana Devenport brings her ambitious vision to the Art Gallery of South Australia. Here, she talks about building relationships with artists and creating a safe space for audiences to explore challenging ideas. “I think that it is our role, working in a cultural organisation, to love our audience, to be as absolutely in love with our audience, to be thinking in multiple ways about how to be as expansive and open as humanly possible.”

theatre June 1, 2019

Actress Kat Stewart’s realms of possibility

Although Kat Stewart is well known for playing dark, in-your-face characters, her life experience has led her to a greater appreciation of hope and contentment. Her latest stage role is in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Heisenberg. “The idea I really love is that we spend all this energy trying to control our lives and take comfort in that … but we have very, very, very little control and what this play confronts you with is: What if that is not a bad thing?”

television May 25, 2019

The many facets of Zindzi Okenyo’s world

Zindzi Okenyo is asserting herself through her art – on stage, on screen and in the recording studio. Here, the singer-songwriter and actor talks about growing up in different parts of Australia, travelling to her father’s birth country, and being comfortable in her own skin. “The older that I’ve gotten, the more it seems to me the way to be better is to know yourself as much as possible and then relax into it.”

theatre May 18, 2019

Stage advice from actor Hugo Weaving

During his illustrious career, Hugo Weaving has consistently returned to the STC stage, where he currently stars in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The actor discusses his upbringing, his concerns about the local film industry, and sharing the stage with his son. “I thought Harry would be really good in the role. But I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want any sense of nepotism. I just don’t think that’s right.”

music May 11, 2019

Herbie Hancock’s chord of appeal

At the age of 79, Herbie Hancock has had a long and fruitful career, but the legendary jazz pianist remains forward-thinking. “There’s so much division happening globally and I actually believe that this is one of the final stages we need to solve, and fix, and learn from in order to be able to tackle climate change. That’s either going to do us in or we’re going to fix it.”

music May 4, 2019

Finding poetry in emotion with Aldous Harding

On her magical new album, Designer, Aldous Harding’s songs remain intensely personal. But she wants her listeners to make their own meaning of her music. “I can never listen to my work the way other people can, and if that’s what it makes them think of – if that’s what it draws up for them – then who am I to say that it’s not? Because I have no idea what it’s like to listen to my work. It doesn’t affect me in a positive or a negative way.”

art 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.”

art April 20, 2019

Artist Janet Laurence and the cost of living

Artist Janet Laurence explores the relationship between the metaphysical and the physical by giving voice to our fraught but soul-deep relationship with the world in which we live. “My first review read, ‘Janet Laurence deals with nature and the dark side of life and this is not where a woman should be.’ ” She dissolves into peals of laughter. “It was a female writer!”

art April 13, 2019

Rosslynd Piggott’s sense of self

As Rosslynd Piggott prepares for I Sense You But I Cannot See You – the second retrospective of her career at the National Gallery of Victoria – she reflects on her childhood in Frankston, her ambition as a young artist and her life’s work. “I did a year of teaching in 1981 in the remote Victorian country at Werrimull. I’d just come out of post-punk Melbourne, thrust up there in the middle of nowhere. I was never going to do three years up there. After that, I just ran away, basically, to St Kilda, doing dishwashing and waitressing. I knew I wanted to be an artist.”

books April 6, 2019

Remaking history with novelist Jordy Rosenberg

In his intricate debut novel, Confessions of the Fox, Jordy Rosenberg entwines the lives of an 18th-century transgender thief and the academic who becomes obsessed with his story. In doing so, Rosenberg aims to counteract the historical erasure – and the continuing persecution – of trans people. “There are many things missing from archives but sometimes even what is there can obscure more than it reveals.”