Australian politics, society & culture


Quentin Sprague

Quentin Sprague is a writer and curator based in Melbourne.

Articles by this author

What does it take to transform the National Gallery of Australia into the Palace of Versailles?
A moveable feast
On a Friday morning in late October I met Adam Worrall in the National Gallery of Australia’s members lounge, a quiet, low-ceilinged room on the Level 2 mezzanine of Colin Madigan...
Still from Collisions
Lynette Wallworth’s ‘Collisions’ brings virtual reality to the Western Desert
Seeing visions
Nyarri Nyarri Morgan was a young man when he witnessed the atomic plume rise above the Western Desert in the 1950s. Like many Martu, he was at the time yet to meet a European, so...
Artist Jan Senbergs prepares for his NGV retrospective
Life’s work
Jan Senbergs sits surrounded by the ephemera of his life’s work: folders of correspondence, press clippings, catalogues and plastic sleeves of 35mm slides that document his five-...
Dugong figure, Tudu Island, Torres Strait.
The National Museum of Australia’s ‘Encounters’ and the politics of collection
Bringing them home
“The English took the place without consent.” Harley Coyne, a Noongar man in his late 50s, was speaking to me in early November from Albany, on Western Australia’s southern coast...
Dibirdibi Country (2012), Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori).
The meteoric career of Kaiadilt painter Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda
The extraordinary Mrs Gabori
By any measure, Mrs Gabori’s rise was stellar. When the Kaiadilt artist began painting in 2005 she was aged in her early 80s, already a long-term resident in her community’s old...
Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart (until 13 April 2015)
Matthew Barney’s ‘River of Fundament’
On its publication in 1983, Norman Mailer’s epic Egyptian novel, Ancient Evenings, was widely panned. “Pretentious, unreadable, even incomprehensible” was the consensus. Mailer,...
National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Melbourne Now’
Melbourne Now, the NGV’s ambitious exhibition of the city’s contemporary art and related disciplines, has been a varied undertaking. This is partly because contemporary art,...
Tony Oliver and Paddy Bedford, Kununurra, 2003. © Giancarlo Mazzella
The unlikely collaboration of Paddy Bedford and Tony Oliver
Two painters in the Kimberley
For Paddy Bedford, the day usually began soon after dawn. Tony Oliver, a former Melbourne gallerist who had worked alongside Bedford for close to a decade since arriving in the...