Steve Dow


40 ENTRIES Steve Dow is the 2020 Walkley arts journalism award recipient.


Illustration by Jeff Fisher


Letter from Dunkley

As a byelection draws the nation’s focus to the scrappy suburb of the author’s childhood, a visit reveals the damage wrought by the housing crisis

Image representing a film still of abstract colours


Tacita Dean and the poetics of film editing

The MCA’s survey of the British-born artist’s work reveals both the luminosity of analogue film and its precariousness

Three actors are seen on stage during a performance of The Dismissal, portraying Malcolm Fraser, Norman Gunston and Gough Whitlam.


‘The Dismissal’: An all-singing, all-dancing reimagining of the constitutional crisis

The Gough Whitlam musical – with Norman Gunston as guide – is a polished and hilarious spectacle, but at times it tries to cover too much ground

Image of a photograph of two women, dressed in black, with one tending to the other's hair


Hoda Afshar: A Curve is a Broken Line

The first major solo exhibition by the Iranian-born, Melbourne-based photographer showcases her collaborative style, in which subjects seek to reclaim a sense of agency

Two dancers, both wearing denim, are seen in bluish light against a dark background. The outline of the person standing behind can barely be seen because of the performer in front of him. She is holding up a small object, perhaps a stone, in one of her hands and looking at it.


‘Tracker’ at Rising

This riveting dance-theatre hybrid work, based on the life of the first Aboriginal police sergeant in NSW, is a profound consideration of deep listening

Image of Sandra Pankhurst in Lachlan McLeod’s documentary ‘Clean’


The mess around: ‘Clean’

Lachlan McLeod’s absorbing documentary about trauma cleaner Sandra Pankhurst considers how traumatic experiences leave their mark

Image of Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez in ‘Official Competition’


Screen presence: ‘Official Competition’

Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn’s laugh-out-loud comedy, starring Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, deliciously skewers the screen industry’s careerists

Image of dancers performing in ‘Jurrungu Ngan-ga’. Image credit: Prudence Upton


Bodily resistance: ‘Jurrungu Ngan-ga’

The new dance theatre work by Marrugeku interrogates Australia’s history as a nation of jailers

Image of Lynette Wallworth, courtesy Lynette Wallworth


Spirit moves: ‘How to Live (After You Die)’

Lynette Wallworth’s one-woman show, exploring her past in a Pentecostal cult, continues her lifelong search for meaning

Film still showing Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Jude Hill and Judi Dench in ‘Belfast’. Image supplied: Focus Features


Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Belfast’

This nostalgic tale of childhood during the Troubles is both poignant and beautifully shot, but it sanitises the sectarian conflict’s violence

Image of Lisa McCune, Zahra Newman and Peter Carroll appearing on stage in Girl from the North Country. Image © Daniel Boud.


‘Girl from the North Country’

Weaving Bob Dylan songs into a story of Depression-era hardship, Conor McPherson’s musical speaks to the broken America of today

Image of Ian Wilkes leading a Galup show. Photo © Dan Grant


Noongar stories at Perth Festival

From a walking performance on country to a Noongar-dubbed Bruce Lee film, Perth Festival points up Aboriginal stories

Bangarra’s Spirit. Photo © Lisa Tomasetti


Healing story

Bangarra Dance Theatre’s ‘Spirit’ pays tribute to collaborators

Image of author Craig Silvey


Character study: Craig Silvey on ‘Honeybee’

The author’s first novel since ‘Jasper Jones’ raises questions about who should tell contemporary trans stories

Image from ‘Breaking the Waves’


Reimagining ‘Breaking the Waves’

The creators of this opera on how it adds new depths and agency to von Trier’s 1996 film