December 2017 – January 2018

Arts & Letters

A space of one’s own

By Quentin Sprague
Histories personal and national inform Helen Johnson’s large-scale canvases

Quentin Sprague

Quentin Sprague is a writer and curator based in Geelong.

Detail of Helen Johnson, A Feast of Reason and a Flow of Soul, 2016, acrylic on canvas, velcro, 330 x 310 cm. Photograph by Mark Blower

December 2017 – January 2018

From the front page

Queensland votes

COVID dominates the final leaders’ debate

Image of Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit.

Chequered careers: ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘The Good Lord Bird’

Among October’s streaming highlights are stories of a teenage chess prodigy and a zealous abolitionist

Image showing Sidney Flanigan as Autumn and Talia Ryder as Skylar

Quiet desperation: ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Eliza Hittman’s abortion drama is marked by the emotional solidarity of its teen protagonists

Image from Rebecca, with Kristin Scott Thomas as Mrs Danvers and Lily James as Mrs de Winter

Airbrushed horror: Ben Wheatley’s ‘Rebecca’

The new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic tale is visually lush, but lacks the novel’s nuance


In This Issue

Illustration

We are all diminished

Australian politics is full of contradictions, double standards and gaping voids

Unfinished business: A short story

Can a young wartime couple pick up where they left off?

Illustration

The unflappable Finkel

Australia’s chief scientist talks energy alternatives and trying to elevate the narrative

The inland food bowl

A poem


More in Arts & Letters

Image of American Boy Scouts, 1950.

Me versus we: ‘The Upswing’

Rebuilding a more egalitarian, altruistic and communitarian society without sacrificing individual liberties

Image from ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’

The long goodbye: ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’

Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson deals with her father’s decline into dementia by “killing” him through various means

The last days of disco: ‘Róisín Machine’

Róisín Murphy’s latest album is unusually mature pop driven by restlessness

Listening to Roberta Flack

‘First Take’, released 50 years ago, still echoes through the present


More in Art

Photograph of Tennant Creek Brio artists by Jesse Marlow / Institute

Desert bloom: The Tennant Creek Brio

The brazen art movement born out of the troubled legacies of substance abuse and dispossession

Untitled (Pollo Frito), 1982, by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Stopped in the street: ‘Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines’

Early death meant the work of these renowned artists never fully emerged from ’80s New York subcultures

Photo of Leonard French underneath his stained glass ceiling at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Leonard French’s Balzacian life

Reg MacDonald’s biography may return this Australian artist to the national imagination

Image of Mike Parr, Underneath the Bitumen the Artist

Mike Parr’s invisible performance and Tasmania’s complex past

Underneath the bitumen in Hobart, history becomes art


Read on

Image of Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit.

Chequered careers: ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘The Good Lord Bird’

Among October’s streaming highlights are stories of a teenage chess prodigy and a zealous abolitionist

Image showing Sidney Flanigan as Autumn and Talia Ryder as Skylar

Quiet desperation: ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Eliza Hittman’s abortion drama is marked by the emotional solidarity of its teen protagonists

Image from Rebecca, with Kristin Scott Thomas as Mrs Danvers and Lily James as Mrs de Winter

Airbrushed horror: Ben Wheatley’s ‘Rebecca’

The new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic tale is visually lush, but lacks the novel’s nuance

Former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull with a screenshot of Turnbull’s confirmation of signing the petition

The Corp’s bride

Despite a widely supported petition, the government is too scared to take on the Murdoch empire


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