Newcastle Short Story Award

I’ve been shortlisted for the 2018 Newcastle Short Story Award. My story Red Belly will be published in the award anthology later in the year.

If you want to know something funny, a few days before I found out I was a finalist, I filed a magazine story on art prizes and the role they play in the art world. The basic point was not to take them too seriously, but I’m still going to take Michael Zavros’ advice to NAVA members to heart:

Peer assessment is really valuable in my opinion. Prizes where the work is considered by a curator or guest judge for pre-selection before the final means that a) someone has actually seen it and b) thought it worthy or interesting.

So my sincerest thanks to the Hunter Writers Centre and judges Ryan O’Neill and Isabelle Li.

UPDATE: Red Belly ended up being Highly Commended, so my huge thanks too to Foghorn Brewhouse for my prize

Summer good times

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When I was editing Art Collector magazine, the January issue always meant crazy times. So many stories and pic requests and photo shoots and balls in the air.

This year, as a freelancer, I have to say I loved working on the special summer issue and it was an absolute pleasure to contribute pieces on Kushana Bush, Monica Rohan, Yhonnie Scarce, Deb Mansfield and Noel McKenna.

And, of course, I love the Patricia Piccinini cover! I can’t wait to get Brisbane to see Curious Affection.

Exhibition review: Aura

Aura review Art Guide

How does that old Joseph Heller quote go? Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. Ben Rak, the printmaker behind Aura: Repetition, Reproduction and the Mark of the Artist at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum, does seem a little touchy. Why else would you take on all the things that have traditionally dogged printmaking as a medium?

Full exhibition review over on Art Guide.

Tomislav Nikolic

Excerpt of a story published in Art Collector, Jan-Mar 2015

Tomislav Nikolic insists his work doesn’t reproduce well. For him, painting is a three-dimensional object and photography only flattens it. For his last exhibition at Jensen’s Sydney gallery, he applied multiple layers of transparent colour washes to paper. “By applying dozens or even hundreds of coats of paint it builds up a density and a body of colour. When you’re looking at what looks to be one solid colour, you’re actually not looking at the surface, you’re looking through hundreds of layers of paint,” he explains. Only by looking at a work in the flesh can you get the experience of “how that colour and that pigment and that medium behaves,” he says.

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