The beauty of Lola Greeno’s necklaces

Despite the ravages of colonisation, Palawa people have made necklaces of lustrous strings of pearlescent shells collected from the cool waters surrounding Lutruwita (Tasmania) and its islands in a cultural practice extending back thousands of years. Though for most of us a shell necklace captivates with its beauty and mystique, for the makers it is…

Flamboyance that was distinctly modern: George Lambert’s ‘The mother’

Though not a painting of a named sitter, George Washington Lambert’s Portrait group (The mother) 1907 nevertheless belongs to that category of art — Edwardian salon portraiture — which flourished in England in the first decade of the twentieth century. These were works especially characterised by flamboyance and bravura, where old master techniques were combined with a…

Some kind of island paradise

Australia has roughly 8000 islands within its maritime borders. While many are sites of difficult histories, they also maintain their unique identities through song, stories, dance and visual art, often in environments characterised by isolation and significant external influences. Here is an overview of the Indigenous Australian artists and projects from Tasmania, Arnhem Land, the…

Beacons of hope: 5 indigenous voices in APT9

‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) features a diversity of indigenous voices — the largest contingent in the Triennial’s history — who share a common experience of dislocation through European settler occupation. Brisbane-based Indigenous artist Ryan Presley looks at how the practices of five of these artists engage with the legacy of…

Jonathan Jones ‘untitled (giran)’ is a murmuration of winged sculptures

‘Murun’ — a Wiradjuri word meaning breath or life — and the English word ‘murmur’ — a low recurring sound, or soft voices — are two words born far from each other, one long of this land, one newly spoken here. They converge in this project by artist Jonathan Jones, the most recent in a…

Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey: Taking his culture and stories to the world

Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey (1924–85) was born on Mornington Island before European missionaries and colonial squatter-settlers established a strong presence in the Gulf of Carpentaria. His mother, Kuthakin (later renamed Minnie), selected a small stretch of coast fringed with pandanus palms to give birth, a place known as Gara Gara (Karrakarra), near Goobirah Point (Kupare). He…