Munem Wasif creates magic realism

Munem Wasif’s intimate and mysterious encounters in photography and film are created through an unyielding attention to atmosphere, texture, rhythm and movement to capture enigmatic locations and intricate narratives. Kheyal 2015–18 paces through the environment and identities of Old Dhaka, whether real or imagined. Shot over two years, but in development for 17, the work…

Michael Cook introduces us to his dream-journey

Michael Cook’s photographs have become well known for a whimsical and unique interplay of surrealism and political potency. The ‘Broken Dreams’ series 2010 was one of the Queensland Indigenous photographer’s most important breakthrough works, produced in the first year of his artistic practice. Coming from a commercial background, Cook had long entertained moving into art photography and had been incubating many…

Museums and memories

Museums are places for complex stories for a diverse public. Everywhere, museums are now far more than just cultural institutions. They have moved politically centre-stage, playing a key role in defining and re-defining national and communal identity.  On International Museums Day, Neil MacGregor while in Australia, shared his wisdom with us. He’s a writer and…

Margaret Rarru and Helen Ganalmirriwuy create timeless forms

Born in farthest northern Arnhem Land, Margaret Rarru Garrawurra and Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra were taught important Liyagawumirr clan designs by their father, and to understand the deep, poetic meanings of ancient creation narratives. When yothu (young), they were also instructed in the cultural meanings of woven fibre objects and a range of weaving techniques. Following…

Idas Losin’s paintings are notable for their fine brushwork

Idas Losin’s paintings are characterised by their fine brushwork and stark composition, typically foregrounding their subject matter on a flat, open pictorial plane. A Taiwanese artist of Truku and Atayal heritage, her works range from expressions of aboriginal identity — incorporating tattoos, woven patterns and other cultural objects — to dreamlike renderings of island settings…

Ayesha Sultana finds numerous ways to harness illusion

Ayesha Sultana’s graphite works meander between delicate drawings and austere minimalist sculptures. They are created through numerous applications of graphite, using sticks, powder and soft brushes on layers of paper to develop seductive metallic tones. The thickly rendered sheets are carefully cut, folded and fixed into various sculptural compositions, creating rich combinations of shape and…