The wonderful Dr Anita Heiss (author, political commentator and Indigenous rights activist) gave a fun lecture for the Nude at Night series at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. During her talk, titled “Does my bum look big in this?”, she told fictional stories of famous artworks from the Nude collection at the Tate Gallery currently on exhibition in Sydney.
It was very funny to hear how artists and their models might have chatted about women’s bodies as they were being painted: the discomfort of sitting still; standing in for imperfection; being lusted after; feeling insecure and exposed.
Dr Heiss started her talk acknowledging that Aboriginal people are the original storytellers and painters. Having recently written about injustice and the cultural violence of Australia Day, she was happy to revel a little in frivolity. She said Indigenous people should be able to have fun and not always talk about issues.
What a beautiful gift to wind up the day to imagery brought to life by a bold, funny and intelligent woman.