The Life and Death of a Shadow

The Life and Death of a Shadow. Artist Jumaadi created this story for the Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition, Telling Tales: Excursions in Narrative Form. Working in Sydney Australia and Yogyakarta Indonesia using Javanese shadow puppets, it is the true story of a deaf musician teaching his blind sin the art of wayang kulit, or shadow puppetry. “Spirits filled the living room, witnesses to this enchanted performance.”

Refugee Art Project

The Refugee Art Project is led by Sydney artist Safar Ahmed, but the drawings and watercolours in this exhibition are mostly created by untrained asylum seekers imprisoned at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney. The artists use food such as instant coffee mixed with water as they do not have access to at materials. The refugees are locked up indefinitely in some cases due to our callous immigrating policies in Australia that have been deemed unlawful by international agencies including the United Nations. Ahmed’s sketchbooks and zines are also on display.

Wendy Saddington: Underground Icon

This exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery contains memorabilia collected by Canberra artist Peter Maloney of the Australian singer heralded as “The Face of 68” at the age of 18. She performed with many influential art rock groups in the 1970s. She eventually travelled to New York where she went on to join the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and adopted the name Gandharvika Devi Dasi and continued to perform under her Anglo name but shunned the music press. Continue reading Wendy Saddington: Underground Icon

Bangarra: Ochres

Ochres by Bangarra Dance Theatre was amazing! The music was moving but also incredibly melodic and made me want to dance.

Most of it was in Indigenous Australian languages until the final piece which also included English lyrics.
The whole show was tremendous but my favourite was a series centred on relationships: two girls play with a boy joyously first, and two lovers caress at the end. In between was a profound but distressing story of a jealous man and his partner who fought viciously.

Special cultural advisor and dancer Djakapurra Munyarryun appears throughout, dancing and singing with deep resonance. Elma Kris remains the most enchanting dancer I’ve ever seen. She is graceful and powerful.

From Hermitage to the Skies

In this visual sociology installment using Vine, we go from Melbourne to Canberra to Brisbane. Hold onto your seats, it’s your visual sociology for September, October and November 2015! We’ll see opulent art and enjoy the simplicity of kite-flying and the soothing power of water.


From the Hermitage exhibition, Catherine the Great was inspired by the archaeology of Rome. 6 September

Continue reading From Hermitage to the Skies

Festival Land

In this next installment of visual sociology, we journey from January to February 2015 with many festivals in between. A celebration of Aboriginal resilience, public art of Summer Salt, the Lunar Festival, and Melbourne’s White Night Festival. We also revel in a little international art and the irreverent David Shrigley. Let’s begin with the sociology of play.

Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC. Street art in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia. 3 January 2015

Continue reading Festival Land