Colonial Sugar

“Colonial Sugar,” Tracey Moffatt and Jasmine Togo-Brisby, exhibition at the City Gallery Wellington. From 1863 to 1904, the Queensland government in Australia enslaved at least 62,000 people from the Pacific to fuel production in its prosperous sugarcane plantations. Continue reading Colonial Sugar

Joy Hester

My avatar is the painting ‘Little Girl With Book on Head’ (1957) by the magnificent Joy Hester. I see Joy Hester (1920-1960) as one of the most important Australian artists of all time. Her expressionist paintings have enduring significance on modern-day Australian art. She was avant-garde, an intelligent and opinionated artist, and the only woman member of the counter-cultural Angry Penguins, a group of artists and activists who lived, worked and published their political views at Heidi (my favourite place in the world). Hester’s work was influential to other, more widely-known Australian painters such as her ex-husband Albert Tucker, Charles Blackman and Arthur Boyd. Her expressionist art portrays a whimsical but evocative insight into a complex femininity at a time when women painters were not provided many opportunities. She was an inspiration to me in high school and she continues to inspire my sociological imagination to this day.


1. National Gallery of Australia (NGA)

2. NGA

3. NGA

4. NGA

5. Joy Hester photographed by Albert Tucker in 1939. State Library of Victoria.