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Issue 57

Artist Profile acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional owners of the land on which we work. 

Centuries of close and prolonged studies of artist’s objects have shown there is an activist in every artist’s expression. Whether for or against the status quo, they’re making a statement. Some artists’ protests are subtle, camouflaged in poetry, others are just upfront. 

Well known for her decades of inspirational artistic expression is Bundjalung woman Bronwyn Bancroft. In his cover essay on the artist, Brad Buckley has analysed and celebrated the depth and breadth of Bancroft’s work.  Bancroft’s pioneering feats across many genres have shown what was and is possible for First Nations people, in a century when a settler nation was only just learning to value its Aboriginal heritage. Her work as a founding member of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in the late 1980s has been transformative for many artists. Buckley reveals that Bancroft’s artworks are her most important achievements. Her artistic expressions have been celebrated both nationally and internationally in exhibitions and collections. 

Robert Leonard writes in his essay on artist Brett Graham, that at school, “in the twentieth century, we weren’t taught New Zealand history. I remember studying the histories of England, Europe, and Japan, but not of New Zealand. Like many Pākehā, I grew up in a convenient state of cultural and political amnesia.” Leonard’s experience resonates with mine in Sydney. I was continually told that the only route across the Blue Mountains was discovered by three British settlers. Such were the perspectives of that time. 

So, to be lost in the discovery of many artists’ expressions is to come to the realisation that art will always be an articulation of the human spirit. As abstract as that notion may appear, it’s a factor that drives the continual improvement of our galleries and museums to give access to these diverse expressions. And without the generous toil of so many people to develop these important places or sites, many of these artists’ expressions would be lost. The people of Orange, in central west New South Wales – as Judith Pugh writes – have been able to raise funds to extend the Orange Regional Gallery in a manner that presents work in natural light and with added collection rooms to care for the City’s impressive collection of artists’ expressions. 

With such enthusiasm from Orange, why do certain artists’ expressions remain, while others fade or are destroyed? We give some consideration to this inquiry in this issue’s Anon story, in the tribute to James Gleeson told by artist John Conomos, in the rescue of Khadim Ali’s work and of his ensemble of weavers, in Michael Young’s article Escape from Kabul, and in the upcoming 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art preview by Louise Martin-Chew, and more. 

Despite its continuing devastating effects, we’re starting to feel a future without COVID-19 controlling our lives, and once again to enjoy the physical experience of being with artistic expressions. Enjoy our fifty-seventh issue of Artist Profile.

Kon Gouriotis 
Editor 

CONTENTS

ISSUE

A Bird in the Hand by Anna Johnson 

Anonymous

COVER FEATURE

Bronwyn Bancroft by Brad Buckley

PROFILES

Genevieve Felix Reynolds by Lucy Hawthorne
Christopher Zanko by Brooke Boland
Bronwyn Bancroft by Brad Buckley 
Brett Graham by Robert Leonard
Giles Alexander by Peter Hill
Marlene Gilson by Courtney Kidd
Jumaadi by Michael Young
Dean Bowen by Elizabeth Fortescue
Isaac Julien by Ted Snell
Jonathan Jones by Nikita Holcombe

INSIGHT

POEM John Mateer
PROCESS Pony Express
PROCESS  Christopher Langton 
ESSAY Escape from Kabul by Michael Young
ESSAY Once Upon a Time in New York by Pippa Mott
ESSAY Tracy and Kathy Ramsay
ESSAY All Light, All Air by Rose Vickers
TRIBUTE James Gleeson by John Conomos
ESSAY Defiance Award and Nock Art Foundation Residency by Bridget MacLeod
PREVIEW Orange Regional Gallery by Judith Pugh
PREVIEW 10th Asia Pacific Triennial by Louise Martin-Chew
PREVIEW Matisse: Life & Spirit by Joe Frost
PREVIEW Khaled Sabsabi: A Hope by Stephanie Berlangieri
REVIEW Madeleine Pfull by Emma Finneran
PREVIEW Birds & Language by Andrew Gaynor
PREVIEW 경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA b Jessyca Hutchens
PREVIEW Amy Dinan: Sky Talk by Emma-Kate Wilson
REVIEW Hossein Valamanesh: Puisque tout passe (This Will Also Pass) by Beau Lai
BOOK Sting in the Tale by H.R. Hyatt-Johnston
DISCOVERY Lisa Sammut by Erin McFadyen

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