Issue 59

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


By the time Artist Profile 59 goes on sale, Australia will either have the same Prime Minister or a new one. 

As I write this, the country is saturated with competing narratives of “political values,” as parties try to convince the voters in a compulsory voting system that they should lead the nation. 

More than any other federal election in the last thirty years, announcements on the value of the arts have been so low-key from the major parties – the Liberal-National Coalition, Labor, and The Greens – that the silence has been noticeable. 

We do know from the current Liberal-National Coalition government budget announcement this year that, if re-elected, they are committed to reducing arts funding over the next four years by more than 10 percent. 

It’s also known that decisions for their Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) project funding are made by the Office for the Arts, not the arms-length arts agency, the Australia Council for the Arts, chartered to spend, in 2021, $214 million to provide professional advice on arts policies and manage peer-assessed grants to artists and arts organisations. So far, the Minister has spent $160 million of RISE funding through his department.   

At the very bottom of a muddy political sludge of values the discombobulated letters A-R-T came together and to light only once or twice in the election coverage. The most “animated” media response to an arts policy announcement by any of the major parties was when the Labor leader was invited to speak at Bluesfest in Bryon Bay. The general response from the media to that leader’s speech was to gauge the boos and cheers he received, rather than the content of his speech. 

Artist values matter to Artist Profile. 

Jo Bertini, this issue’s cover artist, has travelled for more than thirty years throughout many desert regions to paint their mysterious energy. Pippa Mott went to New Mexico, Bertini’s adopted home, to absorb a deeper understanding of the myths, the colours, and the light that have inspired the artist’s latest solo exhibitions at Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery at the Ent Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs, US and at Arthouse, Sydney, in October. 

Callum Innes told Peter Hill, “I like dissolving two colours together and creating a new colour. It’s about tension and creating space and light.” To be with an Innes painting is truly a profound, unexplainable experience as it evokes all the senses into a place and time that is so visceral and deeply lasting. The stories his paintings tell are not comfortable ones, but necessary to give us hope that by being resilient we can prevail the darkest moments.  

The long overdue acknowledgement of Ian Milliss’s remarkable “life as a work of art,” and his commitment to social justice and sustainability, is beautifully explored by Judith Pugh.

I am grateful to you all for making this issue of Artist Profile possible. 

Kon Gouriotis



Publishing as a Collective Practice by Nick Croggon


Jo Bertini by Pippa Mott


Seth Birchall by Nathan Hawkes
Adrienne Gaha by Nikita Holcombe
Daniel Boyd by Michael Young
Callum Innes by Peter Hill
Kate Mitchell by Elli Walsh
Nuha Saad by Courtney Kidd
Yuki Kihara by Kirsty Baker
Mai Nguyễn-Long by Đỗ Tường Linh
Ian Milliss by Judith Pugh


POEM Areez Katki
PROCESS Mark Merrikin
PROCESS Katya Grokhovsky
ESSAY Thancoupie by Jennifer Isaacs
TRIBUTE Norma Redpath by Brad Buckley
ESSAY On Common Ground by Dan Kyle
ESSAY Painters on Pots by Andrew Harper
ESSAY Thinking the Other Way by Bridget Macleod
PREVIEW Land Abounds by Nur Shkembi
PREVIEW Luke Sciberras: Side of the Sky by Anne Ryan
PREVIEW Grace Burzse: Energies of Abstaction by Brooke Boland
PREVIEW Peter Sharp: Signal by Andrew Gaynor
REVIEW This language that is every stone by Chari Larsson
REVIEW 23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus by H.R. Hyatt-Johnston
REVIEW Pliable Planes: Expanded Textiles & Fibre Practices by Erin McFadyen
BOOK Andrew Andersons: Architecture and the Public Realm by Paul McGillick
DISCOVERY Arash Chehelnabi by Victoria Hynes

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