Articles on Arts review

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The term ‘Leb’ embodies hyper-masculinity on the street. Generic image from

What does a ‘Leb’ look like?

Michael Mohammed Ahmad's novel The Lebs is a realistic portrayal of teenage boys in Western Sydney.
Detail from William Barak, Figures in possum skin cloaks, 1898, pencil, wash, charcoal solution, gouache and earth pigments on paper, 57.0 x 88.8 cm (image and sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1962

NGV’s Colony is a bold attempt to confront Australia’s colonial past, but divisions remain

Colony at the NGV pairs colonial art with Indigenous responses, in an effort to create dialogue about Australia's history.
Rabaul is famous for its twin volcanoes, which erupted simultaneously in 1994. Unknown photographer Image supplied by David Bridie and Gideon Kakabin

The A Bit na Ta exhibition reminds us of our forgotten links to Papua New Guinea

An exhibition at the Melbourne Museum tells the history of colonialism in East New Britain, PNG, from the perspective of the local people. This is history from the ground up, told through film, art and music.
Taylor Mac sacrificed the audience in a ‘Radical Faerie realness ritual’. Fortunately we survived. Melbourne Festival

How our arts critics saw 2017

2017 gave us a blockbuster female superhero, radical faerie realness rituals, and the 'frenetic flapping of male genitalia'. Here's what our arts critics made of all that.
Jake Arditti (Nero) in Coronation of Poppea: the production is a haze of drug-fuelled violence, erotic drive, and dog eat dog power plays. Brett Boardman

Pinchgut’s Poppea plays hedonism, violence and passion to the hilt

The Monteverdi opera exploring passion in ancient Rome has been transposed to a contemporary gangster setting in a new Sydney production.
Ngathu, in Bangarra’s Ones Country, is a brilliant combination of the contemporary and traditional, telling the story of the ngathu, or cycad, in Arnhem Land. Photo by Daniel Boud

In Bangarra’s Ones Country, new voices show the many faces of Indigenous Australia

Bangarra’s current season of three new works, Ones Country, is uneven in parts but worth seeing for the diversity of Indigenous stories from some new choreographic voices.
Sabbia Gallery - Alison Milyika Carroll working on a pot at Ernabella Arts ceramic studio, 2017. Photo Ernabella Arts, Courtesy of Sabbia Gallery

All fired up: Clay Stories is a triumphant display of contemporary Indigenous ceramics

Clay Stories, a travelling exhibition, showcases ceramic art from Indigenous artists across the country. It is a triumphant display of specific stories and Dreamings, standing against cultural and political amnesia.

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