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Archibald Prize 2020 finalist Blak Douglas (aka Adam Hill), Writing in the sand, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 250 x 250 cm © the artist. Photo: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins Sitter: Dujuan Hoosen - documentary star ('In my blood it runs')

‘The most refreshing Archibald exhibition I can remember’: the 2020 portrait prize finalists

Most years, the Archibald exhibition is worth viewing as an amusing exercise in social history. This year it is worth seeing for the art.
Oliger Merko, ‘Season of Love’ detail, oil on canvas, 2014. Prison Creative Arts Project

What we can learn about isolation from prison artists

In a system that treats people as objects to be counted, chained, searched and assigned a number, art is a way for prisoners to reassert their agency – and reclaim their lives.
‘The Scream,’ by Edvard Munch, hand-coloured lithograph version from 1895. (Munchmuseet)

Why ‘The Scream’ has gone viral again

Artist Edvard Munch depicted despair provoked by disease in turn-of-the-century works. In these coronavirus times, his iconic image speaks to our anxieties about illness and societal collapse.
Amsterdam, Netherlands - April, 2017: Visitors watching ‘The Night Watch,’ Rembrandt’s largest and most famous painting in Rijksmuseum’s Gallery. Shutterstock

It’s the year of Rembrandt again, to the delight of museum audiences

The Dutch master has intrigued art-lovers for four centuries. His strength in depicting the human experience compels audiences even after four hundred years.
Visitors walk through Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s installation ‘Fireflies on the Water.’ maurizio mucciola/flickr

In dandelions and fireflies, artists try to make sense of climate change

Images of wildfires are powerful, but can make climate catastrophe seem like something spectacular and distant. So some artists are focusing on the plants and bugs in our immediate surroundings.
The 2002 installation ‘Rape Garage’ displayed statistics about rape, along with first-person narratives about sexual trauma. Stefanie Bruser, Josh Edwards, Katie Grone and Lindsey Lee. Mixed media site installation at “At Home: A Kentucky Project with Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman.” 2001-2002. Courtesy the Flower Archive, housed at the Pennsylvania State University Archives.

A half-century before the hashtag, artists were on the front lines of #MeToo

Many Renaissance-era masterworks depicted rape and sexual assault as erotic. Beginning in the 1970s, artists worked to redefine rape as a crime of aggression and act of female subjugation.
Colour blind people are really good at spotting things that are far away, and they are better than most people at telling things apart by their shape. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: why are people colour blind?

Some colour blind people only have two kinds of cone cell in their eye. Others have three kinds, but the cones do not pick up the same light waves as the cone cells in most people's eyes do.

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