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Character drawings are encoded with cues to help animators understand how the character should move. Courtesy DreamWorks Animation SKG

Drawing inspiration from DreamWorks animation

When I first started working as an animator on the South Park (1999) feature film in California, I found it remarkable that every Tuesday evening the studio would hold life-drawing classes. It seemed odd…
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, one of many collaborators in Deborah Kelly’s most recent creation. N.E. Skinner

Glory be! Inside Deborah Kelly’s No Human Being Is Illegal

You may have heard of Deborah Kelly, the well-known Sydney-based artist with a work in the 2014 Biennale of Sydney entitled No Human Being Is Illegal (In All Our Glory). The work features a suite of life-size…
Large media coverage and biennales tend to go hand in hand. AAP Image/Quentin Jones

Biennales are politics by other means – don’t dismiss them

Although some doubted the 19th Biennale of Sydney would proceed after the split from founding sponsor Transfield, the country’s biggest contemporary art event opens this week in Sydney. Debate continues…
Audiences are invited to hop aboard Callum Morton’s Google Ghost Train as part of this year’s Biennale of Sydney. AAP Image/Quentin Jones

A first look at the 19th Biennale of Sydney

Over its 41-year history the recipe for a successful Biennale of Sydney has remained remarkably consistent. There are three ingredients and all three need to work in harmony for the exhibition to properly…
It is infantile to pick on one holding company while ignoring the central role of the Australian government. Eoin Blackwell/AAP Image

Artists’ victory over Transfield misses the bigger picture

The Biennale of Sydney, which begins on March 21, has announced it will sever ties with its founding partner Transfield, following weeks of pressure from artists angered by the company’s links to Australia’s…
This is the contemporary art exhibition we’ve been waiting for. Works by Ben Quilty and Alex Seton at the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. Art Gallery of South Australia

The 2014 Adelaide Biennial: ‘contemporary art as it was meant to be’

This is the exhibition we have been waiting for. This is contemporary art as it was meant to be – warning that we are experiencing the dark night of the national soul. The country that once thought of…
Gerrit Fokkema’s photographs of everyday Sydney and Canberra in the early 1980s are examples of Australian photography becoming more self-aware. These decisive snapshots of suburban life reveal an irony and conjure Fokkema’s own history growing up in Queanbeyan. Though captured in seemingly banal settings, the images intrigue, pointing to issues beyond what is represented in the frame. The housewife watering the road and a young tattooed man in front of a car are both depicted alone within a sprawling suburban landscape, suggesting the isolation and boredom in the Australian dream of home ownership. The sense of strangeness in these images is consciously sought by Fokkema, aided by his embrace of the glaring and unforgiving ‘natural’ Australian light. Purchased 1986 © Gerrit Fokkema

Australian Vernacular Photography offers a look at our reality

Opening this week, Art Gallery NSW’s latest exhibition, Australian Vernacular Photography, explores the Australian photographic…
French artist Virgile Ittah poses with her wax sculpture titled ‘Dreams are guilty, absolute and silent by fire’. Andy Rain/EPA

But is it any good? On art, audiences and evaluation

A spectre of evaluation is haunting the arts. The relationships between artists and their audiences are being mediated by an ever-more complex system that determines the value of art. It’s a system driven…
PERKS AND MINI, Melbourne (PAM) (fashion house) Australia est. 2000. Misha HOLLENBACH (designer) born Australia 1971 Shauna TOOHEY (designer) born Australia 1976 Black Gold 2013 spring summer 2013 (still) Collection of the artists. Max Doyle

Are Perks and Mini ripping off or riffing off African culture?

An exhibit by the Australian fashion company Perks and Mini (PAM) on display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) as part of its Melbourne Now exhibition has been accused of expropriating and exploiting…
Street and graffiti artists such as Ash Keating are recognised in Melbourne Now – in and out of the galleries. NGV

Melbourne Now – the art of the contemporary city

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne recently opened what may be its most ambitious exhibition: Melbourne Now, on display until March 23 2014. It features hundreds of works selected by 30…
“Stranger Visions” is a series of 3D printed portraits based on genetic material taken from public places, by Heather Dewey-­Hagborg. Image courtesy of the artist

Trace Recordings: surveillance, art and identity in the 21st century

“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” These aren’t lines from Nineteen Eighty-Four but the words of Eric Schmidt, Google’s notoriously…

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