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Articles on artists

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Canada geese and mallards at sunset, laser-etched with a pattern from sections of mosaic design of the Imam Mosque in Isfahan, Iran, seen in ‘Mallards Reeds’ by artist Soheila Esfahani. (Soheila Kolahdouz Esfahani)

Contemporary Muslim artists continue to adapt Islamic patterns to challenge ideas about fixed culture

As Islamic geometric patterns and arabesque designs have migrated globally, they’ve been adapted, and may not even be recognized as bearing the influence of Islamic societies.
Opera Australia’s production, Aida, at the Arts Centre Melbourne. AAP Image/Luis Ascui

The limits of advocacy: arts sector told to stop worrying and be happy

Two reports — from think tank A New Approach and ex-Grattan Institute director John Daley — say Australian art and culture hasn’t advocated for itself effectively. But we need to try something new.
Renzo Martens attends the opening of the “White Cube” gallery on April 22, 2017 in the town of Lusanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Junior D. Kannah/AFP

‘White Cube’: a postcolonial utopia?

The documentary by Dutch artist Renzo Martins is generating important debates today in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as in Europe. Analysis of the stakes of a film that will be a milestone.
Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

What happens when your arts minister suffers from cultural cringe?

Arts Minister Paul Fletcher has taken aim at what he calls a ‘cosy club’ of arts elites. But his claim of ‘unprecedented’ arts funding and a push for greater fairness don’t add up.
Street dancers wearing face masks dance the tango in Madrid, Spain, Dec. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

How to help artists and cultural industries recover from the COVID-19 disaster

Governments, universities and creative companies that have experienced growth in the pandemic should play a role in long-term collaborative strategies to support artists and small arts companies.
‘Isolated Grave and Camouflage, Vimy Ridge,’ by Mary Riter Hamilton, May 1919, oil on wove paper. (Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1988-180-223, Copy negative C-141851)

Remembrance Day: How a Canadian painter broke boundaries on the First World War battlefields

After Canadian painter Mary Riter Hamilton was rejected for service as a war artist because she was a woman, she trekked battlefields to create more than 320 works that recall the missing soldiers.
The National Arts Centre in Ottawa displays the message “Everything will be okay” and a rainbow, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Support for artists is key to returning to vibrant cultural life post-coronavirus

Policy makers and arts sectors together need to reimagine how we might organize contracts, leverage networks and change supports to create more long-term opportunities for arts workers in Canada.
Volunteers helped city workers paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the street near the White House. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

How DC Mayor Bowser used graffiti to protect public space

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ to be painted on a street near the White House. The act would have been considered vandalism had it not been done by city workers.
Rather than blank boarded-up storefronts, artists in Vancouver have created murals to offer inspiration, public health messaging and beauty during the coronavirus pandemic. This one is by Will Phillips. (Eugene McCann)

COVID-19 murals express hope and help envision urban futures

During COVID-19, boarded-up storefronts host various new types of inspirational, informational and decorative murals that should be read critically as representing political agendas for the future.
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.

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