Category Archives: cultural

The Art Newspaper – Wrong about The Bishop Museum


An open letter to The Art Newspaper( 29 July) plus correspondence (5 August 2016)

Over many years I have accessed the Art Newspaper and when appropriate have either passed on links or have posted articles online that have links back to the Art Newspaper.

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Canberra Sculpture Walk proposal


When reading the latest thought bubbles from the property lobby, it was difficult to avoid laughing out loud. In their quest to improve Civic business activity, the Civic property lobby has recommended that the ACT Government should hand over money to assist in the refurbishment of the Melbourne and Sydney buildings.

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Blue Poles at the museum


There is talk in the art world about the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) changes to their permanent collection galleries and how this has included the movement of the famous Jackson Pollock painting, Blue Poles, from its long historic position downstairs to the upstairs galleries.

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Kingston Arts Precinct

There’s was a recent announcement that the government is calling for developers to put forward proposals to develop part of the Kingston Foreshore site as an arts precinct.

One wonders what their perception and concept of what is art precinct. Then there will be the issues that the government is looking for a commercial entity to propose an arts precinct.

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There’s been quiet a bit of writing online about Bansky’s latest project – Dismaland.

I am not sure what to make of it as theme parks would be something I would not even contemplate visiting. But yet, when irony is the theme, would I go. Still not sure. Meanwhile here’s a bunch of reviews and comments:

First the Guardian has a couple – one here and then another here.

The New Yorker writer writes from her own experiences of her holidays on the coast. click here.

The UK Telegraph liked it – click here.

and after reading all this – and looking at the videos and pictures – I am still not convinced.


Paul Costigan


Dickson Parklands

Development dilemmas: part two
The future of the Dickson Parklands

Section72-DicksonThis is the second of several posts on planning and development issues effecting the local residents of Dickson in Canberra. The issues are not unique to Dickson. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

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A Further Shore – Robert Dein

Review of Photography Exhibition

A Further Shore: Bombs, babes and sons of beaches
Manly Art Gallery (Sydney) till 26 April 2015

From Robert Dein photographic collection

LAThere are some photography exhibitions that really reinforce how wonderful photography can be. There are exhibitions that demonstrate just how creative some collectors are in how they choose their collections. This exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery does all that and more. If you love photography, then do not miss this exhibition of contemporary and historic photographs.

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Dickson Shops

Planning and Development of the Dickson Shops

A bad case study in community engagement


It was just days before Christmas (2014) when local residents may have noticed that a development application with big ramifications for their precinct was now available online for comment – with a month in which to submit any comments.

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A Shakey Christmas

The tale of the missing cake

A good friend made the trip to our front door today to deliver what looked like a very delicious home-made Christmas cake. I have a weakness. I am supposed to avoid sugars and all that sweet stuff. But when it comes to this time of the year, I quietly hunt down the most delicious of Christmas cakes as a one-off annual treat. But when it came time to eat the gift of the Christmas cake, it had disappeared!

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A reviewer has a bad day

Guardian reviewer looses the plot

4a261b89-8b15-4d39-a046-fe5c9dbd243d-805x1020It is not the job a reviewer to write stuff that everyone agrees with. The Guardian has a number of art reviewers and therefore we have a range of opinions. However one would expect any of these reviewers to be making sense.

It has come to pass that one reviewer has been showing signs of stress or something equivalent.

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The curatorial crypt

The sale price of a Singapore photograph, by G R Lambert

lambert-bannerWith the recent growth interest in South Eastern Asian photography, prices of historic photographs have been rising significantly. Gael Newton, having departed from the National Gallery of Australia in late 2014, has continued her research and curatorial interests in South East Asian photography. She has recently written a post on her observations of a particular sale. click here.


Book Review

Canberra, Paul Daley, 2012

canberra-paul-daleyThis is small book is another in the city series published by Newsouth (University of NSW). I have previously reviewed Hobart (click here) and Adelaide (click here). Paul Daley has told a set of stories about Canberra, the National Capital. Sadly he seems to not have invested the time to gather local knowledge about the city, its people, its life style and its complexities as a 21st Century city of 380,000 people.

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A Photograph

Photography: Things that puzzle


This small barrier was erected in the foyer of a mall we passed through most days to get to our apartment hotel in Singapore. The sign says – Work In Progress.

During the whole week that the installation sat there nothing happened around, above or anywhere near it. To this day I wonder whether someone put it there as a joke and as it looked official, it remained in place and undisturbed. It was still there the day we left Singapore. Or was it in fact an artwork – an artistic installation?


Paul Costigan

Architectural Wonders

Comment: architectural eyesores and failures

rmitWhen it comes to architectural eyesores and mistakes, there are many. They are not mentioned by the professions.

Once when attending a conference on green roofs, an architect told the story of his first major green roof project. All sounded impressive, until he casually mentioned how it failed and that water penetrated the top floor of the office building.

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The Jet Pack

Announcement: Bad News for Dreamers

Will we ever see the Jet Pack?

19_30_jet-pack-thunderball-1965-sean-connery1I read an article in The Guardian that set out in great detail the sad news for those of us who have been brought up with the promise that one day we would be able to fly using a Jet Pack. I think the original promise was in the same category as the promise that one day, with all the new technologies, we would have the paperless office.

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Dickson Parklands

Opinion Piece: The Case for the Dickson Parklands

The Dickson Community Cultural Parklands

The debate has commenced within the communities around the Dickson Parklands, previously referred to Section 72 Dickson, as to how the whole site could become a parklands with an integrated set of community cultural facilities that connect to the surrounding communities.


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section 72 Dickson – the future

An Opinion Piece

The Future of Dickson Section 72 as a Community and Cultural Site

The Dickson Community Cultural Parklands.


I wrote a piece yesterday about the disappointment expressed by residents about the manner in which the ACT Government is dealing with the local communities over the future of the community site officially known as Section 72 Dickson. Click here.

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Lucinda Williams

First Listen:  Lucinda Williams

Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

20140927_lucinda-williams-down-where-spirit-meets-bone_91I have downloaded and listen to this album just the once. I have read quite a bit about this latest gem from Lucinda but was prevented from listening to it earlier due to some international travel and an online problem I was experiencing. But all this was solved at last this afternoon and I have been sitting here, with headphones on, making my way through this wonderful album. If you have not already gathered, this is a great album.

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Richard Tuttle at the Tate Modern

Comment on reviewing of the visual arts

tuttletate_3070458bThere have been many occasions when I visited an exhibition of contemporary visual arts, particularly those of the conceptual installation art version, and I have left with little satisfaction or a memory of strong engagement.  To be positive, there have been many great pieces I have seen in this genre.

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Architecture discovers the bleeding obvious

Comment: Architects realise something is wrong with cities

rmitJust read a short article about how an architect at the world architecture festival stated that something has gone wrong with the design of our cities!

Wow! Now there’s a revelation from the profession largely responsible for the problem.

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