The new books shelf was bit of a challenge this week, lots of very nice arrivals but no particular theme just begging for a blog post, so I’ve decided to go geographic. And today’s country is…….Australia, come on down!
The story of the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia told through the beautiful art of almost 70 indigenous artists. This lovely book is the catalogue of an exhibition currently showing at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
Vietnam on canvas : Ken McFadyen: an artist at war by Sandra Finger Lee
Australia has an extraordinary history of extremely fine, and often very moving, war art. It sometimes surprises people that in this age of photography and film, artists are still embedded with troops in order to document the country’s military involvements. Ken McFadyen produced a striking body of work in Vietnam under conditions that one can only vaguely imagine!
The creator of one of Australia’s most iconic photographs,Vale Street, Carol Jerrems was only 31 when she died in 1980, having documented Australian counter-culture throughout the 1970s. Some of her exploits were truly hair-raising!
Donald Friend remains one of Australia’s most celebrated, popular and controversial artists. He also had a real way with words, and this one volume distillation of his massive diaries is an approachable introduction to “a life crowded with incident”, as dear Lady Bracknell would say.
I only ever saw Robert Helpmann in the theatre once, many, many years ago when he played an ugly stepsister alongside Frederick Ashton in Prokofiev’s Cinderella; talk about upstaging the main character! But what a remarkable career: dancer, choreographer, director, actor, manager, the list goes on. I love that famous quote of his about dancing in the nude: The trouble with nude dancing is that not everything stops when the music does.