Patricia Anderson reviews 'At Home In Australia' by Peter Conrad

by
March 2004, no. 259

Patricia Anderson reviews 'At Home In Australia' by Peter Conrad

by
March 2004, no. 259

We’ve been hectored by Miss Greer and savaged by Mr Hughes, but, like Goldilocks with the three bears’ bowls of porridge, Mr Conrad loves us just right. His book At Home in Australia is a collaboration between the National Gallery of Australia and Thames & Hudson, and more particularly between himself and Gael Newton, the gallery’s Senior Curator of Photography, who rang him in London with an invitation to write a book about the gallery’s photography collection.

Peter Conrad was an excellent choice. His monumental book Modern Times, Modern Places (1998) was an encyclopedic ocean of the intersecting currents of history, invention and culture. Now, in turning his attention to Australia, he has woven a story about its life from early white settlement – or displacement, as the case may be – to the beginning of a new millennium. This story has been generated by the 205 photographs he chose to include. Other images may have been jettisoned in the interests of narrative drive, but that is the writer’s prerogative.

Patricia Anderson reviews 'At Home In Australia' by Peter Conrad

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