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Jason Smith

Fiona Hall by Julie Ewington

March 2006, no. 279

For her participation in the 2002 Adelaide Biennial, Fiona Hall encapsulated her recent practice and its emphases on the fragilities of ecosystems, and on the instability of the social and political structures on which our cultures are based. She stated that ‘now we know that the seemingly infinite, disparate variety of living matter on earth, of which we are but a part, is life’s giant, polymorphic skin, encasing us all, inside which we dwell in kindred, genetic proximity’. And so it is that the seemingly infinite possibilities and disparate conceptual and material elements of Hall’s extra-ordinary practice are integrated between the covers of Julie Ewington’s outstanding monograph, Fiona Hall, which was published to coincide with the Queensland Art Gallery’s focused survey of the artist’s work since 1990.

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Yvonne Audette: Paintings and drawings by Christopher Heathcote, Bruce James, Gerard Vaughan and Kristy Grant

March 2004, no. 259

It’s something of a shame, I suppose, but an enduring cliché emanating from Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed film Lost in Translation is the term itself – used currently to describe social encounters where language really is a barrier to communication, or abused in glib dismissals of ailing relationships or fraught encounters. But this is the term that sprang to mind when I was reading this book and considering the deft ways in which each of the writers has contextualised Yvonne Audette’s art, but has not lost in their translations of her practice the lyricism and understatement in her work, and the ultimately mysterious internal impulses that have driven Audette through five decades of creative enterprise. For some viewers, Audette’s is, or could be, an uneasy art. The pleasant surprise in this book is its balance of scholarship against its evocation of the poetics and introspection of an artist’s vision and visual life.

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