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Saskia Beudel

Saskia Beudel

Saskia Beudel is the author of A Country in Mind (2013) and Curating Sydney (with Jill Bennett [2014]), and the novel Borrowed Eyes (2002). In 2022 she was awarded the Copyright Agency’s Fellowship for Non-Fiction Writing. Her books have been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Dobbie Literary Award, and the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Her essays and articles have been widely published in Australia and internationally. She has a PhD from UTS and held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Sydney and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU in Germany.

'The Ballad of Sexual Dependency: The unflinching gaze of Nan Goldin' by Saskia Beudel

ABR Arts 17 July 2023
I find myself going to view Nan Goldin’s legendary series of photographs, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, with trepidation. Lying at the heart of these works is a renowned image, Nan after being battered, 1984. Taken by her friend, Suzanne Fletcher, it shows a youthful Goldin with big 1980s hair, dangling silver earrings, a necklace of pale beads. She gazes into the camera, her left eye swollen ... (read more)

'SYNERGY: Tony Tuckson – drawing into painting: Abstract Expressionism at the Drill Hall' by Saskia Beudel

ABR Arts 05 May 2023
I bump into two friends at the opening of SYNERGY and we peer into Tony Tuckson’s works, finding acknowledgments and hints of other artists: the red, black, and white palette of Philip Guston; Ian Fairweather’s shallow space and densely patterned linework hovering between figuration and abstraction; Cy Twombly’s intricate, repetitive gestures; the torn edge of a calligraphic Robert Motherwel ... (read more)

Saskia Beudel reviews 'Australian Deserts: Ecology and landscapes' by Steve Morton

May 2022, no. 442 24 April 2022
Ecologist Steve Morton’s new book opens with a telling anecdote: as a young scientist in Alice Springs, he often advised visiting film crews about promising locations for their nature documentaries. When one group returned after a week in the desert, they reported back on a single hitch in an otherwise successful trip – a lack of wind-blown sand dunes. To fix this problem they cleared spinifex ... (read more)

The National 2021: New Australian Art | Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

ABR Arts 27 April 2021
The National 2021: New Australian Art, conceived in 2017, is a biennial survey exhibition to ‘address the specificities and nuances of what it means to make art from and for an Australian context at this point in time’. It is a joint initiative of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia (MCA). In its first iteration, the ethos of ... (read more)

'Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce' (TarraWarra Museum of Art)

ABR Arts 11 December 2020
Just inside the first large gallery space at the TarraWarra Museum of Art is a wall-size photograph of a cemetery in a palette of muted greys. The graves are homogenous, modest, tilting with age. Scattered among the headstones are sun-bleached plastic flowers and concrete teddy bears clasping empty concrete vases. In front of the photograph stands a mortuary table bearing blackened glass objects. ... (read more)

Saskia Beudel reviews 'Wild Nature: Walking Australia’s south east forests' by John Blay

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
In her paean to walking, Rebecca Solnit notes that any history of walking is by nature provisional. As a subject it trespasses almost infinite fields: ‘anatomy, anthropology, architecture, gardening, geography, political and cultural history, literature, sexuality, religious studies’. Despite such ungainly dimensions, her book Wanderlust (2000) maps rich connections between walking, thinking, ... (read more)