Synchronicity can bring forward strange events in the life of an artist. In 1965, arriving in Perugia in northern Italy, I felt a profound sense of familiarity and connectedness, which has no rational explanation. I had come to study Italian language at the university. I was a young woman of twenty-three, returning to Europe for the first time since I had left Hungary with my family at the age of five.... (read more)
The twenty-third Biennale has been highly anticipated through two long years since Brook Andrew’s twenty-second Biennale suddenly closed in March 2020 as Covid took hold of the country, not to reopen for three months.
This year’s guiding idea, rīvus – meaning stream, but embracing rivers, fresh water, saltwater, lagoons, banks, confluences – is peculiarly topical, as water resources, in both scarcity and flood, become every year a more urgent issue.... (read more)
The streets of Hobart are especially cold and quiet on the longest night of the year. Those out and about are simply commuting from place to place, wrapped in scarves, hats, and jackets. Some head towards St David's Cathedral to attend Heart of Darkness, the penultimate performance of ...... (read more)
Coming upon the fertile fields of Mildura after miles of dry Mallee shrub you have the sense of entering an oasis. For a writer, arriving at the Mildura Festival elicits a similar response: here, at last, is a place to be refreshed and fed, metaphorically and literally. It is a friendly and delicious affair, where writers are fêted because their work is valued and where enjoyment seems raised to a fine art. If ever writing was thought to be food for the mind, then here food for the body is regarded as spiritual nourishment as well.... (read more)
I remember hearing about the first Somerset Celebration of Literature when I was in Europe last year. The letters and postcards arrived: imagine a private college paying for Peter Carey to fly out first-class from New York to attend a literary event. Everyone was fixated on the details: limousines for authors; personal minders taking care of presenters; an army of volunteers looking after every detail.... (read more)