Why is this work a self-portrait?

Tjungkara Ken, Kungkarankalpa tjukurpa, Seven Sisters Dreaming, a self-portrait, acrylic on linen, 240 x 200 cm (© the artist Photo: Mim Stirling, AGNSW)

This shimmering work by Indigenous artist Tjungkara Ken is a finalist in this year’s Archibald Portrait Prize.

It’s only the second abstract work by an Indigenous artist to be shortlisted for the prestigious prize.

So what makes it a self-portrait?

Ken, who is from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands of South Australia, explains that this work is a representation of her tjukurpa, or dreaming, which in Anangu culture is akin to a self-portrait.

She speaks to me, alongside fellow artist, and one of the directors of Tjala Arts, Nyumiti Burton. I produced this story for ABC RN’s Books and Arts, and you can listen to it here.


Why is the art from the APY lands so good?

Award-winning artist Barbara Moore in front of one of her paintings at Tjala Arts, in Amata (Georgia Moodie)

The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands of South Australia are home to some of the powerhouses of Australian contemporary art.

This year alone, artists from the APY lands earnt 25 nominations for the most prestigious Indigenous art awards in the country, the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

Earlier this year, 14 artists from the APY lands were announced as finalists in this year’s Wynne Prize for the best Australian landscape painting, and two others were named as finalists of this year’s Archibald portrait prize.

Work from these tiny art centres will also feature in Tarnanthi, the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.

I travelled to several of these remote communities to meet with award-winning artists Barbara Moore, Mumu Mike Williams and Nici Cumpston, the Artistic Director of Tarnanthi.

I travelled courtesy of the Art Gallery of South Australia, and I produced this story for Books and Arts on ABC RN, and you can listen to it here.

Anangu artist Mumu Mike Williams standing in front of his recent work, painted onto old Australian Post mailbags (Georgia Moodie)

Pitching new theatre to the regions


So you want to take your play or your cabaret on tour to the regions.

But how do you know who to contact? And which arts organisations might be interested in presenting your work?

That’s where Showcase Victoria steps in.

Each year, they bring together arts organisations and performing arts producers, and then watch the sparks fly.

I went along to Showcase Victoria, and spoke to co-ordinator Gemma Robertson, independent theatre producer Anna Kennedy and Mik Frawley, the Manager of the Lighthouse Theatre in Warrnambool.

I produced this interview for ABC RN’s Books and Arts and you can listen to it here.

Hannah Tinti’s tale of fathers, daughters and guns

9781472234377 (1) The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, the latest novel from American author Hannah Tinti, is the story of a father trying to protect his daughter from the legacy of his criminal past.

For as long as she can remember, Loo and her father Hawley have been on the move from one town to the next.

But they have finally settled in a small fishing town in Massachusetts, hopefully for good.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is published by Tinder Press. I produced this interview for Books and Arts on ABC RN, and you can hear it here.


Deaf dancer stars in KAGE’s Out of Earshot


Anna Seymour is a professional dancer. She’s also profoundly deaf.

She stars in Out of Earshot, the latest work from the contemporary dance company KAGE, which is all about silence, body language and the reverberations of sound.

I went along to the KAGE rehearsal room to speak to Anna, through interpreter Jinaya Myers, and to the Artistic Director of KAGE, Kate Denborough.

You can hear the interview, that I produced for Books and Arts on ABC RN, here.

Subverting stereotypes through poetry

Omar at GDSOmar Sakr is a bi-sexual Arab Australian poet, and his debut collection of poetry has just been published by Cordite Books.

The collection, called These Wild Houses, is about family, religion, sexuality and Omar’s experiences of growing up in Western Sydney.

He speaks to Georgia Moodie about why he puts his sexuality and ethnicity front and centre in his work, and about how his poems undermine negative stereotypes of Arab Australians.

I recorded this interview for RN’s Books and Arts, and you can listen to it here.


A feminist reimagining of Joan of Arc

JOAN by The Rabble_featured Dana Miltins_credit David Paterson_landscape.jpg

The Rabble are a Melbourne theatre company devoted to creating surprising and challenging work – work that is political, feminist and experimental.

Their latest work, Joan, investigates the historic figure of Joan of Arc and what this 15th century French martyr and soldier means for women today.

Georgia Moodie speaks to co-founders of The Rabble and co-creators of Joan, Kate Davis and Emma Valente, and one of the four performers, Dana Miltins.

I recorded this interview for Books and Arts on ABC RN, and you can listen to it here.