/ Sunday Arts Magazine / Arts / Films, Brutal, QueerTech.IO, L’amante Anglaise, Andy Web: Artist


Brendan is back co-hosting with David this week. It’s not long before Brendan launches into film reviews, starting with Moonlight which is his ‘standout’ for the year so far! It looks at 3 phases–childhood, adolescence, adulthood– of the life of a queer African American boy–5 stars. Next is a new horror film Split starring James McEvoy about a man with 23 different personalities–2.5 stars.

Special Guests today are:

12:46 to 35:18 mins–Famous Visual Artist/Sculptor and Conservator Penny Byrne is here to talk about her new exhibition-Brutal– at Linden New Art from 10 February to 8 March. Penny works mainly with ceramics but also uses bronze and glass.  She’s also a qualified conservator, restoring antiques and artefacts and credits this with where her art originated from. Penny’s art started when she entered the Linden Postcard show competition (which allowed sculptures then) with a figurine she’d made for the Fringe Festival which had the theme of murder. She expands on this. This figurine was a crazy sword-wielding ballerina who’d murdered another ballerina on the dance floor and held the head of her victim! Other figurines are also quite political and cover serious issues but many are generally fun. She gets porcelain figurines from the op shop and cheap copies from Taiwan and then transforms them. She had been busy with other artworks for a few years but has returned to figurines for her new show. It is called Brutal because last year was a brutal year for a lot of people. It’s rated ated MA15+ as it’s very political and there are some confronting pieces. She discusses some of them with our hosts and also talks more about her career.

36:13 to 49:49 mins–Travis Cox, Mark Payne and Alison Bennett from QueerTech.IO ‘is an online/offline exhibition of queer artists from around the globe who are working with new technologies in their artworks’. Mark and Alice worked together on a work in a queer tech space and saw a need to promote this in Australia and invited Travis and later other artists. Alison was on Sunday Arts a month ago about her show ‘muliebrity’ which is still on until 25 February; she summarises it here. She also talks about the Berlin conference that motivated them to put QueerTech together and connect to artists on a global scale. Our guests also discuss how QueerTech is good for artists in remote areas and for those in repressed countries. They also have exhibitions in public forums in the real world. On Twitter, putting in #queertech will connect artists to festivals and other artists talking about their work. It’s all part of the global conversation and many festivals put out a call for proposals. Queertech have also been promoting on other social media using video snippets and also encourage people to go on the Queertech site and send an email. . Federation Square is screening some of the QueerTech works on the big screen–likely to be 10pm at night at a date usually announced the day before requiring checking the Fed Square website each day. Alison has also just been invited to the South by South West music festival ( in Austin Texas) which is now incorporating a technology stream.

50:43 to 1:06:51 mins–Director Laurence Strangio is here to talk about his returning show Margeurite Duras’  L’amante anglaise on at fortyfivedownstairs from 8 to 19 February. Laurence’s career journey included: architecture, theatre-set design, studying at VCA and then moving into directing. Laurence talks about how he works with set designers and casts from a pool of actors he likes to work with. L’amante anglaise is about a brutal murder in rural France in the 1960s. It is fictionalised but based on a true event. The play poses 2 interviews with a husband and wife.  The wife has confessed to the murder and the husband says he knows nothing of it. The victim is the housekeeper, a cousin of the wife who was deaf and dumb. In this play, Duras beautifully subverts our initial gruesome curiosity about the murder.  What we do get is an amazing portrait of 2 people in a loveless marriage and access to the inner worlds– of the wife especially. This is a real mind-opening experience.  Laurence considers the actors, Jillian Murray and Rob Meldrum, to be consummate performers–in every subtle breath, nuance, movement and gesture. It’s like watching an acting Masterclass. Laurence talks more about ‘perfecting’ the play along with the actors each time it’s performed and also how different audiences have reacted to it.  Laurence loves all of Margeurite Duras’ plays and has directed several of them.

1:07:03 to 1:24:59 mins–Maree Coote has been on Joy before and is a publisher, an author, a graphic designer, an illustrator,a photographer,  an alphabet ‘sculptor’ AND a fervent Melbournian.  Maree talks about her background in advertising and 2 of her many famous books The Melbourne Book and The Art Of Being Melbourne.  Maree’s newly launched children’s book Andy Web: Artist is the story of a spider who lives in the National Gallery and loves to draw with his web and wants to be an artist when he grows up. Trouble is he has trouble with colour. His mother encourages him and he takes off in the gallery and studies all the Masters. He then gets an ingenious idea how to add colour.  Essentially this teaches children about art–about genres, Masters, styles and terms such as impressionist, portrait and abstract. It also teaches them that if you don’t have a certain skill, you can get there a different way. Maree has a follow-up book coming in April about architecture. Maree also talks about her store and gallery in South Melbourne called Melbourne Style. The gallery has artwork from Maree herself and many others too including photography, painting and other types of artwork. Also, launching on 17 February is a show which is the doctoral thesis of a graphic designer–Jane Connory–who’s looked at women in graphic design. The results of her explorations will be exhibited in a show called Anonymity. Maree and our hosts discuss graphic design.


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