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Entertainment

Arts

Impressive debut for Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2014

John Wolseley,

Sasha Grishin A disparate bunch of artists have created rich and provocative works.

Top five art picks for 2014 by Peter Haynes

<aif>Modulations<aif> by Peter Vandermark.

Peter Haynes 2014 will be a hard act to follow in the ACT art scene.

Craft year in review: Social history studies help to challenge curatorial culture

Social history: Bundoora Repatriation Mental Hospital ward dining room, circa 1930s, part of the Coming Home exhibition at Bundoora Homestead.

Penny Webb The desire for information is important, but it is easy to satisfy.

Portrait artist Adnate goes back to his graffiti bomber roots

Adnate is a local street art luminary, responsible for some stunning portraits of indigenous subjects.

ANNABEL ROSS When British graffiti artist King Robbo died earlier this year, his longtime rival, infamous street artist Banksy, painted a wall in his honour. Melbourne artist Adnate did the same thing when he visited London in August, painting his own Robbo mural in Shoreditch.

Gallery directors launch exhibition space within Sagra Restaurant

A visual feast: David Frazer's lino cut <i>Together alone</i>.

Dylan Rainforth The past 12 months have been another tough year for commercial galleries, with stalwarts John Buckley and Gabrielle Pizzi among those announcing they would close their doors.

Ghosts of cinemas past featured in NETS Victoria arts project

Spectural spaces: <i>The Cinemas Project</i> is a book documenting an art project of the same name.

Dylan Rainforth Published by NETS Victoria, the book, The Cinemas Project, documents an art project which invited five visual artists to work with historical theatre sites across regional Victoria.

Canberra's best craft exhibitions of 2014: Kerry-Anne Cousins' top five

Dramatic: <i>Come Alive with Colour</i>,  by Janet DeBoos.

Kerry-Anne Cousins It was a very good year for craft, with fine work ranging from ceramics and brooches to glasswork.

National Gallery of Victoria rehang shows off new Tracey Emin neon

Text message: Tracey Emin's <i>The passion of your smile</i>, 2013, was recently acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria.

Dylan Rainforth A new rehang of the NGV's permanent collection shows off recent acquisitions, including those by big names such as Tracey Emin and Sophie Calle.

Behind the glamour: Richard Avedon's pin-sharp portraits at the Ian Potter Centre

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller.

Reviewed by Robert Nelson Many of Richard Avedon's portraiture of well-known Americans is a search for authenticity in the age of the fake.

Sydney eccentric: EG Clerk

Illustration of the Megaethon, imported by Sydney eccentric EG Clerk.

Brian Yatman One afternoon in April, 1857, the Governor-General and a large entourage assembled at Circular Quay to witness an experiment. Their host, the enterprising E.G. Clerk, had a reputation for applying the latest scientific improvements to his agricultural operations. His grandest innovation, imported at great cost from England, was called Megaethon. 

Public art and social history: is the monument dead?

Skate park built by Minecraft: The works at Monument Park in New Quay, Docklands by acclaimed artist Callum Morton, pictured.

Gina McColl Ephemeral, pop-up and short-term works make up a large and growing part of public art. Is the monument dead?

Menagerie explores the animal-human relationship

Menagerie: Loretta Lux, The Waiting Girl, 2006

ANDREW STEPHENS A new exhibition explores our relationship with the animals that remind us of our own humanity.

The Louvre: Jean-Luc Martinez plans to lose that lost feeling

Jean-Luc Martinez, the director of the Louvre in Paris, is overseeing a major renovation of the museum.

Doreen Carvajal Jean-Luc Martinez has the challenging task of painting The Louvre in a new light by leading a massive upgrade of the Parisian icon.

National Gallery of Australia announces independent review of Asian art

The Shiva statue Prime Minister Tony Abbott will return to India during his visit.

PRIMROSE RIORDAN The National Gallery of Australia has announced it will conduct an independent review of its scandal hit Asian art collection.

Shape: Designs for life

The zero-energy house designed by Oslo architectural and design office Snohetta.

Dan Rule All the latest news, views and exhibitions from the world of design.

Alex Prager review: Pulp-fiction photographic stylings in Tinseltown wrapper

Face in the crowd: Elizabeth Banks in Alex Prager's series.

Reviewed by Penny Webb Alex Prager brings a fashion/advertising/showbiz vibe and Hollywood production values to come within reach when Prager decided that a studio back lot was needed to achieve the counter-naturalism of her ambitious crowd tableaux.

Penelope Seidler donates $1 million+ to University of NSW for architecture education

Learning curve: Penelope Seidler donated more than $1 million to the University of NSW for architecture education.

ANDREW TAYLOR The Seidler Chair would give students exposure to successful practitioners, said Penelope Seidler.

Melbourne engineer Michael Li makes global sustainability list of top 25 young professionals

Going green: Michael Li has researched, identified and implemented various ways to make engineering consultancy AECOM's activities more sustainable.

Dan Rule Melbourne engineer Michael Li has made the Top 25 Under 25 list of young professionals working towards sustainable business practices.

Crowdfunded Bionic Runner fitness device aims to soften blow of running

Innovative: The Bionic Runner's Australian inventors say it avoids the skeletal jarring and joint impact associated with normal running.

Dan Rule Mobile fitness equipment designed to avoid the jarring of bones and joints that occurs when people run has been developed in Australia.

Zero-energy Snohetta home can also charge an electric car

The zero-energy house designed by Oslo architectural and design office Snohetta.

Dan Rule The building has achieved a "ZEB-OM" rating.

Winston Churchill paintings fetch record at auction

Winston Churchill

A collection of paintings by Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill has been auctioned off in the biggest ever sale of artwork by the statesman and accomplished painter.

MCA stages major retrospective of Marina Abramovic

Renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic

ANDREW TAYLOR A major Marina Abramovic retrospective will be on show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in 2016.

Space: Around the galleries

Installation view of Emily Floyd: The Dawn, featuring A Human Scale,

Dylan Rainforth All the latest news, views and exhibitions from the exciting world of art.

David Lynch in Brisbane

Brisbane to get inside scoop on new Twin Peaks when Lynch comes to town

Filmmaker David Lynch is coming to Brisbane as part of a major exhibit of his film and art work.

NATALIE BOCHENSKI Brisbane's budding filmmakers and cinephiles could get the inside scoop on the upcoming third series of Twin Peaks, with visionary creator David Lynch confirmed to make his first trip to Australia next March.

Comments 6

Melbourne's Edmund Pearce Gallery to close

Edmund Pearce gallery.

DEBBIE CUTHBERTSON Melbourne's Edmund Pearce Gallery, dedicated to the appreciation of contemporary photography, is closing after almost three years.

Fresh art in Campbelltown

Imperial Slacks artistic collective to reunite at Campbelltown Arts Centre

Futuristic sculptures: Chris Fox's Salon <i>Jetpack</i> at Urbanition biennale at CarriageWorks in 2011.

LENNY ANN LOW Once Sydney's hottest artistic collective, the Imperial Slacks are back at the arts centre, along with Julian Hamilton, one half of electronic duo The Presets, and his dancer/choreographer brother Antony Hamilton, with a new work.

Seams, dreams: the hands behind classic Hollywood costumes

Designer Travis Banton was responsible for the tuxedo and top hat Marlene Dietrich donned for her nightclub act in Morocco (1930)

Huw Walmsley-Evans and Nadia Buick Few, if any, contemporary costume designers are household names.

Comments

Emily Floyd fuses beautiful form and educational function

Installation view of Emily Floyd's <i>The Dawn</i>, featuring <i>A Human Scale</i>, 2014, and The Outsider, 2005 (detail).

Dylan Rainforth Emily Floyd show The Dawn at NGV Australia consists of sculptures and environments linking art, learning and play.

Tribalism and Team Australia under the microscope in Brendan Lee exhibition The Great Divide

Blokesville: Image from Brendan Lee's

Dylan Rainforth Aussie blokishness - and its bogan flipside - has always been Brendan Lee's subject matter.

'Ruin lust' dominates contemporary art, says US author and academic Claire Bishop

Reject melancholy: Author and academic Claire Bishop thinks ruins and failed utopias have been over-exposed in contemporary art.

For Claire Bishop, ruin lust - such as photographs of post-industrial Detroit or war memorials in the former socialist Yugoslavia - have become “one of the most persistent themes in contemporary art”.

Art exhibition

Beyond MH17 and Putin

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Canberra artist David Keany has extended a hand of friendship to Ukraine by hosting an insightful exhibition of the embattled nation’s art work, writes Francis Keany.

Art exhibition

Arthur Boyd: Agony and Ecstasy

The Prodigal Son mural painted on the dining room walls of a house in Harkaway.

David Wise explains his attraction to a mural painted on the walls of an old house in Harkaway in 1948 that has been restored.

Art exhibition

In the flesh provokes yet stimulates

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SALLY PRYOR An eclectic collection of artworks by contemporary Australian artists at the National Portrait Gallery touches on what it means to be human.

Art

Casey explores fresh horizons

Artist Emily Casey is bound for Nottingham in England,

Peter Haynes Young artist Emily Casey is well grounded in Canberra's arts scene and is now moving further afield.

Theatre

Macbeth, and more Macbeth

High School students from left, Martha De Ramos, Shoshana Lewis and Emily Bell playing the witches as they run through a scene in a production of Macbeth as part of the Bell Shakespeare Schools Festival during a reherasal Calwell School Theatre.

KAREN HARDY Something wicked this way comes - and again, and again on a night of multi-Macbeths for Bell Shakespeare Schools Festival.

Art exhibition

Spirited: Australia's Horse Story

Humble artefact: Harold Fife's leather chaff-cutting apron is on display at the National Museum of Australia

George Main, curator at the National Museum of Australia, reveals his favourite from the Spirited: Australia's Horse Story exhibition.

Books

Insights into Anzac Treasures

Peter Pederson, author of

DAVID ELLERY Author Peter Pedersen counts as one of the highlights of his life the time he spent at Gallipoli in 1990 with men who had seen action there.

Whitlam's legacy needs protecting

Significant purchase: Former prime minister Gough Whitlam and James Mollison, the director of the Australian National Gallery, in front of Jackson Pollock's Blue poles in 1986.

Sasha Grishin The former prime minister created a vision for the arts in Australia and laid the foundation, but his achievements are now under threat.

Why I wrote Scott's biography

Dame Margaret

Michelle Potter The chance to write about dancer Dame Maggie Scott opened the door to a remarkable life.

Launch of Women in Media in Canberra

Family way:  ABC online editor and convener of the Women in Media Group Emma Griffiths with her children Lewis, 2 (left), and Sylvie Johnson, 4.

EMMA MACDONALD Front-line journalist Emma Griffiths is putting her weight behind moves to improve life for women in the media industry.

Radiohead, Beethoven and Tognetti

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Janet Wilson What a combination: Richard Tognetti, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Jonny Greenwood strike a chord with Beethoven.

Arthur Boyd: Agony and Ecstasy

Home sweet home: In Dog on a beach with a stingray 1968 the artists captures for the viewer what he  saw on his return to a familiar landscape.

Rose Cahill, of the National Gallery of Australia, selects her favourite from the Arthur Boyd exhibition.

An interview with Julian Davies

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SALLY PRYOR The Braidwood author tells of his youthful experiences, life’s dreams and achievements and the birth of Finlay Lloyd.

Our lake, 50 years on

<i>The Landscape of the Central Basin, Canberra ACT</i>, Lawrence Daws (cropped), 1960

Dale Middleby, of the Canberra Museum and Gallery, shares his insights into the Watershed: Lake Burley Griffin exhibition.

Theatre

Petocz debut for Street Theatre

<i>Where I End & You Begin</i>: Raoul Craemer, and Kate Hoskings.

SALLY PRYOR Many different levels will shine through in Cathy Petocz's new play offering crime, sci-fi and a multi-sensory universe.

Film

International feast

<p>

Cris Kennedy Panorama's film critic selects 20 of his favourites at this year's Canberra International Film Festival at Dendy Cinemas.

Books

An interview with Rebecca James

Bundle of laughs: Rebecca James is an advocate for the importance of children reading.

Nigel Featherstone The Canberra author of gritty novels believes her stories should represent real-life challenges faced by young adults.

NGA Contemporary stages first exhibition

Fantastical creatures: Patricia Piccinini, <i>The stags</i>, 2009, National Gallery of Australia.

Sasha Grishin The National Gallery of Australia's new venue presents its inaugural exhibition of 21st-century Australian art.

Art exhibition

Arthur Boyd: Agony and Ecstasy

<i>Chained figure and bent tree</i>, 1973, oil on canvas,  National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Arthur Boyd Gift, 1975

Mark Van Veen A favourite is selected from the Boyd exhibition at the NGA that explores the artist's attempts to re-engage with the Australian environment.

Books

Novellas to the fore

Author Nigel Featherstone.

SALLY PRYOR Canberra author Nigel Featherstone's latest work could herald a new dawn for the written art form.

Ballet

La fille mal gardee will delight

Sarah Hepburn as Lise and Sergey Pevnev as Colas in <i>La Fille mal gardee</i>.

Michelle Potter West Australian Ballet brings to Canberra an updated and highly evocative version of the classic French comic ballet La fille mal gardee.

History

Adaminaby cemetery alive with memories

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Matthew Higgins Old Adaminaby might have drowned under Lake Eucumbene, but its cemetery lives on to tell a fascinating story.

Exhibition

Spirited: Australia's Horse Story

Act of faith: Neale Lavis' team gold medal for three-day eventing, Rome Olympics, 1960.

Carol Cooper Carol Cooper shares her favourite selection from the exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.

Books

Rosie effect enters new phase

Graeme Simsion, author of the romantic comedy novels The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect.

SALLY PRYOR Graeme Simsion has taken the obsessive protagonist of his rom-com novel The Rosie Project back out to the edge for the follow-up.

La Cage Aux Folles will have you in stitches

David Santolin.

RON CERABONA In a show where gender can be a guessing game, costumes and performances were never going to be easy, writes Ron Cerabona.

Opera

Simon O'Neill's voice grows

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Chris Latham The world's greatest opera houses are now seeking the extraordinary prowess of the New Zealand tenor, who is coming to Canberra.

Exhibition

Masters of Modern Indonesian Portraiture

<p>

Sasha Grishin This fascinating exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery brings fresh perspective from our closest Asian neighbour.

Arts

ACT Project Funding: Who got what

Sparrow-Folk: Juliet Moody, left,  and Catherine Crowley

RON CERABONA A comic musical duo and a children's picture-book author are among those given a boost in the Arts ACT round. Here's a list of recipients.

Arthur Boyd: Agony & Ecstasy: Simeran Maxwell's favourite

Painting like a dream: Director Dr Ron Radford at the opening of the Arthur Boyd exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

Simeran Maxwell Curator reveals her favourite aspect of the Boyd exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

Art exhibition

Waterhouse prize has global reach

<p>

SALLY PRYOR Our natural world is a source of great inspiration for artists, so it is little wonder that this prize has such international appeal.

Music

Fred Smith returns 'home'

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Daniel Sanderson After a career inspired by his exposure to historical world events, the acclaimed singer-songwriter is coming home.

Music

CSO's Hollywood magic

<p>

RON CERABONA If you love songs from the movies, a symphony orchestra and a military band, this concert is for you.

Art

Joan Holt's portraits need a home

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SALLY PRYOR She was a prolific artist who gave portraits to their subjects, but more than 200 of her works desperately need a home.

Art exhibition

Faithfull riding attire

All dressed up: Constance Faithfull’s riding habit, 1890s

The "saddle of queens" riding style called for some clever clothes design, which you can see at Spirited: Australia's Horse Story at the National Museum of Australia.

Guardians of our past

Delicate work: Victoria Gill (left)  discusses a  lithograph  with owner Marie Nicholls and fellow conservator Alexa McNaught-Reynolds.  The  lithograph is  by Marion Griffin.

SALLY PRYOR As a conservator in private practice, Victoria Gill sees beloved treasures of every ilk.

Art review

The man behind the art

Self portrait in red shirt, 1937.

Sasha Grishin A new exhibition of works by Arthur Boyd is the most significant since his death in 1999.

The Wharf Revue 2014 is back in business

Phillip Scott in The Wharf Revue 2014

RON CERABONA Politicians beware – The Wharf Revue is back an no one in the public eye is safe from the arrows of outrageous satire.

Film

Italian Film Festival has style and flavour

<i>Those Happy Years</i> starring Michael Ramazzotti.

Cris Kennedy Taste of Italia touches down at Palace Electric Cinema for a solid dose of silver-screen culture.

Art review

A strapping homage

A shire horse hard at work.

RON CERABONA The role of the horse in Australian life is well documented in an exhibition at the National Museum of Australia, writes Ron Cerebona.

Exhibition

Antarctic love affair

Graphite Rock, by Kerry McInnis, at the Ice Floes and Growlers (Antarctica) exhibition at the M16 Artspace.

SALLY PRYOR Artist Kerry McInnis, and her husband Mike MacGregor, a sculptor, took different approaches to works inspired by their trip to the frozen continent.

Dance

Cadi McCarthy explores That Place in Between

Dancers Holly Diggle and Jake Kuzma perform in Cadi McCarthy's <i>That Place in Between</i>.

Jennifer Kingma Setbacks in life can be a source of inspiration in the creative arts.

Exhibition

Lake Burley Griffin celebrates 50 years

Lake Burley Griffin is at its best in autumn.

SALLY PRYOR Fifty years of aquatic pleasure in Canberra, and what led up to it, is being celebrated in October.

In Search of Chopin

Scene from <i>In Search Of Chopin</i>.

Simon Weaving With his films on great composers a runaway success, Phil Grabsky turned his attention to Chopin.

The Magic Flute plays to Egyptian theme

Anna Dowsley as Papagena kicks up her heels in Opera Australia's  performance of The Magic Flute.

Diana Plater The allure of the Middle East, Mozart's music and a glamorous 1930s setting all combine to make Opera Australia's production one to relish.

Arts

M16 Artists' Exhibition: A collective snapshot

Frenetic physicality: Derek O'??Connor, 3 painted objects painted in-time. A, B, C, for Virginia Wolf, 2014.

Claire Capel-Stanley The annual exhibition captures a number of artists working in an array of media and styles.

Exhibition

Arthur Boyd: Agony and Ecstasy

<p>

Sasha Grishin Our art critic explores the life and times of an Australian painter, who is the subject of an important NGA exhibition.

Music

Wes Carr tunes to Vietnam era

Powerful: Wes Carr will be telling the story of Australian soldiers in Vietnam with songs from the era.

Dallas Pearce Idol star grew up listening to Dylan and Hendrix and his new show taps into the power of their music.

Art and design

Ranamok Glass Prize 2014: End of an era

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SALLY PRYOR The competition's co-founders are bringing it to a close after 20 successful years.

Film festival

From surreal silliness to sobering

<i>Shadow in Baghdad</i> is a documentary about a missing father, a lost community and a journey to uncover the once thriving Iraqi Jewish community.

Cris Kennedy Always keen to broaden his cultural understanding, Panaroma's contributor examines this year's Israeli Film Festival.

Theatre

How will Hayes deliver 'a handbag'?

Importantly absurd: A scene from <i>The Importance of Being Earnest</i> with Nathan O’Keefe  and Nancye Hayes.

RON CERABONA Nancye Hayes reveals why she loves her role in The Importance of Being Earnest, which is coming to the Canberra Theatre Centre.

Books

Mansfield Park sequel revives Maria

Tropical setting: Barbados in the Caribbean is the scene for Roslyn Russell's debut novel.

Jennifer Kingma Historian Roslyn Russell's debut novel brings the character Maria Rushworth back to life in Barbados.

Exhibition

John Witzig's song of the sea is nostalgic trip

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SALLY PRYOR A new exhibition of surf photography is not about the sport so much as an era.

Music

How will His Bobness play in Canberra?

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CHRIS JOHNSON Lifelong fans say the answer to that question will always be blowin' in the wind. But they wouldn't have it any other way.

Arc Cinema: Sense of closure hard to accept

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Cris Kennedy Is it truly the last flight of the Arc Cinema? Panorama reviewer laments the wrong sort of celluloid cut.

Opera

ANU's digital L'Orfeo is light fantastic

Digital artwork for <i>L'Orfeo</i> by Andrew Quinn and Alessandro Chiodo.

Janet Wilson Stunning imagery combines with wonderful music for the School of Music's version of Monteverdi’s opera.

Art exhibition

Rhythm at Random9 reflects confidence

Random 9: <i>The Measured Flow</i>, by Dianne Libke.

Jennifer Kingma Panorama magazine talks with collective 'catalyst' Stephanie Parker about artists working and exhibiting with synergy.

Theatre

The Burning is rekindled

Jarrad West, left, as the bishop/witchfinder and Jack Parker as his unhappy son.

RON CERABONA Duncan Ley has refreshed his award-winning 2001 play, which is on at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre.

Design

Aussie furniture design's first sitting

Dining style: This Grant Featherston, 
dining setting was exhibited in 1953 at the Hotel Federal exhibition.Featherston Archive, Melbourne.

Sasha Grishin Once beyond the purely utilitarian, and influenced by that great influx of international talent, Australia started to carve out its own furniture style – elements of which have endured.

Exhibition

Ron Radford's favourite Atua god

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Ron Radford Maee - a sculpture of a man balanced on all fours - is an arresting image that is not easily forgotten.

JW Power: Modernist rescued from obscurity

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SALLY PRYOR The prolific output of one of Australia's little-known artists is on display for all to see at the National Library.

Film festival

Stronger Than Fiction 2014: Moments of truth

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Cris Kennedy Documentaries take the limelight at the annual Stronger than Fiction Film Festival in Canberra.

Books

Clanchy reveals why he wrote Six

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Nigel Featherstone Writer John Clanchy dissects his writing, discusses his new short story collection Six and reflects on how literature is evolving.

Theatre

Bartleby still resonates in new production

Tension: Dene Kermond plays the young lawyer in Bartleby's workplace.

RON CERABONA An update to Melville’s Wall Street tale will strike a chord with modern audiences.

Books

Musa's Here Come The Dogs is trainspotted

Omar

Cris Kennedy The hip hop artist's debut novel is so hot even Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh endorses it.

Film

Charlie's Country arises from the shadowlands

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Jane Freebury Rolf de Heer's latest collaboration with David Gulpilil has been both a cathartic and critical success.

Dance theatre

Bangarra spotlights 'first contact'

Dramatic form: Jasmine Sheppard in Bangarra's Patyegarang.

Jennifer Kingma The dance company celebrates its 25 anniversary with Patyegarang.

Theatre

Improvention festival returns to Canberra

Life or death: The cast of Zombsical will plead for their lives in song.

RON CERABONA The kings and queens of unscripted comedy and drama are back for another year.

The Settlers sings praises of hydro scheme

The Settlers in 1981, Ulick O'Boyle second from left.

Matthew Higgins Forty years after its completion, the band's songs that chronicled the nation-changing project are recalled.

Music

White Album strikes chord with Tim Rogers

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CHRIS JOHNSON The White Album Concert is coming to Canberra, so Panorama examines one of the Fab Four's most contentious offerings.

Canberra: A capital of creative innovation

Negotiating hurdles: In his book, Peter Dawson explores the battle between pure science and the applied science in Canberra.

JOHN THISTLETON A new book aims to help Canberrans appreciate the city as a technology hub and centre of innovative business.

Penelope Boyd wins Cliftons Art Prize

A COUP FOR CANBERRA: Penelope Boyd, winner of the Cliftons Art Prize, with Cliftons general manager Richard Bourne.

RON CERABONA Penelope Boyd has won the 2014 Cliftons Art Prize for her painting The Wait.

Monty Python: the last reunion?

Circus madness: The surviving members of the Monty Python comedy team, from left, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese.

Michael Roddy The dead parrot routine, the Spanish Inquisition and the silly walk will all be performed on stage this week for what is likely to be the Monty Python comedy team's last reunion.

Legally Blonde - the Musical not to be missed

Dazzling: Legally Blonde - the Musical with Mikayla Williams (front, in pink) as Elle Wood in the lead role.

Peter Wilkins Following on from their huge success with The Phantom of the Opera, Free Rain Theatre Company has once again hit the jackpot with this year’s production of Legally Blonde – the Musical.

Film festival preview

Scandinavians offer cool line-up

Ice-cold rock: <i>Metalhead</i>(Iceland) -  The rugged beauty of Iceland sets the scene for this powerful family drama of loss and grief.

Cris Kennedy looks at the star attractions at Palace Electric and talks to special guest Finnish actress Laura Birn.

Art exhibition

The fisherman's god

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This carved figure has survived religion and reappropriation. Crispin Howarth talks about his favourite from Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia.

Opera

Erin Helyard brings broad range of skills

Erin Helyard

Janet Wilson One of the directors of the Pinchgut Opera brings a wealth of knowledge about early music to his new academic role.

Classical music review

Serious fairies in ACO's Sibelius symphony

Rebecca Chan and the ACO's 300-year-old Guarneri.

IAN WARDEN If there really are fairies in Jean Sibelius' 6th Symphony (as some musicologists and Sibelius enthusiasts think), they were very serious-minded wee folk in the symphony as played by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Books

Biff Ward's untold stories

Author Biff Ward with her book In My Mother's Hands.

KAREN HARDY Author Biff Ward tells Karen Hardy shocking but true accounts of life in her mother's hands.

Enthusiasm, musicality and sequins succeed

Rich voices: The cast of Showtune combines to create a united sound. 
(Front, from left) Janelle McMenamin, Nathan Kellie, Liz de Totth;
(back, from left) Ben Hardy and Michael Moore.

Jennifer Gall Canberra Repertory Society presents Showtune, celebrating the words and music of Jerry Herman. Theatre 3, June 20-July 5.

Musical theatre

The Factory speaks volumes

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RON CERABONA A musical being staged at the Canberra Theatre reveals life in New Zealand was a far cry from life on a tiny Pacific island in the 1970s.

Exhibition

Feathered god tickles my fancy

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Kasi Albert NGA employee reveals his favourite piece in the Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia exhibition.

Arts review

Drawn to please

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SALLY PRYOR A collection of biographical files and works by children’s authors and illustrators reveal inspired creativity.

A concert full of firsts

Rebecca Chan with Joseph Guarneri violin.

Janet Wilson A new member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s distinguished family of historic instruments will make its debut at Llewellyn Hall.

Music review

Kismet: Queanbeyan does it well

A scene from Kismet.

Jennifer Gall What you see is excellent - and what you get is pretty good too, says Jennifer Gall.

Theatre review

Bell Shakespeare gives Henry V an exciting WW II backdrop

On stage: The cast in Henry V. The play is directed by Damien Ryan.

Reviewed by Alanna Maclean One of the bard's great plays has London during WW II as a backdrop.

Mitchell's brumbies reign supreme

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Matthew Higgins A look at the role of author Elyne Mitchell whose works helped build a high-country legend.

THEATRE

The Home Front engages with spontaneity

Home fires burning: Catherine Crowley, Ruth Pieloor and Lynn Peterson explore the lives of women in Australia during World War I.

RON CERABONA The Street Theatre’s latest production, about Australian women during World War I, is improvisation at its toughest, writes Ron Cerabona.

THEATRE

Bell Shakespeare's wartime twist on Henry V

Band of brothers: From left, Matthew Backer (Dauphin), Michael Sheasby  (Henry V)  and Damien Strouthos (Pistol).

RON CERABONA This production premieres in Canberra and has a new take on a much-loved play.

Film

Michod's dark serving of our dystopia

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Jake Coyle Australian director David Michod teams with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson for the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated debut Animal Kingdom.

The Beatles let it be in Australia: 1964

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Philip O'Brien For the youth of Australia, life would never be the same again. A personal recollection of the Fab Four's impact.

Atua exhibition turns heads at NGA

Man or woman: Ti’i figure from
Tahiti, carved in the 
18th or early 19th century.

Michael Gunn Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia is under way and Michael Gunn is entranced by a Tahitian beauty.

Azure Assurances: Poetry by Crystal Davis

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Jennifer Kingma The writer's new collection reflects on breakdown and gratitude.

Melinda Schneider in Canberra with Doris

Tribute: Melinda Schneider performs her tribute to Doris Day at the Canberra Theatre.

RON CERABONA Melinda Schneider's musical tribute shows there was more to Doris Day than her screen image suggested

Music review

The Heartstring Quartet shine at Teatro Vivaldi in Canberra

The Heartstring Quartet: From left, Chris Newman (guitar), Maire Ni Chathasaigh (harp), Nollaig Casey (fiddle) and Arty McGlynn (guitar)

Jennifer Gall This year Canberra audiences have been treated to a feast of the finest traditional Irish musicians.

Canberra Weekender - October 17-19

Your guide to what's going on around the capital this weekend.

Capital Life

A comprehensive guide to arts exhibitions and events in and around Canberra.

Abbot should follow Whitlam and Keating

With the jock vote already tied up, Abbott should be reaching out to the arts and letters vote.

Majestic Ely

Ely is a great monument, a marvellous work of art, but it doesn't let you forget that it is a functioning church.

Film Reviews

Finding Vivian Maier is superb cinematic exposure

Film review: Maloof's documentary is a story of obsession, art and anonymity, and a captivating portrait of an intriguing woman. Don't miss it.

McConaughey's stellar in Nolan's odyssey

Christopher Nolan delivers a sci-fi, cerebral action flick that feels like 2001 A Space Odyssey on Red Bull.

Love, Rosie: You may feel a little cheated

Film review: This vanilla fairytale with Lily Collins just doesn't get the heart racing.

Two Days, One Night is well-crafted intimacy

Film review: Masterfully created by the Dardenne brothers, Marion Cotillard finds dignity in a working-class life.

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet utterly charms

Film review: It is impossible not to be won over by Jean-Pierre Jeunet's tale of a child genius on the road of discovery.

Pride strikes chord with feel-good factor

Lesbian and gay pride activists try to help striking coal miners in a delightful '80s story of building solidarity amid Thatcherism.

The Best of Me pulls heartstrings, if you so desire

Film review: If you're a romantic who gazes at the stars and wonders where love went, this will tickle your fancy.

This is Where I Leave You, and leave you to ponder

The cast is top-shelf, but the highly contrived plot does them no favours, writes Simon Weaving.

Is Fury as good as Saving Private Ryan?

This is Brad Pitt's finest role in years and it's pretty darn close to matching Steven Spielberg's classic, writes Cris Kennedy.

Force Majeure is cinematic feast

Ruben Ostlund's film is a devastating look at the authenticity of human nature, examined from within the frame of the nuclear family.

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Scott Frank's new urban thriller is a bleak journey tinged with a damply spiritual sense of loss.

McCarthy is back on screen asTammy

After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother.

The Judge: Duvall, Downey guilty of brilliance

The cast is in charismatic form for this fine courtroom drama.

Land of the Bears is wildly huggable

Film review: You must drag your children to see this amazing documentary about the life cycle of brown bears.

The Little Death is stimulating romp

Film review: A sexy comedy from Josh Lawson and the climax is set to become a screen classic.

We are the Best simply rocks for teens

Film review: This '80s punk rock Swedish film is the one you should be sending your kids to see this school holidays.

The Maze Runner's an intriguing puzzle

Film review: With a hint of Lord of the Flies, this dystopian young-adult, sci-fi is a mystery worth pursuing.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For lacks punch

Film review: This erotic, grimy, violent world is rendered with exquisite care by directors, but somehow it's not to die for.

Wish I Was Here scrubs up just fine

Film review: Zach Braff's effort is far from a classic movie, but it is personal, sincere and likeable.

Planes: Fire and Rescue flies a little low

Film review: This might be an unnecessary sequel to an unnecessary movie, but it is a pleasant time-filler.

Cowabunga ... Badly baked half-shell heroics

Film review: The sewer-dwelling Ninja Turtles are recycled to help pad out Hollywood's quota of big, dumb, junk-food action movies.

Night Moves crawls, but then rewards

Film review: This eco-drama is extremely slow-moving, but for those with patience it can be savoured.

The Giver's director has great takes

Film review: This is a well-crafted, workmanlike coming-of-age adventure from Australian director Phillip Noyce.

Tarzan, lord of a two-dimensional jungle

Film review: Edgar Rice Burroughs would have loved the fantasy version, but not the expressionless "humans".

What We Do In The Shadows bites funny bone

Film review: Jemaine Clement's Kiwi troupe delivers a fresh bite in an over-chewed genre.

Boyhood charm captures life's journey

Film review: Richard Linklater's 12-year project is a bold experiment and a remarkable journey worth viewing.

Into the Killer Storm and out of killer twists

Film review: It's not Twister, but it taps into a new reality that's gripped popular consciousness - climate change.

Locke opens up existential cinema

Film review: Director Steven Knight sets the one-actor-in-one-location formula in concrete.

God's Not Dead sent me to movie hell

Film review: Cris Kennedy declares God's Not Dead is the worst film he's seen in some time.

Magic in the Moonlight shines, but Allen fades

Film review: Charming and seamless, but the downside is Woody Allen has not spent enough time in prep.

If I Stay strikes boredom chord

Film review: OK, I stayed right to the end, but I have to say it was a rather insipid experience with little drama.

Snowpiercer train ride hits the mark

Film review: It may seem outlandish, but if you go along for the ride you can have a good, if gory, time with Snowpiercer.

The Inbetweeners 2 lads still hopeless and hilarious

Film review: You don't need to have seen the earlier stuff to enjoy what I hope is the second of many more outings for this lot.

Freedom is noble, but with chained melodies

Film review: Kudos to Peter Cousens for telling a great story, but he has missed some sense of cinematic focus.

Begin Again hits right notes, again and again

Film review: Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo strive for authenticity in John Carney's musical tale.

Hundred-Foot Journey's flavour really hits you

Film review: Marguerite and Hassan create the conditions for cultural fusion and the food doesn't disappoint.

Expendables 3 one-liners blow the mood

Film review: This is OK if you're into testosterone-fuelled destruction, if not, the classics of this genre hit harder.

The Man from Coxs River worth the ride

Film review: Story of brumbies has old-fashioned appeal and deals with a near-forgotten slice of Australian life.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a real blast

Film review: Who would have thought the vast and empty universe could be this much fun?

And So It Goes, just as expected

Film review: Predictably neither Diane Keaton or Michael Douglas stray from what is expected of them.

Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man is fitting finale

Film review: This is a classy political thriller that is a great final curtain call for Philip Seymour Hoffman, writes Jane Freebury.

Lucy is a triumph for Johansson

Film review: Scarlett Johansson's nuanced performance tells the story of Lucy's growing psychological or physiological awareness.

Selfish Giant exudes mettle

Film review: Director Clio Barnard builds extraordinary performances out of her young, first-time actors.

The Keeper of Lost Causes meanders

Film review: It is the characterisations that really make this Scandinavian crime-thriller duller by the minute.

Once My Mother touches all the senses

Film review: Sophia Turkiewicz's directing of a brutal yet amazing story is a powerful piece of filmmaking, writes Cris Kennedy.

Still Life moves the soul

Film review: Contemplative and graceful, this is an important reminder of just how wonderfully diverse filmmaking can be, writes Simon Weaving.

Devil's Knot guilty of slippage

Film review: If you want to see an incendiary piece of filmmaking about loss and grief this isn't it, writes Cris Kennedy.

Hercules just doesn't rock

Film review: Cheap laughs in a shoddy script and badly lit scenes, all add up to a classic dud, writes Ron Cerabona.

Venus in Fur's agony and ecstacy

Film review: Entrapment of a very different kind is on show here, and both actors are wonderfully matched.

Reaching for the Moon lacks pulling power

Film review: Despite intelligent performances, Brazilian director Bruno Barreto doesn't quite nail this biopic.

Sex Tape is easy on the eye

Film review: Raunchy and disposable, Sex Tape has touches of The Hangover and is easy to watch.

The Lunchbox serves up the spice of life

Film review: This is a story of crossed wires and conversation that becomes a love affair.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes evolves spectacularly

Film review: Ape versus human is a powderkeg of a situation and inevitably, a fuse is lit.

Jersey Boys: Eastwood shoots the high notes

Film review: Clint Eastwood should have made the film more pacey, but gratefully songs were played out in full.

Rio 2's got colour, but story fades

Film review: As colourful and sweet as a tropical fruit salad but suffering from animation sequel syndrome.

Calvary: Revenge on the Fathers

Film review: This is pretty decent, crossing genres and playing with audience expectations.

Transformers: Age of brainless extinction

Film review: This outing is less confusing, and less awful than the third, which is damning by faint praise, writes CRIS KENNEDY.

Yves Saint Laurent portrayal is design over substance

Film review: Beautifully shot, it remains a surface affair and increasingly runs out of narrative puff, writes SIMON WEAVING.

The Last Impresario far more than a doco

Film review: Gracie Otto works magic with stills and film to put Michael White's story in the spotlight, writes CRIS KENNEDY.

Volcano's a slow burner that erupts in the tail

Film review: Eyjafjallajokull eruption provides the backdrop of this French comedy that lacks real spark, writes JANE FREEBURY.

Galore's burning desire

Film review: The intense, tunnel vision of adolescence are strengths in Rhys Graham's debut.

Reader reviews

Dragon 2's in full flight

Film review: There's scope for sequels, and if this film is anything to go by, then bring them on.

Frank's a head-spin

Film review This is clever, crisply made and full of wonderful characters.

Mortensen's new face

Film review: Mortensen and Isaac are each exceptional actors and it is a pleasure to watch them.

Gabrielle touches heart

Film review: Slowly but surely the performances by intellectually-impaired actors win you over.

Good Vibrations rocks

Film review: Hooley, dubbed the Godfather of Belfast Punk, is a thoroughly loveable rogue.

Blended the wrong way

Film review: This is competently shot and executed, something that should have been done to the filmmakers.

Rover lacks bite

Film review: The soundscape and cinematography are wonderful, but sadly the storyline is minimalist.

Face of Love is not so pretty

Film review: Annette Bening is incredible, but in parts one must endure some uncomfortable tedium.

Nicole Kidman shows grace amid soap saga

Film review: The star has an almost impossible job of playing a much-loved woman, but there are moments when she glows.

Cruise and Blunt on edge, again and again

Film review: Cruise is sharp, Blunt's gritty, in a Groundhog Day-style sci-fi that is a head-spinner, literally.

Love's eternal in The Fault in Our Stars

Film review: For a movie that is about impending death, this has a beautiful sense of life to it.

Jolie as Maleficent saves sleepy fairytale

Film review: A prosthetically enhanced Jolie dominates, saving a stuttering tale from a deep sleep.

Under the Skin is to dine for

Film review: Tastes of Soylent Green in which Scarlett Johansson is an alien harvesting men.

The Trip to Italy comes a cropper

Film review: This road trip is fast and free, but this time Coogan and Brydon don’t quite hit the mark.

Moms' Night Out is a giggle

Film review: Snippets of Hangover but with women, this is a comedy of errors with plenty of chuckle.

X-Men hit the spot again in Days of Future Past

Film review: Bryan Singer pulls off a funny, tight action film that doesn’t feel rushed or over-crowded.

Ida's a road to revelation

Film review: Pawel Pawlikowski’s entire film is told in exquisitely composed black-and-white images.

Sunshine on Leith clouded by predictability

Film review: A wee bit twee and syrupy, this jaunty Scottish musical works hard to take you from misery to happiness.

Son of God needs divine intervention

Film review: It's bizarre that a film presumably conceived as an act of devotion should feel so lacklustre and impersonal.

Child's Pose's poisonous love entralls

Film review: It is the beautifully sparse but emotionally loaded script that gives this real strength.

Broken circle of a bluegrass love affair

Film review: The story is reminiscent of Blue Valentine with its blue-collar romantic couple in freefall.

Belle tantalises

Film review: Delicate, intelligent and moving, this is a feast for the eyes and a nuanced slice of history, writes Jane Freebury.

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