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New Shepparton courts tackle stress with design

In the entrance to Shepparton's new court building, layered timbers abstract the Koori court logo of a giant tree and ...

Courts are traditionally intimidating places. Grand buildings from the 19th century, such as Melbourne's Supreme Court, exude authority, power and control. Today, rather than intimidate, courts the world over are increasingly designed to alleviate stress.

Highlights of the Sydney Biennale

Ai Wei Wei's Law of the Journey.

1. Marco Fusinato's​ sound installation Constellations, 2015/2018 invites visitors to pick up a baseball bat and bash what looks like a plain white gallery wall. Inside the Carriageworks' installation are 16 microphones connected to a concert size amplifier that will send 120 decibels reverberating through the space. One strike only per visitor. 

Taking a bat to Marco Fusinato's sound-struck installation

Artist Mami Kataoka,  curator of the Sydney Biennale, with Marco Fusinato's sound wall at Carriageworks.

Contemporary artist and experimental "noise musician", Marco Fusinato, has witnessed some scary audience reactions to his enormous sound installation, Constellations, 2015/2018, which invites visitors to pick up a baseball bat and bash what seems to be a plain white gallery wall.

Where has all the outrage gone?

Acclaimed New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones wades into the refugee crisis in his new book The Cage.

Acclaimed New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones has warned the world is losing its capacity for outrage and its citizens are turning into dumb and ineffective witnesses as catastrophe and crisis almost shift into the realm of spectacle.

Experiments in design

Dale Hardiman with his work for design week 2018 at Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond. Hardiman repairs broken and ...

Designers intent on experimentation are plumbing the past and exploiting the latest technologies in Melbourne Design Week

Wild contrasts in artistic double act

Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand has long-standing links with the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

Two wildly contrasting exhibitions have been unveiled for next summer at the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Sydney International Art Series.

Exhibition celebrates 'rock stars' of graphic design

The Superstructure exhibition includes the groundbreaking Beatles T-shirt.

In 2001 the Dutch graphic design group Experimental Jetset (EJ) produced a Beatles T-shirt. The idea was deceptively simple: replace the faces of the most recognisable band in the world with just their names. After all, everyone knows which band they belong to. The shirt sold surprisingly well. EJ would design two more, listing the Rolling Stones and Ramones. The real success lies not in the number of T-shirts sold, but what they spawned. People began sending them T-shirts in the same format: a plain shirt set in Helvetica type. An ampersand at the end of each line gave the impression the list was a piece of concrete poetry, as much as a pop-cultural tribute. Seventeen years later, the designers still receive band T-shirts with names they've never heard of. 

Colony at NGV challenges a nation at odds with its past

Joseph Lycett, Inner view of Newcastle (detail), c.1818.

Central to the NGV's Colony: Australia 1770-1861 exhibition is the development of European art in Australia, but curators are quick to emphasise that important counterpoints to this glorified colonial narrative are included along the way. This juxtaposition of celebrated European works and First Nations' cultural objects produces an agile dialogue, much subtler than the complementary exhibition Colony: Frontier Wars, though equally as potent in challenging the Commonwealth's preferred interpretation of its nationhood.