Tuesday, 4 December 2012

artists in conversation

I'm in love with a book I'm reading and think you might like it too. In many ways it encapsulates my dream job: interviewing artists and designers about their practice over many decades. 

'Artists in Conversation' by Australian journalist Janet Hawley has just been published and is well worth a read.
Hawley interviews many interesting (mostly Australian) artists and presents the book as a series of essays about each one. As this review points out "Spanning continents and decades, Artists in Conversation brings to life the creative talents of more than 30 artists including Brett Whiteley, Ben Quilty, Margaret Olley, Bill Henson, John Brack, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Adam Cullen, John Wolseley, John Olsen and Albert Tucker, among others."

I've read about 7 chapters so far and was moved to tears by one in particular where Hawley reprints letters between the then dying Lloyd Rees and Brett Whiteley. So poignant.

What's quite special about this collection of artist portraits is the way in which Hawley has developed quite intimate friendships with each of them over long periods of time. Often holidaying with the artists and their families, and always being invited for studio visits and meals and long, interesting, thoroughly-worth-reading conversations. She has the inside scoop on what plagues them, what stirs and motivates them and what fame has meant for their lives and their creative work. 

You can listen to an interview with Janet about her book here recorded 15 November on ABC Radio National Books and Arts Daily.

Fascinating, I tell you!

Dream job indeed. So I'm putting it out there. I'm available to do this kind of project for printmakers if anyone has funding. Just saying.....