Margot Osborne

Margot Osborne is a writer and curator. She was guest editor of Artlink 28#2, Art/Mind/Beauty and Artlink 32#1, Pattern and Complexity. She is writing the 2015 SALA monograph on Giles Bettison.


The aesthetics and ethics of landscape design
Margot Osborne on the practice of Taylor Cullity Lethlean
21st Century Portraits
Foreword by Andrew Graham-Dixon National Portrait Gallery, London, 2013 Freelance curator and scholar Margot Osborne reviews a new book on portraiture published by the National Portrait Gallery of London and featuring three Australian artists among others from around the world.
Wall to Wall: Graffiti Art
Choreography of the elements: Janet Echelman
American artist Janet Echelman reshapes urban airspace with monumental, fluidly moving sculpture that responds to environmental forces including wind, water, and sunlight. The artist’s ongoing series of aerial net sculptures started in 1997 when she was in India as a Fulbright Scholar and became fascinated with the beauty and movement of traditional fishing nets. In 2011 her installation 'Tsunami 1.26' hung over the Town Hall traffic intersection in Sydney as a joint initiative of the Powerhouse Museum and Art and About Sydney.
Pattern & Complexity
Karen Genoff
Karen Genoff The Mother Lode BMG Art Adelaide 27 March-18 April 2009
After the Missionaries
Ellen Dissanyake: homo aestheticus
In this phone interview conducted by Margot Osborne with North American ethologist Ellen Dissanyake in her home in Seattle her case for a species-centric approach to art is explored through the ideas in her books Homo Aestheticus (1992) and Art and Intimacy (2000). She states that some form of art as an activity has existed in all societies across all times and is innate in human nature. The core of this innate activity is making special, or elaboration. From this species-centric perspective, many recent developments in art are seen by Dissanayake as unfortunate aberrations and a denial of the positive life-enhancing qualities of art.
Art Mind Beauty
Australian Beauty
Beauty is problematic for contemporary art theory at least in part because it affords a pleasurable, life-affirming, yet ineffable experience. Yet Margot Osborne finds many examples to show that it has never really gone away. As Peter Schjeldahl observed in 1996: Beauty will be what it has always been and, despite everything, is now in furtive and inarticulate ways: an irrepressible, anarchic, healing human response without which life is a mistake.' Osborne writes: Embodiment, the synthesis of sensibility, skill and material form, is at the heart of beauty...The perception of beauty is an integrative sensual and cerebral experience, dissolving dualities of mind/body and repudiating outmoded art form hierarchies.
Art Mind Beauty
Pippin Drysdale; Design, Craft and the Smart Syndrome
Pippin Drysdale Lines of Site By Ted Snell Fremantle Arts Centre Press 2007 174pp rrp $45 Recently published in Perth with support from Arts WA is an incisive monograph on West Australian ceramist Pippin Drysdale by Ted Snell. Snell has written a substantial book of five chapters, dividing Drysdales artistic evolution into four eras. Through in-depth engagement with particular vessels or series Snell traces her increasing mastery of the allusive and abstract power of the ceramic medium. Smart Works Design and the Handmade Edited by Grace Cochrane Powerhouse Publishing 192pp rrp $35.95 This publication is in many respects an exemplary book of an exemplary exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum and is about design that reflects the values of the handmade. With 40 individuals and groups represented across the categories of jewellery and metalwork, ceramics, glass and resin, fashion and textiles, and furniture this publication encompasses a truly diverse range of approaches from totally hand-crafted to high-tech manufacture.
Screen Deep
Milton Moon: Approaching the Intangible
In his 80th year the eminent potter Milton Moon, AM, continues to make pots, working in a studio at his home in Adelaide. He exhibits with Aptos Cruz Galleries at Stirling in the Adelaide Hills. Over a long career Moon has received many awards and honours, including a Churchill Fellowship (1965) and is represented in many major public collections, including all the State galleries and The National Gallery of Australia. On a mild morning in early spring 2006 Margot Osborne sat with Moon to discuss his career as outlined in this article.
Elders: The Old Magic
2005 JamFactory Biennale
2005 JamFactory Biennial JamFactory, Adelaide 19 November - 19 February 2006
Art History: Go Figure
Light Black: Catherine Truman, Robin Best, Sue Lorraine
JamFactory, Adelaide 1 March - 4 May 2003 Asialink tour to National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Critical Mass: The New Brisbane
The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize Under Scrutiny
Osborne examines and questions the validity of the South Australian Museums Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize in terms of its proposed intentions which lie in the educating of issues concerning Australias natural heritage and ecology. With a prize pool of $85,000 in total the event certainly offers incentive to artists and attracts many of the countries most prolific artists but in turn fails to provide any intrinsic value in terms of art or natural history. As Osborne concludes neither sales, nor attendance figures are sufficient to justify the museum devoting its space, resources and prestige to this ill-conceived event.
Ecology: Everyone's Business
Parallel Universe: The Gray St. Workshops @ 20
Gray Street Workshop, which is this year celebrating its twentieth anniversary, has pursued a creative work ethic closely aligned to values of the handmade, not as an end per se but as a means to evolve a creative language grounded in the interplay between ideas and practice.
Handmade: The New Labour
Kate Breakey
Exhibition review Laws of Physics/Principles of Mathematics Kate Breakey Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre South Australia 8 April - 7 May 1994
Sydney: The Big Shift
Margot Osborne on Marijana Tadic
Exhibition review Passionate Habits Marijana Tadic Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia 11 November - 4 December 1994
Unley Museum Bendigo Art Gallery Country Arts SA NAVA Stockroom Kyneton