Issue 41:2 | August 2021 | In Public / Inside
In Public / Inside
Issue 41:2 | August 2021
Issue 35:1 | March 2015 | Art & War: Badlands
Art & War: Badlands
Issue 35:1 | March 2015


A close-up of Amazon Acres: Helen Grace

‘How did it begin?’

‘Desire. Sex. Lesbianism.’

In 1978, Helen Grace visited Amazon Acres, a women’s commune in the mid-north coast hinterland near Wauchope, NSW. She packed her new Olympus camera and brought home several rolls of film. Returning two years in a row, Grace unintentionally collated an archive of one of Australia’s most audacious experiments in utopian living. There are eleven proofsheets: hundreds of photos in all, mostly black and white. For Friendship as a Way of Life (2020), curated by José Da Silva and Kelly Doley at UNSW Galleries, Grace edited these photos down with the assistance of Da Silva to twelve images for a series entitled And awe was all that we could feel

Transformative communities: Curation and care

Group exhibitions are ideological texts which make private intentions public.

In May 2021 the Turner Art Prize announced five artist collectives as their nominees. It was the first time the premier British internationally recognised award did not include an individual artist, reflecting a changing landscape. The prize’s intention is to ‘capture the mood and moment’ of contemporary visual art, and with this year’s nominees, Tate Britain make a bold public statement to the collectivisation of artistic practice. However soon after the announcement, nominee Black Obsidian Sound System released a statement on Instagram criticising the institution:

Although we believe collective organising is at the heart of transformation, it is evident that arts institutions, whilst enamoured by collective and social practices, are not properly equipped or resourced to deal with the realities that shape our lives and work.

Recalling history to duty: 100 years of Australian war art
Ryan Johnston on Australia's official war art scheme.