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Art & the city



Event Status

Where there are cities, there are artists. They are often the first human developers on the fringes of urban areas, and no city is complete without its galleries, its music venues and its literature. The great metropolises of the world lean heavily on their arts communities to define their artistic signatures, created and shaped by the artists who live and work there. But what role does the city play in forming the artistic practice of those who live within her boundaries?

Writer and editor Penny Modra sits down with a panel including Tony Ellwood, director of the National Gallery of Victoria and the brains behind the Melbourne Now exhibition, design Professor Paul Carter, Artistic Director of Next Wave Emily Sexton and cartoonist and creator of Melbhattan short film Oslo Davis to talk about the two-way artistic interaction that is life in the modern city.

Art & us.

The nature and meaning of art has been hotly debated for centuries, but in this new series for 2014, the Wheeler Centre explores the impact of art in a variety of contexts. We look at how artistic practice fits in to the many diverse aspects of everyday life, as well as how its context has a direct effect on the realms of inspiration and creation.


Tony Ellwood

Tony Ellwood is the director of the National Gallery of Victoria, and was the initiator behind the concept of the current exhibition Melbourne Now.

Paul Carter

Paul Carter is a writer and artist. Recent books include Ground Truthing: Explorations in a Creative Region (2010), Meeting Place: the Human Encounter and the Challenge of Coexistence (2013) and Ecstacies and Elegies, Poems (2013). Alterations (2014), a public artwork for Dandenong’s new Civic Squ... Read more

Penny Modra

Penny Modra is the editorial director at The Good Copy, a Melbourne-based writing school and consultancy. She is a regular ‘grammar enthusiast’ guest on ABC Radio Melbourne and teaches editing in RMIT University’s Professional Writing and Editing program. Penny writes occasional features f... Read more

Emily Sexton

Emily Sexton is a former Head of Programming for the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. She was the recipient of a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2014. Previously, she was Artistic Director of Next Wave (2010–14), where her key achievements were a radical rethink of an ar... Read more

Oslo Davis

Oslo Davis is an illustrator, cartoonist and artist who has drawn for a number of organisations worldwide, including the New York Times, the Age, the Monthly, Meanjin, SBS and the Guardian. He has also been commissioned to draw for the National Gallery of Victoria, the Golden Plains music fest... Read more


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