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Points of View

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at Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International

Tom Roberts: Shearing the rams 1890

When Tom Roberts painted Shearing the rams, he wanted to create a painting that would represent Australian life. His image of men hard at work in a shearing station has endured since as a symbol of iconic national values like hard work and mateship, and of the characters who live and work in country Australia.

How have these things changed in the century-plus since the painting’s creation in 1890? We’ll look at how the nature of work has evolved with the advent of new technologies, the changing role and power of unionism, and at the changing face of the rural Australian workforce with successive waves of migration.

Michael Varcoe-Cocks, head of conservation at the National Gallery of Victoria, will lead by talking about the artwork itself, placing it in context.

Arts advocate Esther Anatolitis, director of Regional Arts Victoria, will talk about the clubbish, closed shed of the painting’s Anglo-Australian workforce, introducing the perspective of migrants.

Dave Oliver, secretary of the ACTU, will talk about the role and power of unionism.

Dr Hugh Bradlow, head of innovation at Telstra, will discuss the massive shifts in technological development between the era of this painting and today’s heavily mechanised world.

And to close, comedy performer Gillian Cosgriff will write and perform a song about the work.


Australian Art Starting Conversations

Certain timeless works of art make us see the world differently. By experiencing famous paintings or sculptures, we can form an idea of what life was like when they were created.

But how much can iconic art teach us about the world today? Taking four historical works as a starting point, our guests make a series of lateral leaps to explore the diversity of the modern world through the prism of classic art.

After a curator from the National Gallery of Victoria places the work in context, three different speakers will explore the tangents that arise, leading the discussion surrounding the piece in new and unexpected directions. The evening concludes with a creative response directly inspired by the artwork itself.

Please enter through the North entrance, via Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt.

Presented by the Wheeler Centre and the NGV.

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Who?

Portrait of Simon Abrahams

Simon Abrahams

Simon Abrahams is a strategic arts and cultural leader, dynamic programmer and experienced producer whose work has been recognised nationally and internationally. He is Chair of Theatre Network Victoria, and a freelance arts consultant and performer.

Portrait of Hugh Bradlow

Hugh Bradlow

Hugh S. Bradlow is Chief Technology Officer for Telstra and is responsible for investigating the future technologies that will impact Telstra’s business.

Portrait of Michael Varcoe-Cocks

Michael Varcoe-Cocks

Michael Varcoe-Cocks is Head of Conservation at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Portrait of Dave Oliver

Dave Oliver

Dave Oliver is the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

Portrait of Esther Anatolitis

Esther Anatolitis

Writer and arts advocate Esther Anatolitis is Executive Director of NAVA and Deputy Chair of Contemporary Arts Precincts. A former CEO of Express Media, Esther was a founder of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and has led several key arts and media organisations across all artforms. Esther’s writing across culture, politics and critique is widely published, and her conviction that artistic leadership is always already political strongly guides all of her work.

Portrait of Gillian Cosgriff

Gillian Cosgriff

Gillian Cosgriff is a singer, songwriter, pianist and performer.

Points of View

Australian art starting conversations

Certain timeless works of art make us see the world differently. By experiencing famous paintings or sculptures, we can form an idea of what life was like when they were created. But how much can iconic art teach us about the world today? Taking four historical works as a starting point, our guests make a series of lateral leaps to explore the diversity of the modern world through the prism of classic art.

The works are John Brack’s Collins St., 5p.m. 1955, Tom Roberts’ Shearing the rams 1890, Ron Mueck’s sculpture Two women 2005 and Emily Kam Kngwarray’s 1995 masterpiece Anwerlarr anganenty (Big Yam Dreaming).

After a curator from the National Gallery of Victoria places the work in context, three different speakers will explore the tangents that arise, leading the discussion surrounding the piece in new and unexpected directions. The evening concludes with a creative response directly inspired by the artwork itself.

Guests include sport and business journalist Gideon Haigh, ARIA-award-nominated musician The Bedroom Philosopher, media scholar Patricia Edgar, Telstra’s Head of Innovation Hugh Bradlow and feminist, writer and ethicist Leslie Cannold.

Please enter through the North entrance, via Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt.

Where?

More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

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