Kevin Murray – Curator and Writer

What we make of our world

An orchid in the desert – the lacquer journey of Bic Tieu

Catalogue essay for Bic Tieu, Australian artist who was trained in lacquer by Japanese masters.

Craft in Australia: let’s not forget the real value of the handmade

With the possibility of technology taking over our jobs, now is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the value of Australian craft culture, and the beauty of the handmade. In his budget reply speech in May 2015, Bill Shorten claimed that “coding is the literacy of the 21st century.” With the possibility of technology […]

Alice Springs Beanie Festival

Article for The Age about the Beanie Festival   While the end of the 20th century was marked by the destruction of the Berlin Wall, we are now witnessing the construction of a barrier more than three times its length, along Israel’s West Bank. The optimism of the velvet revolutions has reverted back to the […]

Call me Balanda

For reasons that will be clear later, I’d like to start tonight’s lecture by acknowledging the people who lived on this land before John Batman declared it a village—the Woiwurring and people of the Kulin nations. Tonight, I want to talk with you about the role of art in reflecting where we live, with particular […]

Biggest in the Southern Hemisphere or what?

There is a rumbling down-under. We are ‘turning the page’ with a new government, facing the challenge of a warming global agenda and considering a new place in the world of this young nation. What place might that be? At Craft Victoria, we started to explore what we might have in common with countries of […]

From there to here, with a bouquet–Vicki Mason jewellery

Catalogue essay for the Vicki Mason exhibition Botanical Fictions, e.g.etal, Melbourne and Gallery Bilk, Queanbeyan, Australia, 2011 The other day I renewed my driver’s license. Uploading my identity into the matrix was a strangely disembodying experience. Accompanied by the clatter of scans and clicks, I made my way to the front of the queue before […]

Jugalbandi – Designed and Made in Australia and India

The aim of this exhibition is to explore new opportunities for Australian art, craft and design through creative dialogue with India. The principle of this dialogue is the understanding that no culture is sufficient to itself. Each culture has certain biases which prompt those within to seek values from other cultures that complement its deficiencies. […]

Stop the Moats: Recent work by Cecile Williams and Nick Mangan

‘He who lives on an island should not make an enemy of the ocean.’ Berlin proverb The interregnum that followed the 2010 Federal election drew attention to the voices of Independents, speaking free of the constraints of party machines. Refreshing views came to the surface. During his campaign for election to the electorate of Port […]

Painterliness in contemporary glass art

Delivered as the Strattman lecture, Adelaide GAS Conference, 9 May 2005 At this moment, Australia plays host to an international gathering of glass artists. It would seem remiss, then, not to mention one of Australia’s most noticeable contributions to the international world of glass art. The Peter Carey novel Oscar and Lucinda used glass blowing […]

Magicians of the South

It seems these days we are blessed, or cursed, by long-term incumbent governments. Yet despite their seeming inexorable hold on power, we know that eventually, as night follows day, the UK will eventually be Tory and Australia will be Labor. For Hegel, the popular understanding of the dialectic is expressed in the phrase, ‘Live and […]

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