writing

Kircher, Noah's Ark

The Paper Zoo

Choosing to draw: philosophy and aesthetics Whatever else the Romans may have done for us, teaching us to draw was not one of their gifts. The two great works of…

Reading Prison, exterior image

Art Angels / Property Guardians

  Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison   On a bright morning at the beginning of September I joined members of the press on a visit to the former…

Hestia Peppe, dyspraxia 1

A Dys-Praxic Sketchbook

I used to think that the only skill I had was drawing. It was only much later that I realised that it was simply the only skill that I had…

Jiang Zhi The world is yours, as well as ours - Display 24

Duelling Hagiographies: Mao and Modernism

The world is yours as well as ours: a statement in which ancestry maintains a dialectic with reconstruction; engineered to mobilise disjunctions with the past over a period spanning sixty…

Flowerdale Victoria epicormic buds

Epicormic Psychology

The regeneration of Australia’s flora and fauna after fire is swift; or is this just a misconception of a nation’s psyche?     The winding trail of sandstone rubble ascends…

Utagawa_Hiroshige_(1857)_Awa_Naruto_no_fuukei

The Restless Whirlpool of Life

“Go faster, harder; be stronger, tougher,” – just some of the words I use as mental self-flagellation in those critical first five minutes pounding the pavements on my early morning…

The Future is the Past: Harwich, Essex

Harwich has a split personality. At the northeasternmost point of Essex, the old town is still laid out as the medieval port it once was, but it’s separated from the…

Map of the Sanggar peninsula, 1847

Frankenstein: Before the Beginning

  Every thing must have a beginning… and that beginning must be linked to something that went before. – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.     It was precisely two hundred years…

Anais Tondeur, Chernobyl Herbarium triptych 1

The Chernobyl Herbarium

Chernobyl and Plant Life: Silent Witnessing It is incredibly difficult to talk and write about Chernobyl. No serious book on the subject has been able to dodge the task of…

Toads breeding

An Orgy of Toads

Soon after the clocks have gone forward and April Fools has passed, a spring event occurs which has yet to capture the popular imagination in quite the same way as…

Joseph Constantine Stadler, active 1780–1812, British, Fort Marlborough from Old Bencoolen, Sumatra, 1799, 1799, Aquatint, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Sophia

In 1818, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, newlywed husband of Sophia, Governor-General of Bencoolen, surveyed the island of Singapore, which was made a British colony early the following year.   i….