Martin Edmond

Martin Edmond

is the author of a number of works of non-fiction including, Dark Night : Walking with McCahon (2011).

About Martin Edmond

Martin Edmond was born in Ohakune, New Zealand and has lived in Sydney since 1981. He is the author of a number of works of non-fiction including, Dark Night : Walking with McCahon (2011). His dual biography Battarbee & Namatjira was published in October 2014.

Articles about Martin Edmond

Articles by Martin Edmond

The Story Place

‘One essential insight is that the art always means something different to those who made it from what it means to those who buy it; and is understood differently again by those who curate, exhibit, collect, and write about it. Perhaps this is the case with all art, but an added complication with the art of the Western Desert is that there is a secret/sacred dimension to the imagery which may not be disclosed to those without rights to it.’

Bronwyn Oliver

A Grand Completeness:
Bronwyn Oliver: Strange Things

ink is as scrupulous, in her way, as her subject was. By which I mean she is able, most of the time, to avoid comment. She doesn’t editorialise. The significance of events in Oliver’s life is allowed to emerge from contemporary testimony, perhaps, or from narrative juxtaposition, or simply because of the baleful grandeur of Oliver’s commitment to her work and the sometimes alarming consequences of her dedication.

Rattling Spears A History of Indigenous Australian Art by Ian McLean

The Shimmer of Light: Rattling Spears by Ian W. McLean

'Martin Edmonds on a new history of Indigenous Australian art 'Nothing is simple in this philosophical arena, where rattling spears and tjurunga contend with sextants and theodolites; cans of spray paint with the sepia tones of old colonial photographs. The question is how to make a future. If the Dreaming was always about eternity poured into time, the problem the Enlightenment brought with it—along with its Cartesian accoutrements—was how to protect eternity from time.' '

Sidney Nolan A Life by Nancy Underhill cover

Unhatched Eggs: Sidney Nolan: A Life by Nancy Underhill

There have been many attempts to come to terms in print with the Nolan phenomenon, but only one full length biography ... Now we have a second biography by art historian and curator Nancy Underhill.

Bill The Life of William Dobell by Scott Bevan Book Cover

The Man Who Knew Too Much: Bill: The Life of William Dobell

Dobell remains an enigma. Bevan says that nobody knew who he was, not even Dobell himself, but I doubt this. I think he knew himself exactly and chose not to communicate that knowledge to others, except parsimoniously in the paintings, and sometimes in life.

Ghosts of me: A Bone of Fact
by David Walsh

A Bone of Fact is really memoir as a form of self-portraiture and, David Walsh being who he is, not much is held back. He is garrulous, sardonic, impudent, without shame and without inhibitions; but he also has a vein of kindness to his person that makes the encounter with him ultimately worthwhile.

19 December 2014: the book council

The announcement last week of the inauguration of a ‘new but rather hazily defined’ Book Council did not include the information that it will be funded by a cut to the Australia Council of $2 million per year for three years. This is about half of the Council’s traditional literature budget – a massive hit. The Australia Council was informed of this just a few hours before the budget announcements on Monday, and is still working through what it will mean, in a practical sense, for the funding of literature.

Tom Carment - Womerah Lane

24 October 2014: art and money

Cultural diplomacy in a different form may have resolved one aspect of the Shiva issue, so called, which appears to have queered Radford’s chances of staying on in a job he had held for more than a decade. The work in question, an eleventh century Chola bronze statue of a dancing Shiva valued at $5.1 million, was among 21 items the NGA purchased from disgraced New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor, whom Interpol has called ‘the world's biggest commodity smuggler’.

Jason Benjamin
Acute Misfortune The Life and Death of Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen Cover

Declivities & eminences: Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen

If, as Jensen suggests, Cullen was in his work a sort of shaman of suburbia, a lightning rod for its deficits and its hidden pain, this only serves to sharpen his loneliness. For shamanism was and is a communal profession, and Cullen was a deeply isolated man. His substance abuse, so called, can be seen through the same lens: a once communal act now indulged in agonised solitude.

Stranger than we can imagine: Australian Art: A History by Sasha Grishin

Revisionist, indeed polemical, art histories are possible, although they tend to revise the art and its sequences – its ‘place’ in history – not the history itself. Sasha Grishin’s version, Australian Art: A History, is neither polemical nor revisionist; but it is curious. He takes what he considers to be an innovative, inclusive approach, beginning bravely with the assertion that his history is neither written piece-meal by a committee of experts, nor a frolic of his own, but combines both approaches.

25 July 2014: Gordon Bennett, the Man Booker Prize

Gordon Bennett, who passed away unexpectedly on June 3 this year, was a major Australian artist who, over a relatively brief period of time – about 27 years – produced a body of work that is one of the great achievements of our time. His work was widely exhibited and collected in Australia, and acclaimed internationally as well.