religious art

The Blake Prize 2018

May 31, 2018

It’s been seven years since I last wrote about the Blake Prize, which seemed to have reached a point where it couldn’t get any worse. The good news is that it hasn’t gotten worse: it’s just as bad as it was seven years ago. When it was founded in 1951 the Blake Prize was intended … More


The 60th Blake Prize Exhibition

October 1, 2011

In recent years I have cheerfully avoided the Blake Prize and might have done so again in its 60th anniversary year, had not Rachael Kohn from Radio National asked me to comment on the show. The reason why I generally avoid the Blake is not because I’m irreligious – which I freely admit – but … More


Justin O’Brien

January 22, 2011

Thinking of Justin O’Brien my memory flies back to a day in Rome when I was taking “Justin’s tour” with his old friend and fellow expatriate, Jeffrey Smart. As we approached the church of Sant’Agostino, which contains works by Caravaggio and Raphael, we were met with a blast of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue. A funeral … More


The Blake Prize

September 20, 2010

If all religion were as vague and non-descript as the works in the Blake Prize, the world would be a much more peaceful place. Nobody could ever be passionate, let alone fanatical, about the lame and timid entries in Australia’s leading competition for religious art. Or should that be ‘spiritual’ art? This is the 59th … More