Artist Augustus Earle’s life was in many respects so remarkable that if it wasn’t true it would have had to be invented. Born in London in 1793, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from the age of 13 and is acknowledged as the first independent, professional artist to visit all continents. He documented his travels with candour and honesty. Loving travel and immersing himself in the worlds he encountered, he captured them in luminous watercolours.
NAIDOC Week (NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’) on 3-10 July is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
Today the term ‘Aussie battler’ sits easily in the Australian vernacular, is used nightly on current affairs television programs, and in popular culture in characters such as the Kerrigan family in the 1997 film The Castle. For the first half of the twentieth century the Rudd family were the quintessential Aussie battlers; the working class family who continued fighting against the odds, always embracing their challenges with humour and optimism.
On Saturday 19 March, Linda Jaivin will visit the Library to discuss the perils and seductions of writing about China in the context of her own experiences as foreign journalist, memoirist, travel writer, librettist, essayist and novelist.
Historian Dr Kate Bagnall is intimately familiar with Chinese culture, having lived and researched in the Pearl River Delta over many years. On 24 January she’ll be visiting the Library, drawing on these experiences and on her extensive body of research to talk about the lives of Chinese women in Australia.
On 23 January, brother and sister duo Benjamin and Michelle Law will be at the Library to share their experiences of growing up in a Chinese family in Australia.
With the overwhelming popularity of the SBS comedy The Family Law, many of you are no doubt familiar with Michelle Law’s teenage, TV-screen counterpart, as seen through the eyes of her brother Benjamin. But what about the woman herself?
It is interesting that Rex Nan Kivell (1898–1977), an art dealer who was so passionately interested in portraiture and in the representation of those that shaped our part of the world, only commissioned two artists to capture him in portrait form. He included these works in his compendium Portraits of the Famous and Infamous along with references to, and images of, his friends and those who had assisted him to produce his very time-consuming volume over nearly two decades.