David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

08 December 2015


bL/HA staff are dedicated wireless listeners. Most of us have been so for a long time. From serials and music to The Goons (highpoint!) and matters serious. Wireless World meets Art, even : and the winners of our 'Draw Willie the Wireless Bird' competition are...

We listen to lots of Radio National here. Regretfully, there's one RN show we can't endure - Books and Arts.

When it comes to a visual arts assignment, the gushing inadequacy of the show's presenter has us mouthing "Chagrin!". Listen to him this morning ( click here to listen ), not so much interviewing or engaging as asking a basic research questionaire of the knowledgeable curators of Howard Arkley (and friends), the exhibition at TarraWarra Museum of Art that he has not seen.
MC : And how did he die?  
VL :  It was an accidental overdose and it was very tragic because he had just come back from representing Australia at the Venice Biennale, in the Australia pavilion. 
MC : Oh, that's right, he represented Australia, I'd forgotten that. The Venice Biennale. 
VL : He'd reached the absolute heights in his career and yes it was just one of those terribly tragic stories. He was only 48 years old. 
MC : ...and the drugs got the better of him. Hmmm, that's a sad ending. 
MC : Well, thank you so much for coming in. I feel quite exhilarated, you know. I've been looking at Howard Arkley overnight, and watched the little YouTube video on how to do airbrush painting - learned something. So, I'm looking forward to seeing the show. Thank you so much for coming in. It's been lovely to meet you both.
Other RN programs have knowledgeable or well informed, genuinely interested presenters - The Music Show (Andrew Ford); The Science Show (Robyn Williams); The Spirit of Things (Rachael Kohn); The Philosopher's Zone (Joe Gelonesi); Health Report (Dr Norman Swan) and many more. Fran Kelly, Geraldine Doogue, Mark Colvin. Why can't the national visual arts audience also be treated with proper RN seriousness?

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...