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SHORTLISTED, 2023 ALS GOLD MEDAL
ART is the second collaborative poetry work from Charmaine Papertalk Green and John Kinsella. It is a formidable call and response piece that builds on the stunning dialogue the two authors began on paper in False Claims of Colonial Thieves (2018). While ART is a collaborative work, each poet’s contributions are presented independently. They showcase their talents in a dynamic exchange, working innovatively to present a poetic response to artworks.
The focus of their attention is a series of paintings by the late Nyoongar painter Shane Pickett. Pickett’s work provides provocation for both poets to reflect on their own lives and histories on Nyoongar country. Their interwoven dialogue examines the politics of the contemporary art world, of museums, archives, and galleries.
The book also features a conversation between Charmaine and Shane’s son Trevor Pickett, which discusses Shane’s life, influences and the significance of his painting and worldviews, along with a selection of visual works by Charmaine.
“It is activist writers like proud Yamaji woman Charmaine Papertalk Green and settler poet John Kinsella who write against the continuing overt and covert skin-politics of Advance Australia Fair; and the national discourse of capital ‘H’ history that still writes us wrong. It is writers such as this who together resist this and say: White Australia has a Blak future.”
– Jeanine Leane, Sydney Review of Books
“The poetry in ART gains meaning with each read...A thought-provoking collection.”
– Christian Alphonso, Books+Publishing
“ART functions as a salve to the paralysis – a desire for absolution to be offered by Indigenous peoples, the guilt of moralism – that can be so immobilising (and counterproductive) in settler-colonial politics. Through their collaboration, Green and Kinsella embody what an alternative might look like: finding the wriggle room of freedom, nurturing rage and resistance.”
– Declan Fry, The Monthly