Revising old work – is art ever really finished?

To change or keep as is? A director, a playwright, a live artist and a choreographer reflect on revisiting and remaking existing works.

Publicity image for The Australian Ballet’s Murphy, celebrating the works of iconic choreographer Graeme Murphy.

Artists in every sector invest considerable energy, both mentally and physically, in creating new work. Consequently, knowing when to down tools and step away from the finished object – if indeed an art work can ever be said to be finished – can sometimes be challenging, regardless of one’s medium or practice.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts