NERAM launches 2019 Packsaddle lecture series with two talks in July

The New England Regional Art Museum is launching its 2019 Packsaddle Lecture series with an interactive Question and Answer style session with author and art critic, John McDonald on Saturday 6th July, followed by a lecture on Nora Heysen by biographer Anne-Louise Willoughby on Sunday 14th July.  

For more than twenty years, John McDonald has been one of Australia’s best-known art critics, writing a weekly column for the Sydney Morning Herald. He has written for many Australian and international publications, worked as an editor and publisher; and lectured at colleges and galleries around the country. He was Head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia from 1999-2000. John has written numerous monographs and has been a curator for a wide range of exhibitions. 

“The purpose of the Packsaddle Lecture Series is to bring leading speakers on art to NERAM to provide our audience an opportunity to connect with national discourse, research and ideas,” said Rachael Parsons, NERAM Director. “John McDonald is a prominent, critical voice in the Australian art landscape. His column, blog, newsletter and even Twitter feed provide constant commentary, critique and insight into today’s art world. He is a perfect speaker for the 2019 Chandler Coventry Lecture on Contemporary Art.” 

John McDonald’s talk will not follow a standard lecture format and will instead invite questions from the audience on topics to do with art in Australia. The presentation will begin with a conversation with NERAM Director Rachael Parsons focussing on regional galleries and their collections. 

“People who read art criticism and reviews often disagree with a writer’s opinion or have questions they wish they could ask,” said Rachael Parsons. “This is a unique opportunity to do exactly that. We will let the audience’s questions direct and move the conversation. We are hoping to have some interesting interactions and discussions and we encourage everyone to bring a question with them.” 

The second Packsaddle Lecture for 2019  is the Howard Hinton Lecture on Australian Art and will be presented by journalist and author Anne-Louise Willoughby, who will be speaking about Nora Heysen and her recently released book Nora Heysen: A Portrait

“Nora Heysen has been receiving some much-deserved attention this year in connection with the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art,” said Rachael Parsons. “She is also an important artist within the Howard Hinton Collection and three of our Heysen works feature in the NGV show. She is a great favourite amongst our community at NERAM and so this is a must-see talk.” 

Nora Heysen was an incredibly accomplished painter, technically brilliant and committed throughout her life to her own unique realism. She was the first woman to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 1938 – and remains one of only 10 women to have won Australia’s most famous art prize in the past hundred years (four of those 10 won in the past decade). Heysen was also the first woman to be appointed as an official Australian war artist, in the tropical, difficult conditions of New Guinea in 1943, where she argued with command and refused to remain restricted to painting only the nurses. 

Anne-Louise Willoughby worked as a journalist in a career that spanned thirty years in Western Australia, first training as a newspaper cadet in the 1970s before moving to magazine publishing with Australian Consolidated Press. As a freelance journalist, she was a feature writer for Australian newspapers and contributing WA editor to Belle Magazine. Anne-Louise has worked as a lecturer and tutor in creative writing at the University of Western Australia with a particular interest in memoir and biography.

Event starts
Saturday 6 July, 2019
Event Ends
Sunday 14 July, 2019
New England Regional Art Museum
Venue Address
106-114 Kentucky Street

New South Wales, , Armidale

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