A Review of Janet Hawley’s Conversations with Australian Artists

Janet Hawley - Artists In Conversation

Janet Hawley – Artists In Conversation

I wonder if you’ve come across the book Janet Hawley: Artists in Conversation? It’s an essay collection reflecting on the work of some of Australia’s most famous artists.

I’d read references to this book a couple of times but had never actually seen it. Happily, a friend lent it to me a few weeks ago. What a read it’s been!

The best way to make good art is to reveal yourself and to be defenceless. It is also about being utterly selfish, just to pursue an idea single-mindedly and just not care what people think. You just try to perform the art as gracefully as possible.

In producing this book, Janet has done just that. She’s achieved so much with this insightful and measured storytelling.

There is so much to admire in the quality of her writing, in turning whatever the artists said into engaging text on a page. It’s full of good quality conversations that are rich and full of meaning. It’s been a helpful and illuminating read that’s been good for me on many levels.

It’s come along at exactly the right time. If I’d picked it up five or six years ago, I would have read it with blinkered eyes. Now I’m able to listen to those voices, and it’s just wonderful to hear them. That’s why I want to get my own copy.  I want to read it closely again. I want to be able to return to it and relive those conversations.

You see, I don’t party. It just isn’t something that comes that easy for me. I also live in Western Australia which is so far from the art scene of the Eastern States. These are people I would never have been able to meet. That’s why I find this book such a precious thing. I’m able to hear the artists talking so honestly about their creative lives.

If art is your passion, I think you’ll find much to love about this book. I know I did.

Other Reviews of Artists in Conversation:

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