Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupy protestors say it is 99% v 1%. Are they right?

It has been the rallying cry of the Occupy movement for the past two months - but is the US really split 99% v 1%? As poverty and inequality reach record levels, how much richer have the rich got? This animation explains what the key data says about the state of America today.



Saturday, October 29, 2011

The One Life Photography Competition 2011 - Winners and Finalists

About One Life Photography Competition
Artists Wanted was created three years ago by two Brooklyn based artists, Jason Goodman and William Etundi Jr. Their first hand experience in the art world was the inspiration for creating this bold new platform for finding burgeoning talent and exposing it to the world.

With judges ranging from actor Steve Buscemi to DEVO frontman Mark Mothersbaugh to curators from The Guggenheim and MOMA, we try to balance new perspectives with established art world sensibilities to find work that transcends the typical.

Our first opening, for artist Kim Holleman at the Whitebox Exhibition Space was their largest, with 1,000 attendees. Our second featured the work of Pete Eckert, a blind photographer, who has become an art sensation with international acclaim including a feature in Time Magazine. Our most recent two openings were phenomenal successes hosted at the Open House Gallery and The New Museum in Manhattan. This is an exciting era for art, the best is yet to come.

Competition 2011
Photo District News (PDN) and Artists Wanted thank all participating photographers for joining the annual One Life Photography Competition (2011). The level of work we've received was phenomenal and truly inspirational. We're incredibly grateful for having caught a glimpse of the world captured through your lens.

The compelling stories, insightful perspectives and powerful imagery you submitted presented an extremely difficult selection process for our jurors. After much deliberation a decision has been made by our judges: Stravinski Pierre, Art Director of Esquire Magazine; Ellen-k Syverstad, Founder of ellen-k FINE ART PHOTOGRAPH; Daria Brit Shapiro, Head Curator of Artists Wanted; Patrick Amselle,m Associate Curator of Photography at Brooklyn Museum; Daniel Aycock, Director of Front Room Gallery; Conor Risch, Senior Editor of PDN Magazine; Katherine Schad, Director Of Photography of O, The Oprah Magazine; and Bruce Perez, Director of Photography at Redbook Magazine.

To view the work, click on the photographer's image.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saudi woman detained for driving - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Saudi woman detained for driving - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

A woman in Saudi Arabia was detained after she launched a campaign against the driving ban for women in the Kingdom and posted a video of herself behind the wheel on Facebook and YouTube.

Human rights activist Walid Abou el-Kheir said Manal al-Sherif was detained on Saturday by the country's religious police, who are charged with ensuring the kingdom's rigid interpretation of Islamic teachings are observed.

Al-Sherif was released hours later, according to the campaign's Twitter account. The terms of her release were not immediately clear.

Al-Sherif and a group of other women started a Facebook page called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself,'' which urges authorities to lift the driving ban.

She went on a test drive in the eastern city of Khobar and later posted a video of the experience.

"This is a volunteer campaign to help the girls of this country'' learn to drive, al-Sherif says in the video.

"At least for times of emergency, God forbid. What if whoever is driving them gets a heart attack?''

'Mass drive'

The campaigners have focused on the importance of women driving in times of emergencies and in the case of low-income families.

Al-Sherif said unlike the traditional argument in Saudi Arabia that driving exposes women to sinful temptations by allowing them to mingle with policemen and mechanics, women who drive can avoid sexual harassment from their drivers and protect their "dignity.''

Through Facebook, the campaigners are calling for a mass drive on June 17 and more than 12,000 people viewing the page have indicated they support the call.

On their Facebook page, the group says women joining the campaign should not challenge authorities if they were stopped and questioned, and should abide by the country's strict dress code.

"We want to live as complete citizens, without the humiliation that we are subjected to every day because we are tied to a driver,'' the Facebook message reads.

"We are not here to break the law or demonstrate or challenge the authorities, we are here to claim one of our simplest rights.''

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to ban women, both Saudi and foreign, from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and those who cannot afford the $300 to $400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor.


By the way according to the US Department of State "The United States and Saudi Arabia share common concerns about regional security, oil exports and imports, and sustainable development. Close consultations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have developed on international, economic, and development issues such as the Middle East peace process and shared interests in the Gulf. The continued availability of reliable sources of oil, particularly from Saudi Arabia, remains important to the prosperity of the United States as well as to Europe and Japan. Saudi Arabia is one of the leading sources of imported oil for the United States, providing more than one million barrels/day of oil to the U.S. market. The U.S. is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is the largest U.S. export market in the Middle East. ..."

Monday, September 26, 2011

The mad square - Modernity in German art 1910–37 - Art Gallery NSW - 6 Aug ~ 6 Nov 2011

In an era of chaos came an explosion of creativity – edgy, provocative, yet utterly compelling

Germany at the start of the 20th century was a country in turmoil. With the formation of the Weimar Republic, replacing the old imperial system, came a dramatic shift in thinking. In the new metropolis of Berlin and beyond, a period of intense creativity flourished amid chaos and revolution.

Watch interviews with the curator and visiting experts

Bold new movements such as Expressionism, Dada, Constructivism, Bauhaus and New Objectivity exploded onto the turbulent social landscape. The artists’ interest in experimentation extended across art forms, forging influential directions in painting, photography, design, decorative arts, film, theatre, street art and political satire.

The mad square: modernity in German art 1910-37 brings together over 200 diverse works exploring the fascinating and complex ways in which artists sought to portray the modern world. Featuring leading artists such as Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Hannah Höch and El Lissitzky among others, this major exhibition is drawn from renowned international and Australian collections.

Text courtesy of

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Marrickville Contemporary Art Prize 2011 (MCAP’11) - Finalists' Exhibition

Venue : Chrissie Cotter Gallery 
(Pidcock Street Camperdown) 

Dates : 9-25 September

Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun 11am-5pm. Free Entry


Angela Stretch, Anthony Bartok, Bronwyn Carter, Catherine Cloran, Catriona Secker, Cigdem Aydemir, Diego Bonetto, Ganbold Lundaa, Georgina Pollard, Gilbert Grace, Goran Tomic, Gustavo Boke, Harry Perlich, Hayley Hill, Ingrid Dernee, Jagath Dheerasekara, Jason Andison, Jo Tracy, Justin Henderson, Kate Mulheron, Kurt Sorensen, Lydia Dowman, Marieka Walsh, Mark Wotherspoon, Michael Garbutt & Tega Brain, Mitzi McKenzie-King, Peter Williamson, Peter McGuiness, Rachael Everitt, Ro Murray, Shannon Johnson, Teena Marie McCarthy, Tim Andrew, Tina Fiveash, Will Coles.
Jagath Dheerasekara's photography can be seen at

“Walk With Us" - Book Launch - Sydney

Walk with Us - Book Launch - Sydney - 01 September 2011 from jagath dheerasekara on Vimeo.

“Walk With Us” - Aboriginal Elders call out to Australian people to walk with them in their Quest for Justice. A sequel to the highly regarded and recommended “This Is What We Said” (February 2010)

Of this book Michael Kirby AC CMG retired judge of the High Court of Australia said, “...these are words that we should hear, that our parliament should hear, that our leaders should hear.” “Walk With Us” is equally informative and important beautifully illustrated, this hard-covered book provides a very important update of recent happenings in the Northern Territory including unsatisfactory changes to the legislation, Elders visit to the United Nations, the recent Australians visit of Navi Pillay, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner, who flew into Darwin to especially to meet with Aboriginal Elders and leaders from across the Territory. The Commissioner sensed the very, “... deep hurt and pain that they have suffered.” (Darwin May 2011). The High Commissioner has joined other world and Australians leaders in their calling for immediate changes.

This is a complex subject and both books provide an easy way of keeping up to date with what has been happening in the Northern Territory.

In “Walk With Us” you will learn further what Northern Territory Aboriginal people are saying and you will hear their heartfelt plea to the people of Australia. 

Publication Date: 25 August

An order form can be obtained from

Text courtesy of the blurb sent out by "the Concerned Australians"

Jagath Dheerasekara's photography can be seen at

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Albert Namatjira the first citizen - Namatjira the Show - Big hART - Hermannsburg - Palm Valley - Ngurratjuta Art Centre

I came to know Albert Namatjira some two years ago through the documentary Albert Namajira the First Citizen. Though sad, his life story intrigued me and led me to research on him. Namatjira is representative of Aboriginal Australians' life of the era - perhaps to a great extent today as well. Albert Namatjira is significant not only because he became the first Aborigine to be granted Australian citizenship in 1957 but also because  of the legacy he left behind as a water colour artist. Artist descendants of Namatjira are the evidence to Namatjira heritage. Today most of these artists are living in and around Alice Springs. Nugrratjuta Iltja Ntjarra or Many Hands Art Centre of Alice Springs has become one of a few ethical galleries / art centres who represent most - if not all - of Namtjira legacy artists.

It was through mere coincidence that I met the Big hART mob who later took me to Hermannsburg. Interestingly, remnants of the Lutheran mission where Namatjira grew up still stand there. Something big for many in the community was happening in HermannsburgBig hART's award winning, critically acclaimed, sell out show Namatjira was just about to open in Melbourne at the Malthouse Theatre (on August 10) commencing its 2011 show gig (10 -28 August,  Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, 1- 4 September,  DRUM Theatre, Dandenong, 8 – 10 September, Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong, 14- 17 September, Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, 21 – 24 September, Merrigong Theatre Co., IPAC, Wollongong, 30 September – 1 October, NORPA, Lismore)Hermannsburg was readying to congratulate it with choir singing watched by the audience in Melbourne and in turn watching the show on big screen, facilitated by a dual webcast.  All these events unfolded through the joint efforts of the Hermannsburg community and Big hART.

Namatjira Tailer by Sophia Marions

Showing at the Malthouse, Melbourne! from Sophia Marinos on Vimeo.

Day and Night at Hermannsburg


Lutheran mission

Namajira home

Palm Valley the Namajira's "art studio"

Ngurratjuta Iltja Ntjarra or Many Hands Art Centre of Alice Springs

Emma Daniel : Emma Nungarayi lived at Papunya for many years. She is a well respected elder holding much traditional knowledge, not only in story form, but also song and dance. Emma also lived at Mt. Doreen near Yuendamu for many years with her brother, Don Tjungerrayi and is one of the Traditional Owners of Karrinyarra, Mount Wedge. Emma now lives in Alice Springs and has been painting with Ngurratjuta since it first opened in 2004. Over the last few years Emma’s paintings have been gaining a lot of attention with her bold motifs and strong colours, indicative of the Papunya area. Emma's brother is the renowned artist Paddy Carroll (now deceased). Text courtesy of

Gloria Pannka : Gloria's father, Claude Pannka was one of the original 'Hermannsburg School' watercolour artists. Alongside Albert Namatjira, Claude developed an interest in painting when artists Rex Battarbee visited Hermannsburg in 1934. By 1950 Claude was painting full time and became a highly sought after artists. Gloria's father taught her to paint with watercolours and she continues to paint in the tradition of the 'Hermannsburg school' style. Gloria uses fine detail and subtle tones to capture the West MacDonnell Ranges where she currently lives. Gloria's work has featured in a number of exhibitions throughout her career, including the honour of receiving a 'highly commended' title for her painting in the NATSIAA 2008 which was then acquired by the NT Museum and Art Gallery. Gloria has also had the privilege of having her painting 'West MacDonnell Ranges' acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection Canberra. Text courtesy of

Community voices - videos by Sophia Marions

Mostyn from Sophia Marinos on Vimeo.

Ivy from Sophia Marinos on Vimeo.


Jagath Dheerasekara's photography can be viewed at