Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

1306th OGM and Open Lecture

Emeritus Professor Hugh White “Is Fairweather an Australian artist? And does it matter?”


Claire Roberts FAHA (1)

     in conversation with

Nicholas Jose (2)

(1) Associate Professor of Art History, University of Melbourne

(2) Novelist and Emeritus Professor, University of Adelaide

Date: Wednesday, 7 September 2022, 6.30 pm AEST 
Venue: Zoom Webinar.  Click here for help with getting started with Zoom. 
Entry: No Charge
All are welcome

Photo credit: Zöe Harrison

Summary: After a life of wandering, including extended periods living in China, Bali and the Philippines, the Scottish-born artist Ian Fairweather (1891-1974) settled on Bribie Island off the coast of Queensland. Working in a self-made house constructed from bush materials Fairweather created works that prompted a leading Sydney critic to name him ‘our greatest painter’. In her new book Fairweather and China (2021) Claire Roberts seeks to reposition Fairweather as a key transcultural figure, connecting British, European, Chinese and Australian art histories.

Claire Roberts is an art historian and curator specialising in modern and contemporary Chinese art and cultural flows between Australia and Asia. She is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Claire received her PhD from the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University (2006). Her most recent books are Fairweather and China (2021); Ian Fairweather: A Life in Letters (edited with John Thompson, 2019) Photography and China (2013) and Friendship in Art: Fou Lei and Huang Binhong (2010).

Nicholas Jose has published novels, short stories, essays and non-fiction and was general editor of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. He recently co-edited Antipodean China: Reflections on Literary Exchange (2021) and Everything Changes: Australian Writers and China—A transcultural anthology (2020). He was Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy Beijing, 1987-1990 and Harvard Chair of Australian Studies, 2009-10. He is currently Emeritus Professor of English and Creative Writing at The University of Adelaide and Adjunct Professor, Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University.

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