2008 – the best and worst….

Newspapers are full of these ‘best of…’ and ‘worst of…’ lists right now, and reading some of them got me thinking about some of the great (and not so great) moments in art and cinema this year. What follows is a really incomplete – and really subjective – list of images that I’ve been happy to live by in 2008. In no particular order (and apologies for repeating some topics already written about, but they still deserve to be mentioned as some of the great moments of 2008):

•    Jose Parla’s work. I saw his show at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in London, and I think his images are gorgeous. You can read more about Jose’s work here.

•    Miso and Ghostpatrol’s show, ‘Nesting and Dying’, at metro5 Gallery in Melbourne. Beautiful works, beautifully installed in the space.

•    Seeing Brad Downey’s presentation of a series of short films about his ‘street sculptures’, at the Tate in London.

•    The Kill Pixie show at Until Never Gallery in Melbourne.

•    C215’s work, all over London in July. Some of it is still around, like this:


•    The JR show at Lazarides. Haunting.

•    Being shown some new works by Elbow Toe, freshly unpacked and ready to hang, at Stolen Space in London.

•    Meeting the artist who paints these cats all over Amsterdam:


•    Walking around San Francisco with Russell Howze.

•    Regan Tamanui’s portrait of my daughter. Love it!

•    Spotting new Invader works around Melbourne several times during this year. How many did he put up? Fantastic!

•    Watching the Mikosa mural evolve.

•    The Cans Festival in the Leake Street tunnel. Awesome. Both times.

•    Meggs’s show at Dont Come gallery in Melbourne.

•    Seeing Hunger, by Steve McQueen.

•    Seeing the Peak Hours sticker being put up on the London Underground. I would still love to know whose work that is… Thanks to everyone who contacted me about the sticker.

•    Seeing Gilbert (of Gilbert & George) walk past on Brick Lane.

•    The Sidney Nolan show at the NGV. I’m not an Australian, so I don’t have the attachment to the Ned Kelly iconography that an Aussie does, but I still thought Nolan’s images were breath-taking.

•    Meeting Laser 3.14.

•    Logan Hicks’s show at Stolen Space in July. No space could have suited his works more.


Every year has to have some of these. Again in no particular order:

•    Too many great shows missed, one way or another. MuTate Britain in London, the Poesia Urbana show at Famous When Dead Gallery, Acorn’s solo show in Melbourne, Locust Jones at Until Never. And many more. What can you do?

•    Not photographing the ‘little diver’ stencil by Banksy in Cocker Alley before it had silver paint poured over it. I walked past it so many times, always thinking, ‘yeah, I’ll take a picture some other day’. Strange how something becomes part of the cityscape and then – gone.

•    The Victorian State Government’s new anti-graffiti laws. Perhaps 2009 will bring some greater appreciation of street art in Victoria – but I will not be holding my breath.

•    The Bill Henson debacle. So many people should be ashamed of their roles in this business. And its aftermath continues, with new, incredibly strict, rules governing the production of images of children.

•    All those times I didn’t have my camera with me when I came upon some amazing image on the wall.

This is the last post for 2008. Back in a few weeks.

1 comment so far

  1. imagestoliveby on

    A nice summary of issues and events in art and culture for 2008 can also be found on the excellent melbourne art and culture critic site, here:


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