Presented by Robin Boyd Foundation as part of Melbourne Art Book Fair
Robin Boyd’s The Australian Ugliness was published in 1960 and quickly took its place as a key work of architectural and cultural critique in the nation’s canon.
This new book published by the National Gallery of Victoria and Thames & Hudson, Australia, responds to Boyd’s most well-known text with new critical and creative writing by authors from a range of disciplines. Through different styles and approaches, each author makes Boyd’s work live in the contemporary moment, exploring enduring questions about the elusive, sometimes lucky and sometimes ugly character of Australia today.
Richly illustrated with new photography by David Wadelton and drawings by Oslo Davis, After The Australian Ugliness is a provocative reflection on how Australia sees itself today, and how others see it.
Join us for an exclusive panel discussion and book launch at Boyd’s Walsh Street former residence.
Ewan McEoin is the Hugh Williamson Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Naomi Stead is Professor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture at Monash, Research Leader at Hayball and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland. Stead is widely published as an art and architectural critic in Australia, having written more than 50 commissioned feature and review articles in professional magazines over the last decade. In 2008 she was awarded the Adrian Ashton Prize for architectural writing by the NSW chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. She is an architecture columnist for The Conversation, writing about architectural culture and issues for a generalist audience;, and is also a columnist for Places Journal, where she writes broad-based essays on concepts and mythologies within and without architecture.
Vanessa Berry writes about the urban environment, memory, archives, and objects. She is the author of the award-winning Mirror Sydney: an atlas of reflections, a collection of essays and hand-drawn maps that investigate the city’s marginal places and undercurrents, based on the Mirror Sydney blog. Her new collection of essays and illustrations, Gentle and Fierce, will be published by Giramondo in 2021. Vanessa’s zine and illustration works have been exhibited at major Australian galleries including the Museum of Contemporary Art and National Gallery of Australia. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Sydney.
Thomas Lee is a Senior Lecturer in Design Studies in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney. Tom’s academic research investigates the way particular feelings and sensations attach to and are expressed in objects, images and places, and how such feelings are complicated over generations through technological, political, economic and cultural change. In his practice as a writer of fiction and the essay, Tom is particularly interested in how narrative and tonal dimensions of literary writing can be combined with design research for the purpose registering the more obscure and fleeting aspects of such change. Tom’s academic work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and his 2018 novel Coach Fitz earned him the award of Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist in 2019 and was long listed for the 2019 Voss Literary Prize. Tom currently has a manuscript out to review with MIT Press that uses narrative fiction to explore design projects. He is a co-editor of After The Australian Ugliness, published by Thames and Hudson in 2021.