The Slattery Media Group (AFL Publishing)
Artists in Conversation is a beautifully presented collection of essays examining the creative output of some of the greatest Australian artists over the last century. It also includes chapters on international artists including Picasso's muse Francoise Gilot and the Chinese contemporary artists' boom. Drawn from thousands of interviews by Janet Hawley - some from her widely read Good Weekend features - each essay offers a rare glimpse into the lives of the people behind the canvas. Spanning continents and decades, Artists in Conversation brings to life the creative talents of more than 30 artists including Brett Whiteley, Ben Quilty, Margaret Olley, Bill Henson, John Brack, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Adam Cullen, John Wolseley, John Olsen and Albert Tucker, among others. A feature writer, not a critic, Janet Hawley provides each artist with the opportunity to explain their work - from the initial inspiration and then often gnawing doubts, to the absolute thrill when the work takes on a life of its own. Artists in Conversation explores the motivation, the struggles and triumphs of the artist. Each essay is based on many personal encounters; numerous conversations in the artists' studios and homes, meals shared in cafes and many days spent travelling with the artist. It's this environment that allows for the most honest and revealingly frank dialogue, and this is what gives Artists in Conversation its greatest appeal.