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Archive for February, 2014

Dear Pedant… We have a Failure to Communicate

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

This morning it was pointed out to me that somewhere I’ve written the phrase “for all intensive purposes” instead of “for all intents and purposes.” A fair enough comment had it not been a personal attack over a private matter. Hey, I write rapid unedited blog posts and rant on Twitter. My journalism qualifications are hardly in evidence.

At my graduation from the Master of Business Administration degree in 2010

First, let’s deal with the phrase “for all intensive purposes” being considered an idiotic error that pushes me into the unfathomable bowels of illiteracy (in a country where around half the population are functionally illiterate and/or innumerate).

The phrase “for all intensive purposes” is what can be called an eggcorn – Grammarist has as short explanation of the phrase and The Word Detective has a more fleshed out explanation.

So, while it’s not the grammatically correct “for all intents and purposes” that you learned in High School this comes down to the evolution of language over time. Remember, dictionaries follow language use and not the other way around. There aren’t a set of rules that are immutable or we’d be talking and writing in a Middle Ages dialect. Only a few centuries ago the English language was vastly different to the ear from our current understanding.

So (a) I don’t really give a shit about pedants (b) let alone pedants with a personal motivation (c) or pedants who couldn’t be fucked reading a book to be sure they were on firm ground.

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The Eye of the Beholder (Book Review)

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The Eye of the Beholder

My bookshelf has a hard to come across copy of The Eye of the Beholder: Albert Tucker’s Photographs by Dr Janine Burke from the Heide Museum of Modern Art book shop at Heidelberg, a suburb North-East of Melbourne. It includes a number of photographs made by Albert Tucker, one of Australia’s best and most influential painters of the Twentieth Century, as they were exhibited between 1998-2000. The reason you can only buy this sought after gem at Heide is probably because they publish it.

To understand the importance of Albert Tucker’s photographs you need to see the art environment of his time. He was a member of an influential and dynamic group of artists dating back to the late 1930s and 1940s known as the Heide Circle, centred around art patrons and collectors John and Sunday Reed at their home, “Heide”. This former dairy farm is now the Heide Museum of Modern Art. The Reed’s collection forms the core of the current museum’s art collection.

In the 1940s the artists in the Heide Circle included Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, John Perceval and Danila Vassilieff. For years Sidney Nolan lived with the Reeds in an open affair with Sunday Reed. Albert Tucker was married to Joy Hester. And, sadly, Albert and Joy’s child Sweeney was passed over to the Reeds and he lived a privileged but tortured life that ended in suicide at 31 years of age. This book is about the very core of Australian art culture at a very specific point of time.

However, Heide was one of three Melbourne art communities important to the era. The Boyd’s circle at Open Country produced significant work and this book includes a number of photographs of Arthur, David, Mary, Merric, Lucy and Guy Boyd within the Open Country circle. While Justus J├Ârgensen established Montsalvat in 1934 as an artist colony. So the Albert Tucker snapshots within these three circles of art ideas brings the reader an important glimpse into the lives of household names in Australian art.

The images are powerful, carefree and candid. Snapshots. Well made snapshots that often drag me back into this book for another visual taste. There is something about the uncontrived nature of the snapshot that draws me as a photographer. I’m enamoured not only by who the photographs reveal, but the context of time. An intimate portrait of a past era. Real people behind the veneer of later fame.

As a body of work, Albert Tucker’s photographs stand by themselves – the Boyds, Perceval, Nolan, the Reeds. One of my favourite photography books.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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