And further on criticism, I’m chairing this panel at Emerging Writers’ Festival and the National Writers’ Conference featuring Prithvi Varatharajan, Dan Hogan, Jess Ho and Vyshnavee Wijekumar.
How and why should one write deeply engaged, contemplative, and authentic criticism? From literature to food, music to screen, join these writers as they consider the purpose and scope of criticism, the role criticism plays in the arts, as well as hopes and ambitions for the future of the form.
Club Critique Saturday 17 June 2023 12:30pm to 1:30 pm AEST Online via Zoom with closed captioning, Auslan on request Free – details here
As a public service, I gobbled up more than 3 kilograms of lasagne from Coles, Woolies* and Aldi, to review it for you, dear reader. Cheers to the Guardian for indulging my pivot from arts criticism to ready meal reviews.
There’s nothing like an oozy hunk of meat, cheese and carbs to make you feel as if you’ve just tucked yourself into a pasta doona. Eating lasagne under a blanket manifests a beautiful sense of symmetry: I’m at one with the universe in all its multi-layered glory.
FYI, I learned in the process of researching this story that lasagne is the plural, which is typically what’s used for pasta dishes (spaghetti, penne are also plural, and of course noodles), while lasagna is singular. Australian and UK English favours lasagne, US lasagna.
‘When I do refer to recipes, I prefer to use the web, and my usual process is to skim half a dozen recipes from different websites so I can triangulate the common denominators, and then proceed with the laziest version possible.’
I have a little piece titled ‘In praise of laziness (portrait of my grandma in the frozen section)’ in a new limited edition publication called Feast of Resistance. Curated by Priya Pavri, with contributions from artists Moorina Bonini, Aida Azin, Lara Chamas, Sancintya Mohini Simpson, Shamen Suku and Nikki Lam, it’s launching this Saturday at Seventh Gallery.
A couple of months ago, curator Sophia Cai asked me to pen some fanfiction for Sincerely Yours, an exhibition in collaboration with West Space x Arts Project Australia that explores fannish love and devotion.
I grew up thinking there were seven fundamental flavours: suān, tián, kǔ, là, xián, xiān, má. The first five translate easily – sour, sweet, bitter, hot, salty – but the other two don’t own a home on the English tongue. It was a shock to realise that something as material as flavour could be coloured and even erased by language. But eating has many dimensions beyond what happens in your mouth, as Sam van Zweden chronicles in this thoughtful debut, Eating with My Mouth Open.
My suburb guide for Seddon is finally out! Just in time for you to check out these places as they reopen after lockdown. It was really fun eating my way through the neighbourhood for research purposes.