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I had the pleasure of interviewing Melbourne-based painter Helen Johnson in Issue 27 of Das Superpaper. Helen has exhibited widely both locally and internationally, and represented in major collections including the National Gallery of Victoria. As the theme of this issue of Das Superpaper was ‘The Body Politic,’ Helen spoke about the political implications of her own aesthetic experience of her work. She also powerfully described the imagery in her newest works:

The desert island is a symbol that to me, in an Australian context, negates itself: the desert island as a tropical paradise, a haven for laziness, personal freedom and bricolage; and the desert island as repository of Australian shame, the place where colonial Australia sent its second-offender convicts, the place where Tasmanian colonists sent Indigenous Tasmanians to perish, the place where we indefinitely detain asylum seekers.

The whole magazine can be downloaded as a PDF, or you read just my interview with Helen Johnson online here.

Helen Johnson, Island/thief, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 111x176cm. Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery

Helen Johnson, Island/thief, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 111x176cm. Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery

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