The Art Gallery of New South Wales has launched its first podcast series Art, life and something else, an original podcast exploring the life and influence of one of Australia’s most famous artists, Brett Whiteley.
Hosted by a renowned art presenter Fenella Kernebone, each episode begins with one of Whiteley’s works to examine the influence the artist has had on the art world over the past 60 years.
Kernebone is a television and radio presenter and producer, interviewer and writer who works in the arts, film, music, design and culture. She is currently Head of Programming for Sydney Ideas at the University of Sydney.
In this gripping six-part series, Kernebone chats with Australian artists, curators and academics about Whiteley’s works, from some of his most iconic paintings to lesser-known ones, to unwrap conversations about the aspects of identity, dependence, heritage, place and creation to deal with.
The title of the podcast Art, life and something else is taken from the controversy self-portrait which won Whiteley the Archibald Prize of 1978 and is now part of the Art Gallery‘s collection.
In the first episode, Kernebone chats with current and former Art Gallery of NSW curators of Australian Art, Anne Ryan and Barry Pearce, Wendy Whiteley, and artists David Eastwood, Deborah Kelly and Louise Zhang about ‘an unfinished painting found in Whiteley’s studio after his death. .
The episode titled Interior, Lavender Bay, unfinished discusses this monumental work, which now hangs permanently in the Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills, Sydney.
The following episodes feature interviews with special guests, including Abdul Abdullah, Mitch Cairns, Blak Douglas, David Griggs, Nicole Kelly, Steve Kilby, Natasha Walsh and Ashleigh Wilson.
Launch of the Art Gallery’s inaugural podcast series follows other successful digital projects such as the COVID-19 2020 response project Together in art and the popular ‘At home’ series launched in July.
Director of the NSW Art Gallery, Michael Brand, noted: “The art gallery is committed to offering new ways to engage with art and ideas. Over the past two years, digital storytelling has allowed us to stay in touch with our existing audiences and expand to new audiences by bringing stories from our collection to people at home and around the world.
“The life and work of Brett Whiteley have had and continue to have a profound impact on artists, art historians, curators and the public. I’m delighted that the Art Gallery’s Brett Whiteley Studio has produced the first podcast on one of Australia’s most iconic artists.
Kernebone said: “Growing up in the 1990s, Brett Whiteley was the one artist everyone seemed to be talking about – he was in the media, he was the artist you studied in school.
“I remember visiting the art gallery as a teenager and seeing Whiteley’s work installed at the entrance. I have always wondered “why Whiteley?” What made him so famous and how does his work influence contemporary artists today? “
Art, life and something else was produced by the Brett Whiteley Studio, which has been operated as a museum by the Art Gallery of NSW since 1995.
The podcast is supported by philanthropic initiative patrons Brett Whiteley Studio.
The art gallery released the six 30- to 40-minute episodes to the public today, via multiple podcast platforms.