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These are some essays I wrote while studying Theory of Art and Design at Monash University. Art always reflects society, even if it is often in hindsight that connections can be made. I find these connections fascinating.


The first essay “Is painting dead?”came about because I felt that I was always having to defend the fact that I wanted to paint when it was considered out of date. I looked at how Abstract Expressionism can appeal to our subconscious if we allow ourselves to contemplate the imagery. I have given some of the reasons I believe that painting is still and  

After seeing the Werner Hertzog film Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Herzog, Werner, Director, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Documentary film Distributed by IFC Films 2010.)  about the discovery of hidden cave paintings in France that depict the animals of prehistoric times in such vivid detail, my views about the validity of painting were strengthened. This film made me feel that to paint was to be practicing a tradition that has endured since the beginning of human society.

It is a form of expression humans of all cultures have felt a strong desire for. I’ve always wondered why that is?

I guess my reason for questioning is because I’ve always had an unexplainable desire to paint.


For the second essay “Where are the great Australian women landscape artists?”, I became very passionate about women’s art after discovering some revealing statistics. In this essay I made some interesting connections between Australian music and art in the 80s.


I have always admired Aboriginal art and was particularly interested to research the connection between urban and traditional forms of Aboriginal art. Lin Onus’s art builds a bridge between Indigenous and Western art using humour to deliver a serious message. I learnt so much about Aboriginal culture from this research.


In the fourth essay I wanted to look at how Aboriginal art fits into the context of the Western idea of art. I look at the expressive work of Emily Kame Kngwarreye and discover that part of its appeal is that is doesn’t try to fit into any Western ideology but her creativity remains universal.



Terry Winters Free Union, 1983



Shay Docking, Harvest Moon and Tree Serpent Goddess, 1978



Lin Onus, Barmah Forest, 1994



Emily Kame Kngwarreye, My Country, 1995

* Janine Good Research Essay - October 2000

Is painting dead? Painting is and will always remain a valid form of human expression - it’s good for the soul.

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* Janine Good Research Essay - May 2001

Where are the great Australian women landscape artists?

In Australian art what role have women played in shaping perceptions of identity through landscape imagery in the second half of the 20th century?

* Janine Good Research Essay - August 2001

Compare and contrast the formal and contextual logic in two traditions of Australian Aboriginal art: ‘traditional style’ art of Arnhem Land and urban Aboriginal art, specifically that of Lin Onus.

* Janine Good Short Essay - October 2001

Artists create nothing, they are merely mediums for the ‘Genius’ of their culture. Discuss in relation to Australian Aboriginal Art.