The Power Institute brings artists Vernon Ah Kee, Julie Gough and Warraba Weatherall into conversation with the editors of Gordon Bennett: Selected Writings, Angela Goddard and Tim Riley Walsh, to consider Bennett’s indelible impact. This discussion will be moderated by the Power Institute’s Deputy Director, Stephen Gilchrist.

Gordon Bennett’s three decades of practice represent an ongoing conversation with historical texts and images, and Selected Writings reveals he corresponded just as closely with the work of his peers. In his 1992 letter to Eugene Carchesio, a fellow artist, occasional collaborator and frequent correspondent, Bennett writes:

“I too am a ‘disciple of silence’, though that may be hard for some people to believe. My strategy has been to point out what the centre is not, what identity is not, especially for Aboriginal people (because as any metaphysician will tell you, a healthy identity is first necessary before any identity can be transcended).”

Despite his considered dedication to silence on matters of identity—which even led to a ‘Non-Performance’ whereby he declined to speak about his work at public events from the year of this letter onwards—Bennett always used the combination of text and images to speak powerfully, even loudly, about identity through his work. Ah Kee, Gough and Weatherall all practice in a post-Bennett art world where questioning the restrictions of categorisation and the visual disruption of text are inflected by his cultural legacy. For ‘Artists after Bennett’, they will each reflect on Bennett’s influence on their work and consider the significant role that writing and voice play in their own practices.


Thursday, 7 October 2021
5:00pm-6:30pm (Brisbane)
6:00pm-7:30pm (Sydney)
Register here

This is an online event, and will take place on Zoom.

About the book

Gordon Bennett: Selected Writings is the first publication to survey the writing practice of the late Gordon Bennett (1955–2014), giving insight into one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists in his own words. Featuring nearly forty published and unpublished essays, artist’s statements, letters, and interviews from across Bennett’s nearly thirty-year career, Selected Writings profiles the importance of the written word within his art and broader intellectual practice. Through its focus on Bennett’s written voice, which shifts between scholarly debate, political argument, and personal reflection, this publication reveals Bennett considered art and life to be just as entangled as words and images.

Edited by Angela Goddard and Tim Riley Walsh, Selected Writings is co-published by Power Publications, Sydney, and Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane. The book also provides glimpses into Bennett’s personal archive via the reproduction of previously unseen notebooks, correspondence, sketches, preparatory compositions, and more.

Gordon Bennett: Selected Writings (2020)
Paperback with dust jacket
RRP $45.00 AUD
ISBN 978-0-909952-01-3
66 images, including colour plates. 216 pp, 297 x 210 mm, 890 gms.

Purchase here.
Event attendees will receive a 10% discount on their book purchase. (Discount code supplied via event signup)

For more information, see