Telling stories of ‘place’ in portraiture

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‘This Is My Place’… National Portrait Gallery, September 19-February 28. Margaret Whitlam by Sahlan Hayes, NPG collection.


Another week, another weekly look at Canberra’s arts scene. It’s “Arts in the City” with HELEN MUSA. 

OPENING soon at the National Portrait Gallery is “This Is My Place”, which will take a fresh look at the places that define who we are. Featuring over 100 works in painting, photography, drawing, printmaking and sculpture from the NPG collection, it travels from coast to coast via the rivers, streets, mountains, studios and sportsgrounds to tell stories of “place” in portraiture. September 19-February 28. Pre-bookings essential at

THE Q, Queanbeyan, is once again hosting the Manhattan Short Film Festival, which this year features nine finalists out of 971 entries from Australia, Finland, Iran, Russia, Israel, North Macedonia, State of Palestine and USA. “Best Film” and “Best Actor” awards are determined by ballots cast by the audiences in each participating venue. September 24-26, bookings online only, strictly by 4pm, September 25 at

Head of ANU School of Music, Kim Cunio. Photo: Lannon Harley.

“RICHES to Rags in Covid Time,” composed by the head of the ANU School of Music, Kim Cunio, has been recorded on virtual instruments at the ANU. The track is inspired by ragtime music popular during the Spanish flu in the early 20th century. Cunio and sound technician Matthew Barnes used a USB to play a digital file of the music on a Yamaha C7 Disklavier virtual piano. Accessible at Soundcloud.

Romantic comedy ‘Breaking Fast’… September 17-27,

THE 8th Queer Screen Film Fest is now running online, featuring more than 40 feature films, documentaries and shorts, with 29 Australian premieres. “Breaking Fast” is a romantic comedy about Mo, a practicing Muslim, who is pleasantly surprised when all-American Kal offers to join him in his nightly fast-breaking Iftar meals. The festival is offering three differently-themed short film packages free of charge for 11 days from September 17-27, book at or 9280 1533.

Violinist Dan Russell… ‘Maîtres de la Composition’, Wesley Music Centre, September 27.

TWO live performances of “Maîtres de la Composition” will see Dan Russell on violin and Edward “Teddy” Neeman on piano playing colourful and “almost jazzy” soundscapes of French compositions by Ravel, Debussy, Poulenc and Fauré. Wesley Music Centre on Sunday, September 27 at 2pm and 3.30pm. Seating capped at 30 people per concert. Book online only at

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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