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Canberra Today 10°/14° | Friday, September 24, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

‘Memory’ show extended to January

Joel B Pratley’s prizewinning portrait “Drought Story” of farmer David Kalisch in the midst of an unexpected dust storm.

Here’s arts editor HELEN MUSA’s weekly look at the Canberra arts scene. It’s “Arts in the City”.

THE National Portrait Gallery’s 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize, “Living Memory,” will be extended until January 16. Judges Karen Quinlan, from the NPG; Nick Mitzevich, from the NGA, and photographer Bill Henson selected 79 works, more than double the usual amount, as a way of acknowledging the impact the pandemic has had on the creative community. Joel B Pratley was announced the winner for his portrait “Drought Story” of farmer David Kalisch in the midst of an unexpected dust storm. All works can be viewed at, where audiences can also vote for the $5000 People’s Choice Award, to be announced in late October. 

AMONG the 127 finalists in the inaugural annual National Capital Art Prize, now postponed to October, are 15 artists from the ACT — Helen Goodwin, Blake Edwards, Thet Naing, Samantha Corbett, Henry Xuning, Jack Mather, Annette Rennie, Sandra House, Varvara Naumova, Crystal Prior, Alice Pulvers, Andrew Smith, Janet Thatcher, Solomon Karmel-Shann and Joan McKay. Finalists’ artworks and People’s Choice, which closes on September 30, are accessible at

CANBERRA poet Keith Harrison won a $1000 Highly Commended for his poem, “Cadences”, in the Australian Catholic University Prize for Poetry. The first prize of $10,000 in Australia’s richest poetry prize went to Hobart poet Anna Murchison, who didn’t start writing poetry until she was 50, for her poem “Child of Gath-hepher”. All 75 shortlisted poems will be published in an anthology that can be purchased from

OPTIMISTIC plans are still afoot for a two-hour showcase event, Canberra Comedy Festival Gala, to go ahead for one night only at the Canberra Theatre on Monday, September 20, while Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase has been rescheduled to Sunday, December 12, with a line-up of festival favourites and emerging talents. Book for both at

THE arts desk is awash with notices of postponed shows. Heading the list are: the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical “Come From Away”, now to play from February 3; Katie Noonan’s new project, “Tumbling Like Stars”, featuring the world premiere of the David Malouf song cycle now on March 6; and “Circus of Illusion”, a magic show involving mystery and mayhem, will now be seen on January 16. All at Canberra Theatre, book at

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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