The French Australian Review

No 67 Australian Summer 2019-2020


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JOHN WEST-SOOBY, Foreword

ANGELA GIOVANANGELI, Communal Luxury and the Universal Republic in the Designs and Pedagogy of Lucien Henry

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Lucien Henry, Paris Communard and Australian artist, has been described by art historians as the most productive and influential artist working in Sydney from 1879 to 1891. He was hailed as one of the first artists to advocate a national art through his use of motifs, symbols and patterns found in the local fauna and flora. Meanwhile, some studies on the Paris Commune refer to the continuing influence of the Communards who, following the popular uprising, worked on projects in various parts of the world and continued the legacy of the Commune. This paper examines some of the ideology and designs of Henry, notably through the letters and articles written by the artist in journals and letters during his period in Australia, to argue that Henry’s artistic and teaching practices in Australia represent the ontology of transculturation as a result of his experience in France during the Paris Commune.

Keywords: Lucien Henry, Paris Commune, Australian decorative arts, transculturation, Australian nationhood, Communal luxury, Universal Republic

Elizabeth RECHNIEWSKI, The Reception of Louise Michel in Australia

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This article explores the representation of Louise Michel’s ideas and activism in the Australian press, in a period when newspapers played such an influential role in the transmission of news and the formation of opinion. The Australian press devoted over two thousand articles and items of news to her in the twenty-five years from late 1880 to early 1905, from her return to France from deportation to the year of her death. In a period of rapid political and social change in Australia, Michel became a reference point and a touchstone for discussion about key issues of the day: the rise of the workers’ movement, the new ideologies of anarchism and socialism, and women’s rights. Moreover, in a period of Franco-British imperial rivalry the papers did not hesitate to use Michel’s case to criticise the ‘illiberal’ political regime in France or that nation’s bellicose intentions. The article focuses on the significance accorded to this controversial figure in the debate over women’s rights in Australia, when Michel was often cited as an example of a ‘political woman’ to be feared, or, more rarely, as a model to be emulated.

Keywords: Louise Michel, women’s rights, Australia, press history

NATALIE EDWARDS AND CHRISTOPHER HOGARTH, French Migrant Writing in Australia: Australianness in Two Female Memoirs from the 2000s

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This article reads the work of Catherine Rey and Marie-Paule Leroux as examples of French-Australian migrant literature. It compares the way these two writers, both of whom moved to Australia from France in mid-life, portray their migration in their literary texts. Reading their work through the lens of recent migration theory, it argues that these texts depart from paradigms that position France as the centre, that place Paris or an alternative urban space as the ultimate destination, or that stage movement between former colony and colonial power. The two writers practise, in different ways, a strategic exoticism that renders their texts attractive to specific audiences within France and Australia.

Keywords: Catherine Rey, Marie-Paule Leroux, migration, transnationalism, exoticism, Global French Literature

DOCUMENTS, NOTES AND REVIEWS

KERRY MULLAN, Melbourne Salon and ISFAR events

2 May 2019, French Cinema, The New Wave and its Legacy, Dr Andrew McGregor

30 May 2019 (Sydney) Communal Luxury in the Designs of Lucien Henry, Angela Giovanangeli

8 August 2019, Book launch: Castaway, author Robert Macklin in conversation with Elaine Lewis

22 October 2019 (Sydney) First Contacts: The Australian Aboriginals and the Artwork of the Baudin Expedition, Emeritus Professor Margaret Sankey

4 November, Dr Emmanuelle Crane, An Intercultural Dialogue: When linguistics are involved in the current French-Australian submarine project

TOM THOMPSON, Obituary, Jean-Paul Delamotte, 1931–2019

Jean-Paul Delamotte devoted 40 years of his life to promoting French-Australian relations, particularly through his translating and publishing of Australian writers and his sub-titling of Australian films. He and his wife, Monique lived and worked in Australia from 1974–76. Back in Paris, he established the Association Culturelle Franco-Australienne (ACFA) in 1980 and also set up a small publishing house, La Petite Maison. They welcomed many visiting Australian writers over the ensuing twenty-plus years. In 1992 Delamotte was made a Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to the promotion of Australian culture.

Keywords: Jean-Paul Delamotte, Association Culturelle Franco-Australienne, La Petite Maison, Editions Tom Thompson, Sydney-Paris Link Series, Paul Wenz

ANGELIQUE STASTNY, Book Review, Hamid Mokkadem, Yeiwene Yeiwene : construction et revolution de Kanaky (Nouvelle Calédonie)

This book published in French in 2018, details the political journey of Yeiwene Yeiwene (1945–1989), one of the leaders of the Kanak independence movement in New Caledonia. The biographer presents him first and foremost as a man of action, close to the people who initiated action at the grassroots level, as well as being a man who took on high positions within institutions and companies. The reviewer acknowledges the importance of this book in documenting the life of this important Kanak leader and encouraging readers to learn more about the struggle for independence in New Caledonia.

Keywords: Yeiwene Yeiwene, New Caledonia, Agency for the Development of Kanak Culture (ADCK), FLNKS, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the Loyalty Islands

JANE GILMOUR, Book Review, Amanda Curtin, Kathleen O’Connor of Paris

Amanda Curtin is a fiction writer who has adapted her skills as a fiction writer to recreate the story of the life of Kathleen O’Connor. O’Connor left Perth in 1906 and spent many of the next 40 plus years of her life living and working as an artist in Paris. Her work gradually achieved recognition in Paris and she exhibited in the Salons as well as in private galleries. She supplemented her income by working as a decorative artist taking commissions for fabric, wallpaper and furniture designs. She was the author of a regular column for the Perth newspaper in which she described the fashions and social activities in Paris and provided recommendations for people visiting. The biography documents the later years of her life as she struggled to resettle back in Perth. Her work was recognized in Perth with two smaller exhibitions and then a major solo exhibition in 1967 at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Kathleen O’Connor died in 1968.

Keywords: Kathleen O’Connor, C.Y. O’Connor, Australian artists in Paris, Montparnasse, the Salons, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Town Talk

ELAINE LEWIS, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes