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Thu, 22 Aug


Better Read Than Dead

Christabel Blackman in-conversation with Liz Deep-Jones

Join us with Christabel Blackman to celebrate the release of Charles and Barbara Blackman: A Decade of Art and Love! Christabel will be in-conversation with Liz Deep-Jones.

Christabel Blackman in-conversation with Liz Deep-Jones
Christabel Blackman in-conversation with Liz Deep-Jones

Time & Location

22 Aug 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Better Read Than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia


About The Event

When Christabel Blackman's mother turned ninety, they celebrated by sifting through Barbara's old documents: diaries, photos, manuscripts - and a fragile old folder, tied with a ribbon. This held letters from a love long past between Christabel's parents. It was a portal into a decade of art and love between Charles and Barbara Blackman. Set against the burgeoning cultural art scene of 1950s Melbourne, among the soon-to-become legendary artists of the Heide group, Christabel weaves the story of Charles and Barbara and the influence they had on each other, and on the Australian art world. These handwritten letters vividly conjure the feeling of the time, and breathe life into the names that are now found in galleries around the world. Charles writes descriptive sketches of his encounters and sentiments to his new love Barbara, who is in turn experiencing her own transformations: the loss of her eyesight, life with a matriarchal mother and her growing literary and intellectual ambitions. In this intimate and immersive account, Christabel reveals her parents' unswerving devotion and blazing creativity, and shares insights into the iconic people they were becoming. With over 160 artworks from Charles Blackman, as well as never-before-seen sketches, letters, documents and photos, it is a beautiful and revealing portrait of two people, their art, and a world they changed forever.

Our event space is wheelchair accessible via a stair lift. Please contact with any additional access requirements and/or questions.

Christabel Blackman was born in Melbourne in 1959, the daughter of iconic artist Charles Blackman and writer Barbara Blackman. She is a visual artist and a fine art conservator. Christabel is represented by several major private galleries throughout Australia and has often exhibited in Europe. Christabel has worked as a teacher, photographer, illustrator and gallery consultant. As an author Christabel published her first article when she was thirteen in the 'Terrace Times'. She has published articles in The Australian, E_Conservation Magazine (where she was the science editor) and many museum and auction catalogues, monographic art restoration publications, international congress papers, and conferences in English, Spanish and Valencian.

Liz Deep-Jones is the 2023/2024 Freilich Arts/ Media and Activism Fellow at the Australian National University. She’s also a journalist, producer, television presenter, published author, public speaker, storyteller, content creator, art curator, film maker and human rights advocate. Liz has spent over 25 years in the media, most of it reporting, presenting and producing for SBS TV sport, news and current affairs and the Indigenous network, NITV. She loves storytelling and has a passion for human rights, always striving to make a difference through her work. 


  • Event + Book

    Includes a free ticket and copy of Charles and Barbara Blackman

  • Event Ticket




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