Variations: A More Diverse Picture of Contemporary Art

By Tristen Harwood, Grace McQuilten and Anthony White
‘Variation’ is a term that embraces difference, and is core to the excitement and uniqueness of art practice. This book gives much-deserved attention to the work of artists with exceptional and varied lived experiences – including neurodiversity, diverse mental health, incarceration, and refugee, migrant and Muslim backgrounds – to transform how we understand contemporary visual art.

The book’s goal is recognising, appreciating and analysing artistic variation – a process in which artists’ voices are central to their stories, including how their lives and works are presented, discussed, framed and theorised. The essays, profiles and images in this hardback, lavishly illustrated volume have been co-produced, and in many cases co-authored, with artists and writers who have direct lived experience of social and cultural variation.

These profiles include short texts, many written by the artists themselves, accompanied by high-quality reproductions, to ensure the text is accessible to a range of readers. Interspersed between these profiles is a series of longer texts, co-authored by artists and writers, to provide a layered understanding of the contexts in which the works might be understood. These include essays and interviews that address questions of structural and social marginalisation, while exploring the important role of collectives, supported studios and arts organisations.

To understand art-making in Australia, it is essential to listen to the voices of artists who live complex forms of social diversity. Engagingly written and beautifully produced, this book introduces readers to a new picture of contemporary Australian art.

256 pages
hardcover, colour illustrations


Within Australia
$10 flat rate within Queensland
$15 flat rate rest of Australia
Add $5 for express shipping anywhere in Australia
Free shipping for orders over $250

New Zealand – Flat rate $30
Oceania & South East Asia – Flat rate $35
Rest of the World – Flat rate $45