'There are many qualities to the octopus that render it strange, or weird, to a human mind: its cold, slippery body. Its excess of creepy tentacles. Its dissonant, almost chimerical structure. Its aloof intelligence. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, science fiction and horror writers fixed upon the figure of the octopus as the ultimate expression of eldritch dread. Cthulhu sprouted from the hallucinatory imagination of HP Lovecraft, and attacks by giant cephalopods became a staple of the maritime adventure novel. In an essay on the teratology of Weird horror, novelist and literary critic China Mièville links the historical emergence of the genre, around about the fin-de-siècle, to a growing sense of nihilism in the face of an oncoming crisis. To the writers of the Weird, writes Mièville, this formless being with an inexplicable surfeit of limbs was a reflection of the ‘chaotic, amoral, [and] anthropoperipheral universe’ they found themselves in.' (Introduction)
'Over the last few months, we’ve seen the beginnings of an anti-racist reckoning in Australia’s media, arts and entertainment sector, nourished by the Bla(c)k Lives Matter movement. As former and current employees critique racism and marginalisation at workplaces ranging from newsrooms and television sets to art galleries and festivals, organisations have responded with promises to do better.' (Introduction)
'Sidney Nolan was one of the most prolific Australian artists of the twentieth century, completing an estimated forty thousand works of art.'