Nicolas Rothwell to give public lecture at UNE

Published 27 October 2011

nicolasThe writer Nicolas Rothwell, renowned for his creative insights into the influence of landscape on the human psyche, will share some of those insights with an Armidale audience at a public lecture on Thursday 3 November.

Nicolas Rothwell (pictured here) is well known for his interest in Australian Indigenous art and culture, and his lecture – titled “When the sacred shatters: experiences in the mountains of Central Europe and the Australian inland” – will include, among other things, an original perspective on the desert art movement of central Australia.

The lecture, at 6 pm in the Arts Theatre at the University of New England, will be the nineteenth in the University’s annual Sir Robert Madgwick Lecture series.

As a foreign correspondent for The Australian newspaper, Nicolas Rothwell reported from Eastern Europe (with which he has family connections), Western Europe (where he went to school and university), the Americas and the Pacific. Now, as The Australian‘s northern correspondent, he lives in Darwin. He is the author of five books, the first – Heaven and Earth (1999) – being set in Eastern Europe and the other four – Wings of the Kite Hawk (2003), Another Country (2007), The Red Highway (2009) and Journeys to the Interior (2010) – in the landscapes of northern Australia which he evokes so memorably.

The stories that Nicolas Rothwell will tell in his lecture at UNE will, he said, be set against a background of “religious breakdown” – an historical phenomenon that is having “a huge impact on us in the Western world in the way we organise our thoughts”.

Looking forward to his visit to New England and its University, he said: “There’s something very inspiring about the idea of a university that’s connected to its landscape,” adding that it was the historian Alan Atkinson, author of The Europeans in Australia and an Emeritus Professor at UNE, who had introduced him to “the idea of New England”.

“Alan Atkinson had a big influence on me,” he said. “Reading him at a tender age made me realise what you could do with words when writing about landscape.”

Everyone is welcome to this free event. Refreshments will be served in the Arts Theatre foyer from 5.15 pm.