Happy Birthday To Us: T Australia Turns Two

Two years ago today, we released the launch issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine Australia. To celebrate this milestone we look back at the people and profiles that have shaped its pages.

Article by T Australia

Idris ElbaT: The New York Times Style Magazine issue five cover star Idris Elba wears Fendi T-shirt and pants. Photography by Simon Lipman and Jess Ruby James.

Two years ago today, we released the launch issue of T Australia. Publisher and editor in chief Katarina Kroslakova decided to bring The New York Times Style Magazine to Australia, knowing that it was time to start something new, vibrant and different.

From our debut issue in March 2021 to our ‘Journeys’ issue – starring Ajla Tomljanović – in February 2023, T Australia has had the privilege of sharing intimate profiles, thoughtful essays and the best global journalism from the flagship US magazine.

To celebrate this milestone, we decided to take a walk down memory lane, and revisit the incredible people and profiles that have shaped the magazine’s pages.

Daniel Ricciardo wears Gucci jacket, gucci.com; and Casablanca shirt, casablancaparis.com. Photography by Yvan Fabing. Styling by David Bradshaw.

Daniel Ricciardo, For The Win

Article by Emma Pegrum

Framed by the rectangular box of our video call, Daniel Ricciardo is grinning. “Part of me still pinches myself,” he says. “How did I end up here? How did Perth and Formula 1 meet?” This last part he says slowly, giving each word its own space as he casts his thoughts to his faraway hometown. He tilts his head to one side, that Colgate smile transmitting bemusement, or perhaps amazement, through the screen.

It’s the Thursday before race weekend. A few days later, that same supercharged smile would beam through the television from the top of the podium at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Ricciardo had executed a flawless run, breathing life into a difficult first season with his new team, McLaren. The Monza win was McLaren’s first Grand Prix victory in almost nine years and Ricciardo’s first since his much-valorised 2018 effort in Monaco, where he suffered a 25 per cent engine power loss on Lap 28 (of 78) and still defended his lead, making no errors, to win at the notoriously challenging track. It’s an oft-cited example of what makes the 32-year-old driver so good: he’s got grit, he’s got composure and he drives impeccably well.

“I wasn’t doing myself justice if I didn’t put it all out there. When I went for a move or put my elbows out and stood my ground, it felt amazing. I knew deep down I was a fighter.”

Read the full interview here, or watch Ricciardo answer T Australia’s Rapid Fire questions here.

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The multiple-award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, who admits she struggles with self-doubt.

Billie Eilish Wants You to be Happy

Article by Victoria Pearson

It is after 9pm on a Tuesday and Billie Eilish is floating around Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena in a cherry picker. The sold-out stadium is brightly lit by the phone torches of Eilish’s 20,000-strong multigenerational audience. “I love you, Billie!” screams a fan during a musical interlude. Eilish smiles sweetly, her XL face beams down on the audience from giant screens, and she begins to sing. Despite her lyrics’ inclination towards the macabre, Eilish’s brand of live performance favours kindness over shock and awe, and at just 20 years old she’s in total — and seemingly effortless — control of the worshipful crowd.

Whatever Eilish is doing is working — no-one would blame her for coasting on her success to date. Skating by, however, isn’t on the cards.

“I have a really strong nose,” she says of a recent addition to her professional portfolio: her debut fragrance, Eilish by Billie Eilish, released in November 2021. The artist is curled up, feet tucked beneath her, on a purple lounge at Universal Music Australia’s office in Sydney, just hours before she is due to step on stage at Qudos Bank Arena. “I have thousands of candles and thousands of fragrances and lotion and body things,” she continues. “One of my favourite things in the world is scent.”

When a segue into the fragrance industry was first suggested, Eilish was dubious. “When you get famous, you do this and you do this and you sell this,” she mimics. But the idea percolated, then stuck. A perfume would provide an opportunity for the singer-songwriter to indulge in a lifelong passion. All she needed was a partner.

Read the full interview with Eilish here.

Kylie Minogue wears Gucci blouse and pants, gucci.com; Vicki Sarge earrings, vickisarge. com; and Dolce & Gabbana shoes, dolcegabbana.com. Photographs by Denys Dionysios Styled by Karl Willett

Kylie Minogue on Inner Strength and her Surprising New Side Hustle

Article by Katarina Kroslakova

“There’s much to be said about strength. I think it’s too simple to think of it as just being strong – that seems like an outdated concept. Strength is all sorts of things. Sometimes it’s being as brave as you know how to be, sometimes it’s acknowledging your weaknesses and allowing them their right to be – or overcoming those that can be overcome and understanding that there’s no full stop after that. Life will always present another challenge, and another.

I know I have strength. I suppose I show a certain strength to the world, but the greater strengths for me personally are the ones no-one ever sees. And those are the hardest to put into words. Mine is more of a quiet strength. I don’t make a whole lot of noise about what I’m going to do next, it’s mostly in my head. But to reach that point, I’ve had to negotiate with myself – talk to myself – many times to get over my insecurities and doubts.

I’ve had doubts so many times throughout my career. Honestly, so many times. Whether I’m questioning myself or having a barrage of people question me and my ability. And sometimes it’s been no fun. It’s been hard and I wonder how I’ve done it. I think, “How did I step out and do that? How did I block out the voices in my head and the voices of other people?”

Read the full interview with Minogue here.

Cave Things by Nick Cave
Nick Cave at his ceramics workshop in south London. Courtesy of Cave Things.

Modern Poet: An Interview with Nick Cave

Article by Tom Lazarus

“During lockdown there was a good amount of idle time where I found I could action a whole bunch of ideas that had been running around in my head for years,” Nick Cave writes to T Australia in an email. “Cave Things was one of them. Like The Red Hand Files it began as a tiny idea, an impulse, really, and just grew from there.”

Cave’s thing about things predates his involvement with music. As a child growing up in country Victoria, he drew, painted, took photographs. “The songwriting started later, in the evil days of the Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party,” he says, referring to the cyclonic years of his burgeoning career, in the 1970s and early ’80s, when he fronted those formative post-punk bands in Melbourne, London and Berlin. His lyric notebooks are densely collaged and illustrated, palimpsests wriggling with doodles, tiny paintings and pastings from magazines, maps and art books. “I have always drawn my songs, amplified them visually, because they are primarily highly visual, disconnected, emotional images and lend themselves to that sort of thing,” says Cave.

He adds that he is not a collector of objects, even as he is compelled to keep making them. “Cave Things is essentially my attempt to start up an online shop that deals in esoteric, subversive, funny and challenging [stuff] that you can buy,” he says. “I wanted to create a shop that sold stuff I liked, that I was personally involved with — but that stepped clear of band merchandise.” Cave Things, at its best, he says, “is a playful, insubordinate extension of the creative process”.

Read the full feature here.

Robbie at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards, where she was nominated for her role in “Mary Queen of Scots”. Photography Courtesy of Chanel.

Margot Robbie, Queen of the Silver Screen

Article by Bill Wyman

As an actress, she is famed for her versatility, but has the sheer breadth of roles sometimes been difficult to handle? She confesses it hasn’t always been easy: “Every character I’ve played requires something different. Some I feel I can slip into their skin a little quicker than others.” Among the more difficult characters, Robbie points to the late actress Sharon Tate, whom she played in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” (2019).

“Sharon Tate wasn’t a character where I felt like, ‘I got this. This is an easy one,’” says Robbie. “It was more about what she symbolised: all the good things in the world. Light — light — was what I worked with most: how to feel light, how to exude light. How do you portray someone if the way they need to be portrayed in this situation is to be pure and innocent and delightful?”

Louder and more raucous roles are easier, she says. “I much prefer to scream and cry and shout. Someone did something bad to you and you feel mad about it — I can get there a lot quicker.”

Read the full article here.

David Hallberg
David wears Balenciaga sweater. Photography by Pierre Toussaint.

Modern Poet: An Interview with David Hallberg

Article by Grace O’Neill

If you ever want to get to know a person quickly, ask them what they’ve been reading lately. For David Hallberg, the internationally renowned dancer and recently installed artistic director of The Australian Ballet, it’s “So Much Longing in So Little Space”, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s 2019 book on the expressionist painter Edvard Munch.

“It’s a sort of interpretation of Munch as an artist; it meditates on his development and what he was going through mentally,” Hallberg says. “I typically read non-fiction because I just like the whole process of life.” Hallberg was turned on to Knausgaard when he ripped through the Norwegian writer’s dense and polarising six-volume, 3,600-page autobiographical novel, “My Struggle”.

“It’s a big undertaking,” admits Hallberg, 39. “But I’ve realised that I’m a person who doesn’t like things to be easy.” And there you have it, words that get right to the heart of who Hallberg is: a man for whom the road well travelled is anathema, whose life has been one continual march towards that which challenges and often downright terrifies him.

Read the full interview here, or watch Hallberg answer T Australia’s Rapid Fire questions here.

Bassike jacket, $795, T-shirt, $95, and pants, $520, bassike.com; Simon Baker’s own socks (worn throughout); Louis Vuitton shoes, $1,680, louisvuitton.com; and Longines watch, $3,625. Photography by Jake Terrey. Styling by Brad Homes.

Simon Baker on the Changing Face of the Film Industry

Article by Bill Wyman

Simon Baker might be accustomed to “Godzilla”-size productions now, but the Hollywood life was not preordained. Born in Tasmania, he spent a few years in New Guinea before his parents split up and he moved with his mother to Lennox Head on New South Wales’ North Coast (he has hinted that his relationship with her second husband was not ideal). Baker was immersed in surf culture and was infatuated with film. “I was raised on ’70s Australia cinema,” he says, citing the directors Fred Schepisi, Peter Weir and Gillian Armstrong. “It was a golden age and I grew up seeing all of that.”

He came to acting by happenstance, his big break like something out of a movie. It came when he visited a friend who was auditioning for a commercial — Baker ended up getting the role. At the age of 22, he was cast in “E Street”, then came a Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent and “Home and Away”. Still, film roles were a long time coming — he could not break out of the TV ghetto. “I was auditioning and auditioning for ‘traffic cop number two’ and it was really difficult,” he says. “I came up with a long- range idea: what about going to America and trying to make it there? If I can get some work in the US, maybe I can come back to Australia and work here. It took me 20-something years.”

In the US, Baker landed a small role, playing a vulnerable young actor in 1997’s “L.A. Confidential” (a film that might have won the Academy Award for Best Picture had the blockbuster “Titanic” not been released in the same year). Baker had one memorable line — “You know, when I came out to LA, this isn’t exactly where I saw myself ending up” — before being fed into Hollywood’s thresher.

Read the full profile here, or watch Baker’s Rapid Fire questions video here.

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Buddy Franklin’s Whadjuk-Noongar heritage informs the hunting story that is depicted in his tattoos. Photography by Will Braden.

Unpacking the Buddy Franklin Phenomenon

Article by Luke Benedictus

The game is already won but the SCG still throbs with expectation. The Sydney Swans lead Geelong 101–69 in the Friday-night clash with under seven minutes to play. Yet when Lance “Buddy” Franklin collects an easy mark 30 metres from goal, the noise from the crowd is immense. People surge towards the Paddington end of the ground, clambering on top of advertising hoardings and scrambling onto the fringes of the oval, camera phones cocked at the ready. They’re primed to capture a moment of history. Franklin stands on 999 career goals and now has the chance to become only the sixth VFL/AFL player to reach the magic number of 1,000.

Ignoring the hubbub, Franklin steadies himself and takes stock. He eyes the goal with wary respect, as if it’s a mountain he is yet to summit. He takes a deep breath, then lopes forward on those long limbs, breaking into a trot, before his left boot connects to send the ball arrowing straight between the posts. What follows is that special form of deranged euphoria that sport can occasionally unleash. Franklin is engulfed by hundreds of Swans fans, the grass of the oval turning red and white from the ocean of supporters who swarm the field to celebrate with their conquering hero.

Coming on March 25, 2022, after months and months of pandemic gloom, the response to Franklin’s 1,000th goal — that riot of untrammelled joy — felt necessary. “I loved it, I loved it,” says Franklin when we speak on the phone. “It was such an amazing moment — to kick a thousand goals and have my closest family and friends there to witness it. That was something that I’ll cherish forever.”

Read the full feature here.

Idris Elba
Photography by Simon Lipman and Jess Ruby James.

Modern Poets: Idris Elba & Lime Cordiale

Article by Joe Brennan

“I think we were all searching for something new,” says Lime Cordiale’s Oli Leimbach of the band’s 2021 collaboration with movie star Idris Elba. “Maybe we pulled Idris out of the boombox in our green room…. Talked him out like a genie.” Elba is a measure less fanciful. “I was at a junction, musically,” he says, his words punctuated, as they often are, with a cheerful expletive. “I’d joined with a new publisher and they were like, ‘Do you want to do a writing session with Lime Cordiale? Or do you just want to be over there pretending to make music?’ ” His reply: an emphatic “of course”.

That first day in the studio was polite but unsteady. Elba approached the session with trepidation, nervous about proving himself as a lyricist. “I was half expecting them to be like, ‘That’s not what we were really expecting, but thanks. We loved you in “The Wire”,’ ” he deadpans. Likewise, the Leimbachs worried that their would-be collaborator had one eye on the door. When their high-profile guest reached for his phone to pull up a song idea, the pair assumed he was calling himself an Uber to make a hurried escape.

A few hours passed and the track that both sides had signed up for was essentially complete. They were free to wrap things up. Then, fairly unexpectedly, Elba brought out his laptop to workshop a demo — drums, a bassline, a verse of vocals — that he’d made in his trailer on set. Hesitation gave way to febrile excitement. As the trio pored over their most prized references — from the ska theatricality of Madness to the industrial funk of Gorillaz — the atmospheric shift was immediate. They had committed to the experiment.

See the full article here.

Read our current issue cover interview with Australian tennis no. 1 Ajla Tomljanović that appears in print in our eleventh edition, Page 56 of T Australia with the headline: “The Mind Game”

It’s Our Birthday, But You Get the Gifts

To celebrate two years of T: The New York Times Magazine Australia, we’re giving you the chance to win the T Australia List.

Article by T Australia

The T Australia List is a weekly curation of what our editors and local tastemakers are noticing and coveting right now.

To celebrate our second birthday on March 15, 2023, we’re giving readers the chance to win the ultimate Sydney round-up, from a night’s stay at the forthcoming Capella Hotel, to a July carry on suitcase.

To enter, simply sign up to the T Australia newsletter, offering a unique take on the cultural landscape, plus receive exclusive offers, early bird discounts and be the first to know about our upcoming events. You’ll instantly enter the running to win our birthday giveaway, plus you’ll receive an extra 10 per cent off single issues of T Australia, and subscriptions for Australian delivery.

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Capella Sydney. Photography courtesy of Capella.

An Overnight Luxury Stay at the Capella Hotel, Sydney

Downtown Sydney welcomes the newest Capella Hotel, situated in the Department of Education building in the city’s sandstone precinct. Originally designed by architect George McRae in the early 1900s, the historic building has been meticulously restored and reimagined by Pontiac Land in collaboration with Make Architects, and will officially welcome guests from March 15, 2023. Featuring 192 guestrooms and suites, alongside a spa and wellness centre, the new Capella outpost includes three hospitality venues (Aperture, Brasserie 1930 and McRae Bar) filled with commissioned and collected artworks, sophisticated furnishings and intriguing objet d’art. The hotel’s artfully appointed rooms are characterised by standalone tubs, custom Italian Frette linen and exclusive Haeckels amenities.

As part of T Australia’s birthday giveaway, the winner will receive overnight accommodation for two in Capella Hotel’s Skyline room, including daily breakfast for up to two people in Brasserie 1930, a bespoke welcome amenity upon arrival, a Capella Culturist experience, complimentary access to The Living Room and a $100.00 hotel-wide credit used towards dining or spa experiences. capellahotels.com/en/capella-sydney

July’s signature Carry On case in Charcoal. Photography courtesy of July.
July’s signature Carry On case in Charcoal. Photography courtesy of July.

Travel in Style with a July Luggage Carry On Suitcase in Charcoal

The inaugural Visionary Awards winner for Travel, July, is shaking up the way Australians explore the world. Founded in 2018 by Athan Didaskalou (below, left) and Richard Li (below, right), two Melbourne-based friends and entrepreneurs, the direct-to-consumer brand sells a range of bags and travel accessories that is tough, stylish and distinctive, thanks to its unique egg-shaped shell. Available in a broad suite of colourways including customisable options, July’s lifetime warranty on manufacturing faults and generous return policy reinforces the founders’ belief in the products’ longevity.

Included in our T Australia birthday giveaway is July’s signature Carry On case in Charcoal. Designed to hold the maximum amount that’s allowed to accompany you on a flight, the Carry On features an ejectable battery that is approved for flying across all major airlines. july.com/au

The antipasto service at Crown Sydney's a'Mare. Photography courtesy of a'Mare.

Enjoy Dinner for Two at Crown Sydney’s a’Mare Restaurant

Situated at the base of Crown Sydney in Barrangaroo, and designed by acclaimed Chef and Restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni, a’Mare pays tribute to Pavoni’s memories of Italy with dishes that celebrate the simplicity of fine ingredients, telling stories to be savoured of the regions from which they originate. The restaurant’s now-iconic trofie al pesto (pesto pasta) – made tableside in a 30kg motar and pestle – is a must-try, but a’Mare’s new antipasto offering is also not to be missed. Part of their Pranzo al Volo menu, and in line with the restaurant’s classic theatrical dining experience, waiters serve diners olives, marinated vegetables, and freshly sliced meats and cheeses from the antipasto table and prosciutto trolley.

Included in our second birthday prize is a lunch or dinner for two at a’Mare, to the value of $250. crownsydney.com.au

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Emma Lewisham's Supernatural Face Creme Riche. Photography courtesy of Emma Lewisham.
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Emma Lewisham's Illuminating Face Cleanser. Photography courtesy of Emma Lewisham.

Feel Brand New with an Emma Lewisham Skincare Edit

Launched in 2019, Emma Lewisham’s science-led natural skincare line is developed by scientists and physiologists with over 100 years combined experience. our formulations focus on the physiology of the skin, determining how multiple ingredient combinations can work in synergy with each other to deliver superior results. In 2021, Emma Lewisham became the world’s first certified Climate Positive and 100 per cent circularly designed beauty brand. Through the company’s complimentary global take-back programme ‘Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle’, they reclaim all used packaging for refills (their innovative pod and pouch system spans all products) or recycling.

T Australia’s second birthday competition prize includes an Emma Lewisham mini skincare edit, featuring the brand’s Illuminating Oil Cleanser, Skin Reset Serum and Supernatural Face Creme Riche. emmalewisham.com.au

Happy birthday to us! T Australia turns one

One year ago today, we released the launch issue of T Australia: The New York Times Style Magazine. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Katarina Kroslakova shares 10 of her personal highlights from the journey so far.

Article by Katarina Kroslakova

T Australia Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Katarina Kroslakova.

One year ago today, we released the launch issue of T Australia.

I decided to bring The New York Times Style Magazine to Australia, knowing that it was time to go against the flow of doom and gloom and to start something new, vibrant and different.

From our debut issue last March to our first international cover star in February 2022, T Australia has had the privilege of sharing intimate profiles, thoughtful essays and the best global journalism from the flagship US magazine – all throughout a year that continued to challenge us all.

Some of my personal highlights have been:

  1. Seeing readers subscribe to T Australia for three years – before we even launched in news-stands; in fact before we even knew who was on the front cover of our launch issue. The confidence our audience gave us was truly incredible and we knew we were onto a good thing. No pressure or anything.
  2. Shooting Emma Watkins in the most spectacular natural surroundings at Seidler House, Joadja in rural New South Wales. We had an Australian global ambassador in a quintessentially Australian setting, using all local talent to produce the shoot and story, and it just felt like we were at the start of something really special. I also played a practical joke on the crew who had never met me before by telling them I was the catering chick, and they all believed me.
  3. As incredible as the interview and photo shoot with Simon Baker was (on location Little Felix, Sydney), my favourite part of the day was asking one of Australia’s favourite (and sexiest) acting exports some unexpected rapid fire questions such as “Speedos or Boardies?” or “Pie or Sausage Roll?”. That man truly creates magic on screen; Simon’s short video was viewed nearly 200,000 times in the first few weeks.
  4. Incredible interviews: Kylie Minogue, Mick Fanning, Emma Watkins, Jordan Barrett, Idris Elba, Simon Baker, Margot Robbie, Miranda Tapsell, Nick Cave, David Hallberg, Jane Barnes, Gillian Armstrong, Anna Schwartz. After months of negotiation, we were fortunate to capture F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo just days after his Monza win and boy was this a happy shoot!
  5. We managed to squeeze in a launch function a year ago (in between lockdowns): an intimate breakfast at Chiswick in Woollahra about The Future of Culture. Our inspiring speakers included Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet David Hallberg, film-maker Gracie Otto and music legend Mark ‘Diesel’ Lizotte.
  6. The People. My team and their incredible passion and commitment to the project. They work hard and fast. We put the prototype together for The New York Times’ global headquarters in just six weeks and haven’t slowed down since. Our advertisers have shown belief, interest and shared excitement in the T Australia journey as well.
  7. Let’s talk about Miss Minogue. As I wrote in my editor’s letter in Issue 01, I basically modelled my autograph on Kylie’s, getting that little loop in the K just right, just the same. So an opportunity to interview her was not only a pinch-me moment, but also showed what a complex, whip-smart and awesome Aussie she is. Also her range of wine is bloody delicious.
  8. The story I like to affectionally call “Hot Nannas” in Issue 2 garnered the strongest response all year. Writer Lee Tulloch and photographer Tony Amos produced the most heart-warming series of stories and portraits representing five Australian matriarchs who exude style and sass. This age group is sadly under-represented in media and we received wonderful feedback from readers and other fellow hot nannas.
  9. Covid-19 chucked us lots of challenges, especially in terms of logistics and photoshoots, but one of the best things that emerged over the past year has been a strong sense of community. Writers, creatives, organisers, CEOs – we all became one and the same over Zoom and we all struggled with the mute button and we all worked collaboratively, seamlessly and happily. Long may it continue.
  10. Idris. What can I say? Coolest dude on the planet. He generously gave us almost an entire day to shoot several videos, interviews, behind-the-scenes specials, poses, jokes, and more. The power of the T brand is real and we pinch ourselves every day.

It’s an honour to present T Australia: The New York Times Style Magazine to you. I am grateful to have shared this journey with you so far, and can’t wait to show you what else we have in store.

Katarina Kroslakova
Publisher, Editor-in-Chief

T Turns 1: Paper’s Performance

What better way to celebrate our first birthday than through the art world and the medium which brings print to life: paper.

Article by Jordan Turner

T Australia Turns 1Artwork by Leo Greenfield for T: Paper's Performance. Drawing and watercolour on paper.

In celebration of our first birthday at T Australia, we are honouring the medium that brings our print magazine to life. Paper has the ability to be transformed into anything. In print, our pages come to life with words, images and colour. In the art world, the possibilities are endless.

We asked six artists and creatives based in Sydney to create an artwork that celebrates paper, on paper, or using paper. The works explore the theme of first experiences. When weaved together, this collection is a performance of communication with paper and print. 

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Artwork by Liz Peniazeva for T: Paper's Performance. Collage on paper, utilising found clippings.

Liz Peniazeva’s work is both a sentimental and structured celebration of collage as an art form which, as she describes it, is “painting with paper.”

As a teenager, Liz was always holding on to discarded papers, remnants of posters from the street, found photographs and pages from old books and magazines. “There was something almost historical and sentimental about this material that I wanted to preserve,” says Liz, who appreciates the tactility of creating with paper. “I still feel this when I find an interesting piece of paper. I want to honour the memory within it by giving it a new life and audience.”

Inspired by the imagery that the eye and mind can choose at any particular moment, Liz’s practice is an intuitive process. “There is a magical sense of chance in collage and a special kind of beauty in the process of deconstruction and reconstruction,” says Liz.

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T Australia Turns 1
T Australia Turns 1
Artwork by Chanel Tobler for T: Paper's Performance. Pastels on paper.

Artist Chanel Tobler, whose works sing with rich and vibrant colours with pastels, leans on paper first and often last as a material. “It feels the most direct and immediate way to convey what I need to release. It has become a place I feel safest to say everything I need to,” says Chanel.

“Paper has a capability and tenderness to house the most private feelings and is versatile enough to bear the loudest emotions,” Chanel explains. “It facilities both drawing and writing for me and as such is the material that lies at the cornerstone from which all my other techniques and mediums spring forth.”

From looking at Chanel’s work, it is clear that paper is something intimate and textured in her practice. “I have over the years developed a great understanding of how paper works and how I can work it,” Chanel tells T. “So much so that it has become my most defining material to work with.”

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Time Travel, words by Miriam Hechtman, calligraphy by Vanessa Opazo, for T: Paper's Performance.

Miriam Hechtman, poet and founder of poetry evening Poetica, and Vanessa Opazo, architect and calligraphy artist, worked together on this artwork for T’s Paper’s Performance. Miriam wrote an original poem titled, Time Travel, and Vanessa brought it to life with calligraphy on paper. 

Like many writers and poets, putting pen to paper has been Miriam’s invitation to explore her inner world. Inside that world, poetry was her chance to disobey punctuation and play with form, sound and rhythm. “I’ve written poems since childhood but in 2015 I returned to writing poetry regularly as a way to rescue a friendship that was on the rocks,” Miriam recalls. “We couldn’t communicate without conflict so we turned to poetry.”

In Time Travel, Miriam alliterates using the letter T to celebrate our magazine. When asked about what that poem looked like on paper: “I handwrite my poems in my sunrise poetry writing group and really enjoy the slowness, the physicality and the space handwriting offers. The crossing out of words. The journey of the poem is transparent.”

Vanessa was mesmerised by the act of calligraphy and wanted to master it herself. “The smell of ink, the scratchy sound of the friction between the pen and my textured paper. It all adds to the magic of calligraphy,” says Vanessa. “It makes time stop around you. It is just your tools and you breathing out words onto your paper.”

As both an architect and calligraphy artist, Vanessa is used to switching up the scales of paper on which she works. From the giant rolls of paper filled with plans for a new building to the tiny place cards that house names of guests for dinner parties, the potential of what a blank page can be continues to inspire her.

“I love sitting in front of a blank piece of paper. So many possibilities,” explains Vanessa. “Working with paper has taught me to be more courageous. To dare a bit more often. You can always grab a new piece of paper and start all over again if you mess up.”

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Artwork by Leo Greenfield for T: Paper's Performance. Drawing and watercolour on paper, in a flipbook animation story.
T Australia Turns 1
Artwork by Leo Greenfield for T: Paper's Performance. Drawing and watercolour on paper, in a flipbook animation story.

Leo Greenfield’s drawings colour in the lines of his daily experiences on paper. Whether it’s a depiction of someone he’s seen whilst wondering Bronte, the latest look from a Miu Miu show at Paris Fashion Week, or musings on a current global issue expressed through his iconic cat artworks.

The ability to communicate emotions and feelings through drawing is what connected Leo to working with paper. “The paper is even more important than the paint or inks. The paper really dictates what you make,” he says.

To Leo, paper is a luxury item that holds power in memories: “Letter writing was what first connected me to its value and effect. Since I was very small my grandparents sent me letters in the post, we exchanged so much that way as we lived apart, the letters were filled with drawings and writing and cutouts from magazines. We carried on the tradition well into my 30s and they are so precious to me. I try to carry on this effect in my artwork. I want each piece to feel like a letter, especially sent on paper via the old fashioned post.”

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Artwork by Midori Furze for T: Paper's Performance. Handpainted origami roses from Japanese washi paper.

Midori Furze has created an origami artwork for T Australia. Each origami rose was made one-by-one using Japanese washi paper and then handpainted with traditional Japanese pigment.

Origami is something Midori has loved since she was a little girl living in Japan. When she moved to Australia, the very first thing she reconnected with was origami. Now she creates origami artworks and holds workshops for wedding anniversaries; paper being the traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary. 

Paper is a canvas to create, a page to write on. It is a medium to cut, fold and reinvent. Whatever the way you choose to tell the story you want to share, we can all connect with one thing. The act of holding that piece of paper in front of you and watching ideas come to life. That is the paper’s performance.

A version of this article appears on our Instagram page in celebration of our first birthday: Follow us on Instagram