A couple of million words: Humphrey McQueen, 2008 by Karen Donnelly

image of A couple of million words: Humphrey McQueen 2008 by Karen Donnelly

Artist's statement

Humphrey McQueen was born in Brisbane and for the past 40 years has been a self-employed writer, historian, critic, protestor and cultural commentator. Humphrey is the author of 19 books that cover topics as diverse as history, the media, politics, Coca-Cola & capitalism and the visual arts. He has written for virtually every newspaper in Australia and was a regular contributor to the ‘Bulletin’. Humphrey’s two classic books of Australian history, ‘A New Britannia’ and ‘Social Sketches of Australia’ were exciting, challenging and ground-breaking works. Re-issued in 2004, they conveyed something of the complexity, subtlety and uniqueness of Australian history and society. His latest work is ‘A Framework of Flesh’, the history of builder’s labourers and their unions. An informed, passionate and committed writer Humphrey McQueen has maintained a distinct voice in the narrative and analysis of Australian life, work and art. In his work he has consistently demonstrated a capacity to conjure the past while engaging with the present.