What have I been up to…?

27 04 2019

A bit of this:

And what is that, you ask? The proof copies of my new novel, ‘The Emerald Tablet’, to be released by Pan Macmillan in July. The story?………

The Suez Canal, 1956. The world teeters on the brink of nuclear war and the Middle East is a tinderbox. 

 Conversely, redeemed archaeologist Benedict Hitchens is enjoying a peaceful existence after years in the professional and personal wilderness. His recent discoveries in western Turkey secured him a place in history and the smart thing to do would be to ignore his growing fear that Britain, France and Israel’s imminent invasion of Egypt to liberate the Suez Canal is only a diversion.

But Ben’s natural inclination towards self-sabotage is never far below the surface. When he learns that the woman who betrayed him is leading a team into the Sinai Desert in search of an ancient treasure, he puts everything at risk to seek his revenge. 

She is as brilliant as Benedict, but has had to fight to survive in a world dominated by men. Having aligned herself with unprincipled and ruthless people to further her own interests, her motivations are laid bare as she confronts ghosts she’d rather forget, and make amends for past wrongdoings.

Both are forced to grapple with their own personal demons as they race to unearth a secret that will, in the wrong hands, mean the annihilation of humankind.

If you’re dead keen, presales can be made via Pan Macmillan. Or you can keep up with my news via your online social media poison of choice:

w: meaghanwilsonanastasios.com
FB: Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
Instagram: mwilsonanastasios


From this day forth, you’ll find me here:

5 08 2018

Future musings about my literary pursuits can be found on my new blog, meaghanwilsonanastasios.com.


A change of career and a change of website…

24 07 2018

The Honourable Thief cover reveal

Hello to all of you out there.

Yes – I know. That’s a big header image. But it’s there for a reason. Namely, to explain my extended silence on this site.

Thing is, I’ve been working towards a career shift. No longer am I treading the venerable halls of Melbourne University. My days are now spent glued to a keyboard, tapping away as a soon-to-be published author and researcher and writer for film and TV.

The art world still inspires and intrigues me. But somewhere along the way, I came to the realisation that I found the process of making things myself a great deal more rewarding and fulfilling than I did writing about things other people had made. I hope you understand.

My novel, The Honourable Thief, is being released by Pan Macmillan on 31 July, and early August will see Harper Collins stock the shelves with the book I wrote to accompany Sam Neill’s series (which I also wrote), The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook (airing on Foxtel on 27 August).

Yes. I’ve been busy.

So now you’ll find my accounts of shenanigans and horseplay in the art auction world recounted in fictional worlds.  The Honourable Thief is the story of an archaeologist in Turkey in the 1950s who finds himself caught up in an antiquities smuggling ring. From there it’s the inevitable slide into fakes and forgeries, reaching its zenith (can a ‘slide’ lead to a ‘zenith’? Hmm.) at an imagined Sotheby’s in 50s London. If it sounds like it may be something you feel like reading, you can order it here: The Honourable Thief – Pan Macmillan . And if you think Captain Cook and the impact of his voyages on the indigenous people of the Pacific may be more your cup of tea, you can order that one here: The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill … actually, that seems to be the e-book link. Anyway, you get the point! Appearing in bookstores around Australia soon and available online through the innumerable online book retailers.

If you’re at all curious and have even a vague interest in following what I have going on, from now on, you’ll find me at the following places:

w: meaghanwilsonanastasios.com

facebook: Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

twitter: @MWAnastasios

instagram: @mwilsonanastasios

And if this is the last I’ll see of you, thank you. Sincerely. It’s been a fun ride. And now I’m off to use all the things I’ve learnt to entertain and inform.


Yes, art still matters…

3 03 2018

… but lately I’ve had a slight shift of focus, and am enjoying making things myself rather than writing about things other people make.

If you’re interested in having a look to see what I’ve been doing, find your way here.

It’s time…

19 05 2016

Enough with sitting around complaining about how nobody listens to anything the arts community has to say. Enough of boat people and Royal Commissions. Make them sit up and listen!

Kudos with bells on it to the trailblazers who have kickstarted The Arts Party. It’s about time. Even if you are disinclined to hand over some cash to support the campaign (but it couldn’t hurt), make sure you master the new Senate voting instructions, and give the Arts Party your support in the ballot box. It will cost you nothing.

If Ricky Muir can do it (Motoring Enthusiasts… really?), not to mention that old windbag Clive Palmer, we can do it too. Let’s get a seat at the table.

The Arts Party slogans in haiku…

‘Want one million votes/ for the balance of power/wear an arts t-shirt.’

What’s not to love?

Q: What do Caravaggio, Brett Whiteley and Led Zeppelin have in common?

13 04 2016

Yes, it’s time to clean out the attic. Never know what might be hiding up there. Like, say, a Caravaggio or two.

A leaky roof for most of us = ouchy plumbing bills. But for happy home owners in Marseilles, the leaky roof translated to good times. 100+ Euros of good times, to be precise. What looks to be a stunning, hitherto unknown, masterpiece by the Baroque Italian painter, Caravaggio, was propping up the rafters in a hidden space in their roof.

Whoo-hoo to them.

What interests me, though, is that experts are split on whether or not it’s a signature piece by the Italian master. Here’s the thing – Flemish artist Louis Finson lived in Naples at the same time as Caravaggio, where he became one of the first ‘Caravaggisti’. The ‘Caravaggisti’ followed Caravaggio’s style. Closely. As in, very closely. As in, to learn his technique, they copied his paintings. Down to the exact brushstrokes.

One thing I have not seen referred to in all the news reports is this: a painting by Louis Finson from the Collezione Intesa Sanpaolo… Judith Beheading Holofernes The painting was featured in an 2013 exhibition in Naples entitled, ‘Judith beheading Holofernes: Louis Finson’s interpretation of Caravaggio.’

I recalled the Finson painting and its similarity with the newly revealed Caravaggio as soon as I started browsing the papers this morning. ‘Similarity’ is an understatement. As for the Naples exhibition title: ‘Finson’s interpretation of Caravaggio’? Well, I think to describe it as an ‘interpretation’ is fairly generous. Play ‘spot the difference’ with the two. It’s fun!

No doubt if I made the connection over my morning Weetbix, it has already been discussed ad infinitum in Baroque academic circles. But what fascinates me is that the connection hasn’t been spoken of in general commentary, other than the fact that there are eminent experts who believe the newly revealed painting is not by Caravaggio, but is another example of a copy painted by Finson.

It does seem odd that it has not been mentioned – given that the acknowledged Finson has been touted as a copy of an original Caravaggio that was lost and now, presumably, has been found. I would have thought the existence of the Finson copy would reinforce the authenticity of the Caravaggio. But I’ll leave those arguments up to the Baroque experts. Not my field by a long shot.

The only reason I can think of that the Finson copy hasn’t been mentioned in general discussions of the new find is that it is thought that it would muddy the waters. You see, this is heading into a very grey and murky place. Elsewhere I’ve played with the idea of fakes vs forgeries. And at the moment, right in our backyard, we have a brouhaha of our very own going on, featuring Peter Gant and conservator Aman Siddique and a very unfortunate series of paintings attributed to Australian painter Brett Whiteley.

I won’t go into the details here. But Defense barrister, Trevor Wraight QC, rightly observed in court that it is not illegal to copy a work of art. And he would be correct. In fact, it is also fair to state that there is a long and very well-established tradition of artists copying other artists’ work, not necessarily as a means of deceiving purchasers. See: Louis Finson above. It only gets messy/illegal/wrong when people who know that a work of art is one thing attempt to sell it as something else and gain a financial benefit through that sale. Knowingly selling something that is misattributed to make a profit is very, very naughty. But what if you do so unwittingly?

It looks like we’ll need to rely on the consensus of experts to determine whether or not the newly discovered painting is, or is not, by Caravaggio. When it comes down to it, expertise and connoisseurship are not science; they are opinion-based. S0 you can be guaranteed it will be a majority ruling, not complete consensus.

As I say, it’s all very, very murky.

But in a world that is still fixated on concepts of ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity’, huge sums of money are placed at risk when a work of art’s authenticity is challenged. This is true even when such concepts are, for many contemporary artists, archaic, arcane and redundant to their practice.

But the stakes are very high. Just ask Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

PS: Completely irrelevant aside here, but when did Jimmy Page start channeling Karl Lagerfeld?

Yes, art still matters…

24 02 2016

… it’s just that I haven’t had a great deal of spare time to write about it. Art, that is. Or not here, at least.


I am sorry.

Self-flagellating as we speak. What can I say? I have no really compelling reasons to explain my absence from this sadly neglected blog other than to say I have been very, very busy. With this. And this. And a little bit of this.

But the demise of the Melbourne Art Fair was too big an event to ignore. If you’re interested, head over to The Conversation to read my perspectives on the situation.