Ian Randall is an educator, artist and author at Cambridge University Press.
You can view examples of artworks or obtain further information here.


Friday, December 14, 2012

A Christmas thought

I was greatly moved by the opening paragraph to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about KFC's new celebrities who are (were?) vegetarian and animal rights activists.

"TRUST is terribly old-fashioned. The church is rotten, parliament is a
black farce, the media is choking, job security is an oxymoron, the
military is mired in scandal and marriage is unavailable to some who
want it and abused by most who have it. So we turn to sport for its
purity, and find idols dependent on drugs, a mutating gambling virus,
craven administrators and athletes swapping clubs - and even codes -
for coin. It's little wonder self-interest has flourished, given the
pillars of society are plainly made of salt." Link

Let us then put our trust in the Christ Child who gave up a life of self interest, popularity, luxuries, endorsements and political influence to live his life for others, even to death on a cross.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Washing Dishes

A humorous exploration of Mark 7:3-4

"The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.  When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles" NIV

The Armstrong Solution

We have all been deceived by this conspiracy.

We believed in their passion and heroism.

We believed in the colour of Yellow.
They believed in the colour of money.
Money corrupted everything.

We must impose new conditions on our sport.

1 - Reinstate compulsory amateur status at all levels.

2 - Remove all prize money.

3 - Remove direct monetary sponsorship of cyclists.

These conditions must be applied to all levels of the sport from Le Tour down to E-Grade club races.

We must end of artificial world of the professional cyclist.

Cyclists must be 'true' to life, living a real life and working a real job. Sure, give the athletes time to travel and to compete. Only, compensate the work places for their absent competing workers. Give the athletes a bike, basic cycling equipment and travel costs etc.
Let them submit time sheets, hotel receipts and income tax statements.

Give the winner a trophy and let them bask in the glory - guilt free.
What about all that lost revenue? It's all gone anyway! What company would want to be associated with professional Cycling?
Cycling must become a 'not for profit' sport. Any future revenue should be reinvested into sports development, facilities, education, health awareness and social initiatives.

So we can all believe again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My latest painting

Title: Sydney Cricket Ground
Size: 168x45cm
Materials: Oil Paint on marine grade wooden panel

This painting is to be submitted in the 2012 Sydney Cricket Ground Art Prize.

click to enlarge


This is a film showing my process.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Penrith Anglican College

Term 2 - Week 10

Year 8 - Abstract Art  Work Sheet

            - Abstract Artworks by the students

Students from Year 8 have created an amazing collection of abstract paintings and drawings - here is a sample.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Farewell !

Farewell Staff, Parents and Students of Mountains Christian College.

Thank you for making my time at your school so full of blessing.

Mr Randall

(Last day, June 7th)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Archibald Prize Paintings - 9/10 Visual Arts

This wonderful portrait is by Bonnie Trist (Yr.10) of her Youth Group Leader, Margery.
"Margery is very kind and loved by all. She is a great cook and she makes lovely food for our group. She picks me up and drops me home. She also invites me and my sister to her house. We love it when she takes us out on outings."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Food Technology Term 2

We are having lots of fun preparing a three course meal for a special group of friends and family. Each student is designing their own invitations, theme and menu for the evening. click here to see our first menu item.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

PhotoComp 2012

Congratulations to students who entered this years PhotoComp.

This image was taken by Fiona O'Neill in Yr 8 - WINNER OF SECONDARY

Click here to view some more samples

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Year 9 Poetry

This term we have been reading, studying and writing poetry.

This is motley (and somewhat irreverent) collection of love poems written by the students after our study of The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes (1880-1958).

Students were inspired by the depth of love between Bess and The Highwayman. One of the students began by describing their love with the words "if it were a love like that. . . " so became the opening lines of their poems.

Please enjoy - click here

Monday, February 20, 2012

Year 10 City Camp - Rough Edges

This year’s Year 10 camp is going to be an exciting challenge in the city. Students will venture into the city, learning to catch public transport, find their way around the city, discovering some interesting sites and learning to be a little more independent of the comforts of home. The students will be learning about the every present issue facing people within our society, homelessness. We will be visiting an important outreach to homeless people in the heart of the city at St John’s Anglican Church, Darlinghurst, called Rough Edges. Here's a little glimpse of what they do.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What is Postmodernism?

I am frequently being asked to explain what is Postmodernism.

To a contemporary reader it is like explaining to a fish what it is like to be wet. If you have the breath of life in you then you have spent your entire life in a Postmodern age.

You are a Postmodernist - You are wet !

So fish - let me try to explain what it is like to be wet.

We are living in an age POST (or after) the 'Great' Modern Age. This was the historical period from the Renaissance until the 'Great' War, 1914. This period of around 500 years encompassed the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, etc. It was an age of progress and conquest, mass migration and navigation, people were swept from every corner of the globe. Empirical knowledge, facts, truth was something to possess and to control. History was the history of Western civilisation. It was the age of scientific discovery, global economics, triumphalism, nationalism and rationalism and the white male 'genius'.

The Modern Age raced at full speed, head long, unchecked and unquestioningly into the Great War. Men were to become heroes, see the world and be home for Christmas. Instead they met the machine gun, military rationalism and a four year war of attrition. The Allies had 6 million soldiers, the Hun's had 4 million, if every one of ours kills one of them before he dies, we've won! - was the Allies strategy.

As you can imagine, nearly 60 million deaths of men, women and children caused something of a re-think about the 'Great' Modernist project. Numbers of intellectuals, poets, writers and artists started to question the assumptions of Modernism and to reject all that was seen to contribute to such destruction. So a new spirit of cynicism, skepticism and questioning spread and was to be recognised as a new historical era.  This new historical period proceeded Modernism and was at the same time irrevocably connected to it. Throughout the Twentieth Century modernism continued to flourish but was coupled with a new self-awareness, self-reflection and self-critical questioning. Postmodernism has many different manifestations in art, architecture, literature, science and in all branches of human endeavour.

Today, Modernism can be seen in areas of international politics, consumerism, globalisation and free market capitalism. Postmodern voices continue to call for a 're-think' of modernist values. Postmodern people are saying 'No' to environmental degradation, social injustice and racial genocide. The 're-thinkers' are swelling in numbers and are becoming a political force via the proliferation of the Internet and social networking. So much so that in many areas the postmodern re-think is becoming the mainstream. You see it when you put out your recycling each week, drink Fair Trade coffee, buy 'organic' veggies, say 'no' to plastic bags, laugh at the ironic cultural references in the Simpson'ssponsor a child in the developing world and subscribe to Amnesty International's emailing list. It is now 'OK' to believe in spirituality, have a religion, learn the ukulele and join a community 'Landcare' group. World history is now understood as multiple cultural 'stories' and the Bible is re-discovered as a 'narrative' rather then a fragmented list of facts and dogma.

The Modernists continue to hold positions of power and privilege and will do all they can to maintain it - but there is an ebb-tide gathering where the masses are starting to swell and are realising that they can make a difference. Just consider the spread of the 'Occupy' movement calling for the end to 'corporate greed'. After the Global Financial Crisis Governments are now at least considering how to make the open market more accountable, more equitable, or at least getting CEO's to pay a fair tax-rate.

Students (Gen Y's) of today are plugged into modern 'pop' consumerist techno culture yet sceptical about their future and are critical about what 'authorities' present. Through the internet they form vibrant communities and want to be engaged in making positive changes in their world. They want to live rich (not $) lives full of meaning and purpose, to be more then a cog in a corporate wheel. Students today need to be given opportunities to consider their options, to be agents for change and we need to encourage our students to continue the postmodern 're-think' and give them the positive opportunities to act on their beliefs.

So, now do you feel wet?

- I imagine this explanation is a work in progress.  
I will continue to edit and change it as I think of better ways to explain Postmodernism - 

A little reading list on Modernism & Postmodernism.

Marshall Berman - All that is solid melts into air. 
Charles Jenks - What is postmodernism
Jean Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition

Ian Randall


Post-modern literature does not begin until after World War II. There are some interesting nuances of meaning compared to Art and Philosophy. The impact of post-modernism in literature is that it opens up the meaning of all texts as it places meaning in the hands of the reader only. It doesn't matter what the author intended, you can imagine what that does for the authority of the Bible. Post-modernism has taken away the idea of a canon of literature. All texts are equal, I have sat through a lecture where we were told that The Bold and the Beautiful had just as much merit as Keats or once again the Bible. Interestingly, there is a backlash to this that is just beginning to gain momentum, in stage 6 English we do texts and contexts, all of a sudden the author's intention matters. The new curriculum is also favouring context rather than the void that the post-modernists like to operate in. In terms of Christianity, I think that post-modernism has denied absolute truth and therefore set itself up in opposition to the Bible and ultimately God. The only point of having an open mind is to shut it firmly on the truth! - K. Leong 

There is post-modern philosophy and there is the post-modern time period; do you think that someone living in post-modernity by default has a post-modern worldview/philosophy?! You mentioned that there still are sections of society that are shaped by "modern" thinking. Maybe where we differ is the amount of trust we place on how much influence this powerful group are still having in shaping the worldview of the fish. I think our young people are a very confused mix causing them to feel somewhat hopeless. - C. Parker

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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Coles, the Christian Supermarket

I just love the way Coles supports Christian culture all year round.

From the beginning of January we can purchase Hot Cross Buns to help us prepare for Easter.

And from April we see images of St Nicholas and hear Christmas Carols.

Thank you Coles

I hate . . .

               . . . back to school advertisements which appear the week after Christmas!