Behind the Lines: The year’s best political cartoons

Matt Golding Curiouser and curiouser 2018Venture down the rabbit hole to Behind the Lines: The year’s best political cartoons 2018, Museum of Australian Democracy’s (MoAD) perennially popular exhibition of the year’s best political cartoons, on display now at Canberra’s Old Parliament House.

Every year MoAD presents Behind The Lines – an exhibition that displays the best political cartoons from the last 12 months. The 2018 exhibition, launched today, brings together the year’s unexpected political twists and turns in an Alice In Wonderland inspired theme.

“Each week Australia’s political cartoonists have captured the goings-on in parliament with humour and wit,” said Daryl Karp, MoAD Director. “Australia has a long and proud tradition of political satire, and each year it is a celebration of our democracy and our freedom of speech.”

“At a time when we’ve had seven prime ministers in 10 years, and satisfaction in democracy has dropped by more than half since 2007, it’s reassuring that our political cartoonists haven’t lost the ability to make us laugh.”

Behind The Lines curator, Libby Stewart, said the exhibition contains more than 80 cartoons, representing the work of over 30 cartoonists from a wide variety of printed and online media.

“Visitors will see insightful commentary including work from John Shakespeare, David Rowe, Michael Leunig, Cathy Wilcox and Mark Knight, and for the first time Jason Chatfield, an Australian cartoonist now illustrating for The New Yorker,” said Ms Stewart. “We are inviting visitors to step through the looking glass with us to laugh, smirk or grimace at the strange happenings in politics in the last year.”

Ms Karp also announced the exhibition’s Political Cartoonist of the Year saying, “The Curiouser and Curiouser theme is perfectly encapsulated in the work of our Cartoonist of the Year, Matt Golding. Visitors will see his bemused Alice peering into a Wonderland populated by some very familiar political faces.”

“Matt has been delighting fans for years with his work for Fairfax publications, where he excels at the ‘pocket’ cartoon style. He skilfully sums up complex issues within one frame, enabling readers to understand these issues more easily, and to appreciate the humour that he brings to them.”

“This year Matt has focussed on the banking royal commission, by-elections, tax cuts and the shadow of Tony Abbott looming over the government,” added Ms Karp.

Matt Golding said he was delighted his work is included in one of Australia’s most popular political cartooning exhibitions and to be chosen as Cartoonist of the Year. “People are drawn to cartoons, they gravitate towards them because of their beautiful simplicity and their power to challenge, to make people think and possibly see the world in a different way” he said.

Behind the Lines: The year’s best political cartoons
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes (Canberra)
Exhibition ongoing
Free – after general admission

For more information, visit: for details.

The exhibition will also tour to other parts of the country in 2019, including Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, New South Wales (29 Jan – 21 Feb 2019); Old Treasury Building, Melbourne, Victoria (26 Feb – 29 April 2019); Bunker Cartoon Gallery, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales (1 May – 6 July 2019); and State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane, Queensland (29 July–2 November 2019).

Image: Matt Golding, Curiouser and Curiouser, 2018 (supplied)