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Behind the Lines: the year in political cartoons 2022 is the latest free exhibition to open at the State Library of South Australia. This travelling exhibition, developed and presented by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra, celebrates the art of political cartooning. The exhibition explores all things alien and astronomical that have occurred in Australian politics and around the world in 2022. It features 98 political cartoons by 34 of Australia’s political cartoonists.

The exhibition theme, Off the Planet, reflects on a year where lockdowns ended and borders opened, and we burst out from our living rooms eager to discover what more was out there. While life was starting to return to some sort of normality, Australians still felt uncertainty.

We faced new challenges with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, skyrocketing interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis. The election saw a new Prime Minister and the rise of the teal independents into parliament. And we looked to the stars to try to guess what the future holds. All this and more are represented on the walls of Behind the Lines and encourages visitors to take another look at the past year, through witty, insightful and often poignant cartoons.

Geoff Strempel, Director State Library of South Australia says,

“We are once again pleased to be hosting this traveling exhibition, Behind the Lines. Exhibitions of this kind are part of the State Library’s diverse program of events and activities that invite the community to take part in the life of the Library.”

This year’s exhibition continues to feature emerging artists who share their work on social media, avoiding the traditional route of newspapers and opinion pages.

“By featuring cartoonists who haven’t come from traditional media, we’re reflecting the evolution of cartooning, media and Australian democracy that incorporates newer formats that challenge our ways of thinking,” says exhibition curator Amy Lay.

Behind the Lines 2022: the year in political cartoons: Off the Planet is now open and runs until the 2 April 2023. 

Exhibition details

On now until 2 April 2023
State Library Gallery
Free entry

Open: Monday to Tuesday: 8am to 7pm
Wednesday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12 to 5pm
(closed public holidays)

Media enquiries

Mark Gilbert
Exhibitions, Media and Marketing Librarian

State Library of South Australia
Phone 08 7424 6187
Mobile 0403 934 678

Download the media release