15/10/2015 8:56 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST

Australian Politicians Support Parliament's Art Collection


Craig Kelly, Federal Member for Hughes, was roundly bagged on Wednesday for calling an artwork hanging in Parliament House "appalling".

Politicians are now taking photos next to 'The Witches,' by Archibald Prize winner Wendy Sharpe, to support the parliamentary art collection; while Sharpe herself has branded Kelly's comments "ridiculous".

THE ARTWORK OF PARLIAMENT HOUSE Call me a philistine, but I think most of the artwork around Parliament House is...

Posted by Craig Kelly on Monday, 12 October 2015

Speaking to The Huffington Post Australia from Berlin, where she last night opened her latest exhibition 'Theatre of Dreams', Sharpe said she was almost amused by Kelly's comments.

"I am surprised that anyone is still shocked shocked by nudity," she said.

"This is a painting from Shakespeare's Macbeth. They aren't the kind of people who wear twin sets and pearls," she said.

"It [the criticism] isn't remotely hurtful. It is such a silly comment. Criticism like this backfires on him.

"He calls himself a philistine; well, he is right there. His comments are so ridiculous, he isn't doing himself any favours."

Since Kelly's comments, several MPs have shown their support for the parliament's art collection. Here's Greens member Adam Bandt:

And Labor MP Tim Watts, with author Benjamin Law:

And Melissa Parke just getting behind the cause generally:

While Tim Watts brought up a past case of criticism of the parliament's art collection.

Bandt went further in a press release on Wednesday afternoon.

“The Liberal’s arts attack continues with Craig Kelly this time having a go at what’s art and what’s not,” he said.

“Art is more than country landscapes. The human body is far from the most offensive thing on show in this building. MPs who vote to lock kids up in detention then complain about a bare buttock have a lot of hide.”