David Pope is our Behind the Lines Political Cartoonist of the Year

  • Written byMoAD
  • DateTue, 20 Dec 2022

Behind the Lines is back for another year.

It’s one of our most popular exhibitions and a celebration of the ‘weird craft’ of political cartooning, as David Pope himself put it recently. 

The AusPol cartooning legend accepted the Behind the Lines Political Cartoonist of the Year award at the exhibition launch and shared his thoughts on the future of this ever-changing medium. 

‘Few newspapers have newspaper illustrators any more so at one level I’ve seen this huge squeezing of the craft, but at another level the tech has allowed a whole new generation coming out of this to find their audience very directly.’ 

‘So the craft’s in good hands and it’s great to see the Museum takes that very seriously.’  

David Pope, Andrew Harper and Amy Lay pose for a photo

Pictured: David Pope with assistant director Andrew Harper on the left and curator Amy Lay on the right

The Canberra Times artist also paid tribute to cartoonists being able to express themselves in Australia. 

‘Everywhere you look around and see that innate human desire to give expressions of our feelings and our thoughts through the most simple of media – a hand drawn image. So I’m rapt to think that the Museum is committed to celebrating this weird craft.’ 

2022 marks the second time Pope has been named the Behind the Lines Political Cartoonist of the Year, after first receiving the award in 2012.  

Behind the Lines 2022, with its theme Off the Planet, reflects on a year where lockdowns ended, borders opened and Australians burst from their living rooms eager to discover what was out there.  

David Pope’s works sit alongside emerging artists like Adele K. Thomas, Pat Hudson and Gorkie. Several cartooning heavyweights also return to the exhibition in 2022, including David Rowe, Cathy Wilcox, Danny Eastwood and First Dog on the Moon.  
You can enjoy this year’s cartoons (and catch up on the archives) on our Behind the Lines website.