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Pollies at the end of the cartoonist's pen

28 FEBRUARY 2003

Politicians get the last word in a forum at the National Museum this Sunday when they reveal how it feels to be caricatured by Australia's best cartoonists.

Former NSW Opposition leader Kerry (Chikaboom) Chikarovski, Federal Shadow Arts Minister and Member for Fraser Bob McMullan and former National Party leader Ian (Sinkers) Sinclair will share the pain and sometimes the laughter when they see themselves as the cartoonists have seen them.

The free public forum Being Cartooned: A Politician's Perspective is linked to the Museum's popular temporary exhibition, Cartoons 2002: Life, Love and Politics, which features more than 100 cartoons surveying the remarkable issues of last year.

'Cartoons are a great way to make light of often-difficult political times,' Kerry Chikarovski said. 'Most of the time they make me laugh, although I must say it's made me very self-conscious about my nose.'

And from Ian Sinclair: 'If looking at yourself in the mirror when you first get out of bed in the morning can be a rude shock try being cartooned! Warts and all you are exposed in a fishbowl with your foibles exaggerated for public display. Being cartooned is an incontestable basis to develop a sense of humour!'

Being Cartooned is hosted by journalist Matt Price from The Australian and will take place in the National Museum's Studio on Sunday 2 March from 2pm to 3.30pm.

Cartoons 2002 curator Guy Hansen will outline how politicians fare in the exhibition before Chika, Sinkers and Bob pour out their hearts and show their favourite cartoons then take questions from the audience.

A topical cartoon on the search for weapons of mass destruction won Fairfax contributor Ron Tandberg the National Museum of Australia's 2002 Political Humour Award. Cartoons 2002 visitors still have the chance to vote for their favourite cartoon in the People's Choice Award, to be announced on 11 March.

Cartoons 2002: Life, Love and Politics runs at the Museum every day until 17 March. It includes Leunig Animated, an exhibition which brings to life the cartoons of Michael Leunig, one of Australia's foremost cartoonists and social commentators.

For more information please contact Leanda Coleman at the National Museum on 02 6208 5338 or 0438 620 710 or email l.coleman@nma.gov.au