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THE NAKED CITY

Blues in the Bottle - Anna Culliton Jugs can be symbols of abundance and happiness and none is more exuberant than the empty one that resonates with a tuneful sound. In Blues in the Bottle, Anna Culliton rejoices in the marvellous versatility of the jug as an instrument. Her ceramic pieces are reminiscent of a bygone age when celebration was as simple as some homemade drums, a rolled back rug and a couple of lively neighbours. Yet the intricate design of her work belies its rustic themes.These colourful and enticing sculptures

Celebrating Women In Jazz

consist of exquisitely crafted figures in brilliant colours perched atop the large blue pitcher. Culliton’s people play accordions, take off their shoes and rest a while, walk the dog, and hug each other in a tired embrace. In short they indulge in the activities of the everyman accompanied by a symphonic song. Altogether, these unique works are an imaginative and tangible exploration of the joy of a musical life. (LR) Until Nov 8, NG Art Gallery, 3 Little Queen St, Chippendale, FREE, ngart.com.au

Reveal Shazia Imran By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz In just a short three-year period the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival, presented by SIMA and the Sydney International Jazz Festival, has established itself as one of the major events on the Sydney music calendar. As Sydney saxophonist, composer and band leader Gai Bryant explains: “The importance of this festival is to celebrate the talents of women musicians, composers and bandleaders. The best barometer of its success is the diversity of the current program and the length of the festival. Beyond the publicity for individual musicians it allows us to be visible as musicians who happen to be women instead of being pigeonholed as ‘just’ female players.” Running from November 5 through to November 12, at both Foundry 616 and the Sound Lounge, as well as a free outdoor event at the Seymour Centre, this year’s Fest has drawn together an extraordinary lineup of talent, both homegrown and from abroad. As joint artistic director Joanne Kee enthused: “This year our headliner artist Dee Alexander joins us from Chicago with her musical director Miguel De La Cerna for her Australian debut.We’re also thrilled to showcase the talents of local artists such as Sandy Evans, Judy Bailey and the Sirens, to name just a few.This year we also feature Sydneysiders Hannah James, Jann Rutherford Gai Bryant and Lisa Parrott (who now resides in NYC).” SIMA has been running a Young Women in Jazz workshop program for over ten years. “Founded by Sandy Evans, it’s been incredibly rewarding to see the increase in women in the jazz scene over the years and the Festival is a natural progression to celebrate this growing depth,” Kee continues. Headliner Dee Alexander is strongly tipped to be the next Ella Fitzgerald and

this is a unique opportunity to catch her in an intimate club setting. Next time around it will probably be the Opera House. Dee arrives with impeccable credentials and is among the premier vocalists and songwriters in American music today. Saxophonist Lisa Parrott, who calls herself an ‘Aussie New Yorker’ is back in town to catch up with her with long time musical buddies Cameron Undy, Carl Dewhurst and Simon Barker. Hannah James will launch her new album Triliphony this Thursday night and pianist, vocalist and composer Sarah McKenzie, currently residing in the US, will give her only Sydney performance to mark the launch of her latest ABC recording. Three-time ARIA award-winning pianist and composer, Andrea Keller, will team up with Miroslav Bukovsky on The Komeda Project.The work was commissioned especially for the festival with an eight-piece ensemble celebrating the life and work of pioneering European jazz composer Krzysztof Komeda, most famous as the composer for a number of Roman Polanski and Ingmar Berman films. Gai Bryant’s dynamic 18 piece Palacio de la Rumba Big Band are bound to ignite the Foundry on Sunday, 9 November, as they explore the infectious Cuban sounds of rumba, danzon, bolero and tonada. In recent years Gai has formed a strong association with the acclaimed Cuban percussion master Justo Pelladito and the great news is that he has flown all the way from Cuba to be part of this concert. Palacio de la Rumba merges the cream of Sydney’s Latin and jazz music communities and that combination of musicians has allowed Gai to combine complex rhythmic layering with the excitement of strong jazz solos. Not all jazz is just for sitting down and listening and this is a wonderful opportunity to hit the Foundry’s dancefloor and celebrate one of Sydney’s most engaging and inspiring music festivals. Check out all the details at www.sima.org.au

Shazia Imran’s Reveal, takes well-known urban images and turns them into brief glimpses of the light beneath their skin. The artist describes herself as a self-taught impressionist and the influence of the movement is evident in her technique and medium. These water colours are unique perspectives on well-known environments. This is particularly true of the Sydney pieces which eschew the conventional use of brilliant colours. In Sydney, 2014, the artist portrays a slice of street life in the grey mists of dawn. The shining reds of cars and traffic signals loom in the blackness, while the straightedged architecture forms a sharp cage seeking to capture the reflected gleam. It is an unusual and playful look at a familiar scene. These paintings are commercial, decorative and thoughtful. The artist’s vision of archetypal places provokes a knowing nod of recognition while simultaneously acknowledging the contradictions within. (LR) Until Nov 10, Gaffa Gallery, 281 Clarence St, Sydney, FREE, gaffa.com.au

Pop to Popism

Andy Warhol,Triple Elvis © Andy Warhol Foundation

Leaping off the whitewashed walls in an exuberant rainbow of colours and design, Pop to Popism is a thrilling ride through the annals of a an art revolution. The straight red lines and golden lettering of Warhol’s soup cans is matched only by the vibrancy of his magnificent Marilyn Monroe. The latter a piece that has been reproduced in countless books and billboards which cannot capture the sheer enthusiasm of the original. For these works are not only familiar they are witty, wry and funny. Lichtenstein’s, Look Mickey, is a twisted colourful take on the ubiquitous mouse, whilst his distressed female characters have been the prototype of advertisements and anime. And the Australians are here too. Little known in context

of the pop movement, but for the first time presented next to their North American and European contemporaries. The swirling reds and oranges of Brett Whitely give way to Martin Sharp’s and Tim Lewis’ Still life, a parody mashup of Warhol and Van Gough.The Australian contribution in no way suffers by sharing walls with their foreign cousins, they seem equal members of a family which had no fear. Pop to Popism is a heart racing roller coaster of visual stimulation and intellectual provocation. Above all it’s fun, insouciant and a stunning record of the themes which underpin much of modern creative experience. (LR) Until Mar 1, Art Gallery of NSW, $10-20, artgallery. nsw.gov/exhibitions/pop-topopism

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Profile for Alt Media

City Hub 6 November 2014  

City Hub 6 November 2014  

Profile for altmedia