Page 1

pg 2

Preview issue 2011

CLEW Editor in Chief | Design | Art Direction Jess Leonard Managing Editor | Features Editor Marina Pliatsikas Contributors Amanda Sutcliffe | Eddie Heart | Sally Hill Stylist Anna Cahill Submissions: Advertising enquiries: Special thanks, hugs, and kisses Karla Milat | Alexandra Leonard | Alex Weaver | Sally Hill | Cleopatra Prevatt-Palmer | Berri Drum | Georgia Hill | Jane Slattery

pg 4

Preview issue 2011




A Pitch for Design Thinking Page: 8

Featured Gallery Page: 10

Georgia Hill Page: 12

Jess Leonard examines the importance of design in almost every industry and field.

We check out the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

Our chat with the brilliant graphic designer and Kanye West enthusiast, Georgia Hill.




Fashion - Summertime Summertime, Style Profile, Freedom Fields, Think Big Page: 26

Troppo for Tropfest Page: 50

What the Frack Page: 54

Amanda Sutcliffe is planning to pop her Tropfest cherry. Join her if yours is in need of popping too.

Sally Hill explores the very real dangers we’re soon to be exposed to in the name of “clean energy”.




A Thoughtful Space For Creative Minds Page: 16

Freaky Festivals Page: 18

Convaire Page: 22

Sunnies, short shorts, sneakers, fake tan - whatever your festival essentials are, find out how to do it in style this season.

Set your summer party playlist to “dance” with music from the Sydney quintet.

We take a tour of the igloo occupied by some of the most creative and environmentallyfriendly folks in NSW.



Things We Love Page: 58

Must-Sees Page: 62

Things we’ve been seeing, reading, watching, perusing and musing.

The NSW essential to-do list Your next few months’ activities sorted.

pg 6

Letter from the editor. Why hello! Welcome to the first issue of Clew Magazine. My name is Jess, and I am the one you can blame for bringing another damn magazine into the world. This process began almost three years ago, and sprung out of my blatant lack of know-how in navigating the creative industries. I found myself reacting rather than interacting with the world I was thrown into. Being brought up on the North Coast of New South Wales, smack bang in between Brisbane and Sydney, meant that growing up, I always had a 5-7 hour drive ahead of me when heading to a show or exhibition, and I was usually chaperoned by my creatively dedicated mother. Moving to Sydney as I got older, I found myself dismayed by my own lack of attendance at so many potentially awe-inspiring events, exhibitions, shows, gigs and markets. So one day, I got fed up and decided to bring the niche to the masses by encouraging inspiration, participation, experimentation and innovation. We are a publication that aims to widen your understanding and connection to all things creative. Our very small team (two editors and five contributors) has been working for the last three months to bring the creative industries to you. If you have found yourself perusing gallery images online wondering, “why the hell wasn’t I invited”, this is the place for you. We’ll be your eyes and ears – All you need to do is show up, take it in and be inspired. If you’re wondering why we would go to all this trouble just for you, it’s because we are you! We’re keen to break the ‘scene’. Encouraging and showcasing the talents of local artists, designers, musicians, crafters, actors and dancers, Clew is your guide to what’s happening around the state and what you should definitely partake in. So get out there, get involved and get a Clew. Here is a heap of words that inspire us: Invent, immerse, involve, inspire, aspire, discuss, create, attend, become, dance, run, jig, sing, play, yell, challenge, change, design, draw, paint, move, shoot, whirl, ponder, project, light, simple, complicate, flip, see, move, rule, develop, explore, line, shape, kern, space, colour, combine, outline, silhouette, feature, collaborate, stencil, point, build, plan, chance, risk, aim, progress, thought, circle, trapezium, encompass, graphic, speak, prelude, visualise, join, inform, revolutionize, reform… Begin.

Preview issue 2011

pg 8

Preview issue 2011

A pitch for design thinking. By: Jess Leonard

• Ideation: The process of generating, developing and testing ideas (this stage involves building prototypes and exploring the balance between practical functionality and emotional appeal) • Implementation: The path that leads from the project room to the market (this stage involves clearly communicating the idea and proving and showing that it will work)

Whether you work in accounting, finance or online media, chances are you’ve heard the term ‘Design Thinking’ being thrown around at some point. ‘Design Thinking’ refers to a set of guidelines or principles used in idea generation and conceptualisation. Design Thinking has been the feature of massive online debate over the last two years, with a number of articles and experts highlighting the potential of this new application in creative thinking to those who discredit the philosophy. The main issue here is that people misinterpret the concept. It is not an argument between the left and right brain or crayons vs. calculators; it is a collaboration. Have you heard the term “two heads are better than one”? Well in this case, it is exactly that. Combining the analytical mind with the creative is the most effective way of approaching any project, be it creative or analytical. One cannot succeed without the other. Individuality in creativity is one of the most sought after things in the fast growing online world of creative industry. Design Thinking is about innovation, and the creative process in today’s fast paced world of constant innovation is the highest form of currency. Tim Brown, CEO of design firm IDEO, identifies and breaks down the three key stages of Design Thinking in his book ‘Change by Design’. These three stages are: •• Inspiration: The problem of opportunity that motivates the search for solutions (this stage involves sketches, mock-ups and scenario building)

Implementing ‘Design Thinking’ in the foundations of any project needs to be for the right reasons. If we see it as a quick fix for pleasing aesthetics without any structural thought, then we’re only going to be disappointed in the long run. This is where big thinking can really be achieved, and progress not just for the sake of progress can really make leaps and bounds. Like most things, innovation and originality must occur within a set of constraints, such as viability, practicality and foresight. This type of approach any creative pursuit is what separates great work from the rest. Creativity, individuality, as well as social and emotional rationality are all important aspects that go into the mix. Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent and not a singular perception of ability. To put it in Einstein’s words, “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. We can’t judge people’s ability or work based on a singular set of standards or criteria. This is something which is only just dawning on the collective minds in the creative industries. Once we find a way to successfully implement and combine these fundamental ideologies, the possibilities for success and true originality are endless. Creating originality and appeal in such a fast growing industry is an important step forward in creative communication. The next phase needs to encourage big thinking and a decline in working on a predominately small scale. Design and creativity no longer need to simply skim the surface of today’s issues. Moving from small-minded creation to Design Thinking is the most obvious way of stepping out of what is, and stepping into what we never thought was possible.

pg 10

Preview issue 2011

White Rabbit Gallery By: Jess Leonard When I attended a gallery opening at the White Rabbit Gallery a few months back, I’ll be honest – walking through the back streets of Chippendale, I didn’t have high hopes. But when I turned the corner and saw several hundred people trapped behind a vast glass wall at the end of the laneway, I was glad I’d made the effort to be there. Behind the masses was a stark white three-level gallery with high industrial ceilings and a perfect grand concrete staircase. Even with the huge crowd of people mingling, drinking, eating and taking in the atmosphere, the work was not overshadowed. Displaying Chinese contemporary art, White Rabbit Gallery is a must see. It’s open to the general public free of charge, so keep an eye out for upcoming exhibitions. This is definitely in my list of top 10 Sydney spaces.

pg 12

El Capo promo poster - designed by Georgia for design agency Mathematics

Preview issue 2011

Georgia Hill By: Eddie Heart We talk dreams and realities with the talented freelance graphic designer, Georgia Hill. Despite the fact that her ultimate dream is to work on a project for Kanye West, Georgia Hill is pretty down to earth. Having recently graduated from Sydney’s University of Technology receiving first class honours in a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication, Georgia has been motivated by a desire to create and a passion for design since she was a little girl. “When I started to try do this properly, it wasn’t about making money,” she says. “I was just making rent, but corny as it sounds I was creating things and happier for it. If I’m being genuinely creative then I’m happy anywhere”. Her success so far has been due to a combination of hard work, luck, talent, favours and the opportunities for creativity that the internet provides. She jokes about the stereotype of the struggling artist: “I haven’t had to resort to painting frangipanis for a living and starving to do what I do.” Despite her current success, it wasn’t always easy. After graduating, she felt ‘burnt out’ and instead of jumping straight into the industry, Georgia opted to work in a pub until she felt like bursting. At that point, she got her act together and all that built up energy was put into applying for exhibitions and group shows. “One afternoon I sent a little portfolio to two groups, got work experience at both, and have been working freelance basically day and night ever since”. Georgia is extremely multi-talented, and her design method is both software-based and handgenerated. Her interests lie in developing beyond the limits of a single medium. Her portfolio contains a variety of projects from designing skateboards, zines, and she’s interned for Rob Hanly, launching a site for The ADDucation Academy. Typography is Georgia’s main passion, but she also incorporates illustration, film, motion graphics, paper craft and print.

pg 14

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources, from reading, the sides of library books stacked together, listening to music (she is an avid fan of hip-hop), history, old signs, crappy shops, cinemas, marching bands, cheesy dance routines – “I like things with a combination of corniness, being tongue in cheek but also being so fully executed that you can’t fault it and you’re just lost in it”, she explains. However, Georgia is careful not to just live and breathe design and typography; she runs, watches bad Hollywood movies, and at times feels pretty dull. Her tip for overcoming the dull moments? She documents her inspirations and ideas in a never-ending draft email that she returns to in moments of creative stagnation. “When I do have those moments and I’m totally struggling, I always go back to that, and because I wasn’t trying to have those ideas at the time they’re never stale and I know they’re something I want to be making”. Georgia has found overseas travel to be another great way of finding inspiration. “In five years I would love to be working overseas on some insane collaboration with other creative people and basically just generating a massive amount of work I’m really happy with”, she says. “On the totally useless days, I just hope I will have nice hair and speak another language, have a giant dog, live in a lofty warehouse thing, see some mental things in New York, climb a mountain... Every time I try to plan, I remember everything else I need to learn so I just try to get my head down and on with it”. Georgia’s unique balance of being a dreamer with underlying practicality, open-mindedness and pragmatism is what she reckons makes a successful graphic designer. “I’m still very much learning, so I guess it’s important to be open to other people’s ideas - you’re not always right”, she laughs. “Shocking, as anyone under 25 is of course right 99% of the time!”

Preview issue 2011

Vital qualities also include an aptitude for team work and a great tolerance for “bullshit” as she puts it rather frankly. “Pay attention to things around you, learn, think for yourself, be nice and be enthusiastic.” In terms of advice for aspiring graphic designers, she says it’s important to own your mistakes. “Try to do it right the next time, and drop any ego you have. For every good mark you make, my god, you will probably make some exceptional fuck ups all over it”. She concludes modestly, with that realism that shows she’s got her head screwed on the right way. “Maybe it’s best to come back to me in twenty years when I know what I’m talking about – I still have plenty to sort out!”

Check out more of Georgia’s work on her blog.

The National Grid Charity Auction Skateboard

pg 16

a thoughtful space for creative minds By: Sally Hill Digital Eskimo, a Sydney design firm led by one of Sydney’s 100 most influential people, David Gravina, provides a ‘considered design’ methodology to all their clients. The idea of considered design is magnificently evident in the place where Dave’s team of ‘Eskimos’ go to create.

Preview issue 2011

Digital Eskimo has very strong principles of sustainability and social justice which informs their choice of clients, but most visibly, the choices they have made when setting up the studio - the ‘Igloo’ as the regulars call it. You notice something different as soon as you walk in, and it’s not just the wonderful smile that greets you from Digital Eskimo’s CWO (Chief Wellbeing Officer) Cath. It doesn’t have the air of a regular office. Quite literally, because there’s no air-conditioning. A gorgeous Sydney breeze blows through the open studio windows and you can hear a rustle of trees and the faint buzz of the street below, a nice alternative to the usual hum and beep of an office soundtrack. There are no lights on inside during the day, only natural light streaming through large glass windows. Chatting with Duncan (Director of Operations and Sustainability) reveals that the space was an empty concrete shell when they arrived, but was chosen because of factors like airflow, light, proximity to public transport and the ability to design in the features they wanted. There are luscious plants decorating desks and dividers, and the meeting room uses reclaimed airline trolleys to store stationery and equipment. One of my favourite features is a crayon printer that doesn’t require ink cartridges, and a policy that minimises unnecessary printing. The kitchen has a second-hand (but brilliant) commercial espresso machine so Eskimos don’t need to use takeaway cups for coffee. It also has full kitchen facilities meals and the fridge

is overflowing with vegetables and locally brewed. Is everyone in this office super healthy? Well, they have a weekly veg box delivery from ‘Lettuce Deliver’ organics, which results in fresh meals being whipped up daily by different members of the team. There’s also muesli, trail mix and fresh fruit on hand at all times. I’m told that keeping the team so well-nourished does wonders for productivity! (Managers everywhere, take note!) Food scraps go to the worms, and while you’re waiting for the energy-saving kettle to boil you can read countless pieces of inspiration and rationale for why the Digital Eskimo studio is the way it is. The Eskimos measure their carbon footprint year to year and – wait for it – there’s a bike library, bike repair station and fantastic shower in the building. Digital Eskimo really walk their talk, and have also created a memorable experience for anyone who is lucky enough to visit them. For a small team of 12, they’re outdoing many large companies when it comes to considering their environmental impact and looking after the work environment for their talented employees. The question of where people create is an important one for young designers to consider as they enter the workforce, with an opportunity to choose the kind of space they will thrive in, and voice their preferences to potential employers. And if a company believes in its principles – perhaps considered design, or perhaps nurturing creativity, it should be reflected in the space it operates in.

Freaky Festivals The Clew Festival Guide – 2011-2012 season By: Marina Pliatsikas

pg 18

there are plenty more fun filled events in the pipeline over the next few months. If you’re thinking about spending some hard earned cash on a festival ticket this year or next, take a look at our picks of the bunch. BYO dancing shoes, positive attitude and protein, er... emissions. Peats Ridge When: 29 December 2011 – 1 January 2012 How much coin: $334.60 including camping Perfect if you like: Getting close to nature, every kind of music from Gotye to The Holidays to Salmonella Dub, sleeping in close proximity to strangers, bringing in the new year in outdoor style. Our picks from the lineup: The Holidays, Oh Mercy, The Paper Scissors, Oliver Tank.

A Facebook group emerged a few months ago called “Not wanting 2 go 2 festivals because it smells like protein fart & fake tan”. Poor grammar and extremely crude imagery aside, it kind of saddened us. Is this people’s perception of festivals these days? Are all festivals really just outdoor meeting grounds for lollipop-sucking, bodysuit wearing teenyboppers? Well, we believe it doesn’t have to be this way. At the end of the day, what people wear to festivals or do in preparation of the festival season is completely their own business, even if it does involve intensive gym sessions and bottles upon bottles of liquid bronzer. As for us? We love festivals, and always will. Sun, giant rumbling subwoofers, dancing til our knees get sore and our shoes get filthy, then watching our Facebook friends try desperately to come up with original-sounding names for their photo albums full of snaps which are identical to everyone else’s from the day – We love it all. While the festival season already officially kicked off this year in September with Parklife,

Forget New Year’s Eve in crowded Sydney – Get out into the wilderness and ring in the new year surrounded by music, nature and bucket loads of talent. Held just an hour away from Sydney in the gorgeous Glenworth Valley, Peats Ridge isn’t just about the music (although they very much so love the music). Expect to see arts, theatre, dancing, organic food, and a huge fancy dress masquerade on New Year’s Eve. Your conscience will be fully satisfied too, as Peats Ridge is committed to sustainability and the environment. Nice to know since many of us are guilty of trampling all over other festival venues and accidentally leaving a plastic cup or two lying around.... Peats Ridge Webste Summadayze When: Adelaide 31 December, Melbourne 1st January, Gold Coast 2nd January, South Perth 3rd January How much coin: $139.85 Perfect if you like: Incorrect spelling, not being comatose in the days after New Year’s Eve. Our picks from the line-up: Erick Morillo, Busy P, Scissor Sisters, Pendulum, Grandmaster Flash, Justice (Perth and Gold Coast only). If you live in NSW, you’ll have to travel to Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide or the Gold Coast for this one, but with a line-up that’s chock full of the latest and greatest pop, dance, electronic and a touch of R&B, it will be well worth the trek.

pg 20

If you’ve already seen Calvin Harris a billion times at festivals (we know we have) there’ll be plenty more to please you. Depending on which city you’re in, you’ll get a slightly different lineup, each just as awesome as the next. Summadayze Website Golden Plains When: 10-12 March How much coin: $289 +bf Perfect if you like: BYO, an official “No Dickheads policy”, rocking out one minute and chilling out the next. Our picks from the line-up: Bon Iver, Roots Manuva, Seekae, Black Lips. The little sister of wildly popular Meredith Festival, Golden Plains is held on the edge of a giant farm, west of Melbourne. You won’t find a bunch of gimmicky flash animations when you visit the Golden Plains site, but be prepared to find some world-renowned artists. You’ve got to love a festival that’s passionate about bringing new music to the forefront, yet not too full of itself to let a tribute band play there either (a KISS tribute band at that!) Golden Plains Website Bellingen Jazz Festival When: August 17-19, 2012 How much coin: $80 for an Early Bird weekend pass plus quite a few free performances held at the local pub, cafes and along the river bank. Perfect if you like: Jazzin’ out in the sun, sipping champagne, pretending you’re at a 1950’s lawn party beside the river.

Preview issue 2011

Celebrating its 23rd year in 2012, the Bellingen Jazz Festival is officially almost as old as me, but probably much, much wiser. Held in picturesque Bellingen, just a 30 minute drive from Coffs Harbour, the family-friendly festival has become one of the most respected in the industry showcasing local acts as well as international talent from around the globe. Get yourself down there for some jazz, blues and world music. Bellingen Jazz Festival Website Byron Bay Bluesfest When: Thursday 5th - Monday 9th April 2012 How much coin: $455 for a 5-day pass Perfect if you like: Thigh-slappin’, moonshinesippin’ country bluegrass good times. Our Picks: Earth, Wind and Fire, John Butler Trio, John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks, Widowbirds Set in the sprawling Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, the Byron Bay Bluesfest was one of the first festivals to truly pioneer the presentation of both local and international blues music in Australia. After winning both Australian Event of the Year and Australia’s Best Cultural or Arts Event in the Australian Event Awards in 2010, the festival is back for its 23rd anniversary show this year, with a strong lineup including plenty of retro favourites like Earth, Wind and Fire, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Pogues, and Yes. Yes, you say? Yes. Byron Bay Bluesfest Website

pg 22

Preview issue 2011

convaire The New You

By: Marina Pliatsikas There are some fairly new kids on the electro-pop block, and we like the style they’re bringing to the dance floor. Fivepiece Sydney band Convaire have been making music since 2009, and they’ve recently been performing at a number of prime live music venues all over town, including The World Bar, Good God Small Club and The Standard. Their latest EP offering is sure to put a happy grin on the face of even the most cynical of pop music cynicists. A little bit poppy, noisy, and a little cheeky all at the same time, Convaire’s new EP, released on record label Future Classic, is the perfect soundtrack to the holidays. The group mixes a healthy dose of synth with grungy vocals and happy go lucky melodies to create the perfect summer EP. Pop it on during a warm day and dance around in a sprinkler in your undies (preferably in your own backyard – if not, that’s cool too, we won’t judge.)

pg 24

Preview issue 2011

pg 26

Karla wears: Bento jacket, Kylie Hawkes pants. Stylist’s own shoes worn throughout.

Preview issue 2011

Step out of your mind, onto the sand, and slip into whimsical white, perfect pastels and crisp denim to spend your summer days in the salty sea spray. Styling – Anna Cahill Photography – Jess Leonard and Marina Pliatsikas

Left: Karla wears Kylie Hawkes dress. Right: Alexandra wears Bento jacket Marnie Skillings dress.

pg 30

Alex wears stylist’s own clothes.

Preview issue 2011

pg 32

Left: Karla wears Marnie Skillings top and Kylie Hawkes pants. Right: Alexandra wears Bento shorts, Savues shirt and Kylie Hawkes leathr vest.

Preview issue 2011

pg 34

Preview issue 2011

Alex wears stylist’s own clothes.

pg 36

Style Profile at the ARIAS one night... We met the lovel y Sarah at the ARIA awards in Sydney last month. She’s the Marketing and Communcations Manager at the Sydney Opera House. She was wearing aTightTigers cape, Siren shoes, market rings and a killer haircut.

Preview issue 2011

pg 38

Freedom fields When you go down to the woods’d better pack a bottle of champagne, your prettiest skirt and a puffy blouse in an outrageous colour. Styling – Anna Cahill Photography – Marina Pliatsikas and Jess Leonard

Preview issue 2011

Alexandra wears Saveus skirt and Kylie Hawkes cape

pg 40

Left: Alexandra wears Saveus skirt and Nixx singlet; Alex wears stylist’s own clothes. Right: Karla swears Saveus cape and Mina & Katusha shirt dress.

Preview issue 2011

pg 42

Left: Karla wears Saveus shirt, Ecouture pants and own shoes. Right: Alexandra wears Nixx singlet and Saveus skirt.

Preview issue 2011

pg 44

Preview issue 2011

Karla wears Marnie Skillings jacket, Kylie Hawkes Shorts, and own shoes.

pg 46

Preview issue 2011

Think Big Chunky crystals, plastic, battered metals and delicately woven yarn – These will be the must-have pretty things to hang around your neck, slap on your wrist and dust your Faccusda epudae imet autemporate ex knuckles this season. estis maximpos nonse mod quuntis ressimp eriorec aboreped mint. Iquiassunte si as et rd Styling – Anna Cahill and Marina Pliatsikas mint. Iquiassuntd mint. Iquiassunte, odi in Photography – Marina Pliatsikas nimaioreped magnis eossita quibus. Hair and makeup – Cleopatra Prevatt-Palmer

Jusitine Ford

pg 48





Preview issue 2011


image 1: Crystal necklace: Désordre Cross necklace: Stylist’s own image 2: Sea Squirt Ring, Protozoa Bracelet: Elke at Incu Sydney image 3: Copper and crystal necklace: Born in June image 4: Purple crystal ring: Born in June Silver Cubism Bracelet: Incu Sydney image 5: Suede Pendant: Hand.Hook.Yarn image: 6: Cotton Deco Collar: Hand.Hook.Yarn image 7: Necklace: Stylist’s own from Finders Keepers Market 8

image 8: Silver grey crystal necklace: Désordre

pg 50

Troppo for Tropfest.

By: Amanda Sutcliffe

I’m ashamed to say I’m a virgin, a twenty- something year old virgin. It’s sickening. I’m faced with daily social anxiety, self-pity and selfridicule, and it’s taken me a lot of courage to admit this to you: I am a Tropfest virgin. Fancy that, a university-educated generation ‘y-er’, studying an arts degree, with a component of that being in Cinematic Studies, former avid drama student, and yet I have not once ever traipsed on down to the lush greens of the Domain in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, amongst the many thousands of others of my cultural kin to witness the once-a-year event that is Tropfest. A launching post for any young or old budding filmmaker, the film festival is the largest short film festival in the world. Originally started in Darlinghurst in 1993 at the Tropicana Café by actor and director John Polson, it has now spread to international destinations such as the USA, China, Malaysia and most recently Abu Dhabi. The festival is celebrating its anniversary in 2012, turning the ripe old age of twenty. Ah, to be young, virile and twenty. Your breasts are supple and perky, you still get carded at the bottle-o, you can still say that you’re too young to know any better, and it’s still a valid form of excuse: it’s a beautiful age. The film festival provides the perfect outlet for any aspiring filmmaker to have their name and work reach a wide audience of prominent Australian and international filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors and

Preview issue 2011

pg 52

Preview issue 2011

“The film festival provides the perfect outlet for any aspiring filmmaker to have their name and work reach a wide audience of prominent Australian and international filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors and actresses. It rewards creativity and raw talent, on a not necessarily earth shattering budget.”

actresses. It rewards creativity and raw talent, on a not necessarily earth shattering budget. This year’s winner ‘Animal Beatbox’ by Damon Gameau was created on an $85 budget, using paper cut-outs, cellophane but with unmistakably and unforgettable catchy beat and entertaining originality. All contestants in the competition must utilise the Tropfest Signature Item (or TSI for those cool enough to abbreviate), which changes from year to year. Each contestant who enters the competition must feature this item in some way in their film, whether it is as a major element to the storyline or as a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sneaky little feature. Past TSIs (I am defiantly cool enough to abbreviate) have included a bug, a sneeze, a kiss and a pickle (combine them all and it sounds like a good time to me). The 2012 festival’s TSI is a ‘LIGHT BULB’. So, the little light bulb in my head went *ding!*. As the saying goes ‘Those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach, do’. Well, I’ve decided to finagle it slightly and instead change it to, ‘Those who have never been, teach, and those who are to go, listen’… or something along those lines. So without further ado I hereby announce: ‘The Idiots Mini-Guide to Losing your Tropfest Virginity’ Written by a Fellow Idiot’ 1. Comfort is key. Seating is optional. Bring a fetching picnic blanket, particularly one in an eye-catching colour or pattern so that your cronies stand out in case you have to get up and make a visit to the john (pardon my American slang). Of course you can bring a fancy little fold out chair – mine will have a little beverage holder on the armrests. I’m all about functionality.

2. Bring friends. This may sound obvious, so I should clarify: Bring friends who are smarter than you are. There’s nothing greater than sharing a wonderful summer afternoon together watching films by some of our greatest rising talents. But in the slim chance that there is a film that flies right over your head, converse with one another before announcing out loud your thoughts on the film. Nothing worse than embarrassing yourself in front of thousands of people who may very likely be more researched on the subject than you are. 3. Ignore all guides composed by incompetent writers, including this one. Go, have a blast, and sample some of the finest filmmaking talent that we have out there. Tropfest Website.

What The Frack? In today’s environmental landscape, everyone seems to be scrambling to find the next source of supposedly “clean energy”. But are these methods of powering our future really safe, and if not, why are we being told they are? By: Sally Hill

so famous by the film, Gasland (2010) which we highly recommend watching to quickly get your head around the issue. What does it all mean? Water is a precious resource in Australia and when it comes to fracking, we’re not talking about a small amount of water. A typical gas well uses 100 million litres of water per day, and the cocktail of chemicals in the water makes it poisonous to humans, plants and animals for decades to come. Even more scary is that gas is being promoted as a clean energy when in fact, it could accelerate global warming. While using gas would reduce carbon emissions, it would also lead to more methane being released into the atmosphere, which has a far greater impact on warming. As the gas companies keep telling us, many of the impacts are untested in Australia, so we can’t be 100% sure of any of this. But the ‘what ifs’ are scary enough to turn most sane people off.

It sounds like science fiction. A desperate team of humans run out of all the easily-available fuels on a planet, and decide to send shock-waves through rock, via a highpressure liquid, releasing a powerful gas - highly poisonous - but one which they can cleverly store and use for energy. But we’re not talking about a baron planet in a sci-fi film, we’re talking about places we know, places we live. Not remote corners of our country but our capital, Sydney. Coal seam gas (CSG) exploration is expanding rapidly in Australia. The extraction of gas will happen via a process called ‘fracking’. Hold up: What’s ‘Fracking’? Fracking, also known as ‘hydraulic fracturing’, uses ‘fracking fluid’ – a mixture of sand, water, and highly toxic chemicals – to blast through the earth to ‘fracture’ (hence the name) rock deep underground, releasing natural gas. The chemicals are infused with the water. Also, the gas travels in the same pipes as water which is why you have the ‘flaming faucet’ scenarios made

What we do know is what has already happened in America where shale gas operations were steam-rolled out across the country with pay-offs to land owners and little regard for the human and environmental side effects. Again, check out Gasland if you haven’t already. I spoke to a friend whose family farms in Narrabri and asked him whether he was concerned. “No, it will be awesome,” he said. I prodded him about the potential consequences: the price of his parent’s property dropping, their water becoming contaminated. He shrugged. Neither of us knew for sure what the outcome will be, but he’s convinced there will be money to be made. This we can agree on. The companies at the heart of the expansion are set to make billions. I also spoke with Warwick Jordan, a campaigner on CSG for The Wilderness Society (TWS), who tells me that “Queensland is a lost cause, the damage has already been done”. Here, the state government expects between 25,000 and 35,000 wells to be drilled. However, for the rest of Australia, there is still time to stop the expansion of coal seam gas.

pg 56


Preview issue 2011

There are some great creative responses to the issue we’ve seen. One of our favourites is a mirror site of the gas industry’s website promoting CSG. Not since the Yes Men created Coal Cares have we been so impressed with a parody web site. ‘Who Wants CSG?’ parodies the oil and gas industry’s ‘We Want CSG’ and jokes that the fossil fuel extraction industries are just misunderstood good guys. It’s hard to tell the difference between the two, apart from the differences in messaging. The team behind ‘Who Wants CSG?’ were tired of the trend of using big-budget campaigns to deceive Australians on issues of critical importance to Australia’s future. The site’s message is that coal seam gas presents one of the greatest threats to regional communities throughout NSW and Queensland at a time of economic and environmental insecurity. You can make up your own mind, but if you want to take action, the campaign ‘Safe To Drink?’ on Do Gooder allows you to find and phone your local MP and tell them what you think. The campaign was also launched with a series of downloadable posters and stickers which appeal to different groups of people, all of whom will be affected by coal seam gas. The creators invite anyone who is passionate about this issue to displays the stickers or create their own!

pg 58

Preview issue 2011

Things We Love.

Book review:

Book review:

Album Review:

Album Review:

Emily Chalmers Modern Vintage Style

Hunter S. Thompson The Rum Diary

Washed Out Within and Without

Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues

I’m not usually into “decorating” books, but something struck me about this one. It doesn’t show you how to fill your place with super sleek modern pieces of furniture costing thousands of dollars, nor does it tell you to dive into your grandmother’s chest of drawers and pull out every single lacy, crocheted, mothballscented thing you can find and stick them clumsily in your living room. This book has a simple mantra: Fill your space with things that you love. Writer Ali Hannan explains that your home should contain the possessions you most care about, whether it’s souvenirs from your travels, hand me downs, or things from IKEA. It’s a refreshing philosophy to decorating and living, and it definitely made us keep those tiki statues we bought in Hawaii, and think twice before going to Vinnies and sourcing out thrift store decor just for the sake of “being vintage”.

Maybe it’s because I was expecting more from a Hunter S. Thompson novel, maybe we’ve all been spoiled rotten by Fear & Loathing, but it seemed as though all the unspoken promises of riotous debauchery that come with a Thompson-penned novel went a little unfulfilled with The Rum Diary. I do love old Hunter S – He perfectly paints the contrast between the sunny Puerto Rico of the tourists, and the dark, social-problem-addled Puerto Rico of the locals. But the gripping storyline! (Or lack thereof...) To be fair, there’s an enormous street party, a bar brawl, there are protests, sex scenes, riots – they’re all just a little too thinly sprinkled throughout. If you prefer, they’ve just released a film version starring Johnny Depp (who else?)

You know that part at the end of movies when everything that was all messed up and dark and tragic suddenly somehow all resolves itself, and that inspirational, uplifting music plays over a montage of the characters hugging it out and putting their lives back together after so much hardship? Well Washed Out’s new album is kind of exactly like that inspirational, uplifting music. Listen to this and you’ll feel like you’re watching the happy ending of a movie for a solid 44.33 minutes straight. I guarantee you’ll have an eyes-closed, zenned-out look on your face the whole time.

Hands up if you love the sound of folk guitars, male voices harmonising with each other, fantastic melodies, and the ever so subtle sound of banjos. Ok, keep your hands up if you’ve heard Fleet Foxes’ most recent album Helplessness Blues. Finally, keep those hands raised if you loved it. Well, we don’t know about you, but we’ve had our hands in the air this whole time. This album’s dreamy, countrylike feeling is sure to be the perfect accompaniment to long afternoon drives and days at the beach.

Blog Review:

Blog Review:

Film Review:

Film Review:

Big Think

Fashion is Bullshit

Bill Cunningham New York

Jane Eyre

There are plenty of blogs out there that are great to visit when you want to switch off, look at some pretty pictures and get inspired visually. But if you want a blog that’s going to inspire you to completely engage every cell in your brain, it has to be Big Think. More like a number of many blogs in one place, Big Think brings together articles by experts in every single field of study you could think of, from politics, science, technology, biology and every other “-ogy” out there. Brain food at its most gourmet.

Here at Clew magazine, we love fashion. But we have to admit: It is sometimes a big, steaming load of B.S. From Chanel frisbees to D&G branded toenail clippers, we’ve seen some truly preposterous crap come out of the most celebrated fashion houses of the world. There have also been artists and creative geniuses who have taken it upon themselves to be inspired by the world of fashion in entirely unique ways. Check out Fashion is Bullshit, the blog which simultaneously celebrates and slams the trendy, the kinda cool, and the downright fucking ridiculous things people do, wear and create in the name of fashion. Fendi fish fingers, anyone?

Before the dude behind the Sartorialist even knew what a computer was, Bill Cunningham was cycling around the streets of New York, camera slung across his shoulder, touting the notion that “the best fashion show is definitely on the street”. This documentary about the New York Times fashion photographer is a truly inspiring exploration of a man who’s remained so normal and grounded (albeit a little eccentric) in a world that’s sometimes full of fake, pretentious, and overpriced. A must-see for both lovers and critics of the fashion world. As Bill says, “fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”. Love love loved it. Just see it. See it now.

There are no neatly tied up packaged happy endings here, true to the book by Charlotte Bronte this bleak romantic period drama chillingly beautiful. Not your typical boy meets girl love story (thank god) this 2011 adaptation of the classic is chilling and fiery but still intelligently sophisticated and polite. Directed by Cary Fukunga with music by Dario Marianelli and starting Australian born Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins and Judi Dench. Several of the more poignant dramatic chapters were skimmed far too quickly to give them the impact they deserved but apart from that a beautifully crafted film.

pg 60

Preview issue 2011

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” - Picasso

Art / Education By: Marina Pliatsikas There’s a five year old online video that’s currently experiencing a kind of resurgence. It’s being referenced in recent articles, Tweeted about, its ideas are being re-worked and reiterated, and the original video has now been viewed almost 8 million times (no, it’s not that Dramatic Squirrel video...) Admittedly, even I only saw it for the first time about four months ago. It’s a talk given by British author Sir Ken Robinson at a TED Conference in 2005. The title? “Schools Kill Creativity”. While this title seems fairly harsh, sadly, it’s not untrue. However, in Australia at least, it’s perhaps not schools per se that kill creativity but rather the opinions and zeitgeist of society in general, and government policies on education, which together create an inadequate environment for people to truly learn about the arts in all its marvellous different shapes and forms. There was a recent Board of Studies proposal to amalgamate school subjects such as art, drama, music, dance and design into one generic subject called “The Arts.” It’s a proposal that got very little public attention or debate, and has thankfully gone quiet...For now. The question we ask is – why did a proposal such as this even come up in the first place? Of course there are a number of different answers, funding probably being among the biggest. There’s possibly also the general belief that arts subjects just aren’t that important. But individuals like Sir Ken Robinson believe that creativity should be treated with the same status with which literacy and numeracy get treated in schools, and we (along with millions of other people who’ve seen his talks and read his work) agree that as a society, we don’t value creativity enough. This

is possibly because many of us don’t see how important it is to almost all aspects of everyday life. Instead, childhood dreams of becoming ballet dancers or actors or painters or rock stars are seen as exactly that: frivolous childhood dreams – ‘something you grow out of’. Leading authorities and experts in the creative fields have also expressed concern over the current climate surrounding arts education. Veteran musician, conductor, mentor and Music Director of Victorian Opera Richard Gill believes that the state of music education and general testing in Australian schools has been a problem for years, and he frequently writes blog posts (scathing, passionate, furious, but brilliant ones) expressing his views. An Australian national review of music education in 2005 found that only around two out of 10 state schools offer their students an effective music program, while one in 10 schools did not even have a music program at all, a big obstacle being a difficulty in finding properly trained teachers. We begin to see that this issue is a selfperpetuating cycle. Fewer students become teachers, and with fewer teachers, there are fewer students to potentially themselves become teachers. But what’s the solution? Well, that’s a big can of worms just waiting to be busted open on this topic, and it’s one which we’ll be continually revisiting in each and every issue of the magazine, as well as on our website. Picasso famously said – “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Problem indeed, but we hope it’s not one for which there is no solution.

pg 62

Preview issue 2011


The best ways to wile away your days 1. Fleet Foxes

2. Wildlife Photographer 3. Summer Sounds in the of the Year Domain

Playing January 2nd, 3rd and 4th at the Sydney Opera house before heading to Brisbane. Touring with their most recent album Helplessness Blues. Website

Take a walk on the wild side. Yeah yeah, we know, but we couldn’t think of a less lame pun. Website

We do love a good free outdoor concert, and we love it even more when the setting of such a free concert is the Sydney Domain. On January 14th at 8pm, grab a picnic blanket (no plastic sheeting please) and head on down for some tunes in the afternoon sun. Did we mention that it’s free? Website

7. Street Works

8. The Art of the Brick

9. Picasso at The Art Gallery of NSW

Street Works is the exhibition that was formed from entries to a competition involving contemporary art installations. Spot the various sustainable artworks at various locations around Sydney until January 15th. Website

For those of us who loved playing with Lego as a kid (i.e. the entire Western human population) this exhibition will make you so excited you may just have to squeal. Website

Picasso is in Australia. Well, not him exactly, but over 150 of his artworks are. We don’t even need to tell you why you should go and see it. Whatever you do, just don’t ever, EVER utter the words “Pfft, I could do that”. Website

4. A History of Everything 5. Finding Antarctica

6. Moonlight Cinema

Ever wanted to find out more about the history of, I don’t know, absolutely every thing that’s ever happened in the universe? Well check out this world premiere production at Sydney Theatre Company as Part of Sydney Festival. Website

The dream of becoming a pioneer explorer of far off distant lands probably will never come true for most people, but you can relive the history of exploration in Antarctica at the State Library of NSW from now until 19 February 2012. Website

Held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Port Douglas and Sydney this year. A favourite summer pastime, we love grabbing some wine, inflatable pillows and eating our own body weight in cheese and crackers as we enjoy both new and classic films on the big outdoor screen. Website

10. Parramatta Sydney Festival Program

11. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

12. Röyksopp

Including a Sustainable Garden and plenty of other exhibitions, events and performances, don’t forget about the vibrant Parramatta hub of the Sydney Festival. Events from January 13th - 21st. Website

Prepare to have your mind blown by gorgeous paintings of the Jenolan Caves, along with a myriad of other breathtaking exhibitions at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery throughout December and January. Website

Performing their Big Day Out Sideshow, the Norwegian electronic music duo is really the musical must-see to kick off 2012. Performing at the Enmore Theatre on January 27th. Website

pg 64

Creative Thinking to Change the World

Clew Magazine is a creative quarterly publication. Art; Architecture; Design; Music; Fashion; Performing arts; Current Affairs.

Preview issue 2011

Clew Magazine Preview Issue  

The special edition Preview Issue of Clew Magazine