Togatus. May 2012 FREE!
Letters to Hobart . Holic Clothing . Amali Ward The Butterfly Effect . Women Through Snapshots
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Togatus is published quarterly. 1
Photo by Trent Binning
FROM THE EDITOR
Alexandra Gibson Hello Togatus Readers,
Welcome to the second issue of Togatus for 2012 and congratulations on making it halfway through the university year. This issue we bring the focus back to the good and bad of our home state, Tasmania. Living in Tasmania, for me, is a balancing act; the positives only just out-weigh the negatives. The beauty; the ease; the produce; the possibilities a big fish/small pond situation allows. At UTas, we have some of the best lecturers around — often attracted by the quality of life — who have time to meet with you in person. Through UTas, I've had opportunities I'm not confident I would have had at a larger mainland university, and thanks to the Internet, I can freelance nation-wide, while enjoying the ability to drive anywhere I need to get in 10 minutes. However, lack of employment opportunities in Tasmania is a problem. So many Taswegians head off interstate in search of greener pastures. Coming to the end of University with UTas is a fairly daunting prospect, with so little job opportunities in Tasmania, particularly in certain fields. With that in mind, we're taking a look at those who have made their own paths, both within and beyond Tasmania.
the John Lennon International Song Writing Competition; heard her track "Good Thing", a collaboration with Dr Don Don, which has been playing on Triple J recently; or how she supported Seal in Sydney on his Aussie Tour last month. Tog caught up with Miss Ward as she prepares to release her debut album, to have a chat about what she's been up to since Australian Idol. Togatus is honoured to be able to share artist Amy Spiers' latest work, inspired by Hobart. She collected anonymous letters to the city of Hobart, written by those who have left Tasmania. All shed a different shade of light on the city we know so well. To continue the creativity, Trent Binning has shared the time he recently spent with some of Tasmania's young farmers in our photo-essay for this issue. We also check in with The Butterfly Effect as they gear up for their last ever, national tour with all four founding members. We take a look at the private shots from some of the first female photographers, courtesy of Senior Lecturer, Nicola Goc, and much more. Good luck with all upcoming exams — I hope Tog provides a much-needed distraction!
Brothers Ash and Rueben Hollick are two such people. After discovering their uncle's artwork from his time in art school in the 70s, they decided to share the work by printing it onto various clothing, creating their label Holic Clothing. In order to give back to their home state, the boys decided they would use some of the profits to sponsor Tasmanian surfers. Most of us would remember when local 16-year-old, Amali Ward represented Tasmania on Australian Idol. Since then, you may have heard about her accolades with
Alexandra Gibson To be in love means an overwhelming sense of calm. 2
CONTENTS Letter from the Editor / 02 Contributors / 06 Women Through Snapshots / 08 Amali Ward / 14 A Guide to Dads / 18 Young Ties to the Land / 22 The Butterfly Effect / 28 Dear Hobart... / 32 When Did I Grow Up? / 40 Holic clothing / 42 Mexico and Philipines / 45
Photo by Trent Binning 5
Ami Cason To be in love means finding the froot to your loop. Cason, p. 6–7, 14–17, 18–21
Sam Lyne To be in love means...I don't like this question, it makes the presumption that I know what love means. Lyne, p. 2–3, 22–27
Stacey Armstrong To be in love means travelling Europe in a 1984 van for six months.
Jemima Phelps To be in love means respect, understanding and friendship.
Armstrong, p. 40–41
Phelps, p. 4–5, 28–31, 45–48
Hayley Francis To be in love means boy germs and cooties.
Eloise Warren To be in love means ever so lightly reading the fine print.
Francis, p. 42–44
Warren, p. 8–13, 32–39
FEATURE WRITERS Laura Ashton To be in love means never giving up.
Caitlin Richardson To be in love means life is beautiful. Until an iceberg pops up and ruins everything.
Trent Binning To be in love means that you'll think that listening to me rap along with Kanye West whilst riding in my car is the most beautiful and enchanting thing that's ever happened to you, and in return I'll be enchanted by you for not interrupting.
Amy Spiers To be in love means good company, even in the bathtub.
Hannah Grey To be in love means a few slaps from friends for managing to bring him into every single conversation.
Michael Voss To be in love means having someone who won't get mad when you vomit in their shoes.
Ella Kearney To be in love means... well, think of a cucumber, there's like a central part. It's luminous and kinda transaparent? There's segments and it's all protected by a crispy shell... you know what I mean? I love love.
Jarrah Watkinson To be in love means having someone who will compromise so you get to watch Sex and the City over Startrek.
Hannah McConnell To be in love means to consume a lot of gin when it doesnâ€™t work out!
Photo by Trent Binning7
WOMEN THROUGH SNAPSHOTS Caitlin Richardson In a world that’s saturated by visual images, it’s hard to imagine life without photos. Photography today is so easy and instantaneous that it doesn’t really feel like an invention at all. Cameras are such a big part of our reality it feels like they’ve always been there, outside of human experience in a way. But as UTas journalism, media and communications lecturer Nicola Goc says, photography is a relatively new medium. The first snapshot camera was released by Kodak in 1888. Lightweight, cheap and easy to use, the snapshot camera brought photography to the masses, and “all of a sudden in the late nineteenth century, working class people could for the very first time in history, represent themselves visually.” Nicola has collected early snapshot photos since she was thirteen. Since then she has amassed an extraordinary collection of over 30,000 images from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Through her thousands of pictures from Australia, the U.S and Britain, Nicola’s collection provides a fascinating insight into life at a time of enormous cultural and political change. Unlike official portraits created in professional studios, the Kodak snapshot camera enabled ordinary people to document their own lives. Nicola finds that her images are particularly revealing about the lives of women. Kodak’s enormous advertising campaign was targeted at women through the
image of “The Kodak Girl” — a lady with a stripy blue and white dress who became recognisable all over the world. “It was actually the first global marketing campaign and it’s interesting that the first global marketing campaign was structured at women,” Nicola says. At a time when women didn’t have voting rights and were rarely allowed out in public space without a husband or chaperone, photography provided an opportunity for women to make a tangible, recorded impact on the world. Snapshot photography was taken up by a great number of women at the turn of the century, and Nicola is interested in the ways that women used photography to make sense of their lives during this time. The book that she is currently writing, titled Snapshot Photography and the Female Sense of Self, explores these themes. For many, snapshot cameras were used to emulate professional portraits and create an ‘official album’ for the family. “The album is the family portrait, that’s the official version, that you would show to family and friends and they were the ones that were representing the ideal of the family.” Conformity to this style of imagery appears throughout the collection, however what also emerges is another kind — secret, unofficial albums that ended up under the bed rather than on the mantelpiece. These “shoebox photos” are the ones that often turn up in tip shops and eventually 8
in Nicola’s collection. Far from being worthless, these images provide glimpses of women’s personal lives. “They were the ones that show their intimate, private, moments. They’re not going to show Dad, they’re not going to show maybe potential spouses, but this is just about them”. As Nicola has discovered, these candid photos often reveal a rebellious underside to a society where Victorian patriarchal order was struggling to cling on. At the turn of the century, the suffragette movement was gaining momentum, and while the outbreak of World War I forced the protest to be set aside, the mass exodus of young men created space for women to legitimately enter the workforce. Nicola’s photos celebrate the new found freedom and independence that employment inspired. Pictures of women driving cars, riding bikes, or simply being alone in a public place speaks to the momentous nature of these events. These early photos also capture the new ways that women were expressing themselves through their physical appearance. “During the war years, women started to really be saying, that we’re more than just female objects, sex objects”. Several photos depict women wearing trousers or with their stockings rolled down. Although the strict, legally sanctioned dress codes of the time suggest otherwise, these casual images show that women were challenging feminine ideals. “They were like any generation, they weren’t just docilely conforming, they were interpreting and living in their own way.” Surprisingly, many of Nicola’s photos depict women dressing up in men’s clothing. Nicola shows me a photo of two girls lying on the grass in suits and trousers, miming drinking wine from a bottle, as if imitating drunken and debauched men. In another, a group of girls pose in ties, shirts and men’s hats. It might only be a performance, but by acting out and recording these images, women were finding new ways to express their identities. These amateur images reveal personal rebellions which would not have appeared in official records of the time. “The commercial news photographs don’t show us photos like that because the news was not interested in portraying women in that way. They were still very much looking at society as a masculine domain.” Nicola says.
Nicola shows me an early twentieth century photo of some girls standing on a jetty. They are wearing the modest regulation bathers, stockings and swimming boots (god help them!), but have taken off their bathing caps. Women’s hair was highly sexualised during the nineteenth century and had to be tied up or covered in public, so even this small act has political implications. This was taken further in 1919, when women began to cut off their long hair in favour of the short, bob style. As long hair was symbolic of women’s sexual allure, this action had a powerful political effect. At the same time, a new aesthetic appeared in women’s clothing. Corsets were abandoned in favour of lighter, looser fitting, androgynous-styled garments inspired by the fight for gender equality. These fashion changes were politically provocative and expressed women’s new freedoms, but they also coincided with the rise of Hollywood and mass media. “Women’s magazines were evolving and developing, and the two tone process came about at the same time to allow photography to be cheaply published in magazines. So you have those celebrity articles and Hollywood stories in the women’s magazines, and the fashion as well, so they responded to that”. Nicola says that the influence of Hollywood appeared in the enormously popular trend of the cropped, wavy hairstyle. Short hair as a political statement then, transformed into something imbued with glamour and feminine sexuality. Hollywood also influenced the way in which people posed for a photo. The Contrapposto pose which Nicola observes in her images — hand on hip, hips swayed, one knee slightly bent — was developed in ancient times, by male warriors modelling before a sculptor. The idea was that the tilted stance would make the sculptures appear more life-like. Although originally non-gendered, Nicola has mapped the Contrapposto pose through art and sculpture over time, and sees links between the sexualisation of the pose, and the rise of Hollywood. “The young women did the Contrapposto and it really came out of that reaction to the very first commodification of the female image within popular culture. So it was dictated by Hollywood cinema 9
and fashion, and celebrity culture”. The cementing of the pose’s new feminine meaning can be seen in photos of men mocking the pose as early as the 1920s. Photography then, enabled women to explore their identity in new ways, but also reinforced gender stereotypes. “At the same time as they were being empowered to view themselves and to explore who they were, they were also conforming to new ideals, but still sexually submissive ideals around that male gaze.” What is interesting about Nicola’s photos is that they reveal this tension between photography as a device of subversion, and as a new way to objectify the female body. But is that all that photography is about? Making a political or sexual statement? As Nicola says, there are elements of photography that go beyond the visual. “A photograph is an artefact which is just so imbued with the memories of a moment.” The sheer quantity of photos that Nicola has managed to collect suggests that photography helps people to record their existences. “We all know that photographs are highly subjective, but there is something about this sense that we see them as being factual and evidence”. Cameras accompany us through life, and in a way we believe that they tell our story. Inherent in photography then, is the foreshadowing of death. As Susan Sontag writes, “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” If photos are a kind of memorial, why have so many images ended up discarded in the tip shop or sent to Nicola? “The essence of family photo is that connection, between the human beings inside that frame, to our lived experience.” Nicola says. When a distance opens up between the observer of the photo and the subject, the photo’s meaning fades. “The moment they can’t recognise anybody, it loses value.” Over years of collecting, Nicola has noticed that this often happens after three generations. “The moment you don’t recognise anybody you step back, you see the faults and you see all of the flaws and see it as a bad photo and discard it.” she says.
German writer Alfred Hichtwark wrote in 1907, “…in our age there is no work of art that is looked at so closely as a photograph of oneself, one’s closest relatives and friends, one’s sweetheart.” If they represent a person we know and cherish, photos are important, regardless of their aesthetic value. This can be seen in Nicola’s photos. “A lot of them are really bad aesthetically — there’ll be a light flashing, they’ll be technically poor or washed out, but so long as someone can recognise anybody in there, then they have that value.” she says. There’s something beautiful about this — the way so many wonky, faded, blurry, messedup images from long ago have survived, purely because of the people that they represent. Nicola says that if we acknowledge the emotional and philosophical significance of photos, we have to remember that there was a time when there weren’t any. She suggests that perhaps that’s why there was such an emphasis on beautifully adorned gravestones in pre-photography times — to visually recognise the life of a loved one. In the digital age we take our photos for granted, but for people a hundred years ago, photography must have been something magical. “For these people it was in that physical camera box. It was off to the processor and then it came back as prints in an envelope, and there were so few of them so it was a day of celebration.” Nicola’s photos show us that celebration — of being able to visually capture and record life for the first time. For Nicola, these images may be of strangers, but they are fascinating nonetheless for what they can reveal about people and the experiences they treasure. “And that’s why, for me, they have value. Because that’s as close as we can get to understanding their own sense of who they were at that moment in time.” Photos courtesy of Nicola Goc
Amali Ward has been busy since her debut on Australian Idol at the age of sixteen in 2004. An accomplished and award winning songwriter, Amali has worked with producers such as Jack Splash (Alicia Keys, Cee Lo Green, Estelle), Cri$tyle (Rihanna, Beyonce, Mariah Carey) and Warryn Campbell (Kanye West) to produce her Motown influenced music. Amali and her band have performed at music festivals across the country, including the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival and Southern Roots Festival, and have toured with Naturally 7, Paris Wells and The Bamboos. 2011 saw her win the John Lennon International Song Writing Contest for her single “Knock You Out”. Amali is planning on releasing her debut album later this year.
What can listeners expect from your debut album? Well it’s pretty organic, it’s got a live band throughout the whole album and it’s pretty Motown inspired. It’s based on all my heroes from around that era. I think my lyrics and vocals are pretty modern, so I’d probably call it pop-soul. What was it like recording your album with David Ryan Harris? It was amazing. I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time. I’ve been obsessed with John Mayer since I was in high school, so it was pretty cool. I got to use all of John Mayer’s musicians as well, so it was an incredible experience. David was great to work with, I didn’t really have to tell him the things I would normally have to explain to other producers, he just got it straight off the bat. We were in Los Angeles for about four weeks, but we recorded on and off. We recorded with the band for two or three days and the 15
[Australian Idol] really kick started me to work on my music straight away instead of waiting until I finished school. I had a lot of support coming from Tasmania, and as I was the only contestant from Tasmania everyone really rallied behind me.
rest of the time was overdubs [a technique used by recording studios to add a supplementary recorded sound to a previously recorded performance] and I did my vocals and things like that. We also had days off and we did things like go to Disney Land, which was really fun. I’m obsessed with Disney; I’m like a big kid. Tell me a bit about your involvement in the John Lennon International Song Writing Contest. Yeah, it’s crazy actually because the competition goes on for such a long time, so I did my song and then I just completely forgot about it, because entries are open for months and months. Then I got an email in the middle of the night saying that I had won the grand prize for the rhythm and blues section [with my song “Knock You Out”]. Beau Golden, my keyboard player, and I wrote the song together, and we actually have a studio together, so we won a bunch of gear for our studio which was awesome. So winning the R’n’B section opened up a lot of doors for you? Yeah, it’s opened my music up to a bunch of different people because it’s an international competition, so a lot of people from overseas have heard my music which I suppose wouldn’t of happened otherwise. It was really surprising to win, as there are so many competitions [like the John Lennon International Song Writing Contest] and so many people enter them so you never really expect that you’re going to win. A lot of the time I’ve entered other competitions and I’ve come really close to winning, but never actually won so it was quite satisfying. Which of your songs do you enjoy performing the most? I enjoy performing “Knock You Out”, because it means a lot to me lyrically. Another one I think the crowd really likes is “Prettier Than Me”, it’s about metro-sexuality gone too far, and I think people get a kick out of that because it’s very sarcastic. How was your experience on Australian Idol and what did you learn from it? I was very young and it really opened up a lot of doors
for me that I had never really thought about. I was 16-yrs-old and the only performing I had really done was in school assemblies. It really opened my eyes up to what is possible and it really kick started me to work on my music straight away instead of waiting until I finished school. I had a lot of support coming from Tasmania, and as I was the only contestant from Tasmania, everyone really rallied behind me. You were the support act for Seal at his Sydney show, how was that? It was so amazing. You never really know what the reaction is going to be when you’re the support act, because no one is there to really see you, but the crowd was really attentive and got into everything and listened to the lyrics. One lady came up to me after the show and said that the she understood every word of my song “Black Dogs” because she had been there herself, so it was pretty incredible that someone actually listened to all the lyrics. You feature on Dr Don Don’s new single “Good Thing”. What was it like working with him? Yeah, he’s really cool and we got on really well straight away. It was really easy; it’s got to be one of the easiest collaborations I’ve ever done, because he just gave me the track and told me to do whatever I wanted to do, so I just wrote the melody and lyrics and then recorded it in my studio at home. It was really fun. Save Point, the TV show that you currently host, is about video gaming. Are you a gamer yourself? Yeah definitely, I’ve been obsessed with Nintendo since I was a little kid. It’s a pretty awesome job; I wouldn’t really even call it a job – getting paid to play video games. Can’t really complain about that one. Do you have any upcoming shows? I’m planning on having a tour in around June/July, because I think that’s probably when the album will come out. I’d definitely like to get down to Tasmania; last time we came it was really fun.
A GUIDE TO DADS Ella Kearney Dads are cool. I visit my dad once a fortnight and during the last visit it occurred to me that something must be written about this man. I told dad I was going to write something about him and he suggested he write it himself. He also told me I was â€œtoo short to have long hairâ€?. What does that even mean?
I told dad I was going to write something about him and he suggested he write it himself.
Blame it on the drugs or Billy.
Dad’s been “in education” for the majority of his working life. It’s his passion. For years it took him around Australia and the world. A stroke, years ago, has meant dad now works mainly from home. Since being stuck at home, dad’s had to redirect his ebullience and most of it seems to go into educating Liam’s teachers, his youngest child (without actually being asked). Every time I go round to visit dad, he has a new story about something he is campaigning for or against at the local primary school. His current qualm is “mixed grade” classes, e.g. grade three and four students combined in the one class. As dad tells me of the perils of these combined classes, I imagine a photo of his face pinned to the back of the staffroom door, darts scattered over his image. I can see Liam’s teacher spying dad at the end of a long day, swearing under her breath with a desperate smile across her face.
Since dad’s stroke, he takes a mixture of prescription drugs on a daily basis. If dad drops a glass, says the wrong thing or forgets how old you are, he blames it on the drugs. Dad thinks this is fool proof but he was forgetting my birthday well before the drugs. If it’s not the drugs then it’s Billy. The left side of dad’s body is weak and unresponsive and during the early days he used to mistake the feeling of his numb arm for our pet Chihuahua, Billy*. Hence his arm was nicknamed Billy. When my brother and I were younger we would try to wrestle dad, he would tap out, claiming we were hurting Billy. Billy took on a life of his own and was like dad’s lazy/ dopey sidekick, always getting in the way, but endearing just the same.
The Fish Tank.
Dad froths on technology. Currently, his favourite item is his iPad. “Ella, would you look at this…” he swoons. He assures me of his technological prowess by interchanging different words for the same thing: “oh yeah, ‘tablets’ are the thing right now”. His iPad love is so strong he’s added it to his list of issues to be addressed by the primary school. “Every child needs an iPad,” he explains. Anything a human can do, the iPad can do better. Dad and I are talking about the U.S election and he’s already reaching for it, still looking me in the eye as if he’s interested in what I’m saying. He’ll also have a backlog of Youtube clips, websites and music to show you. Often the “great new song” he wants to show you is a song you recommended he listen to the week before. The showing of Youtube clips is not a two-way process. He wants you to sit there and watch his clips, after having already given you a comprehensive abstract.
When my parents were together, we spent a great deal of time at our Conningham shack and so began my dad’s fascination with saltwater reef fish. Dad would snorkel around the two small reefs located on the fringes of little Conningham beach and emerge from the water in his full-body wetsuit like a rare black dugong. Dad wanted to bring the experience inside by setting up a large saltwater tank. We no longer have the shack, but dad has poured hours into maintaining his tank, with a large part of the living area dedicated to the aquarium. He abbreviates the fish species and acts as though it is a bustling community, “You wouldn’t believe what leathery (leather fish) was doing to Cowy (Cowfish) the other morning”. During heat waves I’ll receive frantic, disjointed texts from dad: “DISASTER, please call!” Thinking something terrible has happened I’ll call dad to find that one of his fish has died due to the heat. Dad mourns for days. I try to gently explain to dad that the death rate has been fairly consistent for some time now – dad assures me that they die happy.
*Billy (chihuahua) is now dead.
“You only need three things in life: Zero [a brand of weed killer], nail glue and alcohol”.
Just to finish off, here is a pearl of wisdom from my dad: “You only need three things in life: Zero [a brand of weed killer], nail glue and alcohol”. Like you, I have no idea what he is talking about. First photo Ella Kearney and her Dad. Second photo designer Ami Cason and her Dad. 21
YOUNG TIES to the LAND Trent Binning The purpose of this project is to provide a brief representation of young people involved with Tasmaniaâ€™s agricultural industry. The people within this series are aged between 18 and 22 and belong to the Rural Youth Organisation, the group responsible for organising and running AGFEST. The majority of these people do not directly work in the agricultural industry; yet maintain an involvement through the RYO with the industry, predominantly as volunteers. The idea of young people choosing to stay in contact with their origins, even though their career may lead them along an entirely different course, is something I find interesting and warming. Our background forms an important part of our identity, and those who are able to preserve this contact, regardless of their other obligations, have my admiration.
the butterfly effect Hannah Grey While the departure of The Butterfly Effect’s lead singer, Clint Boge has left fans reeling, the rest of the band is showing no signs of slowing down. Hannah Grey chats to guitarist Kurt Goedhart about Clint’s departure, the last tour the founding memebers of The Butterfly Effect will play together and the new vocalists and styles the band is exploring to produce new material.
Clint is leaving the band! How did you guys react when he broke the news? I read that Ben [Hall] said he’d felt something had been simmering for a while? Yeah, it was all going down for a while. It has really been a rough road for the last few years so I guess you could say that softened the. We had sort of been at loggerheads. We released our last record in 2008 and we still hadn’t written a song that we could all agree on. I think friction between band members normally makes super records, but in our case we had a lot of friction and no songs. Clint said he has no ill feelings toward any of his band mates. Do you feel the same way? I guess so. There are always feelings of resentment over the years towards people, but it is more a sense of… it’s not a negative, you are really trying to push each other. We try to push each other to another level all the time. So when someone flattens out a little bit it’s aggravating at times. So there are always those feelings. I was pretty frustrated that we couldn’t align our musical direction on where we wanted to go. Everyone is really happy now though. Clint has got his other stuff that he is working towards and we have had a fantastic time over the last ten years and now we are writing and recording and working on new material with other people. It has actually turned out to be a bloody golden goose, I think. 28
In other press, Clint said that he wanted to take a new direction. How come the band wasn’t able to come to a creative compromise? Clint’s other act, A Thousand Needles… I can’t remember what it’s called. That was sort of what he wanted and that was his release from the frustrations of writing an album. We were trying to push towards progressive and move forward, whereas Clint wanted to go to a more simplified version of songwriting. You couldn’t make an album with more than one genre or more than one style? Were the other members not keen on experimenting with Clint’s ideas? We [other members] as musicians didn’t want to simplify ourselves. That was the compromise that we couldn’t come to. When we saw what he did with his other band we sort of couldn’t… we could hear what he wanted to do, but that just wasn’t going to happen. But again, not a negative either way, if that’s the way that he wanted to go that’s great, it just wasn’t where we wanted to go. You announced that you will be looking for Clint’s replacement after the tour, have you received any genuine interest so far? We have been doing this for ten years now and because
of that we have met a lot of musicians, a lot of bands internationally and locally, we don’t really have to turn it into something like The X Factor [laughs]. Is there anyone who you would like to see take the place of Clint? Yeah, I’ve got a bunch! We are working with a few people at the moment. The great thing is that we are getting a lot of great music and getting a lot of great people singing on our tracks, so that is really exciting. It is a culture shock obviously as we have been hearing Clint’s voice with our music for the last ten or so years, so it’s different and exciting having these other opportunities. We are opening up a lot of doors and pathways we may not have taken earlier. How have you found the response from your fans? There have been hundreds of comments posted on your Facebook page. They seem to be very supportive and seem to be wishing both of us well, which is fantastic! Hopefully that will all turn into interest when we come our with new material. They have been fantastic. A lot are sad, hence the reason for the last tour so we can give it some finality and give it an honorable departure. 29
Among the negative comments, a lot of fans are saying that Clint’s voice can’t be replaced. Did you ever consider starting afresh with a new band name? We did! But then we thought, hang on, 75 per cent of the band are still here and a lot of the creativity and direction of the band came from this 75 per cent. I mean, I like Bon Scott more than Brian Johnson, but that didn’t really affect AC/DC did it? People are always going to have their favorites but I think that good music is good music and it doesn’t really matter either way. I think if we strive to make the best music that we can make, it will squash a lot of naysayers. It was reported that you guys have had plenty of fights over the years. Since there have been disagreements within the band before, do you think that the band is strong enough to continue on with a new lead? Yeah for sure. We are having a fantastic time at the moment writing new material. Definitely not shaky! I mean, during the whole process there were times when we felt a big void and we kept soldiering on and writing music thinking, “fuck, what are we doing this for? Are we the only ones who haven’t realized its over?” But after getting in touch with some of the people we would like to work with it has just been all up from there. It has been fantastic. And finding people who are actually enthusiastic who are like “send me a track I would love to sing on it”. It has been great. The Effected Tour begins later this month. How have you been preparing for that? Writing a lot. Meddling with the songs a lot. That has been our preparation. While we are in this creative headspace we have applied it to a lot of the tracks and given them an interesting and new spin. It’s the last time we will be playing a lot of the songs. A few songs we looked at we thought, let’s attack this song and give it a new, fresh edge and jazz it up and put a different intro on it or try a different vibe or dynamic. We did that for half a dozen songs and now we can’t stop! It is all so exciting. Now we are looking at our set list going “what can we do to that one?” and “what about this one?”. Are you looking forward to playing in Tassie? A lot of fans down here are pretty excited! Yeah! Hobart has had some of the best parties of my life! Always look forward to it. Love the buffet at the Wrest Point Casino [laughs]. With ten years of recordings, was it difficult to narrow down which tracks would feature on the Effected Tour compilation CD?
I ticked a few songs off a list and that was sort of all I had to do with it, but in terms of the shows, I imagine we will play the crowd favorites. There are no hits per set, I mean we have never really had hits on the radio. Oh, but think about “Window and the Watcher”, “Reach”, “Final Conversation”. Fans definitely have their favorites. Yeah true. I mean through playing over the years we know which songs the crowd appreciate the most. There aren’t a lot of CDs printed up anyway, it is mainly just another thing to cater for the closure of this chapter and something to sign for the fans after the show. I know you guys have been busy with the tour plans, but can you give us any hints about new material that you will be working on? Do you think you will be sticking with your current style? We aren’t being mysterious, we are just so caught up in it at the moment and we are dealing with a few people and with a lot of different material floating around so I couldn’t even say for sure. I can’t even give myself a hint! Pursuing multiple roads at the moment and if we proceed down any of these roads then it could change everything. I know I am not chasing any one genre in particular, but just chasing the best thing that we can get. What have been some of the highlights with Clint and the band over the years? We have played some great gigs and written some great songs together. That is the highlight! We got to travel Australia, play at the biggest festivals, travel the world, play at places where they sing along to your songs when they can’t even speak English. Having an effect on people’s lives in that way has been a highlight. We have written some songs that have really connected with a lot of people. With everything that Clint has put into the band, what do you think that you will miss the most about him no longer being a part of the process? Hmmm, that’s tough! Excuse me, I’m stumped for a second. [Laughs] take your time! I am not too sure. I need some time to ponder that one. I guess it is like when people go to battle together and they may venture into some unknown land fighting off a foreign enemy together and it creates tight bonds between soldiers, people who normally wouldn’t meet. This is a really weird analogy. I guess that represents what the four of us have shared together. We have travelled so much and experienced so many gob-smacking moments together while we have been on stage. You just can’t erase those memories. Fantastic memories. 30
"HOBART HAS HAD SOME OF THE BEST PARTIES OF MY LIFE!"
LETTERS to HOBART
Amy Spiers Why do so many of Tasmania’s young people flee the island? And do they think of returning now that MONA, the ultimate game-changer, has made Hobart hip? Dear Hobart, Regards, The Expats was a participatory art project devised by artist Amy Spiers. It was commissioned by Salamanca Art Centre on the occasion of their 35th Anniversary Celebrations (SAC35) that took place from 30 March to 1 April 2012. Amy is one of many young Tasmanians who relocated from Hobart to “the mainland”, contributing to the “brain drain” of the island. Now based in Melbourne, she is frequently asked: “Would you go back?” In Dear Hobart, Regards, The Expats she posed the same question to fellow Hobart expatriates, inviting them to write a letter addressed to the city. Over the month of March, Amy received more than 60 responses to her call-out for letters from former residents of Hobart who were living as far flung as Paris and New York. During the SAC35 Big Weekend, these letters were clandestinely papered all over the streets of Tasmania’s capital city, and displayed around Salamanca Art Centre. In an effort to offer Hobartians a “right of reply”, visitors to the SAC35 celebrations were invited to write letters of their own during the weekend. To a large extent, however, the feedback was verbal. Locals had mixed feelings about the letters, responding with delight, sympathy, defensiveness and occasionally ire. Many letters posted up in North Hobart and at Salamanca Art Centre were torn down within 24 hours of being put up. To view all the letters go to: dearhobart.wordpress.com 32
Amy Spiers is a Melbourne-based artist and writer interested in socially engaged and participatory art. She employs a cross-disciplinary approach that includes photography, video, installation, text and performance for both site-specific and gallery contexts. Amy undertook a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart from 2002 â€“ 4, relocating to Melbourne to study her honours year at the Victorian College of Art in 2005. Last year she completed a Master of Fine Art at VCA, where she explored strategies for inviting viewer participation in her art. Amy has presented numerous art projects in festivals and galleries across Australia, including Melbourne Fringe, Next Wave, Tiny Stadiums, This Is Not Art, Performance Space, Platform, Inflight ARI and SASA Gallery. For more information about Amyâ€™s work go to: amyspiers.tumblr.com 39
WHEN DID I GROW UP? Michael Voss
One of my closest friends had her farewell the other night and it got me thinking. Not just about how law students are the worst party guests in the world, but about how much we all had changed over the course of a five-year degree and how much we had grown up. It seems like only yesterday that I was a nervous first year. I was “that guy” on Societies Day, joining every single society in sight and drinking all of three beers before vomiting on myself, which led the TUU to call my mother. Nowadays it takes me at least six. Seriously though, these days my metabolism is shit. I read books in bed rather than powering down 70/30 goon and raspberry pints while listening to Red Cliff [Instrumental] on repeat. When I see a girl with large breasts I worry about her future back pain and the other day I legitimately found myself listening to classical music. On a treadmill. I have become an old man. You might be reading the above and thinking that isn’t enough proof that I am in fact maturing like a fine wine. I didn’t either, until I realised that I spent the greater part of a barrel judging the younger people and not just because it was the worst barrel I had been to in six years of drunken shenanigans.
Judging the younger generation is hardly a new thing. Socrates himself commented on how Athenian youth were a bunch of undisciplined wankers. And while five years isn’t exactly a generation, those of you who have been at uni that long understand that it can feel that way. Disagree with me? Well, intrigued by ascertaining whether I was a lone wolf or in fact one of many dissatisfied with the standard of the newest intake of students, I compiled a short quiz on how to gauge your aging at uni. 1. a) b) c)
2. a) b) c)
A mature age student starts to question the lecturer in one of your classes. Do you: Listen attentively, noting that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Trawl Facebook for babes. Sigh, look at the mature aged student with disgust, and mutter “fucking typical” under your breath, then realise you are almost one yourself. You are at a barrel. You look around and realise that you know three people. Do you: Introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Shrug it off and keep drinking. Form an impenetrable circle with your three friends and loudly criticise the barrel and everyone at it. 40
3. a) b) c) 4. a) b) c) 5. a) b) c)
You are out with the lads having a few froths and then remember you have a 9am lecture the next morning. Do you: Have that second pint and pass the hell out. Keep drinking. That class was pretty much optional anyway. Keep drinking. Smash some water and McDonalds. You know you can wing that class. It’s the first week of University and you are well excited. Do you: Line-up and get your ID card despite the huge cue. Check out the Uni Bar. Organise lunch time drinks for every day of the week so you don’t feel hung-over until the Sunday.
If your answers were mostly A’s: -Classic new kid. I would be surprised if your parents didn’t still pack your lunch. If your answers were mostly B’s: -You are almost there. Push through it. If your answers were mostly C’s: -Why haven’t you graduated yet? Photo by Stacey Armstrong
You hear a group of students complaining about a really hard class that you did the previous year. Do you: Tell them they will be fine, they just have to work hard! Tell them that subject was easy, even though it really wasn’t at the time. Tell them to leave University and get into a trade. They will thank you for it later. 41
HOLIC CLOTHING Hannah McConnell
Ash and Rueben Hollick are two brothers, hailing from Tasmania’s Clifton Beach, who have joined together to create Holic Clothing — a label that aims to support the local surf community by sponsoring young Tasmanian surfers and body boarders. Hannah McConnell spoke to the boys behind the brand about winning this year’s Falls Festival Green Trader Award, bringing their Uncle’s artwork out from underneath the stairs (literally), and what it’s really like to have a brother who is also your business partner. “I’m really pleased with the level of success we’ve had so far, I didn’t think we could get it done. Stickers are being slapped on a massive amount of cars and people are hearing about the brand in places I didn’t know existed! Although it has been quiet since Falls, we are currently getting together another range for mid-winter.” Rueben says. The other half of the duo, Ash, believes their stall at The Falls Festival helped with exposing the brand to a broader clientele. “It was great to meet so many people from all over Australia – half the people that came in were from interstate, so it was great to tell them what we were about and sell the odd thing or two. Our launch and The Falls Festival have been the two highlights for us, they were so much fun and our biggest successes, especially seeing that everything we do is new to us,” Ash says. The inspiration for the brand came in the form of a relative’s old artwork that Ash came across during an
interstate trip. He said he instantly knew he had found something special that had to be shown to the world. “Our family was in Vicco [Victoria] for our Nan’s funeral and we were at our Uncle’s place one arvo going through all his old artwork from when he was at art school back in the 70s,” Ash explains. “We hadn’t seen it before and were blown away by it, it was just sitting in a folder under the stairs – there was so much of it! It was a few weeks later that I called Ruebs to see what he thought about getting them printed on some tees and other clothes. I had a mate who had a factory in Indo and he was keen to help out. Then it just happened, quicker than we thought.” Rueben describes the artwork as a surrealistic vision with a hint of abstract, something which he connects with on a personal level. “To me and other members of the family, when I look at a piece of my Uncle’s artwork, I see more than just the image that is there. I see stories of the past sublimely woven into the hectic, but sometimes simple, drawings and paintings. Looking into some of his work you can see thoughts that were going through his head at the time he created it, stuff we can relate to.” It can’t always be easy having a business partner who is also your sibling, but it seems to work for the Hollick brothers. “Rueben has grown a lot I think due to the experience, I still have to chase him up on a few things though. We’re probably closer because of it and work well together. We both trust each other to make decisions which helps. And I love him!” says Ash. 42
“Yeah, if I was on this mission solo I reckon Holic Clothing would have been done three months earlier. Him being away for work every second month is frustrating, but it’s ok, he’s my bro and I love him.” Rueben says.
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE BRAND NOT BE JUST OURS, BUT TASMANIA'S AS WELL. Ash explains his main ambition with the business is not monetary based, but more about being able to support Tasmania’s surfers and body boarders. “At the moment, we’re not going to get rich from Holic Clothing, but the best thing is seeing someone walk by wearing one of your tees or hats — it puts a smile on your face. We’re really behind supporting the local surf community and helping them out in any way we can. Trying to get some more recognition for them on a national scale is important to us.” Rueben has big dreams for the Holic Clothing brand however, and would love to see it take off. “I want to be able to live off the company, everyone wants to be their own boss and to see the brand go global would be sweet for us and for Tassie. I would like to see the brand not be just ours, but Tasmania’s as well.” Check out the range at: www.holicclothing.com.au
MEXICO & PHILIPPINES MEXICO
By Edward Guiler Mexico has long maintained a fairly disreputable reputation. I arrived in Mexico City near midnight by taxi. My hostel was a good 10 kilometers from the airport. The route passed by several suburbs and the inner city, which was littered with police. Every intersection of every block of the city was patrolled as if some mass menace was about to strike. Some of the police were just performing random breath tests, some stationed to stop trucks and large vehicles, license checks, etc. My immediate impression of the capital was one of shock — what bedlam must be going on to account for such a large police force? The following day, I was walking the streets surrounding the hostel. The presence of police had slackened since the previous night. Now in daylight I could make out the words “Policia Turistica” on some of their uniforms. This was something of interest to me, and I decided to find out more. Policia Turistica, or tourism police, are recruited from within the ranks of the greater police force. They are selected by merit and are required to be bilingual, generally both Spanish and English. As bribery is a major problem within the police force, as disincentive, tourism officers earn far more than their colleagues and their work is solely for tourists and are incredibly helpful.
Tourism is one of the largest industries in Mexico as it provides more than 10 per cent of the GDP. This is why the Mexican government have implemented Policia Turistica. Authorities are also tackling Mexico›s image as a dangerous country, a major obstruction to the growth of the tourism industry. The northern border is said to be the most dangerous part of Mexico, papers quite often report gang violence, murders and shootings in this area. Any tourism guide will discourage travel to these parts, however destinations such as Acapulco, the artistic capital Oaxaca, Mexico city, ruins such as Palenque, Tulum and Chichen Itza are perfectly safe. The Gulf of Mexico down to the Caribbean are all areas good for diving and snorkeling and are also safe. After my initial taxi ride through Mexico City, I became more at ease with my surroundings. The culture and climate of Mexico goes a long way in preventing one from getting worked up with paranoia. By the end of my stay, my only sense of danger in Mexico came in the form of catching taxis. Not for any sinister reason, I was never held up, blackmailed or anything of the sort. In my experience, Mexicans are crazy drivers.
By Laura Ashton
The first thing I noticed when I got to Manila was the flabbergasting juxtaposition of poverty against wealth. Ramshackle shanties were built against the walls of grand houses and designer clad fashionistas strolled past children begging in the streets. It’s a common misconception that the Philippines are the underdeveloped, tourist-lacking cousins to the holiday hubs that are Thailand, Bali and Malaysia, but this just isn’t true. I spent a six-week adventure in the Philippines, paid a visit to Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Ma-ao, progressively transitioning from cosmopolitan city to tiny town. The most astounding phenomena I witnessed while abroad was the unfailing warmth and generosity of the locals. I was particularly easy to spot in a crowd, a gal with skin so white I practically glow in the dark, surrounded by bronze-skinned beauties with the deepest tans I ever did see, the only genetic trait we shared was our height. This said, I was greeted by the friendliest smiles, the warmest welcomes, some occasional skin patting and continual offers of dinner!
Australia. While in Cebu we saw San Pedro, a Spanish memorial fort with a market just outside. Inside the walls was a serene and beautiful garden. We had our inner questions answered at a Taoist temple and celebrated Sinulog with festivals, dances and pageants. Although pirates are still rife in the waters of Sulu Sea and the Gulf of Aden and the occasional stall holder tries to sell you an overpriced nic-nac or the local pick-pocketer will hit the unsuspecting traveller, the Philippines are generally a friendly and hospitable place, full of beautiful sights like Taal Volcano and Tagaytay Reserve. The waters of Sipalay Beach are awash with tropical fish, giant velvety clams and sunken statues, perfect for snorkelling, scuba diving and days spent lounging on a catamaran or digging your toes into the white sand. The only thing I don’t recommend you see there is Cock Fighting, a sport where two roosters have razor spurs attached to their legs, then are thrown into a pit to battle to death. This was possibly the most traumatic thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
We were staying in a hostel in Cebu for five days, but the owners only had rooms available for three, so for the remaining two nights they put us up in their own homes, something I’m positive you’ll never see happen in 48
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