LISTINGS NSW / ACT
BAY & PENINSULA
Issue 98 February 2013 trouble is an independent monthly mag for promotion of arts and culture Published by Newstead Press Pty Ltd, ISSN 14493926 STAFF: administration Vanessa Boyack - admin@ troublemag.com | editorial Steve Proposch - art@ troublemag.com | listings - firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS: Mandy Ord, Ive Sorocuk, Inga Walton, Robyn Gibson, Courtney Symes, Ruby Noise, Cassandra Scalzi, Liza Dezfouli, Robin Pen, Neil Boyack, Emmi Scherlies, Ben Laycock, Jase Harper, Darby Hudson, Matt Bissett-Johnson, Dave Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donohue Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Troublemag Subscribe to our website: www.troublemag.com READER ADVICE: Trouble magazine contains artistic content that may include nudity, adult concepts, coarse language, and the names, images or artworks of deceased Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. Treat Trouble intelligently, as you expect to be treated by others. Collect or dispose of thoughtfully.
FEATURES (04) COMICS FACE
(60) RUDE SHOES
(62) SKULL MOVIES: SCENE 2
Liza Dezfouli Robin Pen
(20) PATRICK DOUGHERTY THE BRANCH WRANGLER
(72) STRALIAN STORIES Neil Boyack
(30) GREENWISH #12
(75) TROY’S MOB Emmi Scherlies
(78) GREETINGS FROM THE END OF THE WORLD
(46) THE UNEXPECTED CURATOR
(50) FEBRUARY SALON
COVER: Kobie NEL, Australia 2011, C-type photograph, 80 x 120 cm. Mirror Mirror: Contemporary photographic self portraiture. Curated by Linsey Gosper. Colour Factory Gallery, 409 - 429 Gore Street, Fitzroy (VIC), 8 February – 2 March 2013 - www.colourfactory.com.au DIS IS DE DISCLAIMER! The views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. To the best of our knowledge all details in this magazine were correct at the time of publication. The publisher does not accept responsibility for errors or omissions. All content in this publication is copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without prior permission of the publisher. Trouble is distributed online from the first of every month of publication but accepts no responsibility for any inconvenience or financial loss in the event of delays. Phew!
2013 THEATRE SEASON
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BIG BOYS TOYS Full-scale plastic sculptures and motorsport art by a self-confessed revhead
To Sunday 24 February Art Gallery of Ballarat | 40 Lydiard Street North Tel: 03 5320 5858 | artgalleryofballarat.com.au Open daily 10am - 5pm | Admission Free the hughes gallery
Eamon O’Toole McLaren Formula Mp4/4,1 – Ayrton Senna Car 1991/92, hand-moulded plastic, wood and steel frame, enamel paint, textas, aluminium leaf, gold leaf, rubber. 470 x 230 x 90 cm. Photograph: Brian Hand
Call For Submissions La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre 2014 Exhibition Program Contemporary artists based in Central Victoria are invited to submit proposals to exhibit in the VAC Access Gallery in 2014. Visit the VAC website for application guidelines: www.latrobe.edu.au/vac Deadline for applications is Thursday 28 March 2013
La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre 121 View Street Bendigo, VIC, 3550 +61 3 5441 8724 latrobe.edu.au/vacentre
La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre 121 View Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550 T: 03 5441 8724 121 View Street E: email@example.com Bendigo, VIC, 3550 W: latrobe.edu.au/vac +61 3 5441 8724 Gallery hours: Tue â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Fri 10am-5pm. Weekends 12-5pm latrobe.edu.au/vacentre La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre
Tuesday 19 February 8pm The Capital, Bendigo www.thecapital.com.au
GRAFTON REGIONAL GALLERY ALLERY Celebrating 25 Years
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM Includess accommodation, cc oda workspace and artist fee to enable successful artist to live and work in e able the su uc the the Clarence Valley NSW
Download Downlo Do D ow ow wn nlloa oa a ad d an a ex expression of interest at
www.graftongallery.nsw.gov.au f on or call 02 6642 3177
Applications close 4pm 11 March 2013 The Artist in Residence program is possible through the support of Arts NSW
Her Majestyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s territories: stereograpHic views of australian sceneries 9 february â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1 april 2013
john H jones, gold Digger, c1860s, albumen silver photograph on card. collection Bendigo art gallery
42 View St Bendigo ViCtoRiA 3550 BendigoARt gAlleRy.Com.Au
< Richard BELL, Scratch an Aussie (detail) 2008, digital video, 10 minutes (production still) courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.
What was your favourite book as a child? RB: My Friend Flicka.
Neil Boyack’s – social work
Is there anything you find irresistible? RB: The female form. Which member of your family influenced you the most? RB: Mum. How similar are your political beliefs to those of your family? RB: Very. If I asked a good friend of yours what you were good at, what would they say? RB: Showing off. What do you think would be the best thing about being the opposite gender? RB: That I would be smarter.
What do you hope for? RB: Hope. What does freedom mean to you? RB: A lot. What do you like best about your body? RB: That it’s alive. What beliefs do you have that you think will never change? RB: None – it’s all up for grabs. Have you ever been lost? RB: Yes. For years.
How do you make important descisions? RB: Routinely.
Is there anything you find irresistible? RB: The female form.
Do you think its ok to lie? RB: No.
How do you control your anger? RB: Writing helps.
Do you believe in the existence of evil? RB: Yes.
What is stopping you? RB: Nothing.
Is any religious text important to you? RB: Yes.
What do you think is your main purpose in life? RB: To reach my full potential.
What stays the same in your life, no matter how much other things change? RB: Nothing.
What would you like to do more of? RB: Shopping.
Richard Bell: Lessons on Etiquette and Manners, Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA 5 February - 13 April 2013. Opening: Saturday 9 February, 3-5pm. The first major presentation of Bell’s work in Melbourne, this exhibition comprises a survey of the artist’s well-known works in painting, video and other media, plus a significant new installation, A prelude to imagining victory 2012-13, which recreates the first Aboriginal Tent Embassy erected in 1972 on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra.
Richard BELL, Judgement Day (Bellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Theorem) 2008. The James C Sourris, AM, Collection, Brisbane.
Richard BELL, Bell’s Theorem (Trikky Dikky and friends) 2005. The James C Sourris, AM, Collection. Gift of James C Sourris through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2007. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane 8. The James C Sourris, AM, Collection, Brisbane.
Richard BELL, Scratch an Aussie 2008, digital video, 10 minutes (production still) courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.
photo: Megan Cullen
by Inga Walton
“Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in the forest and meadow. Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments”. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (1926)
As part of the tenth birthday celebrations for Federation Square in October, 2012, internationally renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty was commissioned to install one of his ephemeral architectural follies or tangled stick temples. The magical quality of these extraordinary ‘forest dwellings’ stems partly from the illusion that they somehow emerge spontaneously from within the ground, as if reclaiming the built environment, or radicalising the existing natural setting. “I have come to believe that ones childhood shapes a sculptor’s choice of materials. For me it was growing up in the woodlands of North Carolina, which are overgrown with small trees and where forests are a tangle of intersecting natural lines”, he says. In a process which took three weeks to realise, Little Ballroom (2012) was erected at the Flinders Street Amphitheatre side of the Square (until 28 February, 2013). “One of the exciting parts of this is that you can see something being built, and a simple material being transformed into something that’s beautiful and grand. What I really like about this work is that it resonates with the site around it ... the ‘Old World’ look of the train station nearby and the church across the street [St. Paul’s Cathedral], and to contrast ancient ways of building with contemporary architecture, so we pull something new out of something old”, Dougherty remarks. “I made a site visit last December , and so I was really impressed with the kinds of mixtures of architecture along the street, so I thought that maybe something that was more solidly a little building might fit in better. This is almost a setting for like a ring of some sort and we’re putting the nugget into it. I hoped to arrest the eye of the passerby, to spark the imaginations of the millions of people who flood into Federation Square for museum-going, concerts, and dining, and to evoke a sense of nature in the midst of city bustle”.
The title wistfully alludes to the little seen and decaying ballroom on the third floor within Flinders Street Station, largely closed to the public since the first of numerous re-development plans were mooted in 1972. Shuttered in an unhappy twilight of disuse and faded memories, it has become an almost mythical space, folkloric in the imagination of those old enough to have been there, and those who have only ever heard about it. The ‘urban myth’ which was always real, the ballroom has suffered from decades of intransigence and neglect, its historically important features crumbling away and in desperate need of restoration. As it languishes in the too-hard-basket of the governmental agencies and commercial interests which control its fate, the public are deprived of a prime inner-city venue, which could fulfil any number of civic, educational or tourism-related roles. The dome, upper window, and clock tower of the station are clearly echoed in Dougherty’s homage, if a little imprecisely. “Wonky is good, I mean how much more wonky can you get than Federation Square, I’m just trying to fit in here!”, he jokes. “Within, what I like about the design is you have these little ante-chambers that are around the major structure, so it allows you to go in, and then go in further, so there’s an air of anticipation. I love the change of state, in other words when you’re outside you think the scale is one way, and you come inside and you see it’s another. From outside...it’s got a kind of a beauty of architecture, but from inside it’s kind of like sitting in a nest...there’s a sense of being cuddled by the sculpture itself ”.
Victoria, willow is classified as weed and its dense canopy, invasive roots and heavy leaf fall can smother creeks, effect water quality and flow and reduce habitat for fish and platypus. Statewide, an estimated $2 million is spent annually on managing willows, which are often replaced with native species that benefit the health of waterways. Event sponsor Melbourne Water supplied the raw materials cleared from key water catchment areas. “They sent their climbers up in trees, and helped cut along the river, and brought us an enormous supply of saplings. If you look up in the dome you’ll see that a lot of that frizzy sapling look up there is directly from Melbourne Water”, Dougherty notes. Mid-range branches of green willow, principally used for the windows and doorways, were supplied from the nurseries of Cricket Willow, a fifth generation family business in Shepherds Flat that has been making cricket bats since 1902.
Dougherty usually relies on the sponsorship of an organisation or institution to help fund and coordinate the prospective work, although the process is one of constant adjustment and addressing daily problems that arise during construction. “A work conceived for a park or streetscape must have an appropriate scale and must resonate subliminally with its surroundings. Its placement requires consideration of traffic patterns and quirks of human behaviour. Viewer safety, weather conditions and public wear and tear are all important considerations. Basically I have to strategise to reduce impediments to viewing and to develop interplay with the site that encourages engagement. But whether it Made from more than ten tons of black and is a gallery that provides a neutral forum green willow transported to the heart of the or a busy street corner that must be city, the project also serves a wider purpose accommodated, the artwork itself has to in terms of informing on-lookers about some contain the energy to connect viscerally of the ecological issues impacting the state. In with those who view it”, he contends.
Patrick Dougherty: The Branch Wrangler / Inga Walton
“Not only do the sites and sponsors vary widely; but also often, I am at the mercy of the characteristics of the saplings nearby. For example, in Melbourne I had too many big sticks and no small branches with which to festoon the surface of the Little Ballroom. A month later I worked at Fresno State University (Centre for Creativity and the Arts) in California, on Learning Curve (2012) where I had the reverse situation. Perplexed, I shunned my overabundance of smaller rods and fantasised instead about the long flexible ones left back in Melbourne!” The actual construction technique is achieved through layering. “The building process is a transformative one where saplings are woven into a storyline and convey a credible illusion. In the first phases, I pull one stick through another and build a haphazard matrix to create the rough shape of the sculpture. Next comes the drawing phases, in which I image a pile of sticks as a bundle of lines with which to sketch the surface texture. I use many of the drawing conventions that someone using a paper and pencil might employ, including ‘x’-ing, hatch marks and dramatic emphasis lines”, he explains. “In addition, I have learned to amass the smaller ends of sticks in one direction. This technique gives the impression that the surface is moving. The final step is ‘fix up’, a cosmetic treatment in which I erase certain mistakes by covering them with very small twigs”. In the course of his verdurous endeavours, Dougherty has become something of a sapling connoisseur. “The saplings that I gather range from finger to wrist size, and I gather them for both their colour and flexibility. Willow is a favourite sapling for basket makers, but I often use Maple, Sweet Gum, Elm, or Dogwood. Sometimes I use more exotic saplings like Sassafras, Crabapple or fruitwoods. In Japan I experimented with reeds and bamboo. I have also tried Strawberry Guava in Hawaii”.
“I have learned to amass the smaller ends of sticks in one direction. This technique gives the impression that the surface is moving.” As is customary for his projects, volunteers work collaboratively under Dougherty’s direction to construct an “energetic surface” for the structure. “I have a knack for organising resources well and have an inclusive leadership style. We had to figure out what birds and beavers already know, and that is that sticks will actually hang together easily, they have a lot of tension in them, and they will spring back and hold themselves in place... [There were] a couple of basket makers, and a couple of florists, and we were working each day with a new group of people so I’ve had the benefit of meeting a lot of people from Australia, which has been great for me”, he relates. “They were local people, and they just realised that they knew it already, whether they were basket makers or not, there’s something, an urge we all have from childhood where we know what sticks do and how to use them...I’m just bending these things towards my will and my own imagination, I’m just moving the sticks in a direction that pleases. I like the idea of working quick, so that the sticks that you find are green, they bend easily, you can mould them, and you can use them as marks as well. So I like this kind of big scale, and I like being able to find a space that is whatever size and then fit the scale of the sculpture to it.” >>
Patrick Dougherty: The Branch Wrangler / Inga Walton
> Using little more than gloves, saws and secateurs, Dougherty has forged a distinctive and immersive practice since the mid-1980s which has resonated with and delighted audiences worldwide. A past recipient of a Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship (1993), and grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1994) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1990), his work has been the subject of two monographs, Natural Magic: The Art of Patrick Dougherty and the larger Stickwork (both 2010). From the initial stages of Dougherty’s career he was labelled as an ‘environmental sculptor’, or a ‘green artist’, a tag he accepts with equanimity. “Environmental concerns in society have shifted the relevance of my work for many viewers, and that interest has swayed my own language over the years. I have enjoyed the increased interest and, as a result, have gained new insight myself ”, Dougherty reflects. “I think my work does reverberate with the viewer and bring up positive associations with the natural world. [The] loss of agrarian roots has left us with a...growing nostalgia for things natural. It seems the public has a more intense interest in environmental issues and somehow this also translates into more intense feelings about things like sculptures made from sticks”. Part of the nostalgia of which Dougherty speaks can be traced back to the emotive influence of childhood imagination and adventure, the thrill of growing confidence associated with self-directed play, and formative memories of private realms in tree/cubby houses. That Dougherty’s sculptures often resemble irresistibly charming real estate accounts for much of the attraction. “Although my sculptures are not meant for habitation, they tend to remind people of their profound connection to the world of plants, and seem to foster fantasies of walking away from the geometry of the city dweller and fading back into the forest for a day”, he agrees. >> < Little Ballroom 2012, 7.3 x 9.1 x 9.1 m. Photo: Megan Cullen.
“ ... we all have a real connection, and the stick as an imaginative object carries us both to the natural world and to our deepest past.” “Our contemporary challenge is how to reconnect and live in harmony with the plants and animals that still share the earth. Sculptures from twigs and other kinds of environmental initiatives are helping with that awareness. I really think that is one of the big associations with the work itself is the urge to make primal structures, and little retreats, and everybody has got that urge”. Dougherty’s original career path was markedly different: after completing a Bachelor’s degree in English, he then pursued a Master’s degree in Health Administration. He worked as a hospital administrator for some six years before realising “that I really was desperate to make things”. At thirty-six he returned to the University of North Carolina and enrolled in the graduate art program, where he worked for a further two years honing his ideas. From running a hospital to making over 200 large-scale sculptures in far-flung destinations? “Maybe it’s a way of saving people in a different way”, ponders Dougherty, “I often hear, ‘I don’t like art, but I like this’, and in this statement I imagine that “sculpture” has wormed its way a little closer to everyday life. I think of it as a chance to participate in the largest conversation...such activity has helped me to personalize my world and has provided a gleaming portal to an enhanced life”. The first ‘stickworks’ were more modest efforts, with the objects scaled to Dougherty’s own height, or on plinths. As
his reputation grew and his work developed in scope, further opportunities presented themselves. Dougherty began to integrate the work into architectural situations and then to play sapling sculptures against natural settings. “Through experimentation, I was able to up-scale my efforts and to build work that seemed to spin across tops of buildings and flow through groups of trees...Beyond the huge personal pleasure I gain from working with the simplest materials in a complex world, I believe that a well conceived sculpture can enliven and stir the imagination of those who pass... [it] should provide the viewer with many starting points and promote associative thinking”, he believes. “I like activating public spaces and being part of the world of ideas. I see sculpture as a problem solving event and I am intrigued about all kinds of visual problems and the various attempts to solve them. I tend to chat and engage the viewers during my stay, and consider the time I spend as a kind of cultural exchange. I hope to tap [into] the goodwill of that place and weave those energies, and the sense of the place, into the fabric of the sculpture. Ultimately, I love the nomadic life and chance to travel and fully engage with the world”. As the sculpture turns from springy green to stiffened rusty brown and begins to degrade, so too are we reminded of the impermanence and fragility of life, the passage of time, and the transitory nature of many aspects of the world in which we live. >>
Patrick Dougherty: The Branch Wrangler / Inga Walton
> In this instance, Little Ballroom will be pulped and the mulch added to the garden beds at Federation Square. Dougherty is philosophical about the dismantling and/ or eventual decline of his works. “Often the public imagines that a work of art should be made to last, but I believe that a sculpture, like a good flowerbed has its season. In my mind most professions do temporary work... rarely do we re-write yesterday’s novel or reread last week’s report”, he reasons. “I watch with interest the life-cycle of my sculptures. In the beginning they have the vigor of their teenage years ... [then] they mature into their sites and become companions for the inquisitive. Sadly, two years down the road, the lines of the sculpture begin to droop and, in subsequent years, it sheds, until it becomes just an unnoticed heap of sticks”. As his schedule is already filling up to 2015, Dougherty’s life as an “itinerant sculptor” continues on its peripatetic way. His next project, for the front lawn of the Sarasota Museum of Art in Florida is already in progress, then it’s off to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. In March, Dougherty will journey to Jeju Island at the southernmost end of the Korean Peninsula where he will erect a sculpture at the ‘EcoLand’ theme park, situated in the Gyorae Recreational Forest outside Jeju City. Dougherty has already completed his preparatory work for the forecourt of the American embassy in Kneza Miloša, Belgrade, Serbia, which is lined up for June. Meanwhile,
a documentary feature film by Penelope Maunsell and Kenny Dalsheimer about Dougherty’s career had its première at the historic Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina in December, 2012. Bending Sticks has also been entered in several international film festivals, bringing his work to an even wider audience. The bustle seems to suit Dougherty, “Becoming a hack is the nightmare of all professionals! For me making sculpture is a source of renewable energy. It means making something provocative and eye-catching in each new community. It means reaching out and opening oneself to new possibilities. It means doing your best and working just a little over capacity”, he maintains. “I think the element of surprise is an important factor in a successful sculpture; that is, finding a way of commanding the immediate attention of those who come within range of it. If forced to choose, my last work is always my favourite, at least for a week.” Image previous spread: Room By Room 2012, 6 x 10.9 x 10.9 m, Springfield Museums, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Photo: David Stansbury. Details: www.fedsquare.com/events/stickwork/ Artist site: www.stickwork.net Documentary: www.bendingsticksthefilm.com
Greenwish #12 THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” - Albert Einstein
It’s a good time of year for a greenwish, and on pondering the year past and the shape of things to come, my wish is for a new worldview (as a start!). All the talk of Mayan prophecy and the ‘end of the world’ in December may have provided a good theme for some parties and spawned some good jokes, but at a deeper level I think it also signifies a good place for some critical new thinking, a worldview based not on egocentric activity, but one based on compassion, bold creativity, openhearted generosity, and some good old-fashioned tolerance. Global financial crises, the Arab Spring, Occupy movements, and global warming’s massive challenges all point to a human need for deep shifts in consciousness. The mere fact of a world informed by the Internet and social media and demanding greater global understanding and transparency means vested interests of corporations and/or the cruel rule of governments does not cut it with global villagers any more. In 2007, climate change was described by economist Nick Stern as the ‘worst market failure’ in human history. And now, all the indicators warn that we are approaching critical thresholds in environmental change and irreversible damage, with potentially catastrophic consequences for natural and human systems. In the interests of a more sustainable, caring, and creative world, we need radically different approaches, and radically different relationships: with ourselves, our local communities, and the world at large. >> < Image via Jenny Pickerill: La Ecoaldea Del Minchal, Andulacia, Spain, June 11, 2010. ‘Zome under construction and gardens with moutain views’, from http://naturalbuild.wordpress.com/
> Some inspiring examples that promote the principles of deep care for oneself, other people and the earth are on my “greenwish list” for 2013. Here’s a little précis of a few: 1. The American philosopher Ken Wilber has, over the last few decades, developed a ‘Theory of Everything’ 1 and a philosophical model that he calls Integral: a synthesis of the world’s most important methodologies, encompassing psychological, scientific, philosophical and spiritual traditions. It is like a road map for the twenty-first century traveller, focusing holistically on all aspects of human beings – body, mind, spirit, shadow, work, creativity, community, relationships etc. “The…Integral thinker [can] bring new depth, clarity and compassion to every level of human endeavor — from unlocking individual potential to finding new approaches to global-scale problems.” 2 It has already successfully spawned many associated Integral systems, such as Integral Science, Integral Medicine, Integral Art – practitioners committed to living in the world more consciously and wisely. 2. Since 1971, the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan has been working towards its goal of optimum wellbeing and prosperity for its people and natural environment. Prosperity is measured through “formal principles of gross national happiness (GNH) and the spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of its citizens and natural environment.”3 Bhutan’s approach is gaining significant interest from world leaders, and a UN panel is currently considering how its approach may be implemented globally. Bhutanese life expectancy has doubled in the last 20 years, almost every child is enrolled in primary school, and environmental sustainability and conservation is core to its political agenda (with a pledge to remain carbon neutral, and
“ensure that at least 60% of its landmass will remain under forest cover in perpetuity. It has banned export logging and has even instigated a monthly pedestrian day that bans all private vehicles from its roads.”4) 3. Spain’s ‘ecoaldeas’ – or eco-villages – are an inspiring example of creative sustainability, and successful community building. There are almost 3000 abandoned rural villages in Spain, some dating back to the Middle Ages. Since the 1980’s, groups of people searching for a more sustainable life have moved from urban areas to take over the abandoned villages – such as Lakabe in the Navarran mountains – and rebuild the homes and gardens to support a low-impact lifestyle. Lakabe’s inhabitants worked initially without power, water or access by road, and used predominantly what was to hand: materials on site, found objects and shared skills. The hamlet now generates all its power via a hand-constructed windmill, solar panels and a water turbine; and income is generated by selling produce, and organic sourdough from the rebuilt town bakery. “There’s an austerity that’s part of the desire of people who come here,” explains [early pioneer] Mauge Canada. “There’s not a desire … to consume. We try to live with what there is.”5 4. Since 1986, Seed Savers Network has promoted ‘community seed action’ around the world (now active in 39 countries). Jude and Michel Fanton established the network in order to educate people about the need to preserve open-pollinated seeds and the importance of the genetic diversity of plant varieties. It promotes non-profit seed exchange programmes, local seed networks, and scientific research and development of programmes that protect genetic diversity around the world. Similarly, scientist and environmental activist
Robyn Gibson is a printmaker, and partner in Lifehouse Design, award-winning sustainable building designers in Castlemaine, Central Victoria. Lifehouse Design is currently developing a unique flexible module-based house, called the LiFEHOUSE. - www.lifehousedesign.com.au
Greenwish #12 / Robyn Gibson
Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya programme was established to restore seed, land and food sovereignty, particularly in India, and promote nonviolent farming that protects biodiversity and small farmers from biopiracy and genetic engineering. Indigenous knowledge and culture is being rejuvenated by Navdanya, which has so far successfully protected more than 5000 crop varieties, and has its own seed bank and 45 acre organic farm in Uttrakhand, northern India. 5. Bringing it all back home. As people become aware of the significant costs of a globalized economy, the localization of industry, food and energy production, and the fostering of local skill-bases, crafts and partnerships will be crucial to the sustainable and creative viability of communities, and consequently how they respond to economic, environmental, social and other challenges in the coming decades. Many corporations and governments around
the world are now also starting to make this shift away from the global marketplace and the ‘spaghetti bowl’ of international regulations.6 Strong communities built on healthy and happy inhabitants, vibrant community organizations, creative thinking, and local, community-based food and energy supplies will be far better equipped to deal with severe climate changes, social upheaval and/or economic downturn. Initiatives and movements that support this localized living, such as Slow Food and Slow Money, Farmers Markets, Pozible, Buy Nothing New for a Month, Permaculture, LETS, etc. all foster a shift to a new era of justice for the Earth, its people, and communities. This new worldview is really about that old adage of ‘thinking global, acting local’. We have all the inspiration we need from examples like these across the globe. Putting thought into practice is the challenge.
FOOTNOTES: 1. Ken Wilber A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality, 2000, paperback ed.: ISBN 1-57062-855-6; 2. www.integralinstitute.org 3. The Observer, 1 December 2012, Annie Kelly - ‘Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world’ 4. ibid. 5. http://faircompanies.com ‘Medieval Spanish ghost town now self-sufficient ecovillage’ 6. The Guardian Weekly, Heather Stewart ‘World Trade Organisation’s new boss will face an in-tray filled with problems’ (from The Observer, 13 Jan 2013).
Photo: Lacabe, Navarre, Spain, 2011; by Nicolas Boullosa
< Poster for The Year of Living Dangerously 1982 (detail). Courtesy of Chapel Distribution. Great Adaptations: Words to Image, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, until 7 March.
DATELINE: FEBRUARY 2013 by Courtney Symes
“That’s a great movie,” commented the lady sitting next to me on the train as she glanced at the cover of the book I was reading. “I’ve never seen the movie,” I replied, prompting the age-old conversation of book vs. movie. Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is a great book, and a refreshing change from the disappointing reads I’ve struggled through of late. Whilst I’m sure the story translates beautifully on the screen, and the cast (Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger) are appealing, I’m still not sure if I’ll watch the movie. There are many books that have been the inspiration behind sensational movies, as The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) highlight in their latest exhibition, Great Adaptations: Words to Image. “The Great Adaptations exhibition is one of a series of NFSA activities taking place to celebrate the National Year of Reading (NYoR). Arc Cinema’s new season of films, Adaptation, features new and classic adaptations on screen,” explains NFSA CEO Michael Loebenstein. Visitors can also expect a pleasing collection of rare Australian film posters, such as Henry Handel Richardson’s The Getting of Wisdom (1978) and Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career (1979). The exhibition pays respect to the books and the films, encouraging viewers to appreciate both works independently. Runs until 7 March. www.nfsa.gov.au It would seem that even brilliant ar tists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec also experienced issues with their parents not understanding and disapproving of their craft. ToulouseLautrec’s father, Count Alphonse Toulouse-
Lautrec was not impressed by his son’s choice of subject matter – Paris’ underworld of prostitutes and brothels. With hindsight, the Count would have seen that his son mastered the ar t of observing and “capturing the essence of his Parisian characters and haunts” in a unique and beautiful way. Toulouse-Lautrec drew inspiration from the stage and circus, frequenting the Theatre Comédie Française, Théâtre Libre and Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, as well as masked balls, brasseries and cafes. The characters were paramount in Toulouse-Lautrec’s work. However, “He never aspired to simply paint por traits, his ambition and skill was far more complex and provided him with an uncanny insight into the personality of his sitters.” By observing his subject’s mannerisms such as gait, expression and body language, he added another dimension to his work. Although he painted in a similar palette and technique (rapid brushstrokes) to the impressionists and post-impressionists, he did not associate himself with a specific style. The figure was his first and foremost priority and he once stated, “Only the figure exists, landscape is continued
ACTease / Courtney Symes
and should only be an accessory: the pure landscape painter is just crude. The landscape should only be used to better understand the character of the figure”. The National Gallery of Australia’s much anticipated ToulouseLautrec Paris and the Moulin Rouge exhibition does not disappoint. This major retrospective features paintings, posters, prints and drawings of the French ar tist’s work from the 19th century and runs until 2 April.
been involved in a number of solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally and also collaborated with ar tists such as Gabrielle Hegyes, Tim Winters and John Olsen. Auld’s latest exhibition, UNEARTHERD, is on at Narek Galleries in the gorgeous Old Tanja Church, near Tanja. A visit to Narek Galleries is the perfect excuse to take a road trip or weekend break this summer. Runs until 18 February. www.narekgalleries.com
We’ve sweltered our way through the summer in Canberra this year, so visits to air-conditioned galleries have been even more appealing this month. On one of the hottest January Saturdays the city centre seemed eerily quiet, until we found everyone at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. The draw-card appeared to be the latest exhibition, Behind the Lines 2012. This exhibition highlights the key events in politics throughout the past year, as seen through the eyes of Australia’s talented car toonists. It’s refreshing to wander around a gallery and see people chuckling “For Ros Auld, the landscape is her primary and snickering their way around an exhibition. source of inspiration. As a ceramic ar tist she And it’s hard not to react to these works, expresses the dynamic forces of the natural with highlights such as Mark Knight’s My world, how it has been shaped, the colours, Dysfunctional Family, which depicts his version textures, rhythms and the underlying energy.” of the My Family car stickers, consisting of Living and working in a rural environment Julia, Wayne, Greens, Independents, Speaker has helped Auld forge a close relationship to and Kevin Rudd (with an axe in his head). the landscape that surrounds her and inspires The winning submission of the exhibition was her sculptural works. Ceramics are Auld’s David Pope’s The Squiggle and Smudgy Show, medium of choice, but she continually pushes which depicts Julia and Tony dressed up as the boundaries of her practice. She recently Mr Squiggle and doodling over a blackboard incorporated metal and clay into her works in the shape of Australia. A caption at the to create “expressive sculptural works with bottom of the work reads: “With apologies unexpected rhythms that invite the viewer to Mr Squiggle”. The works featured were to explore the shapes and surfaces”. Auld selected from over 600 submissions and hails from Inverell, NSW and has taught visual “powerfully depict the mood of both the arts and ceramics at a ter tiary level, whilst public and of a par ty’s suppor ters and its personally exhibiting extensively. She has critics during impor tant moments in If you’ve got little ones to enter tain this summer, check out Word Pictures at the National Gallery of Australia until 10 February. This exhibition explores the use of text throughout modern and contemporary art. From printmaking to ar tists’ books, this exhibition was created in conjunction with the National Year of Reading (2012) and the “selection of surprising and often humorous works of ar t reveals the ar tists’ playful connections between our visual and written languages”. Don’t miss it before it finishes this month. www.nga.gov.au
> Ros AULD, Elemental, ceramic and steel, 106x30x30cm.
Australia’s history”. Behind the Lines 2012 is on at the Museum of Australian Democracy until November 2013, but a version of the exhibition will be touring various locations of Australia. Visit www. behindthelines.moadoph.gov.au for tour locations and details. On another 37 degree day here in Canberra, the tranquil ear then colours of Canberra Museum and Gallery’s exhibition, Marking Place provided respite from the harsh sun. The exhibition explores “landscape and the poetics of place as expressed through the painting, ceramics and sculpture” of three Canberra artists: G.W. Bot, Anita McIntyre and Wendy Teakel. The collection of works is comprised from a vast and interesting range of mediums. G.W. Bot uses Thai Mulberry Paper to layer linocuts over a contrasting coloured background in the Omega series. Wendy Teakel’s large sculptures have a commanding presence, not just because of their size, but also because of the harmonious combination of materials such as wood, steel and sticks (Corridor) and grass seed heads (Late summer haze). Teakel also demonstrates her versatility through a variety of mediums, including her pokerwork paintings and woven wool rugs. Anita McIntyre’s intricate porcelain sculptures, such as Song lines/Survey lines, have been created using paper porcelain, monoprint drawing and screenprint for the most delicate finish possible. Runs until 24 March. www.museumsandgalleries.act.gov.au
< Soner OZENC, EL Sajjadah-Prayer rug
DATELINE: FEBRUARY 2013 by Inga Walton
(2005), Electroluminescent, fluorescent printed mat (Neopren, PET, flocking), 120 x 70 cm. (Limited Edition).
Following its première at the Design Museum Holon, Israel (2011), the touring exhibition New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation began the year at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India and continues at RMIT Gallery (until 9 March, 2013). Curator Professor Volker Albus of the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe) Germany, has gathered together over sixty works by some fifty-five designers and design teams from Europe, America and Australia which range over the four gallery spaces. The variety and topicality of the various approaches are collected around the themes of material, construction, configuration, production, and traditional use. “I don’t want to be nostalgic with this exhibition. Some of these pieces are very experimental. They show how you should leave all borders and think very openly, looking forward as well as looking back”, Albus remarks. “In nearly every item, there is a certain relationship as to how to transform tradition into a contemporary design, with a reminiscence of the past.”
denotes the passage of time, and serves to shift and redeem objects from their point of origin ‘in the past’, and re-positions and renews them in relation to ‘the present’.
The Swiss-Belgian-French trio BIG GAME (Grégoire Jeanmonod, Elric Petit and Augustin Scott de Martinville) present an updated (and more palatable?) version of the stereotypical country house safari/hunting trophy head with their Animaux- Pair of Antlers series (2004). The design consists of plywood plates fitted into one another, with either the Albus has assembled examples of furniture, cross or longitudinal section resembling the ceramics and tableware, lighting, floor outline of the head of an elk, deer, or moose coverings, shelving, ornaments and smallaffixed to the wall by the expected shield-like scale sculpture, cookware, packaging, and backing plate. Designer Silvia Knüppel takes electronics to illustrate how design has the classic Gelsenkirchen Baroque type of petitevolved into a key feature in the collective bourgeois, heavy and imposing dark wooden understanding of culture. He is also acutely furniture and re-works it in deceptively light aware of the “creative appropriation of the foam. Instead of losing items in the musty past” which informs many ‘new’ designs. The dark depths, or indeed emerging into Narnia, familiar ‘old’ icons, derived from a particular the House Rules-Wardrobe (2007) proposes historical context and formal idiom, can exert storing items where they can be readily seen a powerful influence on the contemporary by slotting them into external slashes in the market when cleverly reinterpreted. The foam. manner of the reinterpretation is critical; it continued
Melburnin’ / Inga Walton < Janet LAURENCE, The Alchemical Garden of Desire (2012), project installation McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park, plant fragments, laboratory and handblown glass, photographs, acrylic, silicon tubes, resin, pigments, mirror, tulle, frost cloth, dimensions variable. Photograph: John Gollings
> The Swedish design team Front (Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren and Katja Sävström) subvert both the shape and ornamentation associated with Dutch Delftware with their aptly named Blow Away Vase (2009). The group were interested in challenging the idea that products made by long-established manufacturers had become so dominated by tradition that certain two-dimensional patterns are automatically associated with their corresponding three-dimensional shapes. By altering the symmetry and contours of the vessel, the Front designers seek to redefine our expectations of the relationship between form and decoration. Thus, although the forms of the past are omnipresent, the designer’s challenge is to find a way to make them compatible and generally accessible for everyday use, or to “further develop and write sequels”. As Albus observes, “there is nothing that so clearly shows these designers’ commitment to their own present time than their masterly and enlightened, even profane, use of the achievements of yesteryear”. The exhibition continues on to Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney (21 March – 27 April, 2013). • New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation, Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3001: www.rmit.edu.au/rmitgallery • Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen exhibition site: www. ifa.de/en/exhibitions/exhibitions-abroad/design/new-olds
Installed in the French Gallery, Janet Laurence’s “The Alchemical Garden of Desire” (until 3 March, 2013) continues the artist’s intense rumination on the natural world, and her deft exploration of its various points of intersection with scientific and horticultural practices, architecture, and the built environment. Laurence’s artwork moves easily between the disciplines of installation, photography, painting, sculpture and film. “I am making propositions
through works by creating spaces of perception that can bring us into contact with the ‘lifeworld’”, she contends. For this project, the artist was invited to respond to the environment surrounding the McClelland property, some 16 hectares of bush and landscaped gardens in Langwarrin. Laurence was interested in the botanical and historical significance of the nearby Cruden Farm, gifted by Sir Keith Murdoch to his young bride Elisabeth in 1928. Over the course of the following eight decades Dame Elisabeth (1909-2012) transformed the property into one of the most distinguished and popular gardens in Victoria, generously allowing the grounds to be used for charitable and cultural projects. (Murdoch was also a long-time patron of the Gallery through her Sculpture Fund). The living plant samples used in the installation were sourced from Cruden Farm and express Laurence’s idea of the garden as a protective haven for the botanic, “...a sanctuary for plants, almost a museum of plants because plants, like animals, are being lost in the wild”. The specimens are integrated with the paraphernalia of a laboratory- vials, jars, bottles, beakers, petri-dishes, tubing- within vitrines, and interspersed with glass leaves, botanical images, and natural curios to form an elaborate and immersive construct. Drawing on the historical and emotional legacy of Cruden Farm, and what it symbolised for Dame Elisabeth, Laurence also aims to evoke our formative memories of encounters with plants and gardens, the process of tracing the ‘memory of nature’ we carry within us. Cycles of transformation, growth, and depletion are alluded to within a quasi-museological presentation which is intended to remind us of the pleasure and wonder of discovery. >>
Melburnin’ / Inga Walton
> Diane MANTZARIS, Fountain of Eve (2011), C-type photograph, 250 x 127 cm.
> In her quest to protect and memorialise a plant’s history, Laurence creates a site for cultivation and renewal, a medicinal garden, and invites us to consider our own co-evolution in relation to the flora around us. In tending to gardens and in keeping plants, do we not also tend and keep ourselves? • McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park, 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin, Victoria, 3910: www. mcclellandgallery.com & www.crudenfarm.com.au • Artist site: www.janetlaurence.com
Mirror, Mirror: Contemporary Photographic Self-portraiture (8 February-2 March, 2013) at Colour Factory presents the work of twelve Melbourne-based artists. Curator Linsey Gosper highlights the importance of the ‘performative body’ to self-portraiture, as a vehicle for transgression, political and social commentary, and the examination of cultural mores. Untitled 4 (2012) is from David-Ashley Kerr’s Introduced Species series, part of his ongoing examination of the staged subject through contemporary landscape photography. In portraying the lone male nude within the Australian bush, he raises issues of estrangement, masculine cultural identity, and its relationship to the physical environment.
intimacy and masculine vulnerability. Shot in the bedrooms of his subjects, the frames depict the clothed artist standing beside his naked model; both stare impassively at the camera. In one hand Pettifer clutches the cable release for the camera, in the other the model’s penis, which he equates to holding both “the object of desire in one hand and the instrument of the desiring lens in the other”. Pettifer simultaneously exposes his subjects while partially concealing their modesty. He appears to exert physical control over the subject, but it is a dominance devoid of any emotional response or reciprocation. The image is both voyeuristic and strangely lifeless. The relationship between the two protagonists remains ambiguous and apparently devoid of feeling.
Diane Mantzaris intends that her 2.5 metre tall Fountain of Eve (2011) be viewed as an image of power over adversity, “whereby the protest itself becomes an act of perverse seduction and is also beautiful”. Mantzaris admits the work was, “constructed in a Frankensteinlike way from a variety of sources. I have a collection of limbs ‘in storage’, which are manipulated to look like mine, and are drawn from a variety of sources”. Nude but for her shoes, Eve clutches two (forbidden) In contrast, Kobie Nel’s Australia (2011) gently apples as she urinates standing up, an image mocks all things ‘dinky-di’ by assembling an all-but-guaranteed to be confronting for overabundance of patriotic symbols from boomerangs to beer, a copy of Picnic At Hanging some viewers. “There is a deeply entrenched puritanical streak in Australian culture, which Rock (1967), and stuffed kangaroo and koala seems to be focussed against women making toys probably made in China. Posed against a bold statements in art, and there have also gum tree backdrop and flanked by the coat been objections to this work as inappropriate of arms, the heroine is clad in the sort of viewing”, Mantzaris acknowledges. “Explicit eye-watering knitted jumper popularised by Coogi and Jenny Kee in the 1980s. As she looks protest by women isn’t exactly supported in this country. I wanted to challenge this new pensively out into the distance, we are left to wonder if she is perhaps searching for a national taboo – women artists who draw from their own bodies, and in doing so employ [it] as an identity less reliant on tired clichés? allegorical commentary on a male-dominated Untitled (Holding Been) (2011) is from Drew society with its prudish conventions, [to] shed Pettifer’s Hand In Glove series which explores some light on this new conservatism, which is the relationship between desire, control, an oddity in our region.” >>
> Other artists included are Hoda Afshar, Garrett Hughes, (Rose) Farrell & (George) Parkin, Linsey Gosper & Jack Sargeant, Jacqui Stockdale, and Hannah Beth Raisin. • Mirror, Mirror, Colour Factory, 409-429 Gore Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065: www.colourfactory.com.au/gallery
English sculptor Dominic Welch makes his Australian gallery début with over 20 pieces in the paired exhibition Bronze & Stone at Mossgreen (2-23 February, 2013). His refined and graceful abstract work has been seen here only once before as part of the annual Sculpture by the Sea (Bondi) exhibition in 2004. Welch keeps his isolated studio in the Devon countryside and works primarily in Kilkenny limestone, Ancaster Weatherbed limestone, Carrara and Greek marble, and also produces bronze editions. The fluid and harmonious forms, with their curvilinear incisions, suggest organic shapes like pods, seeds, unfurling fronds, leaves, and fossils. Other works seem to reference phases of the moon, tidal forces and tributaries, shoals of fish and cetaceans, and the mark making of ancient cultures with their sacred stones and mysterious rites. Welch has no formal training in sculpture, but instead of embarking on an intended degree in geography, he placed a speculative advert seeking an arts-based apprenticeship. This led to a meeting with the eminent sculptor and draughtsman Peter Randall-Page for whom Welch subsequently worked as an assistant for ten years (1989-99), learning all aspects of production while developing his own aesthetic ideas. “A lot of artists rely on the interest in the stone to complete the sculpture”, Welch says of his choice of materials and the way he fashions them. “I find that distracting- there can be so much going on in the stone that you can’t really bring out the subtle, simple forms that I make because your eye is drawn to the markings on the stone rather than the sculpture.You can’t ignore the particular qualities of the stone you are working in, but that shouldn’t be the main factor. Most important is the form”. • Bronze & Stone, Mossgreen, 310 Toorak Road, South Yarra, Victoria, 3141: www.mossgreen.com.au • Artist site: www.dominicwelch.co.uk
by Ruby Noise DATELINE: FEBRUARY 2013
In the realm of big art events Adelaide is currently spoiled for choice. Some here say it’s too much choice, and that some events should be moved to later dates to capture the best entertainment dollar. I say budget for the festivities because you know this time of year will be busy. Until recently pushbikes were hurling around our state, starting in the city then reaching out to the southern and northern suburbs, with the Tour Down Under, 20 – 27 January. The event is sponsored by Santos and conducted within the guidelines of the UCI (Union Cyclist Internationale), and is the first race of a world tour that culminates in China in October. February sees the Adelaide Fringe (15 February – 17 March). Since 1960 this festival has provided a platform for independent artists and performers, with Adelaide East End Parklands and various venues around the City providing a multitude of free and paid events. And let’s not forget the Clipsal 500 (28 February – 3 March), which is part of the V8 Supercars Series. The race is held over the last two days of the event where V8 Supercars compete on two 250kms tracks. This is where petrol-heads unite as do the band Kiss, who are headlining the after race party, along with their fellow old LA rockers Motley Crue. In March the more stately Adelaide Festival begins (1 – 17 March). Since it’s inception in 1960 has run theatre, dance and art exhibitions, with Adelaide Writers Week included in this year’s program. Guests for that include Tom Keneally, Max Allen, Drusilla Modjeska and more. Womad hits the Botanic Parklands (8 – 11 March) catering for international music lovers with a line up of over 55 acts including Mia Dyson, Swamp Thing, The Herd,
Jimmy Cliff and the Soweto Gospel Choir. There is no better place to be than in the Botanic Parklands, with the sun shining on your hat and the sound of music and chants from all over the globe floating to your ears. In the midst of all the festivities a quiet exhibition is going on at the Art Gallery of South Australia entitled Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master. The exhibition includes over 100 pieces of work; oil paintings and watercolours; some that have not been seen before. This exhibition is the first major Australian exhibition of Turner’s work for twenty years. Joseph Mallord William Turner bequeathed his collection to the nation of Great Britain back in 1851 when he passed away. A printmaker, oil painter and water-colourist, Turner’s landscape paintings were his forte. It is said he died in 1859 at the home of his ‘mistress’ uttering the words “The sun is God”. Maybe Turner saw on his deathbed the real reasons behind his success with a brush, for it was the use of light that made his work so poetic. The Tate in London now houses the majority of his work and some of it is currently on lend to “The Colonies” thanks to The Ar t Gallery of South Australia. • TURNER FROM THE TATE: THE MAKING OF A MASTER Art Gallery of South Australia, 8 February to 19 May 2013 - www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/
So if your looking for entertainment wether it be watching a race by car or bike, seeing live theatre and comedy or if you’re wanting to just look at poetic landscapes painted by a master then the choice is yours. Whatever you decide the next three months will see an outbreak of events and remember if you come across a South Australian and they say they are bored for choice then it must be the end of May.
Adelaide Fringe, Fez Faanana & Nerida Waters
The Unexpected Curator by Cassandra Scalzi
The story of how I stumbled upon Por tuguese painter, Natalia Gromicho, is as soulful and passionate as the works I will be showcasing for the ar tist in her first Australian exhibition. Human Being will feature as par t of the Adelaide Fringe Festival at The Exhibitionist. It is a magical tale of fate and faith, worth telling, because it highlights the beauty of basic human relations which can be struck if only one dares to believe in the humanity and passion of others, and naturally to breathe more than just air … “Let us avoid death in small doses, remembering always that to be alive demands an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only burning perseverance will allow us to conquer a splendid happiness.” This poem by Brazilian writer Martha Medeiros, originally written in Portuguese and titled, A Morte Devagar’ (Slowly Dies), was erroneously and mysteriously attributed to the great, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. While Neruda is one of my favourite poets, I may never have come across this talented writer and her profound piece – which has become my mantra – had it not been for the power of the internet and the error of another. It is on this curious and erroneous premise, with perhaps fate playing its part, that this magical tale of a Portuguese painter and a local Adelaide artist-turned-curator, began … I have always hated computers and sworn I could live without them, but as an artist I felt a compulsion to connect with other artists and share my newfound joy and art with the world. I proudly put the mysteriously represented poem onto my website and set the record straight. It was not a work of Pablo Neruda, (neither are another two poems apparently, falsely attributed to him, floating about in cyberspace) but it makes much sense, with its words being a great source of inspiration to simply live more, not unlike the ethos of the great Chilean poet himself. >> < Hermafrodita, oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm.
> Mulher objecto (Be a Woman) (detail), oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm.
This is essentially what I saw, after being invited to take a brief moment ... with the convenience of the World Wide Web, of course.
> Natalia Gromicho is more than just a good artist. Her art is her soul, as her signature statement so says; she breathes life and imparts her soul onto each and every work. Upon looking at her paintings, one is immediately struck by this pure transfer of artist to canvas. They are intense in colour, shape and emotion; complex, even with such expressed simplicity. That is the power of the Portuguese painter. She successfully strips her subjects, often without any fixed gender, to their most basic human form, so that it is their interactions and basic, human relations which speak the loudest. Human dialogue is silently, but effectively communicated in her work, as are their gestures with a generous display of intense colour and sharp contrasts. Each canvas carries the many complexities and contradictions of human existence, uniquely encapsulating the essence of humanity.
Then, it was simply put to me, ‘’If you like we can make it happen.’ ’ Gromicho’s first Australian exhibition, that is. I like an artist who believes in all possibilities and making things happen. Like her exploring ancestors who discovered new lands, and possibly even Australia before Captain Cook, as is claimed by some historians, Natalia Gromicho feels also compelled to search out new parts of the world. This emerging, expressionist artist from the small, Mediterranean nation, with an impressive array of over forty exhibitions, (a busy schedule of ten shows per year) is making her presence felt on the European art scene with her riots of bright, intense colours and her strong, pictorial statements, made mostly with her striking, signature – figurative works –that not only speak of the complexities of human relations, gender, sexuality and society, but also serve to promote human rights. Gromicho, born in Lisbon, having graduated from its private Arco School, recently participated in an international exhibition on Human Rights in Trento, Italy, where, as in all her exhibitions, she seeks to make people think, to question their place in the world and make them more sensitive to others. Her work is multifaceted. Every painting has its philosophical meaning, from the abstract to the figurative. It is the Portuguese painter’s unique figurative work which best conveys a kind of vision of human relationships, and human nature itself. Her memorable representations of people, of moments shared between them, sometimes with an air of pain and aggression, makes you wonder what life is really all about. Natalia Gromicho is a deep thinker with a lot to say.
Natalia Gromicho / Cassandra Scalzi
Ramon Casalè, a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) recently said of the feeling Gromicho’s work evokes, ‘’… [it is] as though the animals are observing our movements. ‘’ I wonder what they would say about us, humans, if they could speak to us. I suspect, like the Portuguese painter, they would not be too happy about some of our behaviour towards one another and nature itself. Casalè goes on to comment on what appear to be female subjects, saying, ‘’… the female nudes who star in some of her works, are more reminiscent of the mannequins we see in a fashion showcase, not animated beings, approaching more the metaphysical world of De Chiro or surrealist, Wilfredo Lam.’’ As the Spanish critic acknowledges, Gromicho’s unique style and use of colour indicates the artist is much more interested in ‘’…protecting the most intimate aspects of human beings.’ ’ A man or a woman’s sexuality is not important. What matters, the artist explains through her works, is the importance of human relations; that one is able to love and be loved … to inspire and to be inspired. ‘’Some people forget what is the essence of a human being, they forget what really makes them happy.’ ’ Is it possible that we are all so busy focusing on our own lives and relationships with people around us in our immediate world, that we fail to acknowledge and nurture our relationship with humanity itself, to reach out to other human beings? Have we not all a responsibility to the human rights of others? Could this be the simple secret of humanity, or at least one of them, that the artist makes reference to in one of her works, as it is so named? There is definitely something about Gromicho. Some of it is dark; all of it is truthful and, most importantly, hopeful. ‘Human Being is an exploration of an artist’s pure passion for life, art, humanity and a discovery quite possibly of oneself. Links: www.nataliagromicho.com www.theexhibitionist.com.au www.cassandrascalzi.com www.aica-int.org
La Compania, concert, 20 February, 7.30pm, Art Gallery of Ballarat 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat (VIC) - www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au
1. FRONT, Netherlands (Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren, Katja Sävström), Blow Away Vase 2009, porcelain, (h) 30.5 x (diam.) 26 cm, (Illustration: Dutch scenes/Series: Moooi BV). New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation, Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, (VIC), until 9 March - www. rmit.edu.au/rmitgallery 2. Dilka BEAR, Midnight Lullaby, oil on board. Sleepwalker’s Dreams, Auguste Clown Gallery, 52 Johnston Street Fitzroy (VIC), 15 February – 2 March - www.augusteclown.com
3. Joan HARRIS, Temperance 2005, photographic collage on paper, 235 x 150 cm. Transcriptions, La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, View Street Bendigo (VIC), 31 January – 21 February 2013 - www. latrobe.edu.au/vac 4. Barbara CAMPBELL, prompt XLIII, 1001 nights cast (preface series) 2005, watercolour on Sennelier paper. Atelier Paris: The Power Studio, University Art Gallery, University of Sydney, War Memorial Arch, northern end of The Quadrangle (NSW), 2 February – 26 April - www.sydney.edu.au/museums
5. David FRAZER, Well you can tell by the way… 2000, wood engraving, 4/22. Unveiled: Art from the Manningham, Maroondah and Whitehorse Council Collections. Showing at all three venues – the new Manningham Art Gallery (MC²), Doncaster; Maroondah Art Gallery, Ringwood; and the Whitehorse Art Space, Box Hill (VIC), until 2 March 2013. Courtesy of the artist.
6. Kevin CHIN, Bear Bear, oil on linen, 150 x 192 cm. Better Than Here, c3 Contemporary Art Space, The Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford (VIC), 30 January â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 17 February 2013 - www.kevinchin.com.au
7. Engraved by W. HOLL, Portrait of Turner, published 1859-61. Photo: (c) Tate, 2013 Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master, Art Gallery of South Australia (SA), 8 February to 19 May 2013 - www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/ 8. Neil HADDON, Grounded (detail) 2012, high gloss enamel paint and oil paint on aluminium panel, 120 x 110 cm. Bett Gallery, 369 Elizabeth Street North Hobart (TAS), until 11 February - www.bettgallery.com.au
by Liza Dezfouli
We frequently hear the words ‘fetish’ and ‘footwear’ spoken together. A true fetishist engages sexually with the shoe for its own sake, preferring the shoe above all, or a shod foot to the rest of the partner. Generally, however, when we refer to fetish shoes, the footwear in question is in service to fetishism or sexuality. Shoes are sexy because we imagine them worn in a certain context by a certain type of person (perhaps ourselves); we picture glamourous individuals wearing the shoes and participating in particular scenarios. Fetish footwear comes with a variety of imaginary constructs; the shoes and boots gain their sexual status by association as well as by their individual design and aesthetic. My shoes are sexual objects in themselves, provoking an erotic response whether or not the viewer pictures them on feet. I gave myself the brief of designing each shoe with the potential to be a feasible and functional item of footwear. Some of them could be used as sex toys. I want them to be sexy as objects, and sexy again when we imagine lovers or ourselves wearing them. They’re meant to tease. Shoes are often revered objects. We are fascinated and turned on by them: by the phallic association of a high heel, by the suggestive, penetrative gesture of slipping one’s foot into a shoe. Actors in porn films keep their heels on. Heels are here to stay despite the damage that walking in them may cause our feet and spines. We wear heels and arch our backs, walk in mincing steps with a wiggling derriere, calf muscles elongated, partially assuming a mating pose called ‘lordosis’. High heels render us vulnerable as we cannot run in them (most of us, anyway). But we tower over others and feel powerful all the same. Despite our reduced mobility we feel more confident in heels, encompassing age-old associations between heels and superior social status. A high heel totters in contradictions and clatters out mixed messages. Rude Shoes is having a bit of fun with it all. Rude Shoes opens at Dirty Little Gallery, 242 Victoria St, Brunswick (VIC) 3pm, Saturday 2 March. Exhibition runs until 28 March.
SKULL MOVIES by Robin Pen
Scene II : Of Ewoks and Attitude Somewhere in the dim past of film and tv mediocrity, animator Art Clokey created a lovable little punk named Gumby. In the latter part of the seventies, Clokey presented this amiable fellow riding a skateboard, playing on a PC, venturing into fictional realities and leading an alternative rock band; thus making him the precursor to the contemporary hacker/ thrasher dude. Or, to take a post-modern, sciencefictional viewpoint, before Gibson there was Gumby. Now, I’m not really claiming that the plasticine gentleman in question is a cyberpunkin’ hip-hype hacker drop-out fiend from an over-commercialised and desensitised meta-topia. But I’m certainly not above visualising Gumby in grungy, high-tech surroundings, burnt out and faded to a dull shade of green, lazing in a grotty bean-bag with upper-derms plastered down the under-side of his arm-thingy, the neural plug-ins along the side of his angular head going rusty at the centre and mouldy around the edges and him not giving a flying fractal, slowly consuming the synthetic booze “Audi White Sprito” while staying out of sight inside his coffin-apartment in the tenement block of a hide-out franchise of Neo-Hokkaido’s Yakuza-Inc. And while this image of a hardened, conceptually mature Gumby recuperating before his morphing run into the storybookland-matrix may sound, at first, like so much cyber-shit, it does have appeal, and with the right packaging and promotion, it would probably sell. continued >>
> So what is it that attracts people to “pop/ pulp literature”? What does the consumer hope to get out of books like this, given the often flimsy plot, characters, ideas, and even subject? The answer is attitude. No matter what form it takes, attitude is vital to good commercial writing: we hunger for attitude, consume it greedily, allow it to permeate our psyches and slowly dissipate through the memory’s ether before it’s finally clouded over by a new rush from a fresh source. Attitude is the staple diet of our socio-spatial consciousnesses. And one of the best sources of fast-food variety attitude is commercial cinema. In film - especially good SF film attitude is the almighty. Before I go on, I think I’ll try to explain what I mean by “attitude”, although I am forced to admit that a precise definition alludes me. Attitude is a bit of an elusive entity; I suppose the closest alternative word for this vague concept is “atmosphere”, but that’s not really sufficient, in that it fails to convey the essential participation of the individual psyches of both artist and observer. Attitude is how a film feels, the way in which the film-maker wants the audience to look at the subject. However, it shouldn’t be confused with the subject; it’s what surrounds it, dresses it. Attitude distinguishes an anti-war film from a pro-war film when the subject, and often much of the content, is identical. Attitude is the codecracker that can reveal the true meaning in film; the most important signpost on the pathway of interpretation.
to pick up on its flaws and, similarly, for those who “click” with the attitude to seize upon the film’s worthwhile aspects. Consequently, an individual’s subjective response to a film’s (perceived) attitude is commonly the deciding factor in his or her “critical opinion”, despite the apparently objective arguments it involves. As such, you should regard with scepticism the words of many critics and their “clinical” justifications for what are simply personal tastes. (Naturally, this applies equally to the reviews later in this article, and to your own opinions as you react to mine.) Finally, it’s also important to remember that one’s subjectivity has often been determined by one’s expectations of a film; particularly when one expects it to be a good film, or to bear an attitude in harmony with one’s own.
Social values are always in transition, and thus general mass-preconceptions of what makes a movie a good movie are in continual flux. To have subjective values and filmic ideals so fluid is, however, a real nuisance for a production-line movie industry. So much of a financial nuisance in fact that the commercial film industry has long been trying to train preconceptions and expectations into production-line patterns. One major offensive that they have launched to stamp out divergent filmic ideals is the unleashing of a devastating wave of designer culture-viruses. These culturally idyllic, self-replicating symbolic organisms infect bodies of cinematic integrity, infiltrate the story-telling process and, with sheer mass, these attractive but creatively The power of attitude is far greater than vacuous entities, literally stuff a film. Eventually generally appreciated. Attitude almost certainly the diseased film will undergo forced does more to determine a viewer’s final opinion metamorphosis into a commercially desirable, of a film than anything else. In fact, attitude assembly-line product; the easily promotable creates the stimuli for seeking the “justifications” movie, contrived to a formulation based on for liking one movie and disliking another. It is market forces. For the sake of a suitable and common for those of the audience who dislike entertaining name, I shall hereafter refer to a film’s attitude (as they perceive it) to tend these viruses as “ewoks”. >>
Skull Movies scene 2 / Robin Pen
Skull Movies scene 2 / Robin Pen
> Why ewoks? Well, the furry folks in Return Of The Jedi are indeed the product of marketing and franchising forces. The original concept for the do-or-die battle at the climax of the Star Wars saga had it set on the planet of the Wookies. But how do you sell Wookies? They’re far to big and adult-looking to be mass produced and wrapped in plastic on department store shelves. Ewoks, by contrast, are just right. They’re cute, cuddly and look just darling sitting on the frilly pink pillow of your nine-year-old daughter’s bed, and yet your boys can play with them too, without feeling they are dealing with anything more childish than an attack-koala from Mars. Essentially, the ewok is simply a living teddy bear, though marketing demands it be called an ewok so that the buying public believe it to be contemporary, refreshing, stimulating and highly relevant to what they consider to be ideal entertainment. However, to achieve the unholy purposes for which the ewok entity was created (no doubt by some evil genius in a secret laboratory), the entity need not look like a common-or-garden teddy bear. Indeed, it can adopt the appearance of a myriad of things; teenage hunks, military-type hunks, soppy soliloquies, irrelevant pseudo-love/ sex scenes, huge car explosions, excessive flare out of the ends of automatic weapons, children with seemingly innocent questions that create amused expressions on the faces of understanding adults, children punching out adults, exhumed sixties hits, new age rhetoric, teary people hugging each other under Barbara Streisand and Bette Midler love ballads, cheap post-mortem one-liners, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a billion more examples of mutant pop iconography. And for the sake of distinction, or more to highlight the lack of it, they can all be categorised under that simple heading; ewoks. Right now ewoks are in plague numbers, a veritable epidemic of biblical proportions.
Ewoks are so ingrained in the modus (mortis?) operandi of Hollywood and commercial cinema as to be firmly part of the essential workings, as if entwined within the strands of the filmic DNA by the marketing equivalent of reverse transcriptase. Meanwhile, we are being brainwashed to become critically blind – or at least apathetic – to the tiny bastards scampering about, pushing, shoving, contriving, ensuring the building blocks of story-telling are set in a rigid and predictable arrangement so that the unimaginative film-maker can pretend to producing original work without lifting a creative finger. This ewok virus is transmitted by exploiting both natural instincts and social conditioning. It targets images and actions which play, usually unconsciously, on our emotions – big round eyes on cute little creatures doing a jig; a shapely figure in tight clothing bending over to pick up a dropped parcel; bulging muscles dripping with sweat, pulling tightly on a strap; bright, smokey flashes from the ends of disposable rocket launchers; cars which miraculously fling themselves into the air; the raucous laughter of big-mouthed and innocent prostitutes; male hands over female hands moulding clay – and then proceeds to replicate mindlessly in the films it infects. But of course these microbial vermin don’t exist simply in order to play with our emotions, pulling strings like some Pavlovian puppeteer. No, the main purpose of these transmorphing “ideal images” is to sell the movie by appearing prominently in the promotional trailers, posters and merchandising. In fact, their role in the actual movie can be quite secondary, even to the point of being there simply to avoid accusations of false advertising. Though movies are usually damaged by the dreaded ewok scourge through being infested with the little shits, they can also be affected by a very different route. In some cases, a film can receive a negative reception because
of the lack of these “traditionally associated” icons. In as much as the alternative attitude of a film finds its audience unprepared, so they are disoriented and thrown off-balance as a result. And this seems to have been exactly the case with Alien3, much to the displeasure of some and the pleasure of others. Alien3 is an intriguing mix of innovative and self-serving dynamics steeped in a mix of rich and indulgent stylistics. For those psyched-up for a continuation of the “boom crash opera” of Aliens, this third instalment of the saga must have seemed the furthest departure possible from the second. But there were plenty of others, myself included, who felt the film was not so much a radical and disturbing departure from its precursor, as a correct and respectful realignment with the original film Alien, much to the pleasure of some and the displeasure of others. Alien was a ground-breaker in visual SF. Indeed, it’s often the case that a lack of ewoks makes a visual SF production ground breaking, and despite some impressive visuals, Aliens (or Alien 2 as it is increasingly and distressingly being called) was a festering heap of the little mites. So crammed was Cameron’s film with ewok values, it was natural to expect that Alien3 wouldn’t be nearly as wild a departure as it was. Unless, of course, one took into account how little attitudinally Aliens had to do with the first film. This of course begs the question: why assume the third film would be anything like the second? Well, we’ve been made to expect so – that’s why. With the second film, the ewoks were trotted out to perform their magic act, encouraging many to believe – and some to even hope – that they would be around more than ever in any continuation. And, with little help from the promotion, many were taken unprepared, on seeing Alien3, when the expected icons weren’t there. This came as a surprise to many; to both those it pleased and those it didn’t.
“This ewok virus is transmitted by exploiting both natural instincts and social conditioning.” But now that we’re over the shock of a product dramatically tangential to general expectations – ewok-marines with ewok-pulse-rifles, falling from the sky in ewok-gunships, tossing off gruntish, red-neck, ewok-one-liners – what were the virtues and flaws of Alien3? Well, for me at least, Alien3 was a worthwhile and arresting techno-gothic experience; an intriguing clash of cultural iconography. It marked the return of the first film’s Ripley (not to be confused with Rambolina from the second) in confrontation with rogues and braggarts; like a xenomorph dropped into Hard Times - a sort of Dickens in Space. The juxtaposition of hi-technological awareness and neuromantic perception was an original experience that would have seemed unlikely from a film of that nature; namely a sci-fi horror flick from a major Hollywood studio. I pity anyone who thought it would, and even should, be a feel-good movie with lots of violent action; but the harshness, bleakness and noticeable lack of kindness to Ripley in Alien3 achieved a quality and depth of emotional response that went beyond even my hopes. This is quite an achievement when the plot appears so simple; but of course that need not mean the story is light on the ground. Alien3 is a tale exploring Ripley’s humanity and limitations while maintaining a strong sense of the dignity of the character. This story – with its inevitable conclusion revealing the ludicrous pretence of the second film’s “happy ending”, which relies on a naive audience to forget that nothing has been truly solved – is Ripley’s >>
Skull Movies scene 2 / Robin Pen
> best tale as a hero. Indeed, with Ripley’s help, I developed a respectable empathy with the characters of this film which I simply couldn’t muster for its forerunner. In Alien3, the group are treated as a broken and estranged remnant of humanity, while in Aliens they are de-humanised and comic collection of pathetic, cardboard pod-people. Newt, oh yes poor Newt (she got newted from orbit); I did appreciate the death and autopsy of Newt. It seemed appropriate for her to be disposed of so graphically: She became the sacrificial ewok that allowed Ripley’s characterisation to be freed and to run its natural course. And, partly because of this, I believe that Alien3 was a better piece of feminist SF than Aliens. People have praised Aliens for its Earth Mother gone a-Schwarzeneggering attitude, which I think is fairly sad – simply a gender-swap for that repulsive Hollywood construct, the indestructible God-hero of Vendetta. Aliens used motherhood as an excuse rather than a valid theme, and Newt was simply a dialectic tool to propel Ripley’s sudden macho transformation (a significant shift in attitude from Alien, where she was hard because, in space, you have to be hard). Just compare Ripley in the closing scenes of Aliens with Arnie in Terminator 2 (both Cameron films); the similarity is quite amusing. I don’t see feminism here, I see fetishism; a mere prop for Aliens’ true narrative intent; an emotional salve for frustrated wet-dreams about kicking the ass of the invisible, drooling monsters lurking under beds - audience participation as mass hysteria. In Alien3 Ripley is a vehicle for exploring our fear of death. Ripley’s relationship with death through Dallas, the rest of the Nostromo crew, her daughter, Hicks and Newt becomes the foundation on which to build a complex character who must face up to her own
end. The entire film, both through its visuals and pacing, parallels Ripley’s emotional and intuitive state as her story draws to a close. Indeed the director, David Fincher, intended that the film be stylistically structured around the Kubler-Ross five stages of death: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, nudging the audience through these stages as
the film ran its course. The mechanics of this could well have been a pivotal factor in the seduction or repulsion of individual audience members, irrespective of whether the deeper symbolism succeeded in touching them or not. In fact, some may have disliked the film because it worked too well. Either way, this five-stage structure makes Alien3 appear
somewhat compartmentalised in its flow. At times it can feel like it was made in sections and welded together like a ship in dry-dock. However, as distractions go, it certainly wasn’t a severe one. For its own reasons, Alien3 tries hard (some might say too hard) to undo every major point of development in the second film, rendering it an intervening incident between the first film and the third (even the title seems designed in pursuit of this goal). But then the first film is a far more significant work than the second - though Aliens has some merit as a piece of mindless escapism – and it should be remembered that Alien was a greater financial and critical success, despite the attention that has been awarded Aliens (which is largely due to its coterie of cult followers). Largely therefore, I can’t blame David Fincher and the producers for making what is basically a direct sequel to Alien. And it has paid off for them, as Alien3 has been successful enough to even warrant a fourth film. The death of Ripley does not end the Alien saga; it simply ends Ripley’s and, in my opinion, satisfyingly so. >>
Skull Movies scene 2 / Robin Pen
> If you were one of those perplexed ingenues who were dissatisfied with Alien3 because of its lack of rampant ewoks then I would be very surprised if you reacted favourably towards David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. To put it in even simpler terms, if you want ewoks, don’t see this film. Not because there aren’t any; it’s just that when one does occasionally poke its furry head into shot, it is quickly grabbed and disposed of; buggered with literary semantics.
Because of this intentional aloofness, the audience is not encouraged to participate empathically in the inter-relations between the characters, nor the emotional experiences of the characters themselves. Instead we’re invited to study and analyse the motives and purposes of the central protagonist. Despite how it sounds, this can be quite amusing and quite enthralling, and makes Naked Lunch an innovative Detective Story of impressive stature.
Naked Lunch has some elements of theme in common with Alien3. Both deal with worlds that seem to exist for the specific purpose of tormenting a displaced protagonist, confused as to their precise purpose in the dank quagmire of vain hope. Also like Alien3, Naked Lunch is a set-bound production; both adapt set restrictions to their advantage by using them as a stylistic device. With Naked Lunch, the very set-ness was integrated into the story to the point where it seemed to relate directly to the experiences of the central (and, really, sole) protagonist, William Lee. Indeed, to have expanded the spatial dimension of the story - its surroundings, in the form of rooms, streets and emotional vivacity could actually have lessened the film’s thematic and psychological impact.
There are, however, two points in the film where there seems to be pressure for the audience to let themselves go with the emotional flow. These occur when Lee brings about the death of the woman and only person he loves, twice. Joan seems to be the only character that Lee can identify with or has attachment to, though he seems to realise this only after he puts a bullet in her brain. It is his relationship with Joan, both the Joan he kills in the “real world” and the Joan he meets in Interzone, which allows Lee to find his humanity and to redeem himself. Curiously and ironically he does so by coming to terms with the intuitive truth that his acts are irredeemable. His success is to acknowledge his failure. For William Lee, as for William Burroughs, that fatal gun-shot will echo in perpetuity; as long as the creative process exists to understand truths and defy lies, and vice-versa. As the bug-writer said, all agents defect and all resisters betray themselves. Exterminate all rational thought and the point of this unique and masterful film will reveal itself, like a razored diamond you’ve always known was there but which has only just struck you, resonating to the world’s vibe, deep inside your skull.
The central theme of Naked Lunch is William Lee’s search for identity while detached from all modes of communication and severed from the real world, or more precisely, his own view of the world as he chooses or chooses not to see it. And as his perceptions keep him distant from what is around him, so it is with the audience: We are there to observe Lee in his strange encounters with a world that seems to exist exclusively to feed his questionable senses and addictions, and perhaps to watch ourselves as voyeurs of Lee’s real, hyper-real and surreal experiences (an experience, incidentally, which provides the only truly shocking moments in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer). As Lee is strangely remote even from his own direct stimuli, so must we be from his experiences.
With films like Naked Lunch and Alien3, it has become a real point of interest that they contain a singular lack of traditional ewok images. Because almost all modern fantasy movies are constructed from packages of ewok concepts, it generates a critical shock when a film comes along that appears to defy
Naked Lunch the rule. This is now so much the case that recently the notion of a Hollywood fantasy film avoiding the standard ewok icons has been seized on by the promoters themselves. With Batman Returns the very idea of “no ewoks” becomes an ewok in itself. The first Batman film was quirky, visually original and, against the odds, very successful, so naturally the promotion of the follow-up emphasised the attributes that made the first interesting; namely the quirkiness and the originality, “faithfully reconstructed”. As a result, the whole of Batman Returns is one giant ewok. (And it should be noted that the same method was used for the promotion and design of The Addams Family, to similar effect.) Ewoks have to come from somewhere (they weren’t really made by some mad scientist after all) and, as the monumental ewok of
Batman Returns came from something that was original and fresh, so do all the other ewoks. Once, when those ewok icons were used for the first time, they were intended as risk-taking, ground-breaking images, both innovative and original. Sadly, when they proved successful they were immediately incorporated into that Hollywood success-mill formula “How to Make a Movie in Six Easy Lunches”. I think it’s appropriate to end on the thought that the ewok was once The Artistic Gamble and now is The Commercially Secure. I suppose it explains the fact that, while I have nothing but contempt for the overexploitation of ewok ideas, I still have a certain fondness for many an ewok situation I have encountered in the movies. I must confess I see all of Arnie’s movies and, after all, he is the true King of the ewoks.
Robin Pen is a lapsed blogger. See The View From Mt Pootmootoo ( http://members.iinet.net. au/~robinpen/blogger.html ) and Planet Blog ( www.planetvideo.com.au/blog ). This series originally appeared as The Secret Life of Rubber-Suit Monsters, in Eidolon 10, October 1992 © 1992 Robin Pen.
stralian stories with Neil Boyack
ppearing in a number of Henry Lawson’s (1867-1922) collections The Fire at Ross’s Farm catalogues aspects of a romanticised Australian identity: assumed mateship, hardy toughness, hear ts of gold, a sense of fairness and adaptation to landscape. But through Lawson’s simple, cut-to-the-bone prose and word power he creates harshness, uncertainty and a violence that at once dispels this romance. Deft backgrounding and solid landscape portrayal builds a delightful tension in this work. We have the mean Squatter Black, and the underdog “selector” Ross, we have the “granite spur”, we have youth romance belying the rift between Ross and Black, and we have an array of rivalries, cultural and class-based, drawn out through the advent of a large bushfire; a force no-one can control. Most Australians are careful with fire, its dangers sewn into our national psyche, our own deepest, darkest fight or flight response. Drought is common to the Australian landscape and bushfires are never far away, so Australians understand the pain, the grief and horror of these events deeply. Even in our winter, when watching bushfires in Greece or California on the news, the pictures are so familiar. The tension and seriousness create an inbuilt emotional pitch, an inner dialogue that sets off memories and stories seen and heard through our own families, communities, or media. When bushfires are around empathy is heightened, we are alert, and conversations between strangers are busy. Bushfires unify Australians because we know there is no one safe place in this country.
Fire has hammered and shaped Australian people. Aboriginal people routinely fire-farmed, and worked with fire in an organic natural cycle, but in Lawson’s poem whites find themselves anchored by private property and ownership. The Fire at Ross’s Farm covers a range of levels, but the basic tenet of the tension within the piece is founded on property ownership. Ownership of land creates the backdrop in which relationships are formed in this scenario. Black, the squatter, would have enjoyed his range, until the Government changed the law allowing others to “select” and occupy some of his holding, for the common good. Black was a part of the Squattocracy1. The occupation of Crown land without legal title was widespread, and often facilitated by the upper echelons of Colonial society, which possessed the means of production; running large numbers of stock and cattle on huge tracts of fenced land. Being ordered by government to share his land (stolen from Aboriginal people), would have surely caused red hot divisions and acrimony. Farmer Ross making a go of the meagre holding may well have added to Black’s infuriation.
“As only natives ride” Lawson’s Adversity, Private Property and Australian Culture
Throw in fundamental cultural and religious divisions within white society at the time (Catholic, Protestant, Church of England, Irish, Scottish, English) and you have the makings of trouble. It was, indeed, a deadly feud Of class and creed and race; But, yet, there was a Romeo And a Juliet in the case; And more than once across the flats, Beneath the Southern Cross, Young Robert Black was seen to ride With pretty Jenny Ross. Lawson’s own history is that of a loner and an outsider growing up in tough times, and in remote locations. He attended school at Eurunderee from October 1876 but suffered an ear infection, leaving him with partial deafness. By the age of fourteen he had lost his hearing entirely, which only served to enlarge his already foreboding sense of isolation informed through a semi-transient family life as his family unit chased gold. With his deafness, reading was a primary source of education for young Henry. Lawson’s adult life and writing years were intertwined with alcohol, hard luck, mental illness, depression and attempted suicide. Lucky for us, he was able to capture the essence of an Australian reality in his experiences through his pen, whilst cultivating his own influential “voice”. His powerful descriptive abilities and use of local vernacular set a scene for establishing a real Australian culture in the approach to Federation; a time where many debates and
discussions were about independence, isolation, amidst a crystallising sense of Australian identity. His writing of course went hand in hand with his politics – he was a nationalist – and working/mining classsocialist breed. These very elements created clashes with others including Andrew “Banjo” Patterson, who Lawson called a “City Bushman” implying that Patterson minimised the precariousness of bush life and thus undermining “the struggle” bush dwellers endured. This was a robust chapter encapsulated as The Bulletin debate. When responding to this episode years later, Patterson stated that he romanticised the strengths of rural life from the back of a horse with a cook in tow, and that Lawson’s experiences were solitary, and on foot. Patterson also stated that Lawson was a great writer.
Stralian Stories / Neil Boyack
> Lawson’s subject matter came from his isolation, combined with his experiences on the road. The greatest influence here was a Bulletin-funded trip to Bourke, where Lawson experienced poverty and drought in the Australian outback, setting his imagination in a direction and tone that he would visit regularly throughout his writing life. Drive and encouragement for Henry came from his mother Louisa, an advocate of women’s rights and a publisher/writer herself, editing a women’s paper called The Dawn2 (published May 1888 to July 1905). There is no doubt that this had political ramifications on Lawson’s worldview, and in his position as a well-read political commentator and writer who influenced public discourse and culture creation. With his spare, simple prose and poetry Lawson created a realism that many identified with. Some have compared Lawson’s power to that of other realists such as Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway, as Lawson was prepared to use unhappy endings and bleak tones in his descriptions of landscape-dictated life. There may be handshake at the end of this poem, but this should not be confused with the Australian cultural trait of mateship. There is a clear motivation for Black to come and help Ross with the fire, which is to ensure the safety of his son and to repair their own relationship. When Robert Black tells his father that the fire is near Ross’s farm and that he should “send the men”, Black tells his own son never to return if he goes to help Ross with the fire; a regret-filled salvo from a stubborn father simply chopping his son off. It obviously got the better of him as he turns up and helps Ross to put out the fire.
Now, father, send the men at once, They won’t be wanted here; Poor Ross’s wheat is all he has To pull him through the year.’ `Then let it burn,’ the squatter said; `I’d like to see it done -I’d bless the fire if it would clear Selectors from the run. If Aboriginal culture is the hard bedrock of Australian culture, which I believe to be true, then Lawson helped pour the foundations of the Settler and Pioneer culture, creating a framework for national mythology at a time when Australia was searching for a national identity. A key ingredient to this national mentality is the romance of the bush; an ever powerful construct symbolic of perfection, driving “tree-changes”, and lying somewhere in the hearts of most Australians, peeking out on Anzac day, or when we win Olympic gold, but definitely when there’s a bushfire, or a tragedy, because Australians want to be “hurting together”. The romance of the bush is also tied to the notion of ownership and land; the land being the core narrative for Aboriginal people, every hill, every creek, every valley having a name, a meaning, a story. Land ownership and private property is the story for white society in Australia. Lawson shed light on these things through his work, and along the way paid homage to the elements that fulfil our landscape, underscoring man’s pointless, hopeless, position in the scheme of things, particularly the Australian bush. Read The Fire at Ross’s Farm: http://www.bushverse.com/lawson/fireross.html
FOOTNOTES: 1. Squattocracy: In Australian history, a squatter was one who occupied a large tract of Crown land in order to graze livestock. Initially often having no legal rights to the land, they gained its usage by being the first (and often the only) Europeans in the area. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Squattocracy) 2. The Dawn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dawn_(feminist_magazine) Neil Boyack is a writer and social worker. He is creator and director of the Newstead Short Story Tattoo. His new book Self Help and Other Works is out now, Check www.neilboyack.com and www.newsteadtattoo.org
by Emmi Scherlies
IT’S BEEN OVER A CENTURY since the Newstead postmistress was rescued by rowboat from the counter of the old post office. After the flood waters receded, the post office was decommissioned and the building has been in the family of Karen Pierce ever since. It is this unusual family heirloom that led Karen to the community of Newstead. Nestled in her garden, between the old post office and the levee bank, is Karen’s art studio. Huge windows allow the light to stream into the wonderful mishmash of her canvas paintings and her student’s colourful creations.
“Today we treat children like they’re little adults, but they need to be able to play and explore.” > Karen has extensive experience in teaching art and currently works as an art teacher at the Newstead Primary School. She thrives from the thrill of seeing her students discover and create something new, and their artwork even inspires her own. “Art allows children to do activities that are open-ended and creative. It gives them the opportunity to play, imagine and express themselves. Kids love to physically make things. Today we treat children like they’re little adults, but they need to be able to play and explore.” Each of Karen’s paintings has a story to tell, and I couldn’t resist asking for the tale behind Troy’s Mob. The playful painting features several toy hobby-horses racing by in a chaos of vibrant splendour. It reminded me of childhood birthday parties – I could almost hear the kids laughing and smell the sausage rolls and Cheezles. The story of Troy began when Karen was in grade six. “I wanted a horse so badly – you see – so I had to make my own!” She made a rudimentary horse-on-a-stick from scraps of wood, and her mother cleverly suggested she name him Troy. Karen’s face lit up when I asked if she ever got her dream horse. “I did! There was a school-holiday camp up the road that had horses, so I went and begged to look after one of their ponies!” To Karen’s delight, she was able to adopt one of the ponies as her own (except during school holidays) until eventually her father was able to buy it for her > Karen PIERCE, Troy’s Mob 2010 oil on canvas 150x80 cm.
Today it is art that is the centre of Karen’s life. “I just love to paint, and work with the children” she says. “Everything I do relates to art, it all blends into my life”. From painting a mural at the local swimming pool, to creating paper-plate flowers with her students for the community garden open day, and selling gift cards of her beautiful paintings,
Troyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mob / Emmi Scherlies
Karen is constantly bringing art into Newstead. Karenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art does not question or challenge, instead it evokes feelings of joy and beauty. The troubles of life are left far behind, and only the magic of art itself remains. You can visit Karen at the Old Post Office Studio by appointment. Details are on her website: www.karenpierceart.com
THE END OF THE WORLD
DARKEST PERU PART X
words & pics: Ben Laycock
Heading South on the Altiplano. A flat grassy plain 4,ooo metres above the sea. Dotted with Llamas and Alpacas and wizened Campesinos tilling the parched earth with crude wooden implements. The stinky diesel train trundles on, past lofty peaks reaching unto the very heavens, right through the middle of a shallow lake dotted with pink flamingoes as far as the eye can see. On and on, hours and hours of Flamingoes. I count a million before I lose count, but I may have I missed a couple. Day becomes night and still the stinky diesel train rattles its way towards oblivion. At Oruro, the last outpost of civilization, we cram into a stinky diesel jeep full of jovial Germans and head out across Salar de Ayuni, the largest salt lake in the world.
barren mountains of mauve and ochre and dark red. A white lake with pink flamingoes. A red lake with pink flamingos. A turquois lake with pink flamingos. We are in a cold desert. The only mammal that can survive is the hardy Vicuna, cousin of the llama, with a chest of the finest wool turned towards the icy wind. The Inca beat pure gold into life size statues of Vicuna but the Conquistadores melted them down into bars.
100 kilometres of pure dazzling white, dotted with islands dancing in the mirage. In the middle is a hotel made entirely of salt. Then for 3 days and 3 nights the stinky diesel jeep full of jovial Germans travels relentlessly onward through the most eerily beautiful landscape I have ever seen, dotted with
Next Chapter: Lake Titicaca â&#x20AC;&#x201C; birthplace of The Inca Dynasty and home of The Bolivian Navy (I kid you not).
Then we come to the Badlands. A place so bleak not a blade of grass will grow. No sound but the howling wind. After resting our weary bones we are awoken before dawn to slip into a steaming hotspring dotted with jovial Germans and watch the sun rise over a primordial landscape. Green lakes of copper, red lakes of iron, yellow lakes of sulfur, smoking volcanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and bubbling geysers. It feels like we have traveled back 3 billion years to a time before life on ear th began.
cowra • Cowra Regional Art Gallery See our website for this month’s exhibitions. 77 Darling Street Cowra NSW 2794. Tues to Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 2 - 4pm. Free Admission. www.cowraartgallery.com.au Image: G.W. Bot Glyphs: Tree of Life (detail) 2012, watercolour and graphite on colombe paper, 100cm x 100cm. Winner 2012 Calleen Art Award.
sydney • Art Gallery of New South Wales FRANCIS BACON: five decades, until 17 February 2013. Dobell Prize for Drawing: 20th Anniversary, until 9 February 2013. Art Gallery Rd, The Domain, Sydney NSW 2000. T: (02) 9225 1744, www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
windsor • Hawkesbury Regional Gallery Until 10 March: Archibald Prize 2012: NSW Regional Tour. Australia’s most famous prize for portraiture. Open 10am - 4pm every day for this exhibition. Free admission. Image: TIM STORRIER, The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch) (detail) © Tim Storrier. 2012 Archibald Prize winner. Deerubbin Centre, 1st Floor, 300 George Street Windsor 2756. T: (02) 4560 4441 F: (02) 4560 4442; Normal hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm Sat & Sun 10am-3pm, (Closed Tues and public holidays). www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
NSW / ACT
• The Exhibitionist Art Gallery The Exhibitionist, an exciting new art gallery in Adelaide, is proud to present for the first time in Australia the Portuguese painter NATALIA GROMICHO, with Human Being an exploration of the essence of humanity. An exclusive, international art event, part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival – 22 February –17 March. Curator: CASSANDRA SCALZI. Image: Roman Woman, mixed technique, 80 x100 cm. 49 Main North Road, Medindie Gardens, South Australia. E: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.theexhibitionist.com.au
devonport • Devonport Regional Gallery Open Mon - Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 12noon5pm, Sun and Public Holidays 1pm-5pm. 45 Stewart Street, Devonport,Tasmania 7310. E: email@example.com T: (03) 6424 8296; www.devonportgallery.com Image: Pulse # 201207 by Paul Snell.
hobart • MONA, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart Ancient, modern and contemporary art. Monanism the permanent collection – evolving over time. Current exhibition: Theatre of the World curated by JEAN-HUBERT MARTIN through to 8 April, 2013. More than 350 artworks and objects of curiosity spanning 4,000 years of creativity. Fees: $20/adult; under 18s are free. Spring/ Summer opening hours: 10am to 6pm, closed Tuesdays. Food, bars, winery, microbrewery, accommodation, bookshop and library. 655 Main Road Berriedale, Tasmania, 7011. T: (03) 6277 9900, www.mona.net.au
box hill • Box Hill Community Arts Centre Until 17 Feb, Art Without Borders - An exhibition of unique artwork that tells the personal story of newly arrived migrant women. Art Without Borders is a free textile-based art program offered to newly arrived migrant women living in the City of Whitehorse. 19 Feb – 3 March, Works from the City of Whitehorse Arts Collection. 470 Station Street Box Hill T: (03) 9895 8888 www.bhcac.com.au Image: NYAPAK JOCK JANG, 2012.
• Whitehorse Artspace Until 2 March 2013 Unveiled. Unveiled uncovers the hidden treasures of the Manningham, Maroondah and Whitehorse Council art collections. Historical artworks by Australian Impressionists will be displayed alongside contemporary masterpieces by leading local and internationally recognised art practitioners. This exhibition is being shown at all three Council gallery facilities - the new Manningham Art Gallery, Maroondah Art Gallery and the Whitehorse Artspace. Free curators talks 2pm Saturday 2 February at Whitehorse Artspace and Saturday 9 February at Maroondah Art Gallery. Bookings essential on 9840 9367.Imager: E. Phillips Fox The harvest field (detail) 1905. Hours: Tues and Fri 10am-3pm, Wed and Thurs 9am-5pm, Saturday noon-4pm. T: (03) 9262 6250, 1022 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill VIC 3128, www.boxhilltownhall.com.au
brunswick • Counihan Gallery in Brunswick 25 January to 17 February 2013 Gallery One: DEBORAH KELLY The Miracles. Gallery Two: MAGDA CEBOKLI Drawn Out. Opening: Thursday 24 January, 6–8 pm. 1 March to 31 March 2013 Sound & Vision, SARAH DUYSHART, EMMA LASHMAR, ROSS MANNING. Curated by LAUREN SIMMONDS. Image: Emma Lashmar, 100/1 (detail) 2010, glass and thread. Installation view, MARS Gallery, Melbourne. Photograph: Andrew Barcham. 233 Sydney Road, Brunswick 3056 T: (03) 9389 8622; www.moreland.vic.gov.au/gallery. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
bundoora • Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Until 10 February JOHN BORRACK: selected paintings and drawings 1970-2012; Shifting Landscapes: JOHN SHEEHAN 1991 -2012. Image: John Sheehan, Twilight Trees. 7-27 Snake Gully Drive, Bundoora. (Melways 19 G2) T: (03) 9496 1060; http:// bundoorahomestead.com
deer park • Hunt Club Community Arts Centre Galleries Centre open Mon-Thurs 9am - 7.30pm, Fri 9am - 4.30pm, Sat 9am -12.30pm. Closed Public Holidays. 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park (Melway 25, F8) T: (03) 9249 4600 E: huntclub@brimbank. vic.gov.au www.brimbank.vic.gov.au/arts
doncaster • Manningham Art Gallery Unveiled: Art from the Manningham, Maroondah and Whitehorse Council Collections 23 January – 16 February. Made to Last: The Conservation of Art 27 February – 28 March. A NETS Victoria touring exhibition in partnership with the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne and supported by Latrobe Regional Gallery. Curated by SHERRYN VARDY. Image: GEOFF MADDAMS, Tree Cup (detail) 1978, slip cast porcelain, size variable, Manningham Public Art Collection. MC² (Manningham City Square), 687 Doncaster Road, Doncaster 3108. Mel Ref. 47 F1. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm. T: (03) 98409367. E: email@example.com; www. manningham.vic.gov.au/gallery Free entry.
fitzroy • Colour Factory Gallery Mirror Mirror: Contemporary photographic self portraiture. Curated by LINSEY GOSPER. Exhibition dates: 8 February – 2 March.2013. Opening: Thursday 7 February, 6-8pm. Artists: HODA AFSHAR, GARRETT HUGHES, DAVIDASHLEY KERR, DIANE MANTZARIS, KOBIE NEL, FARRELL & PARKIN, DREW PETTIFER, LINSEY GOSPER & JACK SARGEANT, JACQUI STOCKDALE, HANNAH RAISIN. Image credit: Diane Mantzaris, Fountain of Eve (detail) 2011, 250 (Height) x 113cm (width), C-type photograph. 409 - 429 Gore Street, Fitzroy 3065. T: (03) 9419 8756, F: (03) 9417 5637. Gallery hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm, Sat 1 - 4pm. E: Gallery@ colourfactory.com.au www.colourfactory.com.au • Auguste Clown Gallery Come under the spell of Italian artist, DILKA BEAR and experience her enchanted world with the exhibition Sleepwalker’s Dreams on Friday 15 February, 7pm. Exhibition runs until 2 March. Image: Midnight Lullaby, oil on board. Auguste Clown Gallery, 52 Johnston Street Fitzroy. www.augusteclown.com
healesville • TarraWarra Museum of Art 21 December 2012 – 31 March 2013 Master of Stillness: Jeffrey Smart paintings 19402011. A Samstag Museum of Art exhibition in partnership with TarraWarra Museum of Art. Master of Stillness is a major survey exhibition of over forty paintings by one of Australia’s most important living painters. As the curator of the exhibition Barry Pearce has said, ‘JEFFREY SMART created an entirely new vernacular of modern painting. He confronted a brave new universe of technology and architecture and declared that it was beautiful. He became its poet’. Indemnification for this exhibition is provided by the Victorian Government. 21 December 2012 – 14 April 2013 NADINE CHRISTENSEN and ANNE WALLACE: Recent paintings. Image: Jeffrey Smart, Self-portrait at Papini’s (detail) 1984-85, oil and acrylic on canvas, 85 x 115 cm. Private collection © Jeffrey Smart. Visit website for public programs and events. Exhibitions open 7 days a week from Boxing Day to Australia Day. Admission: $12 Adults / $8 Concession. TarraWarra Museum of Art, 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville. For information and bookings visit twma.com.au
langwarrin • McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park Until 14 July 2013: McClelland Sculpture Survey and Award 2012. Until 3 March 2013. JANET LAURENCE: The Alchemical Garden of Desire. Until 3 March 2013 Aftermath: Landscape photographs by JOHN GOLLINGS from Black Saturday. Australia’s leading Sculpture Park and Gallery. 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin (Mel. Ref. 103 E3 only 45 min from St Kilda!) T: (03) 9789 1671. Gallery Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm (Entry by donation). McClelland Gallery Café, Tues-Sun 10am-4.30pm. Guided Tours: Wed and Thurs 11am and 2pm, and Sat and Sun by appointment only. Prior bookings highly recommended. E: info@mcclellandgallery. com, www.mcclellandgallery.com
melbourne • BLINDSIDE Until 2 February 2013 Gallery 1 & 2: Summer Studio Open Day. Wednesday 6 February – Saturday 24 February 2013 Gallery 1 & 2: Debut IX. Image: SHIREEN RAWLINS, Experience Light (detail) 2012, yarn installation, 360 x 560cm. BLINDSIDE, Nicholas Building, 714/37 Swanston St (enter via Cathedral Arcade lifts, cnr Flinders Lane), Melbourne. Hours: Tue to Sat 12-6pm. T: (03) 9650 0093
• fortyfivedownstairs 5 – 16 February Souvenir by JENNY PETERSON, intaglio prints; 5 – 16 February Dispelling all Myths, GEORDIE COLE, WILLIAM YONEYAMA, WADE JOHNSTON, ANTONY VONRATCORPSE, BIEE SAETANG, ZACH HART, NICOLE DRAGER, MEL WILLIAMS, CAPILLI TUPOU, TASHI M EDWARDS, DEAN SACRED, CALEB WALMSLEY, TENIELE SADD, TEBI EL CAMARON and HAL CHESHIRE, group exhibition, painting/drawing/ installation; 19 February – 2 March Sketches for a Painting by MARGARET GOLD, painting; 19 February – 2 March Journey by STEFANO CANTURI, drawing/painting/prints; 8 February Gypsy Passion, SONGMAKERS AUSTRALIA, live music; 14 February The Power of Love, HELEN MORSE and PAUL ENGLISH, Poetry reading; 14 February A Night of Poetry for Barry Jones, RACE MATTHEWS, GARETH EVANS, PETER CRAVEN, MARIEKE HARDY, DR. JOAN GRANT, MAX GILLIES, JOHN STANTON and THE FLINDERS QUARTET, poetry readings/live music; 21 – 23 Febraury ZeroZero, TONY YAPP, YUMI UMIUMARE and MATTHEW GINGOLD, dance theatre. Image: ZeroZero promotional image, Tony Yap and Yumi Umiumare. 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 3000. T: (03) 9662 9966 www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
moonee ponds • Incinerator Gallery Fire Works: Art and Design By Bright Young Things. An annual art and design exhibition and prize for VCE students who live in, or go to school in Moonee Valley. 1 Feb – 24 Mar. Opening 1 Feb 6-8pm. Dream Home, FRANK VELDZE. 1 Feb – 24 Mar. A three metre high construction, functioning as both a surreal sculpture and a series of intriguing spaces. As part of the Garden Project – a program of exciting outdoor sculpture in the Incinerator’s front garden (see image). Opening hours: Tues to Sun, 10am-4pm. Free Entry. Incinerator Gallery, 180 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds VIC 3039 T: (03) 8325 1750, E: firstname.lastname@example.org, www. incineratorgallery.com.au
southbank • ACCA - Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Desire Lines – 15 December, 2012 to 3 March, 2012. A major survey exhibition that investigates the physical, conceptual and psychological tracks created by artists. FRANCIS ALYS, SAMUEL BECKETT, NEAL BEGGS, PIERRE BISMUTH, MARCEL BROODTHAERS, MIRECA CANTOR, A K DOLVEN, JACQUELINE DONACHIE, WILLIE DOHERTY, TACITA DEAN, RODNEY GRAHAM, JOAN JONAS, LEOPOLD KESSLER, EVA KOCH, JOCHEN KUHN, RACHEL LOWE, RICHARD LONG, DAVID LINK, THOMAS MCMILLAN, BRUCE NAUMAN, MEL O’CALLAGHAN, PAULIEN OLTHETEN, YVONNE RAINER, DAN SHIPSIDES, CHARLIE SOFO, GRANT STEVENS, STEPHEN SUTCLIFFE, ROBERT SMITHSON, LAWRENCE WEINER, CATHERINE YASS, and AKRAM ZAATARI. Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank. Gallery hours: TuesdayFriday 10am–5pm. Weekends 11am-6pm. Mondays by appointment. T: (03) 9697 9999 Admission: Free. www.accaonline.org.au
st andrews • The Baldessin Press and Studio Artists / writers retreats, workshops, studio access etc in tranquil bushland 50 kms from Melbourne. T (03) 97101350, www. baldessinpress.com
• The Pharos Centre Workshops – Pathways to Creativity 23 Feb, 2013 JILL ORR: Mind, Movement & Making Art. An exploration through meditation, breath and performative awareness that can be applied to any art form. Orr’s art includes performance,photography, video and installations. 9.30AM-4.30PM workshop $290 per day incl. lunch. 16 & 17 March, 2013 NINA SELLARS Naked to the Bone, The Skeleton in Life Drawing. The class adopts the drawing techniques of the Renaissance – think Leonardo. Two days, including lunches and more $450. The Pharos Centre aims to host the most useful, innovative and exciting workshops . 85 Ninks Road, St. Andrews, Vic 3761. T (03) 9710 1516 E email@example.com Image: Jill Orr, Venice International Performance Week Dec. 2012 http://jillorr.com.au/
sunshine • Sunshine Art Spaces Artist studios, gallery and shop front. Three new artists – photographer BRAD AXIAK, puppet maker LANA SCHWARZ and environmental artist MICHAEL SHIELL – have recently moved into the studio space located in what was previously a chemist shop. Opposite the studios is a Gallery space, which currently hosts the exhibition Faith 2 Faith: Art in Public Spaces from 1 – 29 March. Opening hours vary, call to confirm. 2 City Place, Sunshine (Melway 40, H1) T: (03) 9249 4600 E: firstname.lastname@example.org; www. sunshineartspaces.com.au
upwey • Burrinja Gallery Fashion meets Fiction: The Darnell Collection. Fashion meets Fiction presents costumes from the internationally renowned Darnell Collection embodying the fashion of such favourite fictional characters as Scarlett O’Hara, Holly Golightly, Phryne Fisher and Carrie Bradshaw. Celebrating the National Year of Reading, Fashion meets Fiction travels through time and the popular culture and fiction of the periods, drawing together the threads of character, period, fashion and finery. This is a must see exhibition for all lovers of fashion, fiction, design and history, until 17 February 2013. Image: GRANT COWAN, Dreaming of Dior. Cnr Glenfern Rd and Matson Dr. Tue to Sun 10.30am-4pm. T: 9754 8723. W: burrinja.org.au
wheelers hill • Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) 8 February–28 April 2013, PEACE. This important exhibition seeks to find a picture of PEACE and includes photographs made by prominent photographers from the Australian photographic collective DEGREE SOUTH. These photographers include TIM PAGE, ASHLEY GILBERTSON, STEPHEN DUPONT, BEN BOHANE, MICHAEL COYNE, DAVID DARE PARKER, JACK PICONE and the late SEAN FLYNN. Iconic Australian actor JACK THOMPSON, AM will open MGA’s upcoming exhibition PEACE on Saturday 16 February 2013 at 3pm. Bookings T: 8544 0500. Image: Ashley GILBERTSON, Occupy Wall Street demonstrator meditates in Zuccotti Park on November 16 2011, pigment ink-jet print, courtesy of the artist. 860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill 3150. Tues - Fri 10am to 5pm, Sat - Sun 12 to 5pm, Closed Mon. T: (03) 8544 0500, E: mga@ monash.vic.gov.au, www.mga.org.au
BAY & PENINSULA geelong • Geelong Gallery A curious nature – the landscape as theatre in contemporary photography and new media, until 10 February. Djalkiri – we are standing on their names – Blue Mud Bay, presented by Artback NT: Arts Development and Touring and Nomad Art Productions, until 10 February. A question of scale – maquettes and small sculpture from the permanent collection, until 21 April. NICK MOUNT – the fabric of work, 16 February to 12 May. Corporeal – a print exchange folio, 16 February to 12 May. Geelong region artists program: Burnt landscape – Yarra Ranges under fire – DONALD RAMSAY, 2 February to 11 March. Image: Nick Mount, Scent bottle #030808 2011, blown glass, carved, polished, assembled. Reproduced courtesy of the artist Photography: Grant Hancock. Geelong Gallery, Little Malop Street, Geelong 3220. T: (03) 5229 3645, www.geelonggallery. org.au Free entry. Open daily 10am to 5pm. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday.
ballarat • Art Gallery of Ballarat Exhibitions: To 24 February EAMON O’TOOLE: Big Boys Toys. 2 February to 24 March Next Gen 2013: VCE Art and Design. Concerts: 20 February, 7.30pm, La Compania. 24 February, 2.30pm Westwind. Talk: 27 February, 12.30pm, Gordon Morrison, Greg Binns Memorial Lecture. Image: Eamon O’Toole, Honda NSR 500 (Wayne Gardner Motorcycle) 1989-90. T: (03) 5320 5858 Free entry. Open daily except Christmas and Boxing Day. E: artgal@ballarat. vic.gov.au; www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au
• Ballarat Arts Foundation Grants Rounds for emerging artists: 1 – 31 March and 1 – 30 September. Visit Downloads on www.ballaratartsfoundation.org.au or T: (03) 5332 4824 or M: 0409 352 268
• Her Majesty’s Sunday 3 February 1pm, SMB Courthouse Theatre, NTLive screening The Magistrate starring JOHN LITHGOW; Wednesday 6 February, 8pm Oh What a Night; Sunday 10 February 1pm SMB Courthouse Theatre MetHD, Les Troyens (Berlioz); Sunday 24 February 1pm Her Majesty’s, Maria Stuarda (Donizetti) Her Majesty’s Theatre, 17 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat. Box Office/Ticket Sales: MajesTix T: (03) 5333 5888 Box Office hours - Monday to Friday, 9.15am - 5pm and one hour prior to performance starting times.
• Post Office Gallery Wed 30 Jan – Sat 16 Feb 2013 MARIA COOK: The Kimonos Journey: Function to Art: Wed 20 Feb – Sat 30 Mar SCOPE 13: Arts Academy staff, Research students and Associates. Sat 13 Apr – Sun 19 May 2013 Guirguis New Art Prize (GNAP). In a new acquisitive $20,000 national art prize, eleven shortlisted contemporary Australian artists present their work at the Post Office Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ballarat. The artists include REBECCA BAUMANN (WA), FERGUS BINNS, (VIC) PETRINA HICKS (NSW), ASH KEATING (VIC), BONNIE LANE (VIC), RICHARD LEWER (WA) ANGELICA MESITI (NSW), DAVID ROSETZKY (VIC), DARREN SYLVESTER (VIC), BRENDAN VAN HEK (NSW) and PAUL YORE (VIC). Further details www.ballarat.edu.au/gnap. www.facebook.com/ postofficegallery www.balgal.com. Image: JILL ORR, In the beginning (detail). Post Office Gallery, University of Ballarat. Cnr Sturt and Lydiard St Ballarat. VIC. 3350. Mon/ Tue by appt. Wed-Sat 1-4pm. T: (03) 5327 8615, E: email@example.com www.ballarat.edu. au/pogallery • Radmac Radmac Office Choice (incorporating Radmac Gallery) is your one stop shop for all your office and school supplies, computer consumables, copy and specialty papers, art and craft supplies, art classes (bookings essential) and much much more. Radmac Gallery, 104 Armstrong Street (Nth) Ballarat 3350. T: (03) 5333 4617 Gallery Hours 8.30am to 5.30pm Mon - Fri, 9am to 12pm Sat.
art * graphic * office and school supplies
*we supply service* 104 Armstrong St North, Ballarat 3350 Phone (03) 5333 4617 Fax (03) 5333 4673 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
trouble is on twitter too
bendigo • Artsonview Framing and Gallery Expert custom framing by GEOFF SAYER. Conservation and exhibition framing also available. Plus a small but interesting range of original artwork and photography. Ceramics and etchings by RAY PEARCE, limited edition prints by GEOFF HOCKING now in stock. 75 View Street. E: email@example.com; T: (03) 5443 0624
• Bendigo Art Gallery Her Majesty’s Territories: stereographic views of Australian sceneries, 9 February – 1 April 2013. Image: JOHN H JONES (active 1860s), Gold Diggers (detail) albumen silver photograph mounted on card. Collection of Bendigo Art Gallery. 42 View Street, Bendigo. T: (03) 5434 6088. www.bendigoartgallery.com.au
• The Capital - Bendigo’s Performing Arts Centre Delicate, poignant, extraordinary. Miss it at your peril! Enter the world of smoke and mirrors of light and shade … World renowned Hand Shadow Artist, the ‘Unusualist’ RAYMOND CROWE returns with his new work of wonder Curiosities. His show is a dazzling display of skills and artistry rarely seen in on the world stage. Be enchanted by his imaginative creations and collections of ventriloquism, smoke painting, puppetry, performing fleas , shadow play, comedy, an interactive dinosaur, silhouette cutting and features his 19th century “Physionotrace” machine! Also returning to the stage with Raymond after a 99 year absence, one of the world’s first cartoons, Winston McCay’s 1914 ground breaking interactive animation (inspiring Disney, Looney Tunes to Pixar) Gertie the dinosaur Saturday 23 February. Tickets www.thecapital.com.au
• Community & Cultural Development (CCD) www.bendigo.vic.gov.au - for arts, festivals and events info at your fingertips. Select Council Services, then Arts Festivals and Events for Events Calendar and Arts Register. The CCD Unit is an initiative of the City of Greater Bendigo. E: firstname.lastname@example.org. au T: (03) 5434 6464
• La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre VAC Gallery: To 10 February DOMENICO DE CLARIO from the opaque: ‘the question of the archive’ residency project. 13 February – 24 March BRUCE MOWSON and ELLIOT HOWARD The Listening vs Striles of Ming. Access Gallery: To 24 February JOAN HARRIS Transcriptions. Image: Bruce Mowson, The Swing 2008, and Elliot Howard, Tometimes Taughter Lounds Sike Fears, 2008. 121 View St, Bendigo. T: (03) 5441 8724 W: www.latrobe.edu.au/vac
castlemaine • Arts & Culture: Mount Alexander Shire Phee Foyer Exhibition Space: Currently seeking local artists to exhibit in the Phee Broadway Theatre exhibition space. Works need to be ready to hang and the space is free to use – no commissions. Guidelines and Expression of Interest documents can be downloaded from the Council website: www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au Deadline for submissions is Fri 1 March 2013. Arts & Culture Officer, Tegan Lang, Community Activity and Culture Unit, Mount Alexander Shire Council. T: (03) 5471 1793; M: 0428 394 577; E: email@example.com
• Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum 9 February – 10 March R W STURGESS (1892–1932) Works from the Permanent Collection. Over thirty-five works from 1912 to 1930 presented to the Gallery by the artist’s daughter and shown together for the first time. R W Sturgess Among the Marigolds (detail) 1923, watercolour. CAGHM, 14 Lyttleton Street Castlemaine, Vic. For full list of events and exhibitions log onto: www.castlemainegallery.com Image: Ray Stanyer, A never considered arrival (detail).
• Greengraphics: web and print We design anything, in web or print. Call (03) 5472 5300 or visit www.greengraphics.com.au
newstead • Dig Café MARITSA GRONDA, Camels in the desert, until 20 February 2013. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Open Wednesday and Thursday 9am-4pm, Friday and Saturday 9am - late, Sunday 9am-4pm. Cnr Lyons and Panmure Streets Newstead. T: (03) 5476 2744; www.digcafe.com.au
• Pocket Gallery 11 February – 29 March 2013 paintings by KRISTIN SCHERLIES. 1 April – 31 May 2013 HUGH WALLER. Image: Kristin Scherlies, Moon in morning sky (detail), acrylic, sand, 1mtr x 1.2mtrs. Pocket Gallery is a community-run art space located at Newstead Rural Transaction Centre (RTC) 45 Lyons Street Newstead VIC 3462. Artists are invited to exhibit at Pocket for free. E: firstname.lastname@example.org for info or find us on Facebook.
• Karen Pierce Painter, Illustrator, Art Teacher, Community Artist. Quality prints and cards. Old Post Office Studio, 22 Panmure Street Newstead. T: (03) 5476 2459, www.karenpierceart.com
MURRAY RIVER mildura • The Art Vault To 18 February HEATHER SHIMMEN & MANDY GUNN. 20 Feb – 11 March ANITA LAURENCE small gallery; GEOFFREY RICARDO main gallery. Artist in residence: Geoffrey Ricardo, Heather Shimmen and Mandy Gunn. Residency applications are open for 2014. Image: Geoffrey Ricardo, thief (detail) 2012, intaglio print. 43 Deakin Avenue, Mildura 3500. T: (03) 5022 0013 E: email@example.com www.theartvault.com.au Gallery Director: Julie Chambers. Wed - Sat 10am to 5pm and Sun Mon 10am to 2pm.
• Mildura Arts Centre Mildura Arts Centre, 199 Cureton Avenue, Mildura VIC 3500. T: (03) 5018 8330; F: (03) 5021 1462; www.milduraartscentre.com.au Image credit: Jenny Watson (b.1951), Horse Series No. 1: Palomino with Championship Ribbon, 1973, oil and acrylic on canvas © Mildura Arts Centre Collection.
swan hill • Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery Familiar Unfamiliar: Pictures of Australian experience in print, 23 January – 17 March. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Print Council of Australia, Familiar Unfamiliar showcases the diversity of printmaking today from 45 practitioners across Australia whose work investigates perspectives on people and place. Image: REW HANKS, The Last Supper, linocut. Opening hours 10am-5pm Tuesday to Friday, 11am-5pm Saturday and Sunday. Horseshoe Bend, Swan Hill, 3585. T:(03) 5036 2430 E:artgal@ swanhill.vic.gov.au; www.swanhillart.com
benalla • Benalla Art Gallery Opening hours 10am - 5pm. Benalla Art Gallery, Bridge Street, Benalla, Victoria, 3672. T: (03) 5760 2619; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; www. benallaartgallery.com
shepparton • Shepparton Art Museum Until 29 Jan 2013: Smash Hits 80s and 90s ceramics from the collection. 7 Feb to 30 June: Miracle: contemporary artists respond to the SAM ceramics collection. 7 March to 2 June: The Golden Age of Colour Prints: Ukiyo-e from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton VIC 3630; T: (03) 5832 9861; E: art.museum@shepparton. vic.gov.au; www.sheppartonartmuseum.com.au Director: Kirsten Paisley. Open 7 days, 10am to 4pm (public holidays 1pm to 4pm).
LAUNCH PARTY Saturday 18 February 2012
wangaratta • Wangaratta Art Gallery 56 Ovens Street Wangaratta. Director: Dianne Mangan, Hours: Mon-Tues 12-5pm; Wed-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 1-4pm. T: (03) 5722 0865, F: (03) 5722 2969, E: d.mangan@wangaratta. vic.gov.au or email@example.com; www.wangaratta.vic.gov.au then follow the links to the gallery. Follow us on Facebook. Image: AMANDA HO, Plant, Mineral, Animal 2012, cotton warp, silk stainless seel weft. Image courtesy of the artist. Petite miniatures entry 2012.
• Free arts activities, live music & tours of SAM: 10.00am to 5.00pm • Sir John Longstaff: Portrait of a Lady Exhibition • 2011 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award Exhibition • 6 New Permanent Collection Galleries For more information visit sheppartonartmuseum.com.au 70 Welsford St, Shepparton, 3630 VIC p 03 5832 9861 f 03 58318480 e firstname.lastname@example.org
WESTERN VIC ararat • Ararat Regional Art Gallery Waradgerie Weaver – LORRAINE CONNELLYNORTHEY, To 10 March 2013, A Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery exhibition. House/ Self tapestry and related drawings - KAY LAWRENCE, To 3 April 2013. New Acquisition: JENNY WATSON, to 10 March 2013.Image: Kay Lawrence, House/Self (detail) 1989, woven tapestry, ARAG collection. Town Hall, Vincent Street, Ararat. Mon to Fri 10am-4.30pm, w/ends 12-4pm. Free entry. T: (03) 5352 2836; E: email@example.com; www.facebook.com/araratgallery
horsham • Horsham Regional Art Gallery Until 10 February 2013: NICKI CLARKE – Wimmera Tales. A selection of vivid, playful tableaux of life paintings, in a naïve illustrative style by a local artist. 21 Roberts Ave, Horsham. Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 1-4.30pm. T: (03) 5362 2888; E: hrag@ hrcc.vic.gov.au; www.horshamartgallery.com.au