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War?

How do you prepare for War?

During the recess of WW1 and WW2, could the German Jewish war veterans that fought for the German Army, have imagined that a new war was coming, that would destroy them, if it could. In those day’s Europe folded, now they follow the piper. These are new days.

In the second war, some unlikely alliances rose to survive; England, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the Old Commonwealth; then the Americans came to fight. As these quarters rested, new wars brewed and we often wonder, who lit the match. The Asian wars, the African wars and the Middle East. Nation against nation. Weapons, Hired Guns and Slaves are a thriving enterprise and someone is making a profit.

Refugees; homeless, all full of anxiety, rock in the ocean and await angry shores for a smile, a wave and a welcome new home. Could it be you, will it be you?

How do you prepare for war? Who are our friends, who is a spy? If the bully fails, are we safer or worse off? Do our blind guides know where they are going?

Will the garden idols save us? Who are the hired hands fighting for? Don’t lose your head, stay calm; why should we care?

How do you prepare for war? Will your house survive? Where will you hide? What will you wear? Can you make a fire, or plant a garden when the fuel and food are gone. Who will you pray too, when the bombs fall? Ask a refugee and ask how they survived a war.

 

Probing the Firmament

There are 2 concepts of the Globe or Orb, that we live in. Most scientists claim that we live on Earths surface and the ancients believed, that we are within an enclosed structure known as the firament. In 1958 the the physicist James Van Allen discovered the ‘ceiling’ was made from radioactive particles, it became known as the Van Allen Belt.

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The Belt region has posed an obstacle for those  hoping to travel into the high regions and has been a serious blow to the advancement of the Space race. Debate and suspicion regarding the integrity of the moon landings was reconsidered and weighed up against the level of damage the craft and astronauts would have suffered if they went through it. Most satellites drift around in lower orbit.

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In 1962, Scientists went to the Pacific to test its nuclear capacity by setting off  rockets into the sky, it was known as Operation Fishbowl. Hundred’s of atomic explosions were hurled into space, during this era, making the islands below uninhabitable and causing unknown levels of destruction beneath the sea. It seems as though the rockets exploded below the Belt, however the Ring of Fire in the Pacific region has an unstable ocean floor, the plates can shift, creating earthquakes, tsunamis and setting off volcanoes in the vicinity.

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In 2012 Scientists sent up the Radiation Belt Storm probe that was later renamed the Van Allen probe, it has been analysing the Belt with the intention to make way for future space missions. Ultimately the objective is to make a way through it. The data is currently being analysed with the hope of piercing it for Moon and Mars missions. It is seen as an obstacle, not a necessity.

Should the Space projects continue without a public ethics commission to assess the risks involved. Currently we are dealing with a leaking nuclear plant in Japan due to a earthquake and tsunami. Has the Ring of Fire damage been fully assessed after the last experiments. If they rip a hole in the Van Allen belt what will happen? Nobody seriously knows, but it can’t be good for the environment. Maybe it will rock the Earth off its axis so it swings like a drunk person. Maybe space debris will come hurling down with meteorites of fire or ice. What will the next generation inherit if we remain complacent.

War,War; rumour of a war

BEN QUILTY

Australian Artist, Ben Quilty explores the depth of death, particularly murder, and the brutal assault of hastening it’s arrival. He is on tour through the desolate heartland of emptiness, an intrepid explorer, however climbing Everest is not his goal, his road leads into the deepest darkest terrains of the human experience.

“I am interested in humans”

Quilty was engaged as a War Artist for Afghanistan. The experience brought him face to face with Australians that are endlessly jeopardising their own mortality and live within a violence that has been raging for 18 years. Many have lost their lives and limbs, whist Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has gorged trenches, within the soldiers minds.

The Gallery visitor that has just had a glass of wine over lunch is taken into a war torn Earth, of shores littered with abandoned life-jackets from a fleeing population, naked soldiers shivering with PTSD and picnic spots that robbed Aboriginals of their life, dignity and history.

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The crisis of war washes up on the Grecian shores, as refugees flee their homeland to find safety abroad. The refugees have left all of their belongings and donned  lifejackets to cross, freezing sea’s in the black of the night. The reality of the Syrian crisis has not infiltrated the ‘connected world’ and the lack of response, drew the artist in. He intends to make the public aware of the trauma these young children are experiencing, by publishing a book of artwork by young Syrian victims.

                                     “My work is about how to live in this world”

In his homeland, Quigley explores landscapes of the Australian Genocide against its Aboriginal population. In his Rorschach landscapes of Fairy Bower and Amata, the artist documents a howling dark presence in place of a tribal home where children would have ran happily through the trees and bathed in the waterfall and its streams.

Quilty explores humans wrecking havoc on other humans, because they can, or are obliged to, within the social framework of the current systems. Environment’s may appear inviting and innocent but Quigley examines that which is lurking beneath. There is an anger in Quiltys work, he is hurting and you must too.

Quilty is a proficient landscape and figurative artist that can morph into a nightmarish surrealism. Quilty is battling a demon much larger and more connected than he. He wants justice, the paintings are the evidence and the gallery space is the court room. Quilty has managed to captured the attention of the art public with his profound statements in thickly plastered paint.

Like Van Gogh, he uses sculptural paint and his tortured metamorphosis are in keeping with Brett Whitely and Francis Bacon.

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Quilty’s has witnessed war and it has taken its toll on him, as an artist and a human he has walked amongst the disenfranchised and documents their experience. Where journalists have dropped off , the social issues, like leaves, Quilty has become Australias fourth estate, placing the news, no longer in the paper, but on the walls. Quilty challenges us to look into our own backyard.

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by April Forward

City Oasis

RIPPONLEA GARDENS

The Ripponlea Estate was named after the wife of a local politician Sir Frederick Thomas Sargood. It provided a social setting for his influential guests and bountiful garden for his nine children yet despite the opulent setting that he placed himself within, he supported the factory worker by shortening their day and imposing wage awards.

In the pleasure garden the Sargood era is evoked by the staging of a range of performing arts events including opera, theatre, chamber music and outdoor activities. Culture Victoria

Today within the urban tangle of the traffic riddled roads that engulf the Elsternwick area there is a sanctuary where you can withdraw from the chaos and stroll down the paths of a botanical paradise.  The garden explores the traditions of European landscaping with areas of French aristocratic order, Italian features and the avant-guard bend toward naturalism that softened the rigidity of control.

Sargood worked with his head gardener Adam Anderson to create a space rich with imported plants, an orchid and vegetable produce. William Sangster a landscape designer, that would create the Victorian Gardens, added his vision to the project, which included sweeping areas of lawn, a lake and an entry path lined with Oaks.

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The fashion of the garden that was inspired by the movements of the time and morphed with each new owner is a gem of landscape history that has survived, despite the encroaching suburban sprawl and government acquisitions. What separates it from other public areas is that it was designed to be private and therefore there is an intimacy and charm that is unique.

The predominate aspect at the lake is a small bridge across the water, underlie with lily ponds, brush grass, towering vegetation and flowers it is as picturesque as Monet’s garden. There is also a cave under the waterfall, a small pergola on the waters edge and meandering paths , it re-creates the romantic inclinations of the Pre-Raphaelite movement that were blossoming in England during the 1880’s.

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In 1910, Benjamin Nathan who established Maples, the furniture stores, took over the property, he introduced more native plants into the area, displaying a discernment  to the Australian environment that his predecessors had ignored. When he died, his daughter Louisa (Lulu) took over in the 30’s.

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Art-Deco hedonism that was in full swing, when Lulu took control of the property and brought in some modern appliances and ideals. Featuring a tennis court, swimming pool, boats and a stable of horses on the grounds, the parties of young heiresses would not have been lacking friends.

The grounds attract an assortment of birdlife and the duck society is in full force, providing endless entertainment, there is a resident kookaburra and in its ‘hey-day’ peacocks graced the lawns. People come to the property sporadically and blend into the environment, it invites the quiet visitor.

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Currently the property is in the safe arm of the National Trust with the park open to the public for a small entry fee, the pool side party room is available for hire and hosts local weddings.There is a tea-room with an open fire on cold days and a small nursery to buy some of the specimen’s offshoot’s, including the apple trees. It’s the go-to place for escaping the city drone and being an heiress (heir) for the day.

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Passover or Easter?

Many Christians will Celebrate Easter on Good Friday (the crucifixion) and Sunday for the resurrection, few Churches will be following the Passover rite. Passover traces back to when a population of Slaves, that were the descendants of 12 brothers, fled from the tyranny of an Egyptian dictator.

Moses, a man that spoke with God, entered the battle with his walking staff. He trusted that God would do what he claimed he would, this entailed an environmental disaster of dead fish, plagues, ruined crops, diseases and the loss of live stock. The Pharaoh refused to allow the release of his work force. Moses threatened the death of first borns if the demand was not met.

The death of the first born was not limited to the Egyptians but would effect any home that did not have the blood of a lamb on its doorpost. The angel of death was not told to avoid the slaves but only the doors that had the innocent blood of the lamb. Technically Egyptians were not excluded, if the Pharaoh had the blood on his doorpost, the Angel would not have killed his first born.

‘You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea.You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take. (Nehemiah)’

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The Last Supper Leonardo Da Vinci

When Jesus (Yeshua) had the Passover super with the 12 men, which he had been training, he explained that when they celebrated the Passover that they should remember him and that the wine was symbolic of his blood. Like the Passover lamb, his blood would save people from death. He illustrates the point by dying a horrific and public death and then coming back into town after the ordeal.

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Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel

The Easter story has different roots, it was a pagan ritual involving a woman who married her son, some versions claim it was Nimrod. (Nimrod was the architect behind the tower of Babel) The son dies a brutal death and the mother claims he became the sun god (Baal). The mother said that she was a moon goddess and the queen of heaven. They ate sacred cakes, celebrated with bunnies and eggs.

The original Christians celebrated all of the feasts and laws handed down from Moses. They were symbolic acts that would reveal the end from the beginning.

It was dangerous to be a Christian until Constantine (Italy) became one and made it a state religion. Although the early christians celebrated Sabbath on the 7th day (Saturday) it was changed to the 1st day (Sunday) for convenience, although it had been the sun gods day. Rather than build new buildings they worshipped in the old Baal temples. The old pagan priests had to switch their style to accommodate the conversion. It was a compromise. They also changed the Calendar, so that September is the 9th month rather than the 7th and December is 12th rather than 10th. Under Catholic domination in the early Templar days, faith driven Christians were executed as martyrs if they did not submit to the changes.

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‘But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.‘(Nehemiah)

With the emergence of the internet and the increase in knowledge many Christians are returning to the Passover.

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Escher X Nendo

Between two worlds

With the St Kilda Festival scheduled on a Sunny Sunday, I set off in the opposite direction of the beach and into town to the Art Gallery, hoping that the festival would draw crowds away from the Escher exhibition. What I wasn’t expecting was a Metro meltdown.

No buses, no trains and no trams! The 246 bus decided to by-pass my area, in an effort to avoid picking up or dropping people off to the bayside shuffle. The trains were off, due to track work and the trams had a ‘disruption’. The lone carrier was the notorious ‘Replacement Bus’ that answers to no schedule.

Boarding the bus required tactful manoeuvring as the commuters jostled for a seat and standing room, the less skilful were left behind. Just as the ‘Replacement Bus’ has no timetable it also has no set route and maundered it’s way through the inner suburban neighbourhood, like a scenic tour.

I passed places where I used to live and Cafes I once frequented and what began as a commute had become a journey, instead of taking 45 minutes to reach my destination, I arrived at the Gallery, after 2 hours. The girl at the ticket desk, attempted to talk me out of buying a ticket, as only an hour of viewing remained. My restraint was thinning.

Despite being rushed through the exhibition by enthusiastic guards saying;

“30 minutes to go and 6 more rooms!”

“20 minutes to go and 4 more rooms!”

“10 minutes to go and 2 more rooms!!”

The one prediction in my favour was that it was not crowded.

The exhibition soothed my fatigue and quickened the light of inspiration that thrives beneath the surface of mediocacy. Escher is a Master printmaker, designer, artist and architect; it is of no surprise that his father was an engineer. The exhibition weaves through the development of his style and skill, which is illustrated within landscapes and town streets, that journal his travels through Europe

The exhibition combines the Art Star with the works Nendo that compliment the show, with ambient structures and light shows. Like an Escher’s design; the art patron is led through props and floor space that dupes the eye and challenges those that are prone to vertigo. The layout of the show combines the physical and visual journey, it incorporates the optical illusion within the simple building blocks of drama. Beautiful work and a brilliantly curated.

by A. Forward

Until April 7 2019

 

Equal access to Education

Jerusha Mather is an enduring voice of equality for disabled students seeking access into courses that they are grossly underrepresented in. Her personal journey began in Sri Lanka, where at birth, the doctors told her parents that she would never walk or talk, later she was officially diagnosed with cerebral palsy. In Australia, she received strenuous and heavy therapy and began to see drastic improvements in her physical heath.

“I was able to walk and talk – although it was not perfect, it was something of a miracle to me.”

At school, she joined the advanced maths group and was invited to participate in a statewide maths tournament. She was a Kwong Lee Dow Scholar at Melbourne University and the first to become social justice captain in high school however during her VCE exams, she was not given appropriate support.

“I was not even offered a scribe which made things challenging for me”

Despite the odds, Mather was accepted into a Biomedical Science Degree at Victoria University, a step closer to fulfilling her plan to become a Doctor.

Gender equality that has enabled women to become medical professionals has given female patients access to female doctors that share similar anatomy and conditions. For disabled patients, the opportunity to benefit from a truly empathetic doctor in a similar situation is highly unlikely.

“I believe it is because of, and not in spite, of my disability that I will make an excellent candidate to become a doctor. I have a sense of empathy unmatched by my colleagues, understanding of life with a chronic health condition and remarkable patience.”

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As a patient, Mather has experienced the spectrum of health care professionals, the good and bad. She is motivated to be part of a generation of doctors where communication and compassion are paramount tools. Mather drew inspiration from the recognised and notable work of Dr Janice Brunstrom; a paediatric neurologist in the USA who has cerebral palsy.

“My career aspirations are also in neurology, though her dedication to her profession, continuous development, and desire to utilise her disability to her advantage have been a true motivational force for me.” Mather

Disability effects a high proportion of the community yet most have been denied pathways to medical training due to both direct and indirect discrimination by educational authorities. In some instances, disability discrimination is overt and direct; in others, it is founded on lack of knowledge of disability issues and inclusion practices. By law, educational facilities are to make ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ for their disabled students however the definition is vague and broad.

Curriculum adaptation needed; curriculum limited; or curriculum needs not addressed. Components of courses or post-qualification employment not accessible HumanRights.gov.au

Not enough has been done regarding curriculum needs and adaptation for people with disability. Academic courses for general qualifications contain areas that such a student with cannot complete or access. This creates difficulties with enrolment (advice and information issues), with granting qualifications or accreditation, and with post-qualification work or profession.

“There are still quite a few internal barriers for someone like me who wants to become a doctor. One of the major barriers is passing the GAMSAT. Now Section 2 is quite straight forward because I can type that section. Nonetheless, section 1 and 3 requires a fair bit of handwriting which is extremely difficult for me to complete. I think there is an unrealistic expectation for people with a physical disability to do it all in their head, which is merely impossible given the nature and complexity of such a test. I do not think that this is the only concern here, every student must undertake an interview, in which I fear the possibility of discrimination.”

Due to ACER, being an independent organization, students with disability do not get appropriate funded disability support to help them prepare for the required tests.  Students with disability require a levelled playing field, where all get the same chance.

“Although the university was very supportive, we did find it difficult, however, to source appropriate academic support staff. Thus, some of my academic support workers came late to class. Some of them did not write quality notes. Some did not facilitate my independence. Some did not understand what was required of them. Admittedly, it was a bit disappointing to see.

One of the most hurtful experiences I have ever had was when a doctor (with a disability) suggested I should be a ‘grocer’. He was the last person I expected to hear it from. I also had a lot of online trolls saying negative things about me. I was bullied a lot by past mentors and GAMSAT tutors.”

Mather believes that there are various specialties that a person with a disability can display excellent competence in and demonstrate safe clinical practices such as pathology, radiology, rehab medicine and general practice.

“I am completing my honors in biomedical sciences at RMIT University this year and am hoping to do further research, but I hope that one day, I will be serving you as a doctor.”

Please sign my petition here to produce an alternative pathway for prospective medical students with disability:

https://www.change.org/p/australian-medical-schools-alternative-entry-scheme-pathway-for-aspiring-medical-students-with-disabilities

 

Written by A.Forward

 

 

Melbourne Tourist tips

Waking up on the Summer morning ,sipping coffee as the birds dart in and out of the garden, is bliss, even if the rest of the day will be spent in an office.

For warm weather the best time to come to Melbourne is between November and April. Australia is not built for cold weather, it is a beach culture, we endure July in houses that are poorly insulated. During Winter, the southerly winds off the South Pole shred through thin walls and coats, but in Summer it’s a cool change that swings a scorching heat into an icy gail. Melbournians wear layers because random weather changes are expected.

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Summer, long weekends and Easter

When the sun is out the locals are basking. There is a mass exodus to the coast in January, Easter and Public Holidays, if your planning an Ocean Road tour during these times book early. Bayside beaches fill up and most Tourists head for St Kilda but South Melbourne and Brighton Beaches are more relaxing.

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Inner city Melbournians, get up early on Saturdays and have breakfast together in Cafes, the best places fill up quickly. On a hot afternoon, the South Melbourne market has  great outdoor seating under a large golden canopy, enjoy Mediterranean cuisine and a glass of wine. Expect to eat dishes from all over the world, each new flood of settlers has brought their food culture with them and each gets its day in the spotlight. Currently everything is ‘infused’ with something Asian.

If the weather turns foul, which means the ‘cool’ (freezing) change came early, head to the NGV Gallery at Federation Square and take in some Australian Art. The City is proud of its Artists but Sport is given most sponsorship. The Art is world-class but under promoted.

The Docklands is a relatively new development with ‘state of the art’ architecture, just behind the Southern Cross Station on Spencer St. It has a futuristic opulence , a skating rink and the Southern Star.

Trains and trams are the main form of transport and very well mapped, it’s easy to follow.The MYKI card works for locals but is not visitor friendly as you have to buy it to get around. Transport inspectors can be a bit intimidating so it’s important to get one. Currently the City has all night transport on Friday and Saturday nights.

Great places for dinner are Smith, Gertrude and Brunswick Streets in Fitzroy. It’s a fabulous block of ambitious ambiance. A historical area where hustlers and artists have had ‘their day’. but currently it is urban cool.

Melbourne has great theatre but if you want to catch a local act for under $30, after dinner there are some quaint venues; The Butterfly Club, La Mama, The Owl and Cat and The Meatworks, (just to name a few) are close to town and have their own character.

Bars are numerous and many are tucked into the lane network that are the life beat of the town, most often decorated with great Street Art. Roof top bars are great on hot nights but most places have outdoor heating when it’s not great.

The highlight of Summer is the Australian Open and the best place to watch it is at Federation Square in a sun-chair. Despite Australian pride of designer beer and class wine most public places are dry. On New Years Eve drinking is banned on public Bayside beaches so cancel the beach party.

Melbourne was once called the ‘Garden State’ as we like our trees. When its too hot for the beach there are great Botanical gardens and the Ripponlea Estate offers shade and a cafe. The changeable weather has created a fashion consious culture and there are plenty of shopping strips and malls to cater for discerning tastes or a bargin.

Summer essentials are thongs and light coat. We all talk about the weather; we complain when it’s hot and when it’s cold. 

Complicit

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Dictionary meaning:

Involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.'the careers of those complicit in the cover up were blighted'

Complicit, a documentary by Heather White and Lynne Zhang, has completed a 2 year journey around the globe. Opening night began in London on March 11 2017 and it screened at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on July 14 that year; since then, it has completed its epic run at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, Washington this month. It took 3 years to make and has earned 16 prestiges awards. The story is told by the victims.

We heard about a young man suffering from occupational leukemia who had decided to assist others also suffering from occupational diseases. We first met Yi Yeting—COMPLICIT’S main protagonist—when he invited us to join him on a visit to Ming Kunpeng, a 26 year-old former worker with late-stage occupational leukemia.

Kunpeng had developed cancer linked to a cleaning solvent containing benzene, a known carcinogen. He entered the factory when he was 19 years old and—by age 22—was diagnosed with leukemia. During our many interviews with electronics workers as well as those from other industries, we discovered that the incubation period for occupational leukemia in China’s electronics factories typically occurred after 2-3 years of exposure in the workplace.

For 18 months, Kunpeng’s family had unsuccessfully tried to get his medical expenses paid for by his employer, Dutch semiconductor manufacturer—one of Holland’s largest producers of components and semiconductor equipment for the electronics industry. The family and the company were at a stalemate when we arrived in 2013.

Yi was helping Kunpeng’s family petition for an acceptable settlement . They weren’t able to pay for chemo or surgeries without the company’s support, which eventually they received. Ultimately, Yi’s help led to a much higher settlement agreement (US $100,000) than the industry average. However, early treatment is critical, and doctors said Kunpeng had no chance of survival. Not wanting to be a burden on his family he committed suicide in 2015.’ H.White

Kunpeng is only one of the young men and women whose life is cut down. The gadget they were making will be upgraded for newer version in the same time that they receive their diagnoses. One persons smart purchase is another death sentence, how can this quandary be understood within a moral and economical context.

Is moral responsibility a luxury we can’t afford

In a world rich in technology have we become so poor in Spirit that we are scrimping to find time for each other, are we slaves to money and has money made us so poor that we can’t see the suffering anymore, or even care. What does it matter if we can park a car in front of a big house if the water and air is toxic. Chinas problems today are our problems tomorrow, it is the investing countries that have set the standard that our children will inherit.

‘Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see’  Revelation 3

How can someone believe they are wealthy, when they can’t afford morality; to think they are free when money has bound them to silence.

COMPLICIT was filmed in several provinces in China— something we cannot imagine trying to do under today’s Chinese government crackdown on civil society. We also filmed in the U.S. and Netherlands. I decided the public interest would be better served by a film which powerfully conveyed all that we discovered, and put the book on hold to make a feature length documentary.

I hope that after watching COMPLICIT viewers will feel a sense of increased connection to the workers that make the devices we as consumers can’t live without, and understand the risks associated with chemicals used during their production.’ H White

As I complete this article and read todays news, the headline reads:

‘Teenage girl left with a screw lodged in her cheek after blow dart attack …narrowly avoided losing her eye.’ 9News

We have lowered our standards for economic wealth and our social environment is in tatters. It’s never to late to turn back and amend our wrongs. We have to boycott companies and banks that don’t merit our business.

 

WATCH NOW

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complicit-Heather-White/dp/B07CJP6LQZ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1527670915&sr=8-3&keywords=complicit

 

Prizes:

*Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary Paris Alliance Cine – Human Rights Film Festival; Best Documentary Life After Oil, Sardinia, Italy;Best Documentary Workers Unite Film Festival NYC * “DOXA”  Documentary Film Festival Finalist, Best Female – Directed/  *”Best Social Media Award” 

Raw Science Film Festival/ * International Labor Film Festival Sao Paolo Brazil, Luis Espinal Prize/ award* semi-finalist: Hollywood International Independent Documentary Film Festival 

 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS:

 Human Rights Watch Film Festival – London, New York, TIFF/ Toronto, San Diego, Amsterdam / Geneva Switzerland Human Rights Film Festival / Melbourne Australia Documentary Film Festival//Solidarity Tel Aviv Human Rights Film Festival/ ACT Human Rights Film Festival, Colorado/  Sedona International Film Festival/  Belgian Millennial Film Festival/ Addis International Film Festival, Ethiopia/  New York Workers Unite Film Festival / 

SF-DOCFest San Francisco / Human Rights Nights, Bologna, Italy/ DocuDays – Documentary Film Festival, Kiev/Friday Harbor Film Festival/Galway Film Fleadh, Galway and Belfast Cinemagic –  Ireland

 

EUPHORIA Total Giovanni

“Melbourne, you give me a warm fuzzy feeling… ”.

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Total Giovanni honed in on the restless feet of the patrons in the packed Croxton Bandroom on a balmy Thursday night in Melbourne. Arriving to the thumping selections of DJ Sarah and Kovacs, the room was packed wall to wall, and elevated in the bleachers, to move their bodies to Total Giovanni’s latest offering.

Euphoria, album name and apt description of the evening, proved a memorable display of dance music at it’s convergence with songwriting.

Giving the sound engineer for the evening an absolute work out. All levels were set for the hit-hat, kicks and snare drums to snap the crowd into action. The line at the bar was enough to reroute people back to the dance floor so everyone was aware of where their attention should sit.

Moving through songs in quick succession – enough time was able to land the refrain of Falling Away on the crowd. As the crowd bellowed “ You know that I did wrong”, hands were thrown in the air and shoulders made excellent vantage points to catch a glimpse of the chemistry that forged the bands presence in all directions.

The album’s translation on stage is flawless. Having only been released weeks prior – I could only imagine how much time the crowd may have given to digest the album before embracing it’s washes of psychedelia and echoing vocals in the pit of the Croxton. Melbourne’s fondness for nurturing home grown talent was met with appreciation.

Total Giovanni began their gigging careers embracing the stage as much the studio, blurring the experience you’d have in your headphones with what you would get with a night out. Letting the crowd know they used to frequent the area around Northcote and Thornbury, and the state of the Croxton from the years gone by, the marriage between music and community seemed as apparent as the bright lights in front of us.

Melbourne’s continuing appetite for the fruits of dance music production enable it to produce some of the best and widely influenced sounds on the market. The balearic melodies and soaring choruses are grounded by the tribalism of kick drums keeping everyone in time to be taken through the journey.

The band finished on the uncompromising deep house jam Akila, taking everyone through the jungle that they created over their hour holding down the bandroom – everyone receiving the signal to create the stampede under their feet. Two encores later and the familiar ringing of ears and wide smiles across faces – Total Giovanni left a considerable impression and a fine tracklist for the upcoming summer.

 

Review &  Photographs by Nakul Vohra

‘I remember when I was young and I was happy’

“We played your song to John Lee Hooker, and he liked it” Matt Taylor remembers being told.

Chain performing in Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the 80’s

In 1971 Sunbury, tried to deliver a concert like Woodstock, but apart from being an outdoor concert, the two had little in common and most sources will confer that theirs was a ‘Love-in’ and ours was a ‘Drink-on’; yet for $1 you could enjoy Chain and Phil Manning blowing the breeze with cool blues and sweet guitar. Decades later they are together in Chain, playing in St Kilda at MEMO, just doing their stuff…living music.

Chain is like a Classic Harley Davidson, it doesn’t grow old but rather more impressive. I don’t doubt that the crowd on Friday night were just as alive to the music as they could ever have been. The artists ability hadn’t dimmed nor had their creativity faded, they were effortless, clean sound welded together with musical precision . They are not an old band regurgitating one hit wonders, this is a band  of genuine artists perfecting their craft.

There was a mixed crowd of those that grew up with the music and younger folk that were new to it.

“It’s not an age thing man, you love them for their music and like them because they are good at their music” Josh (20something)

Matt Taylors relaxed and inviting stage presence between songs gave the night an unexpected charm. The session closed with ‘I remember when I was young’ and it set the crowd alight.

At MEMO StKilda 2018

 

by April Forward

Spring Snow

The Victorian Snow Fields experienced a long season with full coverage to delight skiers that could enjoy skiing in fine weather.

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The lure of fun on the slopes draws Melbournians out of the urban web and into the quiet melancholy of a country morn. Off to Buller for three glorious days.

FORECAST

‘Another crystal clear and sparkling day here on the mountain.  It will climb to 9 degrees today so will feel delicious in the sunshine.  SPF your nose, get out early for the crunchy snow and enjoy a mild Spring day’

Snow borders spend more times on their behinds than those that prefer the dual drive, however the competent make it look easy and provide entertainment for those moments between chair-lifts.

Mount Buller is Melbourne’s closest mountain and locals claim that this is the best season they have had since 1986. The easy access encourages families but I would not recommend it as a learners destination due to its steep drops, the green runs turn into blue runs and spill into black runs. No matter how green you are, you will find yourself on an advanced run to make your way to a lift, back up the mountain. The ‘Family Run’ is a blue run with sharp black drops. If you suffer from vertigo head off to the Burnt Hut or the Mercedes Run but for those that love a black run with speed and tight turns this is your mountain.

Most Ski parents have no comprehension of danger and some take their kids to the Summit. The offspring of snow mums learn to ski when they can walk, or as one mum explained, “when they are out of nappies”. Toddlers and children follow their Ski teachers like ducklings.

The major flaw of this field is the disconnect between sections of the mountain that involve a trek that makes it more difficult for the snowboarders. There are sections where a T-Bar would be a convenient link. For time-out the Mercedes Hut offers a lounge, fresh water, chill out music and phone charges and there are also cafes and bars for a break, or a glass of wine on the home run.

 

The Buller advantage is the 300 hectares of coverage and 22 lifts to take you there.


	

Death=Comedy

The Death of Daulman
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” Shakespeare

FRINGE FESTIVAL

Stuart will be remembered for his positive nature, impetuous sense of humour and TV performances on Hamish & Andy’s True Story, Edge of the Bush and Fancy Boy.

Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day.

A quirky show with a theme usually reserved for discomforting, yet reverent times.

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Pastor John, greeted the audience or should I say ‘funeral guests’ at the door with a limp handshake and a quiet “welcome”. A tone he kept for the entire show and which created a sense of normalcy and calm amid the din of the often hectic and meandering monologues.

Stuart Daulman, the shows other actor and titular character, played many close friends and family members who had come to give speeches and send off their loved one. His Soccer Coach ‘Steve Butland’, his Comedy Pal ‘Justin “The Dust Bin” Murray’, his younger Brother ‘Capt Euan James Daulman’, his South African Grandmother ‘Granny James’ and finally the young altar boy ‘Bradley’. Each character had some moments of humour yet none really hit the mark consistently. Stuart has a calmness which is best delivered in his descriptive facial features.
‘Pastor John’ X filled the costume changes between these characters with calming words and gentle backhanded comments. A very enjoyable link from one vignette to the next. There was even some very clumsy sight gags and a beautiful ‘bit’ where a fish, ‘Mr Fish’ gave a speech which went in circles as one would with such a short memory.

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BEFORE

Over all….a fun event with some very promising features.

Directed by comedy legend Bob Franklin, the show highlights the comic faces of an up and coming comedian, while paying respect to his own life and untimely death.

“I wrote the show when I was dealing with some pretty serious issues. It was cathartic in a way – writing a show so specifically about grief,” says Daulman.

Review by S. Pincombe

FULTON STREET band

Australian Blues

An A+ Melbourne band, Fulton Street is Smooth, Smart and Sophisticated. The purple Vinyl spins throughout the day, filling the lazy Sunday with a rich ambience. This band is beyond an emerging band of young musicians, as the finished quality of their sound begs disbelief. 

FULTON STREET interview with Shannen Wick; Lead Singer. 

 The Start

I started Fulton Street in 2012 with our drummer, Daniel. We studied Indonesian language together at Monash Univeristy, and it wasn’t until we were forced to work together on a group assignment that we both discovered we had a passion for music. After smashing an oral exam, we decided to start a band. We placed ads up all around campus, asking for anyone to join our soul/funk outfit. It was another 6 months before we had found a crew that was committed to our idea of writing and performing originals. Soon, we were being booked for gigs but we didn’t have a band name. Our then saxophonist, Hanna suggested that we name ourselves Fulton Street – the name of the street we rehearsed on every Monday night for about 4 years.

Australian Influences

We’ve been influenced for many years now by the sounds of Daptone Records – Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, Budos Band, etc.  Recently, we’ve discovered the amazing artists coming out of Colemine Records too. Locally, our musical heroes include: The Bamboos, Cookin’ On 3 Burners, The Putbacks and The Meltdown. We’re very lucky to have worked with and even been taught by some of these local legends!

Family

Both sides of my family are claiming I get my voice from them, haha. My whole family loves to sing. We have a couple of guitarists in the family too. Music has always been apart of my life ever since I can remember, but apart from my great-uncle, no one has pursued a career in music – except for me.

Check Yourself!

‘Check Yourself’ was written during the US elections, 2016.  At the time, I was seeing and hearing a lot about migrant family separation, and the disturbing impact of displacement and alienation faced by those affected children. Jamie and I wanted to write a song, urging future generations to take complete ownership of their race, skin colour, religious beliefs, etc. We wanted to challenge everyone to let go of their judgments for a better future.

Our Generation

I feel that young people are not often listened to and are often underrepresented. If you think about the current political climate, how many young voices do you see or hear? It’s a shame – I think young people have a lot to offer in terms of fresh new ideas, and helping us move forward in this ever-changing world.

Are you happy with the Album? MP

We’re super happy with the release! We’ve learnt a lot from our first ‘soul baby’ and Ivan Khatchoyan (Cookin’ On 3 Burners, The Traffic) was an amazing mentor and producer throughout the whole process. Our next single has already been tracked, but that won’t be released for a little while yet. We’re still enjoying the ride that ‘Problems & Pain’ is taking us on.  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? MP
It’s crazy how fast the last 6 years have gone! I’m hoping that in 5 years time, Fulton Street will still be playing, continuing to develop our sound and stage performance, writing and releasing music, and touring!

What are some of the challenges that you have faced? MP
I manage Fulton Street. I book our gigs. I write our songs. I’m also the front lady. I never studied Business, Events or Music. So, there are always new challenges I’m faced with in the running of the band! But it’s all a big learning curve, and I am a huge believer in that you ‘learn by doing.’ The guys are always supportive. Thankfully, we also have a lot of musician friends and mentors who have guided us and given us advice when we’ve needed it!
Fulton Street is quite a large group. There can be anywhere between 7 to 12 people involved in our live shows. We all juggle study, work, rehearsal and other gig commitments. But at the end of the day, we all make the band our priority, and I think that’s why we work so well. We’re in a niche little market in terms of the soul/funk scene. There’s not a huge demand for it. But at the end of the day, if we write music with a positive social message and give our 110% onstage, people will take notice.

Are you planning a tour, local or o/seas?MP
We’d love to do a regional and interstate tour, so hopefully we can get that happening in the next few months. I think our long-term goal would be to head overseas for recording and touring.

You played Fed Square on New Years, how did that come about and what was the night like? MP
Multicultural Arts Victoria contacted us about playing Federation Square for New Years Eve, 2017. The atmosphere on that night was incredible. We’d finish playing a song and the cheers from the audience would just wash over the stage in waves. It is definitely a show and NYE we’ll never forget.

 

by April Forward.

New Album Problems & Pain

Whiteley, Sydney ArtStar and Baldessin.

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“What it is to be human ……..Art really did matter, not to escape, but fundamentally to reflect and improve society.”   S. Grishin

Sydney heavy-weight, art star Brett Whitely is ‘put in the ring’ with an obscure Melbourne, printmaker and sculptor George Baldessin at the Ian Potter, Federation Square Gallery. The shared show is ‘Parallel Visions’, however apart from sharing a generation and meeting Francis Bacon, there is very little to link them. A fairer state rival for the brash Sydney-sider, may have been the dark and menacing Peter Booth. Despite the weak link it is an excellent exhibition and for Whitely fans, the collection of his work spanning his wanderings with line and continents, is intriguing and includes the English Christie series; the American Dream and hometown Bondi and the Harbour.

The exhibition resurrects the career of Baldessin that was cut short when the artist died young in a car accident. The prints are the highlight of his work and invite the viewer to linger over the subtle details. The NGV reminds locals of an artist that could have fallen into obscurity, his work remains relevant in our generation embracing the inward, awkward Melbournian disposition.

Whiteley’ bold and confident work reads like a visual autobiography, tracing the influences and mood of the time. The Christie murders reek of Bacon’s violet influence and remains as some of his strongest work in form and colour. The American Dream that  creates a (hotel) room within a room, is scarred with a haphazard spray of lipstick red, not typical of his earlier paintings. Although the area is cluttered with detail,  there is a startling emptiness in the work, that may have been why the Americans rejected it; maybe it struck to close into the New York bone.

When Whitely returns to Australia he is crushed, dispirited and convicted and in need of a BEX to sooth his aching head. Lazing on the beach and staring out into the harbour restores the man and the artist, bringing forth some of his most recognisable work such as ‘Evening coming in on Sydney Harbour’ 1975. Whitely travelled far and wide, to come home with fresh eyes.

 

 

by April Forward

 

Now Showing

Until Jan 28

Curator Sasha Grishin

Daylesford get-away

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Winter time-out in the country heart-land

 

When your energy levels are low and each day seems the same as the last, it may be time to get-away. A week-end retreat keeps it simple and offers an opportunity to step-back from the race and breath.

The Resting places

 

Whether in a simple room above the Daylesford Hotel, or an Airbnd off the beaten path; the time away will reignite your dwindling flame with country vitality and charm.

The Charm

The main strip offers cafes for morning coffees and brunch in front of open fires as the cares fall away. Some Tourists come up for Spas and Massages but don’t need them after a day of wondering through antique stores, art galleries and climbing up streets without the visual insult of ‘development’.

 

The Churches

are located at the top of the climb and few tourists are up early enough for a Sunday service but that won’t stop a charming convert from offering a stranger a lift to the market, when they are only asking for directions.

 

The Market

Get to know the locals at the farmers market. Few stores have EFTPOS so remember to bring cash and enjoy over-sized samosas, a store devoted to mushrooms, antiques, fresh produce and a yarn with every purchase.

 

The Train

runs through the market, it is a living museum of leather seats and wooden panels that rattle and rock as it parades through the country side, with city folk smiling by.

 

The Stops

Cafes spotted throughout the town for an afternoon tea or a glass of wine, many have open fires to warm up by.

 

The Gardens

on top of the hill offer botanic country paths to meander

 

and places to sit and ponder.

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The Field re-visited

‘Summing them up as morbid or deathly, but their very primitiveness, their sledge hammer effects, reinforce this mentally; naked extreme art’

Profoundly Art-Critic G.R.Lansell is describing Peter Booths early ‘Field’ work, a slate of black and grey on a minimalist canvas however he could have been describing his later dramatic figurative art.

Although the artist’s work morphed into an entirely different style, the essence of the artist’s style was conceived.

The Field exhibition launched Melbourne’s art scene in 1968 however it was not fully embraced by the locals.

The battle between Figurative Art that was the flagship of the Melbourne art tribes such as the Reed’s at Hiede and the Boyd’s at Murumbeena, had rallied against the American influence of the exhibition. At the time the exhibition was not organically Melbourne, nor was it entirely ‘International’.

The New York art critic Clement Greenberg criticised the first NGV Contemporary exhibition as ‘ second-rate.’

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The exhibition aimed at awakening a sleepy town, after the failure of the 1956 Gallery of Contemporary Art. The new NGV curator John Stringer thrust his ideas forward and imposed his stipulations on the artists; they were happy to comply as careers and reputations were being made.

In today’s climate the work stands the test of time but to mark the journey of the Abstract Movement there is no greater example than Ron Robertson’s ‘Vault’.

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The Vault 1978

The Vault was placed in the City Square in  1980, twelve years after the exhibition but the local reaction marks the cultural journey of Melbourne. The sculpture received such disfavour that it was nicknamed the ‘Yellow Peril’ by journalists and removed from its place due to public demand. It was a displaced work and was thrown into the shadows until 2002 when it found its home outside the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

The art of The Field exhibition sits comfortably within our minimalist technological community . The ideas that may have seemed cold, isolated and sterile during the ‘flower power’ period have a greater relevance in 2018, within a world disconnecting with nature and embracing the virtual.

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The Field Exhibition was the first piece of the NGV journey that began in 1968 and was 50 years before its time.

Banner photo Rolla Scape 1968 Janet Dawson

 

 

Heart, Brains & bit of Courage

Going on an road-trip with a creative mix of travellers always spells adventure but for a girl in red shoes, there’s no place like home.

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The motley crew are seeking self-improvement and what they find are friends. Each is willing to strive and protect the other against an evil force that looms and a Wizard with no wiz. A child’s tale of resilience against formidable stress, twisters, witches, poppies and a dictator. The charming personalities and the innocence of the vulnerable four, warm and lighten the load.

If you loved the Classic, starring Judy Garland you won’t be disappointed with Andrew Lloyd Webbers stage play that surpasses the film, with the enchanting performance and voice of Samantha Dodemaide.

The dramatic effect of the twister at the commencement of the play, packs a powerful punch that keeps the audience attentive. The witches monkeys are superbly frightening and the Wizard is a disturbing ‘Big Brother’ Pscho. It’s the delightful quartet seeking the best of themselves that overcomes the worse of others.

The smallest Star of the Show TOTO played by Trouble &  Flick and trained by Luke Hura added an element of delight that balanced unknown with the safety of home.

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A budding Dorothy with the stars of the show

It’s a brilliant piece of drama, in performance and effects. If your a Wizard of Oz fan that catches  the odd Astor matinee and you don’t have children, take a niece, nephew or  a friend and enjoy.

Wizard of OZ written by L.Frank Baum & published in 1900.

 

REGENT THEATRE

review: A.Forward

The Real thing

Era’s pass but genuine Artist’s don’t. Russell Morris’s Music career took off in the 70’s, a politically volatile time of change and youth culture that was spurned on by the Vietnam War. A heartfelt era funnelled through substandard audio; AM radios, record players and cassettes stuffed into dashboards of Holden station-wagons. Pub gigs offered the opportunity for audiences to hear the complete sound and this has not changed. A live gig can make or break a band and Morris hasn’t lost it, in fact he continues to perfect his craft.FullSizeRender-394

On Saturday night at the MEMO music hall, in St Kilda, that was at capacity. A great venue but beware of the nocturnal parking inspectors. Morris was backed by a very funky blues band, the Three Kings that kicked off a the show with a flawless performance that engaged the crowd.

Morris and his band performed their latest work with the Classics. Presently Morris is digging into the roots of our nation whist his earlier work transcended the earthly bonds. Both are distinctively Morris but predictively it was the Sweet, Sweet Love; Wings of an Eagle and The Real Thing that got the crowd to their feet.

Originally it was ‘The Real Thing’ that morphed Morris from Blues Man to Soul Man with the lyrics from Johnny Young and the vision of Molly Meldrum, an Aussie trilogy that blended into a huge hit and became the sound track of the 70’s.

The hit extended beyond our shores to New York and inspired a generation. Young may not have reached his potential heights, but his work soared through Morris to become a classic. Morris found his way and wrote into the hearts of his audience with the Bloodstone Album that included; ‘Wings of an Eagle’ and ‘Sweet, Sweet Love’ and led him into Australia’s ‘Hall of Fame’; archived and ready to be picked up for generations to come.

As a historical twist Russell had offered ‘Sweet , Sweet Love’ to Johnny Farnham but he knocked it back due to the chorus delay, it seems that fate had smiled on Morris and he made it his own. Hits rained on Morris, the type that can stand the test of time. Authenticity and passion distinguished the language of his art, it was unique and distinctive then and remains so today.

Bay Life

The rain held off, on Saturday night, as Ormond Point hosted a free outdoor filming, of the bays unknown marine diversity.

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The lights -out, Earth Hour night may have been overshadowed by the Grand Prix and AFL annual kick-off. From the vantage point of the vista, the City never slept and kept its lights on.

Ride on Cinema’ generated a film using pedal-power, a documentary that explained the complex marine-life that lives within our humble Port Philip Bay. Elwood’s symbol of the Seahorse drew from the local under-water life that is populated with the species. Unbeknown to the bathers that have enjoyed the shores this Summer, there are 3 species of Dolphins that call the bay their home

Within the Bay are schools of fish, lazy seals that rest on man-made platforms, sting rays and penguins. Sea-dragons camouflaged as seaweed, suck up shrimp as they pass and thousands of crabs climb over one another, growing out of shells and creating new ones, leaving a trail of skeletons.

“For some its best to hunt alone ..and the best way to get a meal is to hide from it”

Star-gazers bury themselves in the sand and with eyes that float like balloons on strings, watch hungrily for their victims, the razor sharp teeth on top of their head, resemble a bear trap. Large Octopus grab Sharks as they pass by and their miniature counterpart, the Blue Ring kind, kill their prey with venom.

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The Cold waters of the South Pole and the warm waters of our Continent create a habitat that breeds unique marine-life. Protecting and exploring this quiet world is a Melbournian privilege.

Save DeGraves

As developers mow down the remnant of urban culture and bring the suburbs into the urban heartland, the  locals are a tad P.O. Uprooting cottages for flats that look like offices,  speeding down narrow streets where children play and destroying a treasured a metro arcade is ultimately changing Melbourne.

 

Easing through the morning at the DeGraves underpass starts the day off on a ‘good foot’, a coffee, a bit of art and a relaxed vibe. Removing this space from the Urban Art Culture would be like removing the goal posts from the MCG.

The Art Deco architecture of Campbell Arcade embraces Melbourne in1955, the salmon pink tiles, black granite columns capture a by-gone period where few examples remain. The display cabinets along the subway wall host local artists and most often a busker, serenades the office troops, as they pass.

Every morning commuters submerge under the station through Campbell Arcade and surface into DeGraves. What a great way to start the day.

 

Early morning busker

 

 

 

Nightsongs

Life looking back is a vista, a remarkable journey, encumbered,encrusted and inspired; the good,the bad ,the ugly and the beautiful, the footprints the young look upon with indifference, unless it weeps from the tree of integrity.That nectar that inspires trust.

Natasha Moszenin has over 25 years of musical experience that mixes the palette of life and art and delivers a performance at the quaint Butterfly Club that made Friday night fatigue, a soothing recharge.

Moszenin stares unflinching at the drama and terrors of life that hide in the shadows, she has faced them all and knows them by name. With maturity, resilience and defiance, she acknowledges and creates a wonderful score about her life. Ironically the Butterfly Club’s eclectic pictures on the wall illustrate the transformative passage of hope,  love,trauma and …triumph.

The Artists Lara Vocisano, Claie Nicholis and Jai Luke present a narrative through song that washes over the audience. The beautiful voice of Nicholas is of a song-bird but not to take away from the solid vocal presence of Vocisano and Luke, as Moszenin plays the beautiful score on an old piano.

Moszenin dives into the depths and finishes off on a light comment on todays less emotional world.

Nightsongs is performing at the Butterfly Club this weekend

 

 

Review by April forward

Everything is not as it seems

TRIENNIAL NGV Melbourne

The show stopping art storm is fixated on capturing the Melbourne imagination with no expense spared, and this year it is free.

The journey starts and ends in the Moroccan coffee house but our focus is on the second floor, up the Reko Rennie elevator, an elevator that is part of the Galleries structure; not imported. From the Australian Aboriginal world, without excess to the post-communist decadance, up the spine into the heart and soul of the human mind.IMG_1147We arrive at the GOU PEI exhibit, a Chinese Fabric Artist that engineers her Masterpieces, stitch by stitch, bead upon bead, golden thread and a mantle of dreams. Inspired by an ancient past with dresses that would inspire the Pope. Her exhibit arrived in Melbourne, as precious as the Emperors Palace treasures and is located in the eye of the TRIENNIAL storm at the NGV.

Pei claims her work denies what it succumbs to, human vanity. Heart, soul and creativity, with a barrage of craftsmen on the floor, and this has happened before, in Dynasties past, a royal glass slipper for the ball. Rhianna , contemporary Diva, herald in the Artist at the Met Gala, formally the Costume Institute Gala, in New York.

The NGV hive, houses the Queen in an exhibition that begins in a blaze of glory.

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Like Michelangelo, one can imagine that she is ripe for Vatican success.

The NGV has gone wild, Curated by Simon Maidment’s team, a wonderland passing from one installation to another, a mind altering experience of Art.

As art-life drifts out of the fringe into the mainstream an unholy alliance bridges the gap between today and tomorrow. The current stream sedating, a war brewing.

It’s an epic bombardment, a Cultural revolution in it’s full thrust of life bordering on the ruin of decadance. Ron Mueck explores the human condition and its vulnerability in the wake of God-like delusions.

 

 

 

Review A.Forward

Against the odds

How hard is hard? What is our mortal capacity?

Artist, Mel O’Callaghan explores these questions through her dramatic Video Art currently on display at NGV Australia. Resistance and endurance is a rite of passage each of us will pass through eventually, a relative condition at every age.

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Ensemble within the NGV space is cinematic, with life-size actors in a war-like water-battle. O’Callaghan uses the violence of the force to explore existence. It is when we let go  , that life spirals and the body is swept away.

‘What a single body is capable of when enduring a voluntarily experience of duress is a powerful thing to behold’  Callaghan

Australian O’Callaghan lives in Paris and gave a live performance at the Serralves, taking it out of the dark theatre space and into the light of day.

O’Callaghan considers the body as a vehicle of ‘imposed labour’. The resistance of a ballet dancer perhaps or an underpaid worker forcing him/herself out of bed? Consider the Soldier preparing for death, or worse. Each day we battle, not to win, just to remain standing.

‘To fall, to begin again which is where the virtuous aspect comes into violence. It’s not being purely negative but rather a creative force’ O’Callaghan

Her work also relates to the Political and Economic climax point that is coming into focus.

…. those mounting feelings of deep despair that force acts of extremism’

Now showing within the perfect space, the deconstructive architectural venue at Fed. Square.

 

A.Forward

 

 

based on interview with Louise Paramor NGV

Bombing the Environment causes Climate Change

Since 1945 there have been 2056 known nuclear test explosions around the Earth, including Australia. Most of the tests have taken place on Aboriginal peoples land and small islands in the pacific. Whist it appears that “Climate Change’ is a central topic of motivation for a range of strategic outcomes, no plan can be complete without assessing extreme damage of nuclear blasts. Responsible steps toward disarmament, regardless of being unlikely, is the only rational option.

Dropping bombs has caused devastating havoc on our people, our land, the oceans and fault lines. We can’t take back time but we can consider that the impact is greater than anyone is willing to predict.  Every bomb that hits the ocean kills marine life and pollutes our shores.

As early as ‘ March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was set off 90 feet underwater: nicknamed “Castle Bravo,” the bomb blasted a crater 2 kilometers (more than 1.2 miles) wide in the coral reef and obliterated ocean life in the area‘      Ocean.Si.edu

Ceduna, known as the Cancer Capital of Australia had nuclear dust blown in from the Emu Fields where 600 bombs were dropped in the 1950’s.

“It was in the morning, around seven. I was just playing with the other kids. That’s when the bomb went off. I remember the noise, it was a strange noise, not loud, not like anything I’d ever heard before. The earth shook at the same time; we could feel the whole place move. We didn’t see anything, though. Us kids had no idea what it was. I just kept playing. It wasn’t long after that a black smoke came through. A strange black smoke, it was shiny and oily. A few hours later we all got crook, every one of us. We were all vomiting; we had diarrhoea, skin rashes and sore eyes. I had really sore eyes. They were so sore I couldn’t open them for two or three weeks. Some of the older people, they died. They were too weak to survive all of the sickness. The closest clinic was 400 miles away.”       Sami Lester iCAN website

Soil contamination and biological effects creates a legacy of devastation for the generations that follow the original victims. Space has also been a nuclear bomb playground. Every time a missile is fired on our Earth, a criminal act has taken place.

 

 

Type into Google, the reasons for Global Warming and these are some of the answers offered.

‘Burning Fossil Fuel, De-Forrestation & Farming’ WWF

‘The Sun is to blame’ NASA

Humans’ Union of concerned Scientists

Theses are all very good reasons for localised de-genaration but avoid the most obvious impact.Operation Fishbowl

 

The Fabric Architect

“I wanted to be an Architect” Dior

French designer Christian Dior craved an artistic life as the economic world collapsed under the weight of the war machine that had eaten into Europe. He fell into the company of artists, and sought the bohemian path in the aftermath of terror. They had new hope, a brighter path, where he could be an artist or an architect and became a Fashion Designer.

Dior learnt the sophistication of simplicity through his training with designer Robert Piguet from 1937, yet his spatial designs grew out of his visual comprehension of Architecture, creating elaborate folds and abundant material to create contrasts that would highlight a slim waistline through his A-line skirts that dropped just short of the floor to make the model appear taller.

“I drew flower ladies” Dior

This return to the former traditions and the excessive indulgence of fabric angered the post-war women that had achieved a degree of independence through taking on jobs during the war that required a higher hemline and sensible attire. Material was still rationed and his designs also mocked the practice accessibility of the ‘new look’.

“The women were very closely tailored and it wasn’t easy, there was no freedom, morally women were veering toward a freer , more equal way of being, of course 68′ proved this many years later. Dior was fastening them into inconvenience with skirts like the BON BON dress that must have used 30 meters of fabric. It was tailored to the waist……tight fitting shoulders..breasts lifted with bra and corset, the dress even had an inner frame” Pierre Cardin

Dior’s vision was a cog that sent women back to the home, as the men returned from war and re-entered the workforce. Fashion that ornamented womens figures, new kitchens and pushing prams was the road into the 1950’s. Celebrities, Royalty and Movie stars modelled his frocks and set the scene in womens magazines for women to admire and sew.

Dior designed all of the dresses worn by Marlene Dietrich in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘Stagefright’.

 “So long as I have the dress I am the one who decides how long this show will run, .. and everything else(quote from movie Stagefright)

Dior did not enjoy the celebrity life, he preferred life outside of the spotlight of his Haute Couture kingdom, however his business acumen rarely failed him. Despite his success, he didn’t have a Fashion House until he was 42 years of age.

‘Australian women were among the first outside of Paris to witness, model and purchase original Dior designs. Less than a week after Dior’s dramatic debut of February 1947, articles celebrating his talent appeared in local newspapers.’ NGV

Up until the late 70’s most women could sew clothes for their families and magazines promoted dress patterns over shop purchases. Fashion designers had to be a step ahead of their acute audience and the dazzle of Dior’s complex silhouettes continued to challenge women who tried to make what few could afford. David Jones (Sydney) presented a Dior fashion parade in 1948.

The elegant French designs were tempered into frocks that marked ‘the look’ of the 50’s. As fashion relaxed in the 70’s, puffed up in the 80’s and went grunge in the 90’s, the Dior sophistication excites a retrospective desire for elegance.

During the week the NGV was wall to wall with women visiting the gallery, marking the Spring Carnival of fashion in Melbourne.

 

 

 

 

Christian Dior The Man behind the myth, Phillipe Lanfranch

 

by April Forward

 

MONA, the road to OZ

MONA; the Museum of Old & New Art

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FRENCH BAKERY in Devonport ; We got egg n bacon roll em up baby , savory toast that’s the most , sausage and fries what kind of pie? a la mode if you will……..T.W. include tel 036427 1077 Drop in, before you head off.

Prior to the visit I had heard plenty of favourable comments and recommendations about MONA; surprisingly they were coming from a range of people varying from art lovers to people with typically little interest in the arts. This intrigued me on the lead up to the visit. After visiting the gallery I understand its broad appeal; it’s a place where enjoyment and the experience are placed as the ultimate priority over pretension. Before any art is viewed, visitors have already been captivated by fun from the roaming roosters, kids trampoline, boat ride (dependent on arrival method), Tasmania’s oldest vineyard and the spectacular and awe-inspiring architecture – it has already been a successful venture. From here on it’s all a bonus, but it continues to intrigue with atmospheric galleries that range from tight quirky spaces to vast open areas. The art itself is diverse in its appeal with a little something to tickle everyone’s interest.’ MONA Visitor

 

MONA is not what you would expect regardless of all you have heard. We took ‘the journey ‘ beginning on the historic Station Pier for a Bass Straight crossing on the Spirit of Tasmania. The large window portals in the cabins gave a haunting view of the black water peeling back into white foam as the ship cut into a calm night sea. We arrived on the chilly Devonport coast at 6am with a temperature of zero.

The road to the museum of OZ has a few enchantments on the early Spring morning that perpetuate the unfolding drama of the landscape. As a typical Melbourne crew we anticipated a home-grown cuisine and strong coffees at the next town, we were mistaken, as each village was merely half a dozen rooftops and no signs that pointed us to a cafe. We regretted not dropping into the All Nice Things Bakery that beckoned from the corner, with the signed promise of a warm breakfast, if we had have known that cafes were few and far between, we would have eaten and stocked up.

Rumbling stomaches and caffeine withdrawals aside ,the natural resplendent views that the winding roads were drawing us into, satisfied the Winter frayed mind. Each scene was vast and framed within majestic snow-capped peaks. Our first stop was within the heavily mossed rainforest of the Liffey Falls , a gushing river flowing into cascading waterfalls. This area was once heavily populated by the Pattittore Aboriginal people, they held their social gatherings there, on this day there was only our small group.

The second wonder on the journey was the ice stalactites along the roadside, rain that was petrified into a dripping beauty. A short journey onward and random clumps on snow begin appearing on the side of the road unfolding into an expansive  snow field amongst the lakes. Naturally a snow fight ensued.

When we arrived at OZ, or rather MONA we were expecting a Glass City, not an old Vineyard, chooks and a small building set amongst outer shed like structures. It’s appearance is provincial, as though it was being considerate of the natural beauty that encased it. The real drama was yet to come.

Mona is built into the ground, not above it. The evaluator takes us deep into her interiors and we arrive at the lower floor of a towering bedrock wall, flanked by a contemporary Bar at one end and a 50’s Tea Room at the other, passing by a waterfall of words.

 

The current exhibition is the The Museum of Everything  and although Mona is a highly contemporary venue , this exhibit invites you into wallpaper drawing-room with a random collection of worldly works and audio stories to match the vision.

 

Is Mona the interior of a rich persons fantastical world? – Yes  

Is it Art-worthy? – Yes

Is it magnificent? – Absolutely

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Sidney Nolan Room

 

Catch the ‘Spirit’ and sleep in the dark waters, it’s a genuine adventure, but eat before leaving Devonport, or you will be hungry.

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ALL THINGS NICE A French Bakery located at 175 Tarleton Rd Devonport

Plundered & Broken

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The tale of Aboriginal plunder is a never-ending ballad that sings in the winds of this great country, a land that Elea (Albert) Namatjira painted so lovingly in watercolour. Namatjira’s world-renowned artistic status may have provided him with a thin shield against racism but it was easily shattered, even his greatness, wealth and innocence could not protect him from incarceration.

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Namatjira surrounded by family as he painted

The legend begins when Artist , Rex Battarbee took a painting trip into the Outback, after returning from the devastation of War in the 1930’s. He met Namatjira and it was through their collaboration that the 30-year-old Aranda man learnt to paint and exhibit. They went onto become lifetime friends, able to see pass the bigotry of the day.

International success took this humble man to great worldly heights, he was awarded the Coronation Medal and was the toast of the town. His exhibitions sold out shortly after they opened and most kitchens had one of his reproductions on a calendar or tea towel.

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Before the 1967 Referendum, Australian Aboriginals where denied Human Constitutional Rights and were categorised as part of the wildlife or wards of the state. They were denied most basic human rights and in an insipid twist of irony could not own their land as it had been acquired by the Commonwealth.

Namatjira’s unprecedented rise on the world stage would require him to have a passport and his growing wealth attracted taxes, thus him and his wife Robina were given Australian citizenship  in 1957, enabling him to buy a house in Morris Soak .

Unfortunately his children were not granted citizenship and were regarded as ‘Wards of the State’ as all Aboriginal people were. They did not have the right to choose their marriage partner, be legally responsible for their own children,to change location or socialise with non-aboriginals. It also meant that when the Great Artist and his wife died the Legal Will that aimed to financially protect their children was made void as his children belonged to the state. Their financial copyright royalties were ‘acquired’ by the state and sold on.

The Namatjira Project  began as an objective to buy back the royalties (which will expire shortly) but has become a legal investigation.

The most moving part of the film is when Namatjira’s  homeless grandson gives his artwork to the Queen in her palace and walks away empty-handed. The documentary is a thoughtful journey, full of beautiful archives and an artistic vision, they tip toe over a mine field but I think they have let off a bomb.

*Due to the humane efforts of The Namatjira Project, the Royalties have been returned.

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Another victory in justice for the family

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The Namatjira Family continue the water-colour tradition as their cultural inheritance.

A Message from the Family

It is a with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that our dear friend and watercolour artist of true talent, Kumantjai K Namatjira has passed away. On Saturday afternoon 3rd November in Alice Springs Hospital, he bid farewell, surrounded by family. One year after his cousin, Kumantjai L Namatjira, and 5 years after meeting The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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by April Forward

THE NAMATJIRA PROJECT

DIRECTOR & CINEMATOGRAPHER Sera Davies

PRODUCER

Sophia Marinos

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Julia Overton

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS (CULTURAL)
Lenie Namatjira
Gloria Pannka

Countdown Star

 

 

Renee Geyer

Australian jazz and soul legend, Renee Geyer has maintained a career that has spanned over 40 years. Her resonating voice has withstood the revolving door of the season and carved itself into a shaft of solid talent. She sprouted in the days of Countdown  under the wing of Mollie Meldrum, when Australian Music was finding itself in the awkward 70’s. Since then she has performed with Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder and Caka Kahn.

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Renee Geyer interview by Molly Meldrum on Countdown

‘Heading in the Right Direction’ was the cornerstone of her International rise in R & B circles despite her Australian origin. Her powerful raspy sound demanded renown and in 2005 Geyer was inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame.

‘Renée Geyer had started out a sensual blues belter. Now she has evolved into a bona fide music icon’

  Norman Gunstan interview Geyer at end of act

The further one digs into the Artist’s rise, Melbourne’s musical roots are unearthed and reveal its early adolescence. The heavily populated music scene that is bursting through the internet daily has replaced the sleepy town that waited a week to watch 30 minutes of Countdown on the ABC, for the latest music news.

The unbridled talent of the local star walks hand-in hand with her controversial mentions in the news, from careless driving to public tantrums, she is a formidable Melbourne force.

Sat Aug 5;  8pm – MEMO Music Hall St Kilda  7.30pm, 

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HELPING LOCAL FAMILIES

donate@stkilda.org

 

 

What to Do?

As the last veil of sunshine and warmth left our streets at the end of June, a shadow fell like doom and cast us into our beds with flu’s. June was invigorating, July is dismal. Fortunately there is the The Tour De France to remind us of a Summer, somewhere.

Sorting through the closet each morning to find something warm to wear is challenging and reduces the rotating option to the point where black is best. There is nothing more unnerving than looking out of the window, before heading out, and seeing the trees twisted over by the wind. For bike riders, it tests endurance.

During Summer people proclaim winter is great as you can rug-up, mmmm, wind and hail are stronger. In the sunny season, they say, it’s cosy in front of a fire, mmmm, who has an open flame? They say it’s easier to get warm than get cool, mmmm, my bedroom is an ice machine.

What to do?

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The Clever ones are exploring Central Australia, cruising the Islands or flying North. For those that forgot to book the early-bird airfares there are a few local options.

Option 1. Head to the snow, you can buy bus day-passes at Southern Cross railway station, on your way home from work.

Option 2. Do Christmas in July, make it fun.

Option 3. Book a ticket on the ferry to Tasmania, be fearless.

Of Course, there is football.

On that happy note, be brave, drive carefully and buy orange juice.

 

 

April Forward

 

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Editing & Document writer