Tag Archives: April Forward Journalist

Plundered & Broken

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. Quite frankly, this case could burst the pipes of oppression and the best legal minds should be bringing in their best team, this is a golden opportunity for a Legal Human Rights Firm to make a name for itself. This is challenging Constitutional Law, how many ‘Wards of the State’ were plundered, how many children taken.

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.

 

April Forward

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Ramsay Art Prize finalists

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SA BIKE TOURS

 

FullSizeRender-60Art is language and in many countries pictures are a part of dialogue. The inviting interiors of Cue, De Souza, Hughes and Selleck examine the priorities of pretext and invite interactive, participation. The exhibition moves away from traditional painting and allows a multi-media vioce.

Let’s meet the ART

GEORGINA CUE

The Living room, sets an exotic stage for a classical diva in what appears like an ancient setting. The bold artwork seems to have a Cubist influence with an early Century  twist. Both powerful and beautiful, the photographic work ,an inkjet on rag-paper, is a central work in the exhibition.

REBECCA SELLECK

Lapin Plague, 2016

This is an engaging installation, on many levels, firstly it invites you into it. It is a homely domestic scene with what appears to be, occupied by small rabbits. On closer examination the (heated) rabbit skins have no heads, therefore they are not alive. ‘Outside of the cage’, it would appear that the rabbits and humans are enjoying a shared space and when you touch the skins they are robust and warm, but they are not.

KEG DE SOUZA

We built this city

This impressive structure is made from salvaged tents and plaid laundry bags. Within the interior is a communal area with milk crates to sit on and books on the history of the Tent Embassy in Canberra. Coming off the main ‘room’ are an array of small tent rooms. It is the perfect Festival space, providing your guests have house manners, better than a Tipi because there are rooms, however a tad flammable.

The concept of tribe and tent and engaging in the environment as opposed to destroying it, is an old age concept, in Western Culture according to the old testament, the Christian/ Jewish God lived in a tent.

The added beauty whist in the tent is listening to the haunting sound of traditional Fado singers, from the outside film by Jacobus Capon that examines memories of a home gone. The Australian factor is that we came as refugees, yet our memories resonate. Are we adapting or are we all in a state of diaspora.

 JACOBUS CAPONE

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Forgiving night for day.

Multiple films projected  onto the Art Gallery wall are of lone characters watching the dawn above the rooftops of Lisbon, Portugal. Capone examines the state of nostalgia. It is an absorbing work, visually engaging as the sound-scape floods the skies above the sleeping town.

NATALYA HUGHES

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All of Your Women and Some of Mine, 2016

An interior space with a strong Mattise influence, using decorative abstract contrasts in colour and pattern, appearing like a digital construct..

TONY ALBERT

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Exotica (Mid Century Modern)

Albert’s political comment on the state of our country as an ashtray, is in dire contrast of the pristine land that was taken from its previous owners.

‘Albert has developed a universal language that seeks to rewrite historical mistruths and injustice.’

SARAH CONTOS

FullSizeRender-66The Long Kiss Goodbye

‘The winning work of art is titled Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye and brings together personal remnants of Contos’ practice from the last four years’. Contos was awarded $100,000 for this mixed medium collaged ‘quilt’.

 

April Forward

 

 

 

 

 

escapegoat.com.au

Includes kangaroos, koalas, bike hire, pick ups from Adelaide and a stack more.

 

 

2 Bob Weekend

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Ormond Rd Elwood Grocer

On a mild Winter weekend, Melbourne’s Music elite came together to honour the songs of Bob Dylan before a full house at the Memo in St Kilda. Friday night was dedicated to acoustic Bob and on Saturday night, it was electric Bob.

The ‘All-Star’ back up band,  consisting of  Benny Franz, Stephen Hadley, Ben Wiesner , and Shane O’Mara , melted seamlessly into each other, but it was guitar legend O’Mara that stole the night with his stella performance. It was a group of musicians fit for the honoured legend himself.

Who is Bob Dylan? Songwriter, Poet or Prophet; Jew or Christian? His lyrics resonated with the crowd that held resolute with dignified appreciation of the words and the artists. Loud talkers were quickly hushed.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

Each vocalist made his songs their own and each captivated the audience. Liz Stringer was haunting, almost gothic as her lone figure shone in the darkness etching the words and reaching into the void. Song-bird Lisa Miller was mesmerizing and thrust the show forward,  her talent is palpable. Chris Wilson’s scratchy soul voice penetrated into the mind of the listener, like a dark cry and ‘Raised by Eagles’ duo Luke and Nick raised the tempo with a bit of  rockabilly. All of the vocalists on the night where exceptional.

A memorable evening.

Audience response.

“Shane O’Mara is a Melbourne music legend and of Liz Stringer, you need to get her last two albums.”

Review by April Forward

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Writer for Hire

The Other Art Fair

Get on your bike and head off to the other art fair.

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Before entering the building, graffiti artists have already marked the journey.

 

 

It’s a fabulous space, housing a catacomb of galleries and a cafe

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JC

Upon immediate entry we are reassured that the art is going to be world class with the work of JC.

 

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Jo White

The nostalgic work of Jo White is a delight.

 

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Cynthia Ellis

and Cynthia Ellis lays it on thick.

 

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Leah Emery at work

Leah Emery applies the cross-stitch of random pornographic spam as the new temptation

 

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Time Jones, Kittens 

and Tim Jones brings it home.

 

Christina Popovici explains Action Art

This is just a slim slice of The Other Art Fair at Kensington. I could have stayed all day. Go and be stimulated. Adorn with Australian Art.

The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art   May 4-7

 

On the Clock

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COPYWRITING SERVICES

As the MICF circus wraps up, 2 clowns sent it off with a bang.

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The afternoon show at ACMI was the icing on the Festival, after a series of ‘Stand up’ wit and profound observations we discover a new territory. These Guys have nothing to say, it’s what they do that suspends reality and slaps you in the face. Throughout  the performance the unexpected continued to surface from beneath the banal.

Confused? Good , that’s a great start.

You will be bewitched within a Dadaists performance of an office mundane that imploded into the wild and creative instinct of lifes little dramas. Bit by bit they shatter through reality to reveal a seething internal existence with comic twists.

Intrigued? I hope so, it is an intriguing experience.

No matter how sober you think you are, they will pick up your solid piece of reality and twist it until you feel entirely happy. Like an animal can become a chair, a thing can become an animal. They are very clever Consultation Specialists.

Welcome to Ruck’s Leather Interiors starring Gareth Grubb (Trygve Wakenshaw) and Dennis Chang (Bernie Duncan) as Performance Artists.

Bernie Duncan

FullSizeRender-20 Where did you Guys train? MP

“I didn’t do training but Ttygve went to Gaulier, a French Clown School in Paris.”

How did you get into this? MP

“I always made theatre, we started a Company (Theatre Beating) about 14 years ago, and we made stuff we liked”

Audience Responce

“I never dreamed that I would ever see two people entertain me from the time they started right up until the very end. Everything that happened was totally unexpected , it shocked me, it was so funny and you never knew what was coming and everything that came was brilliant.”

Shafar on fire in Jewish-ish

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL review

Michael Shafar held his own at the momentous Trades Hall, that scrubbed up nicely, awash in neon for the MICF 2017.

Shafar is an eclectic blend of cultural experiences that have shaped and unshaped him. He is sorta Jewish, sorta Aussie,sorta cool, sorta nerd, sorta serious but definitely funny. His shows are selling out because the word is out, Shafar ‘nailed it’ this year.

Shafar examines his Jew-ish-ness with perplexed wonder. His grandfather was a Holocaust survivor and its more the ‘religousness’ than the faith that is up for review. He has a wealth of material to draw from that keeps the audience in stiches through out the performance. The crowd loved him and there was a reluctance for the show to end

MICHAEL SHAFAR is Jewish-ish at TRADES HALL Mar 30-Apr 23 8.30pm (no Wed & 7.30 on Sun)

An interview with Michael Shafar

“I used to encounter a lot of anti-Semitism when I was playing football for my Jewish school. I played from the ages of 12-16 and it was interesting and sad to encounter kids making anti-Semitic comments. I’m interested in whether those kids actually understood what they were saying, or if they were just repeating taunts that they had heard from their surroundings.”

How do you feel about your performance this year?

So far I’ve been really happy with the shows. I’ve changed up a lot of the content since I last performed it in Perth and have also changed the overall structure to make the theme about being culturally Jewish a lot stronger. I think it’s definitely working better now.

What type of reaction have you experienced from Jewish-ish?

So far the reactions have been great. A lot of people have messaged me to let me know they enjoyed the show. It’s interesting to me how different people tweet different jokes to me from the show, so it’s nice that there are a lot of different jokes in there that people remember and relate to.

What has been your most profound experience? MP

“The Comedians I met in the US were young, emerging comics who taught me a lot about work ethic. In the US, comedians are often gigging 15 times per week, which is why their development is accelerated. I tried to absorb that work ethic as much as possible so I try to gig as much as possible around Melbourne.”

Do Comedians support each other?

“Whenever there is a controversy about something that a comedian has said or done, comedians tend to help each other through it.”

Is MICF different for you this year?

It’s different because it’s my first solo show, so it’s definitely a lot busier than any other year. I also need to manage my time a bit better than previous years, making sure I still get enough sleep, eat well and exercise (which I have failed to do for the first few nights, so hopefully I get more disciplined!)

Annie Goldson, ‘Everywhere and Anywhere’

Acclaimed New Zealand Documentary Director, Annie Goldson was in Melbourne to launch her new (secret project) film. Goldson has a strong formidable countenance and she needs it, many of her subjects are capable of murder or the victims of the culpable hand. She needs to know when to back off.

ACMI hosted the Australian International Documentary Conference, which brought in talent from all over the globe. Goldson was doing a spot of shopping when we caught up.

“Its nice to have some time off and be wandering around Melbourne” Goldson

Goldson began her career as a Journalist and has ‘inched her way’ into filmmaking. She tackles the hard facts behind the news stream and goes into the bog, looking for the truth. As a political observer she finds her stories ‘everywhere’, she is curious and like Alice in a complex Wonderland, has to adapt quickly. We may wonder why the terrorists are so irate, she takes her team and her camera and asks them. She is a historians torch into the unknown.

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He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan explores New Zealand’s involvement in the Afghanistan war that lasted longer than WW1 and WW2 combined. ‘Did we stay to long?’ the film asks. Can lessons be learned to prevent such long-term engagements for the sake of alliance.

Brother Number One was a challenging work as it was necessary to create a present from the past events of the Cambodian Genocide under Pol Pot. New Zealander Ron Hamill, the films source, explains how his carefree adventurous brother Kerry ,sailed into a nightmare.

“An innocent man brought to his knees and killed in the prime of his life” Ron Hamill

Goldson records Hamill’s emotional pain as he addresses the torture and death of his sibling at the War Crimes Tribunal.

The mass Genocide that murdered 2,000,000  ( a 1/4 of the population) was led by a ‘charismatic and smiling’ leader Pol Pot who was indifferent to the torture of babies. In 1975. he led the Kamor Rouge into Nu Pen and in 72 hours he had cleared the city of its inhabitants and sent them to work in labour camps, to grow rice that he would export as the population died of hunger, overwork or beating.

“Documentaries are always a challenge.” Goldson

Her films are intense political dramas that set the stage and cast its light into the ‘heart of darkness.’ Her other well-known films that she Directed are; Punitive Damage and An Island Calling 

by April Forward

All photo’s courtesy of Annie Goldson film extracts.