Tag Archives: art

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

 

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.

image
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.

img_5120

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

IMG_6385
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… ”.

TG1

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

Whiteley, Sydney ArtStar and Baldessin.

Image-1
Copywriter

“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

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.’

IMG_3459

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’.

IMG_3578
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.

IMG_3423

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

 

 

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.

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.

IMG_1157

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.

IMG_0438

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

MONA, the road to OZ

MONA; the Museum of Old & New Art

FullSizeRender-176
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

FullSizeRender-163
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.

DISPLAY BAKERY 009
ALL THINGS NICE A French Bakery located at 175 Tarleton Rd Devonport

Plundered & Broken

FullSizeRender-191

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.

FullSizeRender-111
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.

FullSizeRender-119

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.

fullsizerender-189.jpg

FullSizeRender-190

Another victory in justice for the family

img_5886.jpg

IMG_5887

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.

unnamed-3

 

by April Forward

THE NAMATJIRA PROJECT

DIRECTOR & CINEMATOGRAPHER Sera Davies

PRODUCER

Sophia Marinos

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Julia Overton

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS (CULTURAL)
Lenie Namatjira
Gloria Pannka

A beautiful evening

MUSIC REVIEW

Image-1
Need help with Editing

 

Josh, one of our new music reviewer’s arrived to a full house at the Tote in Collingwood on the weekend, for the launch of  Ferla’s  new album Guilt Pop / Stay Posi.

‘It was packed, nearly overflowing, an Indie rock sound, a bit electronic; in the genre of Sticky Fingers. The crowd was  ‘very alive’ and tuned in; mostly hipsters. ‘

Giuliano Ferla. hit the high notes easily whist being supported by a band that infused his mood, the synthesiser player engaged the audience with a complex construct of layered chords,  one on a keyboard and synth on the other. Ocean Party, and dewy garage Girlatones. were the supporting bands and Loose Tooth DJs spun the tunes for the night.

Ferla engaged with the audience and explained the development of the lyrics with personal insights.

 “Imagine your life as if you wanted nothing at all.”

It was a great evening, showcasing a talent that has arrived after a many performances, a terrific line-up and an evening that engaged the respect of the audience.

“There was a great vibe.” Josh

FullSizeRender-52

 

Audience Response:

“If its on spotify its definitely going in my collection.”

 

FERLA Wasted on you

FERLA GUILT POP/STAY POSI
DOUBLE EP

1. Breakups Are Hard For Everybody
2. I’m Nobody’s Baby Now
3. In The Night
4. You’re There
5. I Can’t Let You Down
6. Wasted On You
7. Children Are Our Future
8. Limited Time

Spotify | iTunes
Facebook| Instagram | Bandcamp

 4b329906-4e97-47d1-8db2-416a28d09d57 

 

2 Bob Weekend

FullSizeRender-49
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

Image-1
Writer for Hire

The Other Art Fair

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

FullSizeRender-25

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

 

 

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

FullSizeRender-26
JC

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

 

FullSizeRender-27
Jo White

The nostalgic work of Jo White is a delight.

 

FullSizeRender-36
Cynthia Ellis

and Cynthia Ellis lays it on thick.

 

FullSizeRender-35
Leah Emery at work

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

 

FullSizeRender-32
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

Image-1
COPYWRITING SERVICES

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

FullSizeRender-2

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.”

3 Mates & a glass of wine at MICF

The MICF Show is in town and Three Course Comedy is the show-bag of comic treats. Each night 3 Comedians take the stage to give you a sample size dish of their material. It’s a great way to be exposed to a range of comic styles, with a line up that changes each night.

MP went to the very ambient Fort Delta Gallery  in Howey Place to be amused by Tim Hewitt, Adam Knox and Michael Shafer

Tim Hewitt warms up the Crowd, as first up in ‘Three Course’ line-up.

IMG_8400

Hewitt is soaking in the City culture of MICF after doing the ‘hard yards’ in the parochial wilderness of Pokies Den’s and Greyhounds. The comics life may be rich in experience but it may not afford holidays to remote islands with Supermodels. There are compromises.

Hewitt has a personal warmth that endears the crowd, his suburban tales ‘touch a nerve’ and there are outbursts of laughter throughout the room.

With two comedians to follow, the routine manoeuvres speedily through his visual landscapes.

Also performing ‘Comedy Zone’ on the MICF circuit.

‘Knoxie’ is next

IMG_8405

Knox brings a mix of cultural anomalies to his performance wrapping his clever wit around some pearls of insight. He wavers between action, concern and an offhand remarks. He establishes an instant rapport with the audience before entering his comfort zone, once there, he opens up to the deeper issues that concern him, like a mate does.

Knox is also a part of Chimp Cop Forever

Michael Shafer

IMG_8410

Shafer breaks away from his sellout solo performance Jewis-ish to join his mates in this 3 course round-up. His routine is a bite sized, sped up sample of what audiences can expect to hear at the full show. Shafer continues to polish his work with diligent effort, comedy is not a vacation it’s his vocation.

Shafer manages to lead the course through the choppy waves of perception and throws out a line to the women in the audience, those that may be floundering in the male shallows.

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.

IMG_7817
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.

The play that created a storm

‘It’s foul weather in us all, good soul’

img_7407
Melbourne Sky

Ironically, it is a storm that opens the tale of The Tempest, but here on the banks of the Maribyrnong River it is a brewing storm that ends it. Melbourne’s fickle weather has once again cast its cold spell on an outdoor event. It has ‘undid’, subverted and prevented the ambition of this ‘goodly’ play. The stunning performance that was on Friday and Saturday was ‘naught’ on Sunday.

What could have been is; Prospero, performed by Brendon Ewing, dark with revenge and drawing his past into the currents of his macabre island home, seeking familiar company with unkindly aims, that give way to kindness sway. This tale untold, due to weather, it had to fold, so the cast did the next best thing, they sang.

 

Sly Rat Theatre Co.’s artistic directors Alan Chambers and Andy Harmsen have created a unique vision for The Tempest, inspired by science-fiction classics. The Pipework’s Natural Museum is a beautiful outdoor space, rich in atmosphere and a perfect setting for a summer picnic, weather permitting.

img_7369

“It’s a Rock and Roll version of Shakespeare, it’s very loud and very big” Director Andy Harmsen

Within the warm hub of the group, a buzz with laughter, singing and the smell of burnt sausage, it is easy to forget that the cancellation of a show could be disappointing, they are taking it so well. It’s a chance to catch up with some of the actors and chat about their role’s, the few that aren’t belting out a tune.

First up is Todd Levi

img_7427

 

 

“We like to push the boundaries but still tell a great story.. it’s Shakespeare, how he would like it done today…Its bawdy, its real and it is entertainment first and foremost. Prospero has been marooned on a magical island, betrayed by his sister and he’s been there for 12 years. He spies the evildoers sailing by and raises a tempest, a storm that shipwrecks them on the island where he prepares to take his revenge. It’s the search for redemption the final words of the play are; ‘As you from crimes would pardon’d be, let you indulgence set me free’

What made you choose this venue? MP

 “It’s a magical place, it’s a place where the community comes and we played here last year to over 2000 people … most of them had not seen live theatre before, let alone Shakespeare, and playing to an audience like that and seeing them fall in love with it”

Did you factor in the weather? MP

“You don’t expect to have nine shows of good weather every-time, hopefully this is our one and only cancellation.”

Next up is Tara Hauton 

img_7399

 

“Steph and I play the clowns, technically it’s the Court Jester but Andy and Alan have re-invented it to be two women who have been to the races all day long and have arrived at the play. We exist outside the world of the play and that’s where the comedy of the role happens…we are very drunk.

and Ty Holdsworth

 

It’s a play about weather, most Melbournians can relate to that.

 

 

Pipework’s Natural Museum Park on the banks of the Maribrynong River

 

 

by April Forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give up your Health

At the Launch of Teeth & Tongue’s new Album ‘Give up your Health’.

‘Lead singer Jess Cornelius, an urban soul vocalist in the genre of Patti Smith, has a smooth rich voice that rides through intriguing electronic arrangements.’ MP

img_7282

‘Give Up on Your Health’ had its genesis in one rogue song. ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ that was originally recorded as an experimental track with a driving, arpeggiated synth sound, drawing on ’70s electronica. The label liked it so much they wanted a full album to go with it. So on the heels of a breakup, Cornelius retired to remote Iceland on a three-month Nes Artist Residency, which produced the heartbreaking ‘Small Towns’.

“We’ve got unavoidable contact. There’s always email and phone. I went as far away as I thought I could. You’re dying in the heat, I’m dying in the cold” – Small Towns

The rest of the album was written in Melbourne, where Cornelius brought the material to the band: guitarist Marc Regueiro-McKelvie, bassist Damian Sullivan and drummer James Harvey.

“I wanted to make an energetic dance-pop record, but with substance,the kind you’d put on when you’re driving down the highway, forgetting all the stressful stuff.” Cornelius

Alannah Woods our music reporter went to Remote Studios to review the album and interviewed the lead singer Jess Cornelius.

Your songs are quite different from each other, where do you get your inspiration? AW

“It’s usually stuff that’s going on ..a process of working out why I am feeling things”

Do you write the music? AW

“Sometimes;  I’ll bring a song to the band, just the lyrics, maybe a guitar bar, the structure and the melody, then sometimes the guys will write their own arrangements or I’ll write parts for them .. it’s a mixture. They definitely write, we just work it out.”

Who inspires you musically? AW 

“It changes so much … Lou Reed has always been a big one, songwriters like Nina Simone..”

Tell us about your albums? AW

“I’ve done 4 Albums, the first was just me but I got other people to play on it.For this one the four of us, not the keyboard player, have been together for a few years, we did the 3rd album together..it’s been a bit like adding people along the way”

So it was your original idea?

“Yeah I started out as a soloist.”

img_7079

The Verdict

‘What I love is that she takes every part of her life and turns it into a song, it doesn’t necessarily have to be depressing, there’s a genuine depth. Jess has a great sound that could be compared to jazz, very soulful ..” Alannah Woods

Beyond the Pale

Australia Day tribute:

“It’s always been about sharing stories, identity loss and grief, determination , imagination , self belief, cultural integrity, hope and justice, reliance , cultural pride, and more than anything it’s about my people’s survival of spirit.” Hill

Noongar woman, Sandra Hill was a stolen Aboriginal child that was forced into foster care at the age of seven by the Australian Government due to the Assimilation Policy that was still active in 1958. Four children were removed from their mother’s house, they included her self , her two sisters and a brother. They were the 3rd generation of children removed from this family line.

‘In 1994 Hill  was employed as the Aboriginal Community Cultural Officer. During this period she applied for, and was awarded, a Creative Development Fellowship from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. This afforded her the time to carry out research relating to her life experiences as a member of the Stolen Generations’ (extract from Design & Art Australia on-line)

Hill’s work is held in many private collections and is also represented in Major Art Galleries throughout Australia, currently her mixed media work “Beyond the Pale’ is on display at the NGV Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square in the Australian Art Exhibition. She explores domestic labor as part of the ‘Assimilation Project’.

In the past, Domestic colleges were set up to train poor white girls and ‘half-caste’ Aboriginal children to attend to the needs of the wealthy.

‘In the early issues of Home Beautiful there was a feeling of nostalgia for the passing of an age in which almost everyone in the middle and upper classes could afford to keep a live-in maid. Even at the turn of the century , architects and designers were discussing the ‘servant problem’ and trying to come up with ways to help women face a future without servants’ The Australian Home Beautiful, from Hills Hoist to High Rise.

img_6957
NGV

 

 

ref: page 73, Household Help: The Servant Problem. The Australian Home Beautiful  from Hills Hoist to High Rise  Hardie Grant Books Oliver J.

The seasons of David Hockney

Current

Hockney is both artist and philosopher and does not leave ‘Art for Arts-sake’,. He has a dilemma and a relationship with the camera. It’s an interesting journey. Hockney wants to break free from the ‘window to the world’ and look upon life with fresh eyes but memory draws him back into the abyss of ‘what if’. It’s this challenge that makes his work exciting and current.

img_5318

Hockney was an early explorer of new technology when others were still reckoning with it. The perplex of the eye informing Art or the camera has etched itself into his work. The inner debate of Hockney is explored in his art and educates the viewer. He is an intellectual and art is his vehicle

“The camera can’t get the beauty of this ……it can’t compete with painting” Hockney

img_5251

Hockney challenges the limitations of the camera but continues to return to it. He has a union to technology that he cannot divorce himself from and that’s fine. As Hockney searches for the truth and is willing to film it; we benefit.

Hockney knew that 14th Century artists were using the ancient Camera Obscure,  a technique that reproduced a slide show via light and darkness onto a canvas. He devoted a few years documenting it and producing evidence.

Maybe in the early years, Hockney was criticised for letting the camera inform him and he aimed to provide its legitimate history within the Renaissance . He ended up proving and providing something more important, it works either way.

The pool and boys journey in LA begins as an eye and brush experience.

‘Though there was no photography used in the swimming pool paintings, because the camera “freezes” the water, which was not the effect he was after, he did continue to use it as n aide-memoire’ Christopher Simon Skykes

Hockney could capture the movement and effect of pool water with his eye but needed the camera for the Splash!

When Hockney returns to the English countryside to capture the seasons, he faces extreme weather and does not photograph the landscape. He forsakes a cosy studio for art of plein-air. Back indoors however he views the photographs of his work and aims to create a cinematic version within a jigsaw. The camera is back. The final twist is that the weather weathered work informs the photograph.

img_5319

Take the journey and roll out the green carpet for David Hockney at NGV International.

img_5278
NGV International  welcomed the Artist on a green carpet.

 

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black is a psychological thriller with a mystery at the heart of it. It takes the audience on an imaginative tour, where their own thoughts interplay with the drama before them.

“they saw things that didn’t happen in the show” Justin Stephens, Director.

Stephens is drawing upon 25 years of theatre experience to present this production with two key actors, Chris McLean and Kieran Tracey, that are ‘on top of their game.’The Woman in Black” is a horror novella written in 1983 by Susan Hill. The play has startled audiences around the world.

Don’t expect to be spoon-fed, its a subtle work with confounding possibilities. Flawless acting, clever direction and trick lighting; engage the minds of the playgoer. The ‘not seeing’ creates the atmospheric conditions of strangeness.

“Creating a vision of actors on a journey” Stephens.

img_4942

Ironically, Stephen’s acting career began in an effort to combat an early speech problem. Many successful artists have grown from adversity into major success stories;such as Warhol,Beethoven, Einstein and Dali, just to name a few.

“The power of theatre and how it can transform” Stephens

The drama explores tragedy, the coping and non-coping elements, of the human experience. All those memories that haunt and prevent us from a full recovery, are confronted in a dire straits situation, where he/we must face our fears.

“Even the most rational minds can play tricks in the dark” from James Watkins 2012 film version.

The Review

img_4929

A menacing and sinister fog welcomes the audience into a Gothic drama that explores the space between life and death.  It’s a well written play,  beautifully executed by the actors with atmospheric effects that conjure an unsettling mood. There is a lavish opulence of poetry and theatrics in thick layers. It is theatre at its best, it is a work of Art.

Australia’s patchy history

1800-1950

It’s fascinating to imagine that female convicts on ships to Australia, were sewing beautiful quilts. They were leaving heavily populated cobble streets and embarking on a tour into the wild unknown.It was a place where currency was rum, women were few and some unthinkable dark terrors took place.The unfree made free and the free made unfree.

img_4140
The Rajah Quilt

This quilt was created by the women on board the Rajah in 1841, they were taught by  Elizabeth Fry, a Quaker reformer.

‘The Australian quilting tradition developed in response to a unique set of factors that sets it apart from other quilting traditions internationally.’ NGV

There was the odd sailor that picked up a needle and thread and made his own quilt.

img_4609
unknown artist

This example is a work of Art, an intricate geometric design, with a contemporary feel. The beauty of the quilt is that it is also functional. The time poured over the work creates a meditative element that transfers an emotional or spiritual quality to the work.

img_4226
Enter a caption

During WW1 and WW2, ‘quilts were a means of rallying support’.

To this day, some churches still create quilts to place over the unwell. The quilt can also serve as an historical piece, recording the members of a congregation, club or school.

Some stitched a bit of wisdom to guide the next generation.

img_4169
The Westbury Quilt  1900-03

The charming Westbury quilt was created by a Tasmanian family, it was intended to be a raffle prize. Its a mix of British domestic influence and Australiana.

img_4199
Mariann Gibson Crazy Quilt 1891

Others competed to be the ‘craziest’ of the ‘crazy quilt’ fashion, that was the sewing movement at a time, when European Art was shaking off the shackles of the past. The British settlers had no cultural roots in Australia, they could push the boundaries of traditional Arts.

img_4249
The Goodnight Quilt by Mary Jane Hannaford

 

Some caught the eye of the galleries to be immortalised. Mothers often sewed quilts for their children or were given to them by a loving friend or family member. Mary Jane Hannford’s ‘Goodnight Quilt’ was made for her 11 year old grandson.

‘The subject matter of Hannafords quilt includes patriotism, religious faith, the love of Australian wildlife and the marking of key family events’

img_4247
Nursery Quilt Artist unknown

Some works were sewed roughly, not for beauty or art but for warmth. The gathering of discarded clothes, recycled into a rug. The perfect art for Depression and War when materials are few and patience is limited.

img_4239
Wagga

‘real rag bag waggas, hessian bags or patchwork-covered army blankets, but still rich in the memories embedded in their cloth.’ Annette Gero

It’s a pictoral exploration into our past, through fabric. Mostly, but not exclusively a womens history. Sewing groups were also social and community acts. It’s an engaging exhibition.

img_4695
Inserts from NGV
img_4687
until Nov 6

Coppelia in St Kilda

Coppelia may be as ‘pretty as a picture’ but she has no soul, to live she will need to suck the life out of Franz. Swanilda is his true love, but her passion startles the young man who would prefer his ideal. Fortunately she is persistent.

image

It’s a dance off. Swanilda can out dance her peers and Franz is more talented than his, it’s a ‘match made in Heaven’ but fate has a turn. Before the two amazing movers are joined, (which could lead to a standing ovation) evil raises his ugly head in the guise of a mad magician.

It’s a three-part play, with a haunting centre. Some toys can be very intimidating, some boys can be very threatening and some girls can be very curious. It makes great drama, within a comic text. It was the ballet that saved itself.

‘ the plot reads like a modern horror movie, Saint-Leon’s production was a clever commentary on the dangers of infatuation. When the ballet finally opened in Paris in May 1870 it seemed. with its freshness and vitality, as if the art had been reborn in France.Judith Steeh

It was the ballet revival that kept the flame alight in Europe, until the Ballet Russes set it ablaze. Essentially it was designed to excel the ballerina for the delight of its male patrons (like Degas) but was modernised by Ogilvie. The male parts that were performed by ballerinas, were handed over to men and choreographed into the leaps and athleticism, that it is today. It is beautiful ballet with amazing dancing.

image
Dimity Azoury as Swanilda & Jarryd Madden as Franz at Saturday Matinee

‘We are delighted to bring back this production, which has long been considered a jewel of The Australian Ballet’s repertoire,’ David McAllister ,Artistic Director

The Palais adds ambience of this period piece, it was first performed on its stage in 1962. The charm of another era resonates through the Saturday matinée, the wood paneling, marble columns, leather seats and ‘cash only’ bars and kiosks. It’s beautiful to walk out its doors and believe the world has not changed on the St Kilda Esplanade.

image

Take the journey into enchantment.

 

image
Sept 23- Oct 1

Contrasts

Rapid urban development cast’s new shadows on the streets of old St Kilda, yet shreds of its artistic culture remain.

106 Barkley Street has been Tamar Dolev’s studio for 8 years, she uses ‘found’ objects to create. Each surface and shape is carefully considered before being morphed into the voice of the quietly spoken Artist.

The works are bursting with wild vitality, shes uses colour like an electric force, there is a vibrant sense of movement and emotion similar to that of Aboriginal Artist HU Wedge.

 

Dolev also enjoys the effects of shadows.

“Whatever wall it goes on, the piece changes. if it’s a blue or black wall, it adds and evolves by the shadows it makes.”

image
Self Portrait 2015

Self Portrait 2015 is full of holes, it is a chameleon blending into its environment. It is partly her and partly the surroundings, that dictate its nature.

 

 

‘Billy’s Adventure’ 2015, is a long narrow work that invites the eye to travel through the composition as a narrative. The concept of an art piece outside the ‘eye of a camera’ explores our natural visage, a technique familiar to Chinese scrolls.

Dolev’s journeys are captured in her haunting silent photography of the place outside.

image

Both of her parents are Architects and her fascination with buildings seeps into her art. She is currently pre-occupied with her sculptures of dwellings made from bay-side spillage.

 

Artists Studio Gallery / 106 Barkly St, St Kilda; next to Mirka Mora lane.

Opening Event Aug 6 3-5pm

 Aug 13, 14 and 20th

 

Paperless Office

“The whole of life is an artwork, we are just going through the stages of it.”  Coleman  

image

Xan Coleman is the Director of a Durational Action Artwork that is currently being held at the Meat Market in North Melbourne.

“We are digitizing and destroying the entire company archives of A is for Atlas, as it turns 10 at the end of this week. We are reflecting..” Coleman

When MP arrived Coleman was shredding the play ‘No Exit’ that was staged in 2012.It is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. It consists of three characters that bring out the worse in each other and are doomed to spend eternity together, this is their hell. Ironically, the play was held in an underground space, next to the Vic Market that has since been entombed under concrete, hindering it without an exit.

Theatre chairs are in place, if you want to grab a coffee and view the work of Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez as she scans, or Coleman as he shreds. Toni Main’s sewing machine creates a ‘musical’ background as Julie Renton creates soft furniture on the floor. The public are invited to participate in the making of soft office toys that will be given away at the end of the week.

image

The mundane in this Happening, becomes the intersection of destruction and transformation,  public are generally invited to such rites of passage. For ‘A is for Atlas’ the cultural past has been kept in storage for a decade. In this installation the past is physically destroyed and sent into a cloud.

Ritual, regardless of its simplicity, marks change and unity. A marriage is more than a couple ‘hooking up’; eating fish on Good Friday or kissing strangers on New Years Eve, marks a profound event or change. The shredding of the emotional and creative achievement’s of this company, is significant.

image
Childs drawing saved from the shredder

Each of the players have rewarding discoveries in the sorting; Coleman saved some children’s drawings and mounted them on the wall, Ng-Rodriguez connected with some architectural drawings of the Powerhouse; Main found it exhilarating to cut into an old animal print costume and Renton, left only with the shreds, creates soft furniture.

image

On Friday night the bar is open, the musicians arrive and the ‘post-it’ party begins to cap off the week.

image

Ends July 29

Article by A Forward

We cross over Smith Street to the end of the Line

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

One doesn’t need an excuse to head to Fitzroy. Melbourne’s old bohemia and the new swank of money have morphed the district into the cutting edge of style and art. Even Charcoal Lane has had a makeover and looks like a cool Club.

I’m heading up Smith Street to the Gertrude Street Projection Festival. The cafes, restaurants, barbers and bars are a light show, each establishment competing to win ‘the most ambient award’. It’s a feast of visual splendour and I haven’t yet arrived at ‘Gertrude’.

image
Gertrude Hotel

 

The Builders Arms hotel, on the corner, is awash with Kate Geck’s gay colours and crisp designs of her composition Apeiron, exploring decay’s victory over the force of materialism.It’s the gateway into the creative heartland, flanked over the road is the Gertrude Hotel also vividly lit, with the design Imaginary Atlas by Sean Capone. Within the festival there are a diverse display of styles; the bright, subtle,intriguing and the sublime.

 

Luzon Adams sensual work Reverie, was utterly captivating, in a liquid dance by underwater videographer Peter Bucknell, she explores the mystery and epic power of the red-haired character. For the viewer it appears as though a woman is emerging, like new life out of the building exterior.

The most charming display was the neon light on the Housing Commission building that read ‘HOME’. In its simplicity it encourages a non threatening view of the estate and reminds us of the sacred spaces where we all live. Its is no longer a block.

 

Banner Photo: Gloss by Petrina Hicks

Title from the Lyric’s of Charcoal Lane by Archie Roach

Photographs and article by A Forward

https://www.instagram.com/melbourne_press/