In the really-real world

I had a wonderful time last night at the opening of My 10 Crushes: An Exhibition of Oodlies. The work by Joi is so much fun, it’s bright and edgy and it was really special to be able to hear a little from Joi (in all her introverted glory) on how this unique show has come together.

The ten pieces that make up the exhibition have all been inspired by twitter-mates that Joi has come across over time, and proceeded to stalk. As such, the works are all unique, personal and narrative. In their own surreal way, they have a most endearing real-life personality at their core. To add to this, all the pieces have an accompanying interview (which you can find on the Oodlies site), so that you can find out more about why Sam has mouse ears, all about the carnival romance of Mirjam’s parents and Joi’s fascination with Bambi’s name.

Many of the ‘crushes’ were present and accounted for…interesting character each and every one, I can see why Joi was drawn to them (pun intended).

An absolute highlight of the evening was getting to meet a lot of people I have up until now only know by their Twitter handles and their faces by thumbnail. It was a treat to chat to them in real life and I look forward to following them closely through the twittersphere.


I really loved the ‘Munny‘ collection, lovely little creatures, and a bonus item that tickled my fancy were the Mooodlies cushions (created in collaboration with designer Mirjam Spronk)…I have a terrible feeling these would look amazing in my house.

The exhibition is on now, until 26 June 2011 at Gasworks Arts Park Cnr Graham & Pickles St Albert Park, VIC.

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May your May be very busy…

The day has wizzed by me I’m afraid, and I’ve only gotten a fraction of the jobs done that I’d hoped to. I am now miles behind myself, which probably serves me right for galavanting around town this week.

Despite this, I’m pleased to say that I’ve not learnt my lesson, and that I’ve got more than a few outings on the cards for the next couple of weeks. May is certainly turning out to be a busy month.

First on the cards is Art Melbourne, the affordable art show which is being held at the Royal Exhibition Building this weekend.  It opens tonight (I’m fairly sure tickets are still available through their website), and the show continues until Sunday. I’m hoping to get there myself on the weekend, and I can’t wait to check out some of the artistic talents around, local and otherwise who are looking to spruik their wares.

I’ll be especially on the look out for Joi’s Oodlies, which’ll be at stand S19, and I’m keen to see local gallery Suburban Gallery in stand C19.

If you’re keen on coming along at some stage, tickets are available online or at the door.  If you don’t get there, I’ll be sure to share a few of the stand-outs next week.

Next up is the 2011 Bayside Literary Festival which opens tomorrow night and runs until 27 May 2011. It’s a pretty jam-packed program featuring a really great range of authors, illustrators, experts and thinkers.  You’ll find the program here and I’ll have a bit more of a chat about a few of the events in tomorrow’s blog post.  In addition, if you’re in Brighton or Beaumaris, you might like to pop in to their libraries’ as they’re featuring art by Nicky Johnston and Pete Pascoe (Nicky at Brighton, Pete at Beaumaris) to complement the festival.

Finally, as a bookish aside, I bought Evan a new book today. He needed a book for on the bus when he goes on camp, and so I thought I’d better just take a punt and buy him something today (although normally I’d make sure he was there to help choose.)  Anyway, hoping for the best, I got him a copy of a book call Olaf the Viking, by Martin Conway. It looks to be pitched about right, and seems to have a bit of humour about it.  Stay tuned to hear Ev’s verdict.

In short, May may be very busy, but most certainly it’ll be full of fun.

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One rainy school night…

When I was a kid, I really thought that ‘No, it’s a school night’ would stop applying once I was a grown-up. Only now am I starting to work out that this simply isn’t the case. More often than not, what gets done on a weeknight is almost as restricted as it was when my parents were calling the shots, only now it’s not so much because of the morning after (which I assume was my Mum’s concern) but rather due to the day that’s just happened.

Every now and then an offer of an outing on a weeknight comes up and I make best laid plans to get there. Often the engagement is missed; it’s too reliant on how much energy I’ve got left at the end of the day (which is getting better, but ain’t what it used to be – thanks Mr. Chemo), it depends on the kids (feeding time at the zoo, and a hose down before bed), and on whether or not hubby can get away from work in time to get back to wrangle the kids for me. In saying that, I am on a bit of a crusade to make sure that I make the time and effort to get out of the house and look at clever art, listen to smart people, and hear nice tunes. This is especially important to me at the moment, after my recent stint being an invalid, as I feel it’s really time to get this restless mind and body back out into the really real world.

Given the challenges (as I see them), I’m very pleased to say that I made it to the opening of Mt Zero Cabin 1 at the Grampians, the exhibition that I’ve been talking about over the last week or so. Although I didn’t commit to getting scrubbed up and dressed pretty until Matt got home, (because I didn’t quite believe I’d actually get out the door) all went to plan and we made it over to Armadale.

Artists Lisa Sewards and Sue Picot

The Firestation is a lovely venue, and the exhibition is intimate. It includes a wonderful blend of works on paper, rough and unrefined as well as beautifully framed and presented works reading for the hanging.

Art by: Lisa Sewards

The inks and watercolours were my personal favourites, but the variety of mediums including charcoals, pastels, etchings and oils makes for an interesting little exhibition.

As Lisa pointed out on the night, it was fascinating to see the work of five different artists all working in the same space, with the same subject, at the same time. All five; Lisa Sewards, Trudy Rice, Roz Rogers, Sue Picot, and Bern Olle present  a unique interpretation of the natural landscape of Mt Zero, and all present a place of beauty – sometimes rich, sometimes sparse, and always inviting.

If you’ve a spare half-an-hour, I’d really suggest popping by – you might also like to check out the studio’s printing facilities, which are for hire to artists.  All works in the show are for sale, and very affordable. The show is on until 22 May 2011.

Art by: Bern Olle

Reading Update
A little less highbrow, but certainly no less rich with talent, I’m reading Birmingham’s Weapons of Choice at the moment.  It’s very different to the novels I usually read, but I’m surprised by how easy I’m finding it to get into – very enjoyable so far.

Further, because Weapons of Choice is such a big book, I’ve also got a travelling-read too (my handbag is big, but it’s not that big).  When I’m on the go, I’m reading Malinche, by Laura Esquivel. Two quite contrasting reads.

Keep an eye out for a review of both in the not too distant future.

I love orange…

I’m please to be able to share a bit of a sneak-peak at the newly hung Mt Zero Cabin 1 at the Grampians, and it’s looking great!


I’m all on track to pop in to the opening on Thursday night (12 May 6 – 8pm) at the Firestation Print Studio in Armadale.  I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to have a bit of a chat to some of the artists and am looking forward to getting an insight into what went into this collection of work. I’m assured that I’ll be left longing for the Grampians by the end of the evening, and I don’t doubt it.

Lovely Orange, Lovely Penguins
I am so excited, I’ve almost turned orange myself!  The announcement of the next set of Popular Penguins made my day, and helped to cheer me up on this insanely chilly, grey old Melbourne day.

Due for release September 2011, the new collection includes the following titles:

Barry Hines, A Kestrel for a Knave
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
Anais Nin, A Spy In The House Of Love
James Baldwin, Another Country
Bryce Courtenay, April Fool’s Day
Roald Dahl, Boy
John Cheever, Falconer
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Robert Graves, I, Claudius
Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa
E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime
Ali Smith, The Accidental
Zadie Smith, The Autograph Man
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
Pat Barker, The Eye in the Door
Norman Mailer, The Fight
Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar
Raymond Chandler, The High Window
John Steinbeck, The Pearl
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine
Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies

I’m particularly rapt with the inclusion of Nineteen Eighty-four and The Time Machine.

Which title would you buy first?

Lovely Lisa

I’ve just gotten hold of a couple more pieces from the upcoming Mt Zero Cabin 1 at the Grampians exhibition, this time by the lovely Lisa Sewards…

An another…

And one more special treat…

Not only am I now looking forward to the exhibition, but I’ve got the most incredible hankering for a weekend in the Grampians.

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A sneak peak

As promised, I’m pleased to be able to share with you a sneak peak at a couple of works that are going to be shown in the Mt Zero Cabin 1 at the Grampians exhibition coming up 11 May 2011 at the Firestation Print Studio.

These two pieces are by artist Trudy Rice, and are a wonderful example of the talent which will be on show.  Firstly, a piece perfectly in keeping with the amazing Autumn that is setting into Melbourne at the moment…

And secondly, a piece that reminds me very much of weeks spent camping as a teenager in Halls Gap:

If you’d like to find out a bit more about Trudy and her work, you might like to have a look around her site.

The Grampians are one of my favourite places, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing this exhibition. Definitely one for the diary.

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Hilltop inspiration

One thing I’m really loving at the moment is the ready availability of small, niche exhibitions featuring local artists.  It’s a great way to get out of the house for a couple of hours, with or without the kids.  One such show coming up next month is Mt Zero Cabin 1 at the Grampians.

Last month, Lisa Sewards (of Pink Lady fame) and a number of other inspired individuals spent a week in the Grampians. During their time away, Lisa and others in her cabin produced some stunning works, inspired by the fine company and the hilltop air.

As a result, Cabin 1 are having a small exhibition of the works created that week. Many are works on paper, using a variety of mediums although the show also includes a selection of oils paintings.

For the diary, opening night is 12 May 2011, and the exhibition runs from 11 May – 22 May 2011 at the Firestation Print Studio. I for one can’t wait, I’m really looking forward to this show – the Grampians is one of my favourite places and as I’ve mentioned before I’m very partial to works on paper. Stay tuned here too, hopefully I’ll be able to show off a few samples of included works in the weeks to come.

A couple of goodies coming up shortly on TBYL…
I’ve finally finished Wind-up Bird Chronicle and am working on putting down my many thoughts on this amazing novel.

Also, I’m doing a little experiment on Brainwashing al la Elmo…all will be revealed in due course so watch this space.

Keep an eye out too for a feature on photographer Christopher Rimmer, coming soon.

Photo: Christopher Rimmer


Hope you’re all looking forward to a wonderful Easter break, and that you get the chance to get out and about to some lovely things during the break.   Equally I hope you have a bit of book-time, put your feet up and read away.


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A little glimpse

I’m a little disappointed to report that I’ve not been able to get along to see the Fabric exhibition that I mentioned last week.  But, luckily, my friend Lisa made it there and has kindly agreed to put together a little glimpse of the show for me to share. Thanks Lisa! The show is still open for a couple more days if you’re in the area.

Fabric is a lovely little exhibition bringing together 15 Artists who’s fabric in life is represented and weaved in many different ways.  I especially love Rosemary Cato’s etchings, such delicate threads of work. The patchwork coat made by Dominique Horne is truely amazing bringing the past to life.  Here’s a snap of a linocut ‘a velvet touch’ by Lisa Sewards which presents the gorgeous velvety coats of lovebirds.

As a bonus, you can book yourself into a printmaking course whilst you visit the venue, and there are lots of great cafes around on Glenferrie Road too!

The last days of this exhibition are this week, open this Wednesday and  & Thursday 11am to 5pm at the Firestation Print Studio, 2 Willis Street Armadale. Further details can be found: www.firestationprintstudio.com.au

On the cards

I’ve got a pretty busy calendar over the next couple of months, by my standards anyway.  Here’s a few things on the cards…

I must get along to see the exhibition of artworks on paper, Fabric which is being held in Armadale until the 25 March 2011.  This exhibition is apparently quite small but features works by many local artists. The venue itself is also very interesting, the Firestation Print Studio provides a place for professional and amateur printmakers to learn, print and exhibit.  I tried to get along to the show this weekend just gone, but being a long weekend it didn’t happen.  I’m assured by my sports-mad family that after basketball we’ll head on over this Saturday. Full details about this exhibition can be found here

Another local show is being held by Christopher Rimmer, an extremely talented photographer who was heavily involved with the 2010 Pink Lady Art Exhibition.  His exhibition In Africashowcases his latest breathtaking images of his former homeland. The show is running until 8 April 2011 at Galleria Rocco Interiors, 1st floor, 407 Hampton Street Hampton.

I’m looking forward to April, and it starts with a birthday celebration.  The Star Community Cinema in Bendigo turns six years old this year, and they’ll be celebrating on the 1 April with a special screening of True Grit (check their website for full details).  The Star Cinema is a community run enterprise, and is invaluable to the Bendigo region, screening an amazing range of independent and art house films.  They also hold special events throughout the year so be sure to check out their website to see what’s coming up.

Lastly, I’ve booked tickets for Matt and I to go and see Frankenstein. This show is on stage in Britain at the moment and thanks to National Theatre Live, is being shown live on screen in April.  I’ve got tickets for the screening at Cinema Nova Carlton.  The play, by Nick Dear (based on the novel by Mary Shelley) is directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, 127 Hours).  It stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternate the lead roles of Frankenstein and his monster from night to night.  I’m extremely excited about this one…I love horror, and I’m a big fan of Danny Boyle.


So, all going well, March and April are looking very cultured and lots of fun.

Have you guys got anything on the books for the next month or so?

On paper…

Now here’s something to look forward to!

I’ve popped this exhibition on my calendar as a must do, as a chance to catch the work of a few friends and acquaintances.  I love print-making, and works on paper are just my kind of thing.

Fabric includes the work of a number of artists who were involved with the very successful Pink Lady Art Exhibition.  I’ll be watching out for pieces by Louise Einfeld, Trudy Rice, Sue Picot & Lisa Sewards.

The exhibition is on from 3 March to 25 March at Firestation Print Studio, 22 Willis Street, Armadale.  Opening Night is Thursday, 3rd March (6 -8pm).

Stay tuned if you’re interested in a run-down, I’ll work on a bit of a write-up once I’ve seen the show.

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