Monday, February 28, 2011

Ranger's Apprentice Series Continued

Well from previous perusing you no doubt have read my review of the first book in the Rangers Apprentice Series (surprisingly good - check out the link) anyways I did not quite love it enough to read the entire series, but I have just read book eight, The King's of Clonmel. It was very easy to pick up again and the characters were familiar enough to slot into relationships and patterns without feeling like one had missed out huge blocks of information from their lives in not reading the six books in between.

Again, it was again a real pleasure! I mean of course Halt turns out to be the rightful king to a neighbouring kingdom, but that predictability aside it was interesting. The adversaries in this novel are a creepy cult that are masquerading as a religion. Again hideous cover but what can you do?

So if you have an late primary-schooler get them into this series. They are totes worth a peek.

Friday, February 25, 2011

ANFSCD: A little Bit of Fun


The Re-draft

Why is it so much more effort and more time consuming to re-draft? Why?! Why?!

Why?!

[Does not continue blog post in favour of spending valuable time on the re-draft].

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nose.


Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

There are books one feels one should read, and then there are books that one does. Fortunately having read the Dubliners ages ago Mr. Joyce isn't too daunting for me and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on the whole proved a very interesting and at times enjoyable read. The politics were also fascinating in light of the subsequent conflict in Northern Ireland.

What is it about reading about boys in boarding school that has so much appeal? Misplaced nostalgia perhaps? Or maybe it just tends to be that authors who write of such times often have the personal experience that affectionately informs the writing. That is if they survived of cause. Rudyard Kipling's Stalky and Co. is one of my favourite examples as well as anything written by Stephen Fry in his memoirs and Roald Dahl. Need I say more? Wonderful. Anyways, there are some great scenes written by James Joyce.

- Great scenes? Really? Is that the way to talk about such a work?
- Such a work? Whatever do you mean? She replied.
- It is one of the Modern novels that changed the way that we read.
- What of it? I said it was good.
- I mean he doesn't even use quotation marks, just dashes to indicate dialogue.
- Yes, well. That was a but frustrating at times, but looked nice on the page and generally worked. Very Modern. Are we done?
- Indubitably.

The scenes at University at the end were also quite amusing, and the snappiness of the dialogue was great - the - dashes - worked - really - well - there.

In fact the only thing that I had any trouble with at all was the mini-existential crisis of a 16 year old boy who becomes so indoctrinated with Catholicism that he believes he will die for his sins right there, immediately. The sermons that struck such fear into the depths of his soul were beautifully written but also to be fair, a little scary. It's not healthy for teenagers so be so subjugated. It's also not ideal for them to be touring brothels either. Balance is essentially the key! The point of resignation when he realised that he was a lost soul anyway and piety would not save him from his sins sat quite awkwardly. That said, as I was not brought up as a strict Catholic I wouldn't identify too much with his predicament.

I am not sure that I see Stephen Dedalus as a everyman for everyartist, but it is certainly an intriguing portrait.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks Review [Proof Copy]

There are issues to the idea of a ‘pay-off’ in novels. Narrative gives us a sense of what has happened and a premonition of what is to happen and then these points fall into place. Sometimes. This can of course be subverted, sometimes to great effect. But, there is a reason why romantic-comedies are popular and people still buy Mills and Boon! Predictable templates are reassuring and we turn to narrative to guide us through stories.

Caleb’s Crossing has a perplexing narrative. Its three parts jump drastically in time, which does not give space for development across time. Cheeshahteaumauck (Caleb) is a chieftain’s son and Berthia a pastor’s daughter and the catalyst for the story is their meeting, aged twelve. This friendship between Caleb and Berthia develops beautifully in the first section but appears cursory in the second and third sections where it becomes more centred on Berthia and her life without him. Which is interesting, as according to the blurb the book is all about “bring[ing] to vivid life a shard of little-known history” – ie. Caleb graduating from Harvard. The historical part of the fiction seems to get in the way of Berthia’s story at times. There is an uneasy meshing of history and fiction that matches the meshing cultures in the book.

Does it need more more fantasy? Neither main character openly acknowledges their attraction to the other – which is not-surprising considering when the action is set, but for a book claiming to be the innermost thoughts of Berthia there is little innermost thought on the main relationship of the book! Geraldine Brooks seems to want to hint at romance but cannot quite entertain the thought and so awkwardly sets up a dynamic and never follows it through, not even to have Berthia acknowledge that what her heart wants is impossible. [Although of course she has the time and inclination to keep a diary of sorts, argh! Why can’t we get people’s story without the references to writing and paper etc. Obviously we haven’t stumbled across a forgotten manuscript. Forget the unlikely premise and get on with the story.]

So we get a very lovely, but entirely random character to ‘rescue’ Berthia – unsatisfactory narrative-wise and coupled with this we get ineffectual and frustrating so-called-bad-characters. Who weren’t really bad, just misunderstood for a while, which also does little for the story.

Also as a side note Berthia was a frustrating character to spend an entire book in first person with. For one so proficient with languages she is cloying in her words. Besides, where was Caleb voice in this book? The blurb makes great statements about their story but it isn’t really his at all. It is all about her and how she negotiates the world in which she lives. That is fine but the history the author was initially dealing with is Caleb’s. It seems perhaps that Ms. Brooks might not have been comfortable in assuming a Native American voice, which is fair enough, but perhaps if we viewed the story through other characters’ eyes Caleb would have been a better understood character. I felt that he was lost amongst the annoying narrative and Berthia’s determination to not truly face him. Indeed it almost came across that the author did not want to deal with Caleb either. Post-colonial theorists will have a field day.

So if you have read her other stuff it is potentially worth reading to compare, but if you have yet to sample Geraldine Brooks’ writing try Year of Wonders which is inspired, glorious and has a fantastically awesome ending.

Caleb’s Crossing will be published by HarperCollins in Australia and is due out May 2011.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble Love

I cook a lot. I love to bake and cook. This is probably an extension of the house rule that means the cook does not have to wash up after the meal but also to the fact that as my folks are working I am often the one left home to cook.

Anyways for many reasons not really relevant I found myself cooking and baking last night. Yes! Combination meal. Crumbles have always played a significant role in my life, since I was very little my mother discovered that I had a talent for making the topping. She did decide to have me crumble it together with a fork - wise under the circumstances of having a very messy child - and whilst it used to take about 15 mins for me to do, it now takes approximately 3. It has got to the stage where the weighing is less than the taste-test. You know a recipe when that happens. You live a recipe when that happens.

This crumble however was extra special as we have rhubarb from the garden and plums from the garden. Jam has been made from most of the plums but there were some left and mmmmmmm, the mix is a little tart but perfect with the topping.

So, into the inaugural recipe of this blog.

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble Love


Ingredients/method:
(All ingredients we use are generally organic, but essentially just use the best quality you can get your little hands on!)

Fruit - cooked a little in a saucepan with water, so soft but not too much (approx half fill whatever baking dish you are using is a nice measure).

6 oz flour
3 oz of butter.
3 oz brown sugar + spoon of crunchy sugar

Combine Flour and softened butter with a fork so that it becomes crumbly, then add sugar, brown first and then the crunch. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Then plonk topping on top of fruit and bake for 15-25 mins in 150 degrees-ish. I mention ish as out oven is rubbish.

Serve warm. With love.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Memories of the Jabberwocky!

Jubjub Bird incarnation #1


Jubjub Bird incarnation #2


Jubjub Bird incarnation # 3:


All three together after assemblege.

Way back when in first year I was involved with Just a Yam! and their production of Jabberwocky. It was a shadow puppet show. These incarnations above were the cast I made for the main crew, essentially variations in positioning of the Jub Jub bird puppet which we used. Anyway it was a fabulous thing to be a part of and these photos which randomly were uncovered on the computer bring back some nice memories. Also the urge to do collage and nothing else. Ever again!


And the shout out to Mr. Lewis Caroll:

Jabberwocky

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Angus and Robertson and Borders. Well.

So, I awoke this morning to the news that Angus and Robertson and Borders have gone into voluntary administration. Wow. These are companies who are owned by the REDgroup a private equity firm worth millions and billions of dollars, so that is a little strange. But you know the not-so-little part of me that works in an Independant bookstore that is awesome and cares about books and customers (and you can click on this link here: Thesaurus Books and then follow links to our fb fanpage and like us) is not that sad or surprised at all. See, these large stores do have the space for variety and the buying power to offer big discounts but the truth is they subsidise these discounts in marking up the RRP on most books in the store.

This is more than a little bit insidious and not a very nice thing to do. Obviously. Recommended Retail Prices are important, they allow a profit margin for the seller and the author and the distributer. Marking up the price is just a sneaky way of making more money. And as we can see it does not work. People learn.

So fingers crossed for all the employees that these stores will stay open and fuctioning but more importantly head down to your local little bookstore, share the love there and let us preserve the uniqueness and integrity of our industry.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mrs. Vincent Price (La Mama Courthouse)

The audience is invited into the apartment of Mr. and Mrs Vincent Price in the hour before they are due to be presented as Hollywood legends at the Oscars. We are treated to creme brule and the domesticity that a life in the theatre and on screen entitles the couple. There are anecdotes, there is wine and there is much humour that develops through the play.

I would however caution that there is a risk in delivering a main character who is automatically signalled as 'funny' because she swears when she is talking about going to confession. As a character Coral initially came across as crass, mean spirited and a spoil-sport. There is the resentment of growing old and forgotten and then losing the fun, life and vitality of a character. In contrast Vincent Price is a ball of laughs the entire way through, their chemistry would have been stronger from the start if they were playing off each other rather than at each other at the beginning. It didn't come across as if this was an actor/director decision, but from the writing. Peter Quilter is an experienced and internationally recognised playwright, perhaps he felt that the audience should warm to the character as the play went along. Still, for a play claiming to be championing her it wasn't until we moved into Coral's past and her encounters on/off the stage and on/off the set that the play settles into a very enjoyable narrative and she is given a chance to shine.

That said, when Carol does shine, she does with great aplomb. We see her encounter British traitors in Moscow, star in a film as part of the sexual revolution and chat with Alan Bennett (squeal!!) as she battles cancer to continue filming An Englishman Abroad. It is also a pleasure that as Coral becomes more naturally and easily amusing, her relationship and banter with Vincent becomes a highlight. Grant Smith and Heather Lythe have great fun towards the end of the play when the chauffeur comes with their car. The ensemble cast of Michael F Cahill, Chris Broadstock and Jo Gill are adaptable in their many roles and round off an excellent cast.

The theatre in the courthouse is comfortable, the set fitted well and the photographs of Coral Browne although not incorporated into the action (except the one on the program cover where she learn she had been recently ravished by the photographer) were impressive enough to have the distinction of decorating the space. The set adapted well into sets/stage rooms and the coach functioned very well as a bed for one of the most hilarious scenes.

For all that laughter and warmth and applause as Vincent Price and Coral Browne finally made their entrance at the Oscars, I came out of the theatre feeling for all I had seen still did not really know Coral Browne, but that I really wanted to know her. I for one will certainly make every effort of investigate further into the life of this remarkable woman.

Mrs. Vincent Price is playing at the La Mama Carlton Courthouse until 27th Feb.

Click here for: more information and links to tickets

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Tar Pit

Excitingly I have just discovered (a little late to my shame) the awesomeness of the Tar Pit. It seems to be an ingenious and ingenuous collection of musos, performers and tricksters who perform wild stories of wonder. It does not look like currently there is something to be looking our for but do check out their very pretty website and if you click around and browse you might happen upon a lovely photo or a self-proclaimed bootleg audio file.

Anyway it is decidedly cool, a little creepy and very wonderful why am I surprised that these guys were invited to perform as part of the Tim Burton exhibit at ACMI last year.

Here is your link: Enter the Tar Pit! or http://thetarpit.com.au/

On Books. On Language. On Words.

Language is fundamental to our humanity. Words have developed as an integral part of our understanding of language. The little post-structuralists in one corner may well argue that language has an unstable base, is fluid and intangible but they still use language to communicate their arguments. Even as they feel the world is disintegrating they are clinging on desperately to the very thing they are claiming is the root cause of the instability. We seek to understand, to label, to comprehend, to create and words give us a medium for doing just that. In the other corner sit the little structuralists with a set of building blocks who would argue semiotics are the foundation for all understanding of the world. Those from one corner disrupt the other and the building blocks are knocked across the room. With the coloured cubes in a delightful sprawl across the floor, there is both structure and anarchy to the pattern. The little structuralists and the little post-structuralists survey the scene and identical smiles of realisation dawn on their faces. For balance of course here is the key, language once developed has a delicious habit of escaping definition and leading it's users into new histories. Language and Words are at once, our past, present and future.

Words are spoken, they are ritualised, sung, performed and written. Words are heard, digested, comprehended and read. They are to be treasured, understood and cared for because sometimes they are all we have to understand the world and sometimes they help us say that we cannot understand the world. We can hear words used to incite violence and we can hear words lull a baby to sleep. We can read those words again to analyse the hatred and to pass on the gift of sleep to another's child.

Collective and cultural memory is more unstable than language has ever been or will be. Whilst words might have slippage, become twisted and contorted to a limited degree, on the page they are recorded in their movements. There is a reason why books are burnt. History, culture, memory, stories, language and words are destroyed. To write is to establish the past, present and future. Without these records, we are not who we are and we are what others want us to be.

"What is history? History is women following along behind with the bucket" so spits out Mrs. Lintott in The History Boys, her boys are bemused and her male colleagues embarrassed. But in her words there is great understanding of history. The very fact there is so few historical records of women highlights that without words, people have no voice. To write and to speak in cases such as this is to reclaim, to rebuild a past and ensure a future. It also preserves the reality of the inequality in what has come before. Post-colonial narratives and theory are in parallel to this trajectory, for those peoples' oral traditions were lost under oppression. Again here words have power, for it was with mastering the colonial language that the colonised have reclaimed their separate self. How tightly traditional language and culture is held onto now there is so little. It is written down, recorded, read so that it cannot be lost. Words have become a way of preserving culture. All books are made of words.

Why should it be that any book, one story, one language, one word is valued more than another? Today I love Virginia Woolfe, tomorrow I read Jackie Collins and yesterday I would only read fantasy. We can argue the merit of Literature but really it is all subjective and in the mind of the reader, anyway. As much as we like to we cannot completely control language. Yet people live their lives by books. By what is written before and they write further to help determine what is to come. There are issues here when one book, one word, one piece of writing, one language is elevated to such a status. The problem is not in sanctifying a particular book, the problem is that it is not yet recognised that all books have the potential to be as great, wonderful, fantastic and amazing as each other. True Twilight worth is perhaps an interesting comparison to James Joyce, but work with me here. To me all books have intrinsic value. In their pages, in their stories, in their words, in their language. I bet now that those little structuralists and little post-structuralists are oscillating between order and chaos but they are playing quite nicely together.

Language is fundamental to our humanity and books are fundamental to mine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No-Show Review #2

We have another review for No-Show again well thought out and analysed! Check it out [Click me for reveiews and musings of a theatrical nature].

Raise your glass to reviewers all round!

A Writer-In-Training Page

Righto, so this blog now includes a little manifesto of sorts, not really. But a note. Who is this person who riles against Germaine on minute and sings her praises in the next post? How can she really argue that Russell Crowe is attractive on screen? etc. It gives an outline of where I am coming from. I generally love everything that I post about and naturally think you should too, but of course when and where you disagree you can perhaps understand where I might be coming from.

As yet, I am not brave enough to open this theatre-of-words to comments but I love you all oh-silent-audience nevertheless.

So check out the page and if you know me and it's really rubbish, let me know.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ANFSCD: Comic Relief starring Cathering Tate and David Tennent



Speaking of the Bard and Roses

To Bee a Rose


To


A



Or Not to Bee a Rose.

That is the Question.

Art Notes

This is the announcement of another very special addition to the left hand of the page here, a wonderful artist's blog Shoes and Ships and Seiling Wax is to put it mildly absolutely gorgeous - the design and the photography and the aesthetic of the blog is incredibly visual. I tend to associate blogging with words but that was not the case with this one. True words are important but it is the images and the record of the artworks that is the focus. Particularly interesting are the photos of the cardbard sculpture/installation peices that were on display at the This Is Not Art Festival in Newcastle.

Beautiful. Quiet. Contoured. Absorbing.

When an artist and the blogosphere combine you get very different results to writers. Hey, go diversity! Of course an old friend in Glorious Pancake Morning also has superiour art and aesthetic to most. Be sure to keep in touch with the art inside as much as the words.

More Theatre Notes!

Another local theatre blog or two to go up on the blogroll! [This is exciting, I wonder if I will ever get referred to as a local theatre blog? Probably not, considering the next post I have planned!]

The first is Primitive Surveys which is written by a boy with a beard and a talent for reviewing in dialogue form. Yes, the Melbourne Reviewing Equivalent of Plato is at your mouse clicking finger tips. Head on over.

The second is Guerrilla Semiotics where you can go to both read a nice little review and feel feel brow beaten by the delightful authors views on Australian Narrative. Personally it is an interesting viewpoint, but not one that I necessarily prescribe to. Certainly it is interesting that she managed to work a narrative line through No-Show and its meandering wanderings. I think it is rather human to want narrative though and we will seek to do this from everything. Which is why most of my plays end up with a resolution. The glass of water gets drunk and we 'all can appreciate that together'. Thanks to the author for an insightful review.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Theatre Notes

There is an exciting new edition to the blogroll on the left of your screen: a link to the Melbourne Institution that is Alison Croggon's Theatre Notes. I have read some of her reviews before and have decided that indeed it is good to read reviews more often that are not just in the weekend papers. After all a considerable nice thing about reviews is their subjectivity - there can be so many different points of view. Alison is also a poet and there are links from her theatre blog to her poetry page. Nice mix.

Here too is a link to another local theatre blog, TheatARGH! It is not part of the blogroll simply as it is not being updated regularly anymore, however I am certainly looking forward to going back through the archives in some of my more epic procrastination sessions.

It also puts to shame the lack of Theatre Reviews that are on this site. Rest assured there will be some coming up soon. There will be a serious attempt to try and stay on top of things better and churn them out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nostalgia Food

Food cravings. Yes, well I have these quite a bit although not to binge levels as discussed in Fat is a Feminist Issue post. More interestingly I get them associated with literature. Well, literary in the loose and somewhat all encompassing term. Let's rephrase that to Children's Literature!

I remember reading somewhere that JK Rowling loves reading food descriptions and this has stuck with me. Amongst favourites are in those Famous Five adventures and the Swallows and Amazons series. They always have such scrumptious picnics and meals accompanied by a side serving of adventure and excitement.

Being vegetarian I don't really get the corned beef and pemmican thing, but it is the surrounded writing and the ginger bear that gives these hearty meals such power. Anyways today for lunch I am having a fried egg and baked beans on sourdough toast. This is my equivalent and takes me totally back to a little island where poor old Anne has to cook for all the others. It is a weird nostalgia as there is no personal experience, but the words and the language and the food are enough.


I'll cheers a ginger beer to that. Pop!

And then there was Light!

This week whilst working on the fabulous No-Show I learnt how to rig lights. This is the type of skill that I have not aquired for ages and has led me to go around talking in nonsense about "feeling empowered" and "two inches taller" and "more confident." But it is a strange thing when you learn something so compeltely out of your comfort zone it really builds you up. Both Richard and I had had no lighting experience whatsoever but happily La Mama is a great place to learn things, and they are happy to support you.

More importantly learning how to rig is a pratical and important piece of knowledge that will help with directing, writing and creating theatre well into the future. Lighting is incredibly important and whilst the design for the No-Show is deliberatly clunky and not slick at all - fitting in rather well with my inexperience - it is well executed, rigged and operated. Plus we use really cool natural lighting coming in from an open door. Nice.

Anyway, I am taking in my camera this evening to take some shots. Gotta have a record of the first lighting rig!

Tickets are still available for the rest of the season - until Sunday but the house only seats 25 so it is a small capacity and you'll need to get in quick. Link in older post two down from this one to the La Mama site for details.

Female Eunuch and Mr. Freud

Alright well, I am now up to page 142 of The Female Eunuch. During the meanwhile I have gotten half way through Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Mark Cavendish's wonderful Last Chance to See and have started the e...p...i...c process of re-drafting my novel extract so forgive the slow progress.

But yet again even unfinished I want to respond to this work, in this case I am agreeing with the Lovely Germaine as she bemusedly tries to argue against the complete and utter crap that sometimes came out of the pen(is!) of Freud.

"Woman is essentially a phallus worshipper."

Well doesn't that answer everything? Nevermind that she might have a brain, like to read, or heaven forbid be interested in the weather. Or even vote, do things in the garden, ride a bike, complete complicated mathematical equations, sew clothes, cook and play cards. Woman exists only to worship man. No, not even man, just his "phallus." Isn't that a truly self-empowering thought Mr. Freud. Wow, as Germaine eloquently says, "because he [Freud] thought so highly of the penis he thought women did too."

I do not have a problem with loving or worshipping anything (as long as you don't force me into believing what you believe) but the very idea that over half of the world is worshipping a body part of the rest of the world is total and utter rubbish.

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" so claimed Freud. Well sometimes bollocks is just bollocks.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

No-Show

I am working/helping out on a show at the moment called 'No-Show.' It is a great illustration of creativity and how from something that doesn't quite realise itself can be the gestation for something quite different but equally worthwhile and awesome. It is a one-man written/directed/performed show by Richard Pettifer about a show that hasn't quite worked out. This is of course serious and dramatic but also frequently hilarious at points. At times he is trying to recreate the play, at others discussing the rehearsals at others performing and or enacting events. So at one really scrumptious point the performer is playing a director playing an actor playing a character. Layers? It's a veritable onion. Or cake! Complete with clowns. Metatheatre = tick. It really is incredibly clever and intricate and all the more powerful as it is based on recent events.

On the blog No-Show Richard has been tracking the progress of Smudge (the play No-Show is about) and No-Show. It is interesting that in the side bar he has described his performance as the "futile and hopeless end" to the process. It's an interesting statement, because although the show can be seen to explore the idea of failure, ultimately it is now "futile" or "hopeless" because it is great theatre. No, wait, Great Theatre. Captial letters included free of charge.

So you might view this show as a bit of a wallow but really blog nation it is a celebration. Of theatre. Show or No-Show the show must go on.

Tickets available through the La Mama website. 9th-12 Feb!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Art Project Links and Artwork debrief

Apologies for not including the relevant links in the previous post, here you go, click here to go into the room and here to have a close look at the feature art work. The feature art work for the Tate Britain is Chris Ofili's No Woman No Cry. It is a very beautiful art work. When I was in England last year I was lucky enough to attend a retrospective of his work at the Tate Britain. He uses lots of colour, stylised imagery and interestingly enough Elephant Dung. When he first came to prominence this was one of his signature features. No Woman No Cry was a major point in the exhibition and is incredibly moving.

Retrospectives are the best exhibitions, I think as you get such variety and you can see the development of an artist. Ofili does these adorable and fascinating things with watercolour/ink and a motif of a chap with an afro-hair-style. There was a room that had nude studies and these little faces and then they were combined as well. There was art with the lines of the nude figures were made up of these tiny little faces with big hair.

Interestingly there was an article in MX today about Art Project (powered by Google). This was interesting but also gratifying to discover it very close to when it has been released. Who knew we could be so up and responding to current events in the artworld!?

Gallery Heaven: Google Art Project

Dear Google, you power my blog and my email and to a certain extent my life and I do love you and could not ever live without you. I am however a little creeped out by some of the street-view things you do etc. But that aside, I have just discovered a wondrous thing powered by Google. It is so lovely and great that it makes me go all soppy and sentimental.

YOU CAN VISIT ART GALLERIES FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!

Art Project powered by Google is quite simply inspired. As you can see from the print-screen image above WE ARE IN THE TATE BRITAIN IN LONDON!!!!!!!!! I love it! There are links to the Tate and information on the works and it is wonderful. Nothing beats going there but if you cannot travel to the other side of the world, this is an option that doesn't discriminate on access to travel. It will be fantastic for schools, for students, for everyone.

Best of all, it isn't just the Tate! There are other options, other galleries and other museums. I really hope that this Art Project gets the support it deserves and that Google begins the process of using its technology for great things.

Thanks go out to the person who fb shared this wonder in my homepage.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Self-Portrait (The Naked-Face)

Today is Tuesday and after a lovely morning tea (at Seven Seeds) and scrumptious lunch (at Animal Orchestra) me and another intrepid explorer braved the baking heat to go to the NGV. The National Gallery of Victoria is a favourite place of mine, behind the rather bland and imposing blue stone facade is an incredible diversity and a wonderful place in which to escape. Our noble expedition was thwarted by the Gallery being closed of all things. Pooh.

Side note: Dear New State Government, perhaps we could have our public galleries open every day of the week? That would be nice!

Anyway as a result of this we ended up at the NGV Australia (Ian Potter) in Fed Square to see 'The Naked Face' Exhibition of Self-Portraits.

Apart from being a little confusingly curated it was fabulous. Why is there no nice flow to some of these spaces? Do you cross over here? Double back? It is infuriating and totally unnecessary. Having said that there was a very cool bit relating to Narcissus which was in a tunnel of mirrors, so thought had gone into the presentation at some point! It drew the viewer right into the work.

In regards to the works there was such incredible variety and the artist when turned on his/herself can produce truly formidable insights. We were treated to sketches; to painting; great photos; to sculpture; to all sorts of media - even a Chanel suit. Some were delightful and some were scary and some were wise and some were challenging you as you observed them.

Grayson Perry's 'Map of an Englishman' in particular was inspired and absorbing. We spent a good 10 minutes in front of it. Also there were some little etchings courtesy of Rembrandt whose size and fragility belied the presence of the great man

So head on down and check it out! Except not on Mondays as the Ian Potter won't be open.

Here is a link to the exhibition page: NGV What's On