Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Geelong Interfaith group and Peace table at Pako

from w
Jenny Funstan organized a Peace table at the Pako Festa and because the theme was about colour she dressed as a parrot. Adults and children were invited to write peace messages as part of the Geelong Interfaith presence at the Pako Festa last Saturday.

Yesterday I went to the Geelong Interfaith Women's group. The guest speaker was Joy Williams who told us of the life-changing experience of living in an Indian village many years ago. Her husband was the only doctor for about 350,000 people in an area south of Gujerat. Going back was a surprise as today there are many good facilities in the hospital and area. Joy showed us how to dress up in a sari, aided by an enthusiastic Usha.
One of our ladies was bursting with excitement to show us photos of her son's wedding in Pakistan recently. All arranged in six days! Now the young bride has to wait many months for her visa to migrate to Australia and that means lots of paperwork!
So the fifteen or so of us had a good time together yesterday morning.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Three little (sunburnt) maids

On Saturday Pako Festa was a great success with a bright sunshiny day and the Fijian dance group from Altona Meadows Fijian church performed their dance and sang sere in cumu songs. Thousands of people were at Pako and the whole street buzzed with food stalls, songs and dances - including Cook Islander and Maori. Our group adjourned to Eastern Beach for a barbecue and sat on mats, drinking kava and singing notalgic songs with a guitar and ukelele. Tui Vuna who was visiting added his expertise with his ukelele. We were there for four hours in sun and shade and three of the vavalagi wives turned a nice shade of red by the end of the afternoon.

Are elite school really the best?

from w
Last week I noticed a half-page advertisement in the Age newspaper for Geelong Grammar, appealing in the headline to the notion of expectation for your child to be the very best and to go places! They did not mention that a student could even become King! (Prince Charles once graced the establishment.)

It made me wonder about elite or elitist schools. In Geelong there are particularly two schools - Geelong Grammar and Geelong College who through the years have produced many leaders in Australia. Fees are extremely high whereas ordinary public schools such as Geelong High School do not have fees apart from books and minor fees. Some parents work hard to get their children into 'private' schools and of course the education offered includes bonuses such as camps at places like Timbertop, swimming pools, music, and so on. As for what happens later - well, apart from academic excellence and getting into good university places, it's the 'old school tie network' that is valuable I expect.

However we never sent our children to elitist schools though some of our friends do/did.

In Fiji some schools have good reputations and it is noticeable that many of Fiji's leaders today (apart from VB) went to either Adi Cakobau School or Queen Victoria School. 'Old boys network' is certainly evident with the latter. What do you think?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Upcoming programs of music at St Mary's Geelong

from w
During Lent St Mary's Basilica in Geelong will host some interesting programs of music and meditation such as the WEDNESDAY SERIES OF ‘ENCOUNTERS at 5.15 TO 6.OO PM.
There is no charge for ‘Encounters’ – Gold coin donation appreciated.


FEBRUARY 28TH - PETER ROBERTS - SCRATCHINGS IN THE MARGIN Ancient chants and melodies, with Harp, Shruti Box, Cedar Flute, Bowed Psaltery and Voice, invite an inner response

MARCH 7TH - GILLIAN TURNER - CANTICUM - Music from medieval to contemporaryaccompanies a series of paintings,photographs and drawings, creating a meditative mood

MARCH 14TH - KEVIN YELVERTON Kara Ciezki – Recorder - SOUNDS OF SERENITY - The reflection is interwoven with space for our own thoughts, while the gently rippling notes of Kara’s recorder evokean atmosphere of serenity

MARCH 21ST CHRISTIAN COLLEGE SENIOR CHOIRS Carla Barnett – DirectorJohn Shawcross - Piano - SPIRITUALS REBORN The Gospel Train is Comin’…The Senior Choirs, with staff and student soloists, present the rhythm and harmony of this expressive music in a moving experience

MARCH 28TH - PETER KOEHNE Lisa Breen – Soprano, Frank De Rosso – Organ - THE CHORALE IN THE LUTHERAN TRADITION The spiritual depth of this sacred music is explored through text and music, demonstrating the connection between Chorale melodies and Theology in worksby Bach, Pachelbel, Buxtehude and Bohm.
This sounds a very good lineup for the season of Lent and for those ecumenically minded a special way of extending beyond the boundaries of one's own little faith community.

Observations at a Quilt Exhibition

from w
I thoroughly enjoyed a visit to the Quilt Exhibition in Melbourne yesterday - amazing energy, patience, beauty. I particularly was interested in the Stitch like an Egyptian section where dozens of people watched a man handsew pieces of cloth. His method was applique and he used a huge pair of shears and stitched quickly. I'm sure he would have repetitive strain by now. The Egyptian wall hangings were extremely beautiful, mostly symmetrical and abstractions based on leaves and flowers but there were also pictorial hangings of people which I thought unusual because Muslims usually do not approve of the depiction of people. Apparently these men become stitchers when aged about nine and it is their occupation for many many years. An attendant told me that the profits at the expo in one day would equal the profits for one year back in Cairo. And there were many red stickers and the prices modest.
I haven't made patchwork quilts for years - and mine were made using left-over scraps or op-shop materials so I was amazed at the sophistication these days - the sewing machines that can doing anything (!) and that thousands of already cut cloth and kits marketed. I thought it was a hobby using scraps!
I copied a quote from William Morris 1882 which I thought useful: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A passion for textile art - Annemieke

from w

Our youngest son says we need to find our passion in life - whether it's athletics, art, music, a vocation, or trees or whatever. Well, I'm writing about a woman who migrated from Holland to Australia and settled in Sale and her passion for textile art has made her famous.

I have to take a library book back this morning or else I’ll be fined! It is ‘The Art orf Annemieke Mein: Wildlife Artist in Textiles.’ The story and pictures are fabulous as her textile art is so detailed and extraordinary involving much patience and imaginative use of thread and fabrics.

Annemieke settled in Gippsland in the town of Sale. From 1977 she started creating amazing textile works of art, mainly using her observations of the tiny creatures in the natural world, frogs, birds, insects, butterflies. One example of her work is pictured here of a Pink Emperor Gum Moth sculpture – the leaves and stones are real but the sculpture is made with millinery wire, coloured threads, silk organza, rabbit fur, emu feathers. It is exhibited at the Ararat Gallery. Here’s some info about her book and story.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More from Bateman's Bay trip

from w.

Here are some more sketches I made on the trip to Bateman's Bay. Just quick mementos of the trip. I might copy some into paintings later. They include a sunrise at Eden, a cutting through a forest, buildings at Bateman's Bay at night, river scenes at Bateman's Bay, a bushranger's tree at Nelligan, a tree outside Maccas near Moe, a clock tower at Lakes Entrance.


Pako Festa is on again - next Saturday

Pako Festa is celebrating 25 years of Geelong's major multicultural festival which attracts many thousands of people to Geelong West's Pakington Street every year. Scores of different ethnic groups will have food stoods, take part in a parade, and present dance performances at various venues. The Fijian Dance Group from Altona Meadows will perform songs and dance in Pakington Street.


Polyglots at Pako - next Sunday

Polyglots is on again - this time next Sunday 25 February, the theme – The Art of Story-Telling
The Geelong Writers an afternoon of prose reading. Ted Reilly is once again our M.C.for the afternoon. Dr Martin Hooper will be reading from his collection of short stories, "Tales & Titters" with excerpts being taken from ‘Bangkok, Bargains & Bargaining’, ‘Humongasauris Rex’ and ‘Pool with your best girl’. Martin is an environmental chemist who worked as an academic at Monash University. He has published over 200 scientific papers, many based on studies of air quality in Asia. Aspects of his fictional writings are influence by his travel and time in Asia. Our third presenter, Carmel Reid has always had a strong link to the Pako Festa through her Italian heritage. She will read a piece titled From 'Gezu to Jack' which is an excerpt from a memoir she has written.

This year, Polyglots welcomes special guest Andrew McKenna, an acclaimed performer and storyteller. Andrew will present The Wasp Treatment, a collection of stories by Italian writer Italo Calvino, set in an industrial city in northern Italy in the early 1950’s. Andrew was a founding member of the innovative theatre company “Whistling in the Theatre”. He is an award-winning journalist, a recipient of the 2005 Australia Council Literature Board Grant for fiction, and winner of the Pat Glover Memorial Storytelling Award, Port Fairy Folk Festival, 2006.

Where? Geelong West Town Hall, Sunday 25 February, 2pm – 4pm.

Monday, February 19, 2007

journey to Bateman's Bay NSW

from w

We had a great weekend to go to Vili and Laura's wedding in Bateman's Bay, but it was such a long, long way. Ten hours by car there, and eleven hours by car back! I'll post a few quick sketches I did here and there and write up the stories later on - after shopping and catching up, and chasing ants who found the breakfast cereal while we were away!

The sketches include dairying country in the Bega district, trees after a fire, and four views from a balcony of Laura's parents' house in Bateman's Bay Long Beach area.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wedding garments, bling or neat black and white

from w
What shall I wear to a weddin?
I am confused. Black and white is neat but ordinary. Colourful tropical is fine for a party.
Okay what do you reckon? I have a yellow floral muumuu given to me by Tau, a cousin of IPM Frank, my favourite sulu which is two yards wrapped around and tied at the breast, (haha) a snakeskin kind of material and a comfy dress, or a see-through blouse, spotted tops, or a unique kind of black coat over dress. I have six other muumuus, green, blue, lavender, maroon, etc. but most of the women will wear bling I guess.

Store Dummies in Little Malop Street

from w
I got the idea from an artist blogger, Alison, so when I was returning from the library along Little Malop Street in Geelong I sketched several shop dummies on the back of a bus timetable. A window cleaner leant over me as I was drawing one and said, 'Lovely undies. I have a great job don't I!' I didn't answer - what could I say?
At home I converted the idea with paper, like the cutouts we used to do as children. Oops, one looks like a body builder. One dummy was for sale and I added a second sale notice for modesty's sake!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Peceli's pictures

from w

I haven't been drawing much this week but Peceli has got the picture-making bug and here are two examples.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pastel pic Geelong Botanical

from w
I made an acrylic painting of two grass trees based on sketches made a month or more ago, and also this pastel picture - scanned in two halves, and I don't know how to put them together to make one - except as a Word doc and then it is too large to post here! The paper was larger than A3 so there is a bit of an overlap.

Reading The White Masai and Reunion in Barsaloi

from w
A friend gave me two books to read at once - The White Masai and Reunion in Barsaloi by Corinne Hofmann so I've started both, though I really ought to finish one first. I'd heard of the books and the film but haven't taken much notice before. What a shocker! Is the girl stupid or what? Some readers admire her tremendous courage, but really, is she so obsessed with this fantastical man that she drops her own culture like a hot scone?

Of course when I read the blurb on the back of the second book, I then knew the ending of the first!
So far it is fascinating reading. The writer details her daily life without fuss and the culture shocks in store for her are part of the journey for the reader.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An obsession with boats - large and small

from w
We still have a lounge room full of paintings of boats and currently we seem to have an obsession with boats. Anyway here are three pics;
I. Peceli's latest boat pic (part of it)
2. a photo of our family boat at Nukutatava beach, Fiji
3. a photograph I found in a magazine that I like because it seems to suggest a story.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Is abstract painting like the emperor with no clothes?

from w
I have fun mucking about with shapes, colours, textures in pictures without 'the meaning of life' tag, but I do wonder about lots of abstract paintings with strange titles (put there afterwards) and that the emperor really has no clothes. Call a picture 'Dehumanized city' or 'Blue city' etc! But I join them at times too - using a fragment of a collage I posted about some time ago, I tried out different colours, etc. by using Photo-edit. It's fun anyway.

tennis players

from p
Yesterday was too warm for golf. I did a sketch of two tennis players, cooked mussels and fish, watered the garden with grey water by bucket, drank kava with a friend, got a map for our trip to Bateman's Bay, watched a DVD about Labasa, and at last the DVD is in colour again after a small adjustment!