Thursday, January 26, 2012


Like when I look at our pet rabbit Ozzie confined in his play-pen and trying to get out to race around in the 220 foot compound, and a view of rooftops with very few gardens in Richmond Melbourne, I get a tendency to feel claustrophic. That's why we let Ozzie free for about an hour a day - and then have to catch him of course - for his own safety from birds and dogs and cars.

There are many situations in life when we try to break free of constraints, from limitations and frailty of the body, a confinement either physical or mental. Yesterday when Peceli and I visited Epworth Rehabilitation Hospital in Melbourne I was reminded very much of the limitations some people have after accidents with months in hospital as the body heals and even then some people have to just 'live with it'.

A friend posted her poem and an image on facebook on the topic of 'freedom'. This made me aware of the intriguing sculpture in USA by Zenos on the theme of breaking free. This is from his website:


Size:20 feet long x 8 feet high
Location:GSK World Headquarters
16th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia

Zenos’ statement about his vision of the sculpture

I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process.

Although for me, this feeling sprang from a particular personal situation, I was conscious that it was a universal desire with almost everyone; that need to escape from some situation – be it an internal struggle or an adversarial circumstance, and to be free from it.

I began this work in a very traditional sculptural manner by creating a small model in clay called a macquette. The purpose of beginning in this manner is to capture the large action and major proportions of the figure within the overall design without any details to detract from the big idea. Another reason for not having details and for working on a small model only a few inches in height is that the small armature within it, holding the clay, is more easily manipulated, allowing for much greater flexibility in developing a concept. For example, an arm, a leg or a head can be pushed around without any concern for obliterating details, such as a nose or a finger.

The macquette is the original mass of clay where a concept is born and from which it grows and develops. This was important later when I enlarged the sculpture from several inches long to 20 feet long, and I retained in the larger work a sense that all the conceptual material, its forms, focus and development sprang from this rough idea. The work metamorphosized, in the way that we do.

Although there are four figures represented, the work is really one figure moving from left to right. The composition develops from left to right beginning with a kind of mummy/death like captive figure locked into its background. In the second frame, the figure, reminiscent of Michaelangelo’sRebellious Slave, begins to stir and struggle to escape. The figure in the third frame has torn himself from the wall that held him captive and is stepping out, reaching for freedom. In the fourth frame, the figure is entirely free, victorious, arms outstretched, completely away from the wall and from the grave space he left behind. He evokes an escape from his own mortality.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's Australia Day today

from w
We count our blessings being able to live in this wonderful country, but Australia Day isn't a favourite day to remember that first fleet of convicts coming to Sydney and treading unkindly on the land that is being respected by another kind of people.

The next day:
And it was a sorry state of affairs in Canberra yesterday. An Aboriginal protest group caused some havoc as well as the police who were guarding/guiding the Prime Minister who lost a blue suede shoe in the shuffling to the car. Not the way to go to get respect I think. All around it was a sorry sight.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stealing from cars in Geelong

from w
The Geelong Advertiser yesterday ran a story about thefts from cars, mainly unlocked, and the thieves took wallets, purses, laptops, MP3 players, GPS navigation guides, mobile phones. The map indicates the Geelong suburbs where most of this happens - Newtown, Grovedale, Highton, North Geelong Corio and Norlane and a surprise to me, Drumcondra. Fortunately our suburb of Newcomb isn't the worst but it does caution us to be vigilant. I don't think that all the thieves actually live in those areas listed but roam some of the wealthier suburbs to try their luck. There's a campaign on called ' Lock it, remove it or lose it'. Eighty-eight thefts from motor cars have been recorded in the past two weeks!

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Tennis racquets cop it

from w
Nice tantrum there Mr Bahdatis!

However one media gave him the benefit of the doubt with Serena Williams reckons she understands his frustration!

SERENA Williams says Marcos Baghdatis four-racquet tantrum was "impressive", but empathised with him.

Baghdatis was fined US$800 by the ITF after he smashed four racquets into pieces during his three-set loss.

He was sanctioned was ''abuse of racquets and equipment'', with three of the racquets still in their plastic wrapping.

Williams - a five-time Australian Open champion - was impressed with his feat.

"I've never done that. That's impressive, wow,'' she said.

"I actually used to break a lot of racquets on the court. I sometimes break them in practice, just not in a match anymore. I think when you're young it kind of maybe lets out a little frustration.

''It just is a way to express yourself. I think those players are super, super intense. So I can't necessarily go and say you shouldn't do that when I was actually someone that did it a lot. But it's definitely not the best way to release your anger. I think the older you get, you realize there's more different ways."

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

The pros and cons of keeping small animals

from w
The task is becoming rather persistent as we can't take the guinea pig and the Dwarf Netherland rabbit back to the pet shop! So what are the pros and cons of keeping such small animals - from our experience. Some members of the family like them, others definitely do not. I have cuts on my hands and arms from the hutch openings, not from animal bites and scratches.

Well, the good things are that they are God's creatures, beautiful little male animals and we can learn a lot from caring for them, taking responsibility day after day after day. We can learn that food is not the only criteria in life, but socializing sometimes comes first as we observe Izzie, the guinea pig, making overtures towards Ozzie, the rabbit.

There are numerous difficulties though! The rabbit just hates to be caged up and has escaped like Houdini about eight times but he just has a few hours in the garden before we catch him. Actually every day we do let them out in the garden to run freely and then it's a task to lure them back by trickery - nice food in a small cage. Keeping up food and drink is constant - fresh grass from the garden and there's plenty of that, a kind of food mix from the pet shop, fresh cucumber, apple, carrot etc. We have had then inside the house but that's frowned upon by super clean members of the family and we only really do that on special occasions - e.g. when the temperature was 42 degrees they sat under the cooler in the lounge room, and one morning after drenching rain which went right through the roof of the shed and the rabbit was really wet, I had to towel him dry and clean out the hutch again so he did spent an hour in one room. Heat and cold are problems. A friend lost two guinea pigs on that 42 degree day.

Although the pets belong to a young member of the family, I seem to get plenty of the jobs and I do want the animals to survive and be a bit happy - if you can call it that - when you live in an enclosed environment for many hours of the day. I really think animals should roam free. Well, at least I get plenty of exercise these days, chasing them after their free time!

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Garage Sale

from w
This morning we set up about eight tables with stuff to sell - catering and kitchenware things, a drum kit, James Dean photos, and so on. Dealers came by 6 a.m. though we advertised as at 7 a.m. It's noon now and it's time to pack up the leftovers, some for an op-shop, some for Donation in Kind, some for the church caterers, some to recycle around our house again. It was a good experience for the grandchildren to hop in and help, deal with the art of selling, and to meet up with strangers, as well as some friends who popped in, our Korean neighbour came in and drank some Fijian kava at closing time.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Fish and chips in Queenscliff

from w
While Peceli was in one of the best fish and chips shops in the Bellarine Peninsular - where you can actually choose your own fish, prawns, etc., I did some sketches of the park near the beach in Queenscliff. It was our wedding anniversary - 45th - and we had taken a drive down from Geelong. This was New Year's Eve. Later in the evening we drove to Eastern Beach and watched the fireworks at midnight. Very nice, but rather extravagant as the money could be used for better purposes.

Yesterday we sweltered in 42 degrees heat - and some of our family slept outside and I even checked on the rabbit and guinea pig at midnight as they were suffering from the heat.