SOFA season 2007…


(above) Harriet Schwarzrock, Poised: a common thread, blown glass. Not quite 2 m tall (see previous post!!) 35 x 50 x 12 mm.

…and here’s a bit of understated gorgeousness from Harry (represented at SOFA by Raglan Gallery.)

Which reminds us that we still have to do a ‘Beyond Kamberra’ piece on the Little Drop of Kindness show (which featured 5 artists, including Harriet) at Craft ACT earlier in the year. Mea Culpa for not covering it sooner – but never fear, the time will come…

SOFA season 2007…


(above) Matthew Curtis, Blue Divide, mould blown glass. (Photo: Rob Little) h. 2020mm

We thought you might like a glimpse of other Aussie glass showing at SOFA Chicago this year. Matthew Curtis’s sculpture just keeps getting more and more fabulous and, consequently, all the more delectable to the ‘big-end-of-town’ collectors. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke, we reckon.

Matt’s represented at SOFA by Thomas R Riley Gallery.

We’re ba-ack…


Hey y’all, no drama with the hardware after all – the computer just needed a nanna nap it seems. Thank goodness for that. So we’re back to cranking it up again. We feel just like dear old Al Grassby (above); hey man, that’s the poo – we’re laughin’.

The Gang is not responsible for the five cent piece stuck in his mouth, but we certainly understand the joy of his find…(click on thumbnails for a closer look)

[Uh oh! Obviously this post turned out to be ‘famous last words’. The computor has since taken another dive and we’re now on the dreaded tech watch…  n(Ed)]

Anxiety central here at the blog-face…

Major catastrophe, darlings!!! The computer has taken a dive and been rushed off to Emergency for prognosis (hope it’s not the motherboard…) We’re gutted, of course, but while we wait and worry we’re taking ourselves down to Wyndham for an extended weekend of R&R and serious partying:- Sammy Jo is a week away from taking off for Europe for two years, so we need to give her a hail and hearty send-off…

Naturally the Gang is still madly taking snaps and recording all manner of tidbits for your personal delectation, but we’re not quite sure when the editing suite is likely be up and running again. Fingers crossed it’s early next week…

Meanwhile we’ll be sure to have a bon voyage cocktail or two under the plum tree on your behalf…

The Gang’s big Sydney adventure…Part 2


Above (top) part of Guan Wei’s installation, (bottom) Sam Tupou, Anniversary Skulls.

The Gang and Jacque gave the next day a bit of throttle with a serious coffee at Bar Coluzzi before trawling the streets for somewhere that served eggs Benedict with a hollandaise that didn’t come from a bottle. No joy it seemed. Anyhoo, we eventually took ourselves off to Glebe – by which time we were so hungry that we just gave up and bowed to the inevitable…

A certain ennui had set in, due in part perhaps to the exuberance of the night before, and we had no inclination to bust a gut checking out any of the cultural hotspots per se – although we did feel that we ought to take the opportunity to see something while we were away in the big smoke. So we compromised and decided to swing past the Cambelltown Art Centre – Nigel had recommended the News from Islands exhibition  showing out there at the moment – and, after all, it was on the way home…

Well, thank god we did. Our ambivalence was smartly kicked to the kerb – it’s a ripper of a show (far more engaging and exciting than the Culture Warriors triennial, sorry chaps). More alive, somehow. We took lots of snaps, and to our shame didn’t record all the artists’ names (and so can’t correlate them all to the work, mea culpa) but anybody wanting additional information should go to…

And we had the added bonus of catching a glimpse of Tevita in the gallery’s Community Arts Project video – so it turned out to be an absolutely perfeck little deviation.

Then it was time to hack a track back to the ‘Berra – lured of course by the promise of some really specko evening entertainment; the seasonal kick-off of Backyard Bacchanalia, a fabulous underground music scene (run by Nigel Mcrae) that crops up monthly from now until about March. All live, original, local (yes, Canberra) musicians, and a poets’ corner thrown in to boot.

We weren’t too sure about blogging it; we’ve had too many situations where we’ve raved about our favourite places only – of course – to have them overrun by absolute tossers who thereafter completely ruin it for us…Ah dear, what to do?! Even the camera was hesitant – couldn’t get it to work at first and ended up pushing buttons like a pac-man, partly out of exhaustion and partly ‘cos we were blind without our glasses. So it was a while before a very nice young fellow took pity on this silly old dinasaur and sorted the out the gizmos for us. (The black and white shots were taken before the rescue!!) Not many pics, we just couldn’t stay the full distance, too buggered. But we’re so glad it’s back…

Speaking of which, our other favourite hangout is also about to crank it up for the season – the Dickson Pool opens in a coupla weekends, hooray! Shay’s busily preparing it as we speak….

Highlights of the day are at…

The only bummer of our little excursion was that half way back we realised we hadn’t rung our good mate Katie, for a little catch-up…serious oversight.

Notice from the Cross Art Projects…


Opening Reception: Mulkun Wirrpanda, recent bark and pole paintings
One Lore, Two Law, Outlaw: Dhakiyarr vs The King

Opening talk Wednesday 24 October 2007, 68pm
Marion Scrymgour Member for Arafura, Minister for Arts and Museums in the Northern Territory
In the presence of Mulkun Wirrpanda
Where: The Cross Art Projects, 33 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross (opposite St Lukes Hospital gates)

Exhibition Dates:
25 October to 8 December 2007
Jo Holder 0406 537933
Curated by Andrew Blake with Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre——–

About the Artist
Mulkun Wirrpanda is the daughter of the great Yolgnu leader Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda. As the eldest and most knowledgeable for the Dhudi-Djapu clan from Dhuruputjpi, Mulkun Wirrpanda is acknowledged as a leader. Mulkun is one of the few Yolngu women to have this status. Mulkun Wirrpanda paints Dhudi-djapu miny’tji (sacred clan design) that depicts her land at Dhuruputjpi. Mulkun paints on bark, larrakitj (memorial poles) and yidaki
(didjeridus) and is a talented carver, weaver and print maker. Her work has been exhibited throughout Australia and in Asia.


About the Speaker
Marion Scrymgour, Member for Arafuraand the Northern Territory Arts and Environment Minister, is the first female Indigenous minister in any Australian government. She declares that John Howard’s ‘national emergency’ and support by the ALP banishes Aboriginal people back to the primitivism of assimilation and native welfare.


About the Exhibition
One Lore, Two Law, Outlaw: Dhakiyarr vs The King.
Mulkun Wirrpanda, recent bark and pole paintings
In 1933 in remote northeast Arnhem Land, Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda, a Yolngu elder, was found guilty of spearing a policeman, Constable McColl, who had chained up his wife. This was Dhakiyarrs land and that was his law. Dhakiyarr went to Darwin to explain his actions and his peoples ways to the Northern Territory Supreme Court. For the first time in Australian history there was organised and vocal support for Dhakiyarr bringing the treatment of Aboriginal people to international attention. He was sentenced to death.An appeal to the High Court made this the first case of an Aboriginal Australian to be heard in that court. The Court overturned the jurys verdict and the judge affirmed the right of Aboriginal people to a fair trial in Australian courts. The case, however, ended in tragedy. Within 24 hours of his release Dhakiyarr vanished.The exhibition and accompanying seminar, is set against the background of the abrupt ‘national emergency’ response to child abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory by the Howard government. The legislation includes a ban on consideration of cultural background or customary law in sentencing. This exhibition takes up the struggle by Dhakiyarr for equal justice.The unilateral withdrawal of funding (CDEP community development program) for art centres and artists working on outstations will have a catastrophic impact on the future of 90 or so art centres representing some 6,000 indigenous artists. Productive, economically viable jobs are being transitioned into inappropriate welfare-based activities. And the Intervention still fails to redress the historic deficits in health, housing, and education.

Mulkun Wirrpanda is also mother (by kinship) to senior artist Djambawa Marawili who chairs the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre and Museum at Yirkalla a small Aboriginal community on the northeastern tip of the Top End. The Centre is one of Australia’s premier art centres. The centres primarily Yolngu (Aboriginal) staff of ten services Yirrkala and the twenty-five homeland centres in the radius of 200km.

Djambawa Marawili, artist and chair of ANKAA (Association of Northern, Kimberly and Arnhem Land Aboriginal Artists) and Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre made this statement on the Intervention: CDEP is really important for our art centres. With CDEP we can have jobs for our people in art centres. They get skills and qualifications. Galleries in Australia and overseas have to remember Indigenous artists and seriously think. This intervention is going to affect them too. (ANKAAA Arnhem Regional Meeting, 2 October 2007.)

Cross Conversation: Saturday 27 October, 3-5PM
ultural & Human Rights & the Northern Terrotory Intervention:
Sarah Pritchard,
lawyer, on the human rights issues at stake in the Northern Territory intervention and
hips Mackinolty,
artist, on the impact of the Intervention on artists and art centres in the Top End


Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre:
Northern Territory Intervention:
ANTaR; Central Land Council; Women for Wik


The Cross Art Projects
A space for independent art & curatorial studies

Director: Jo Holder
33 Roslyn Street Kings Cross Sydney 2011
Wednesday to Saturday, 11 to 6
T: + 61 (02) 9357-2058;
0406 537933



The Gang’s big Sydney adventure…Part 1


First stop: Goulburn and the Paragon Cafe.

Jacque and the Gang fanged it out of the car-park at the Hyatt and headed straight up the Federal Highway to Sydders, stopping only for a quick snap of the Big Merino and a burger at the Paragon in Goulburn.

We made the big smoke in good time to dump the luggage, tart ourselves up and wander down Oxford St to Brigitte’s exhibition (Core – ceramics and bronzes) at Sabbia (the raison d’être for the trip.) Fabulous exhibition – her first solo for 20 years, and it’s been in gestation for about half of that. This is seriously considered work – the real deal, darlings. We love it.

A commendable number of people trekked up from both the (Far South) Coast and Canberra to swell the predominantly Sydney crowd, including Nola Anderson who officially launched the show and Judi Elliot who was co-exhibiting in the little side gallery. A grand old time was evidently had by all – particularly those who went on to dinner afterwards…

And then of course the most dedicated amongst us dropped in at the Hollywood for a bitterly-cold on the way home…

For a perusal of the evening go to…(and we’ve also printed Megsie’s short blurb for the show for your edification – just ‘cos we can…!! See below.)


 At the core of Brigitte Enders’ signature aesthetic formality lies a store of life experience, both professional and private, that sustains a resolute creative drive. The influence of her abiding predilection for architecture, and early training in Bauhaus-influenced German industrial design, is evidenced by the beautifully balanced, sophisticated restraint of her work, the strong purity of line and the diligent attention to detail. It is this sense of ‘the outer-shell’ of her ‘observances’ that most occupies, and perhaps defines, Enders’ practice. Her vessels contain, and even fortify, her most intimate thoughts and impressions. They are an exterior manifestation that guards the undisclosed essential. Perceiving her craft as ‘a composition in mood’, Enders’ bold move into the foundry most surely portends the longevity of a strong and intriguingly progressive artistic practice.  

Megan Bottari, 2007

The National Riesling Challenge…trophy time


National Riesling Challenge trophies: Jacq Gropp, designer; Peter Minson, maker.

There was a flurry of activity on Friday morning as the Gang prepared to take off on a Thelma-and-Louise to Sydney with La Gropp – because sod’s law naturally prevailed and it coincided with trophy time for the annual National Riesling Challenge, and Jacquie (the trophy designer) was consequently in classic overdrive mode to deliver the goods to the Hyatt Hotel for the evening’s gala presentation dinner. It is, necessarily, an 11th hour bustle; Jacque isn’t sent the list of winners until the night before the award ceremony, and so there’s always a mad rush to have the plaques printed and attached before final delivery back to the Challenge organisers.

That the day of delivery should coincide with our trek to Sydney – for ceramicist Brigitte Enders’ solo exhibition Core at Sabbia – is pretty much par for the course. So we stoically rallied the troops (Ginger) and got a little production line happening to expedite proceedings…

…and managed to hit the highway by early afternoon. HOORAH!!

We’ll have to split the Sydney road trip into two posts…too many snaps, as usual.

Stand by.

Potted tour of Culture Warriors…


The Gang picked up Luna from ANCA yesterday and we made a bee-line to the art school to join Nigel’s post-graduate coursework students on their regular ‘Points of View’  exploration of art-and-context. This week they were taking in Cultural Warriors at the NGA, and as we’d given it a miss in last Saturday’s crush we jumped at the chance to check it out properly. And who better to tour it with than Nigel – serious bonus. 

So it was fantastically interesting, and far more informative and insightful than the officially sanctioned display and public tour faff. Meanwhile there aren’t many pics – we didn’t manage to get many off before we were sprung by security!!  And most of those were shot from the hip and consequently too blurry to use…

Anyway – you’ll cop a tiny bit of a feel at…