There is a God!!! Libs totally lose plot…


(above image from the honorable member’s website)

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse for the imploding Libs, they execute the perfect nose dive by electing Brendan ‘Nob’ Nelson as their new leader…we laughed so hard we nearly wet ourselves!

Have they gone barking mad?

We’re transported with glee, of course, cos it is the icing on the cake – but we’re actually starting to feel a little embarrassed for them now. It’s beyond tragic…

Ransacked by infidels…


(above) Jay Kochel introducing his work at the launch of Domain 2007.

The Gang was saddened to hear that Jay’s piece in this year’s Domain met with foul play. There was a time when the vandalism of anything, let alone public art, was unheard of in this city – but that was also back in the days when the environs were manicured to a fault and the streets and parkways devoid of litter (probably at least a decade ago, before the Parks & Gardens mob copped the axe.) Hard to imagine now…

Anyhoo, some marauding horde or other stuck the shiv into Jay’s work (hope it was caught on CTV, can’t imagine it wouldn’t have been…where’s the anti-terrorism squad when you genuinely need ’em?), so we thought it only fitting that it be given a little send-off with the handful of images that we took during its gestation…

Early start to the silly season…


Well, it’s started. The Xmas rounds for 2007 are off and running…

Last night the Pashas of the Canberra Craft scene gathered at the Hotel Kurrajong in Barton for their annual almost-end-of-year tipple in celebration of another gratifyingly productive year.

It was a very pleasant evening of champers, comfortable industry chat and positive forecasts – suitably low-key and relaxed…

Election day wash-up…no scum left in sink!!


Well, the frenzy of Election Day has come and gone and, frankly, the Gang needed a bit of a big-girl’s-lie-down on Sunday…hence the delay in the post.

Well, Well, Well. Labor finally got a hard-on. How marvellous. Of course, Club Kev now has to pull up its sleeves and do the hard yards, but jolly good show nonetheless. And hoorah for those mighty sheilas!! We love youse, Julia and Maxine!!

The Gang had a big day of it (as one might expect!); Ginger’s vote in the morning, election lunch and voting in Queanbeyhole, Ginger’s formal in the evening, and (the cherry on top) Backyard Backanalia-Electionalia that night.

The Backanalia crew had set up a tally room in the garden shed (and another screen near the ‘poets corner’) so the backyard was fully plugged-in to all the action. And it’s just as well Labor won – it would have been a tragic scene otherwise. Nobody but nobody was fessing up to having Liberal Party sympathies on the night…

(…and, by the by, we’ve decided that the Liberals are way overdue for a name change – it’s far too confusing for outsiders, who quite naturally assume that the party’s name is a literal reflection of its credo. We suspect that’s how the Libs manage to swing chunks of the migrant vote – people mistakenly thinking that the party’s politics are liberal. Which the shonky back-room bastards have no doubt factored in…)

The O’Hooligan’s finished the night off with a bang, accompanied by plenty of hootin’ and hollerin’ from the ‘pinch-me-is-it-real’ crowd.

Snaps of the day at…

The sight of Little Johnny cacking his dacks in public was truly something to behold – and what a mean and nasty little cusser he is, giving Peter Costello the classic kiss of death before vacating the room. We’re no fan of Costello’s, quite the contrary – but we have to admit that, momentarily, we actually felt a twinge of pity for him. That last emphatic endorsement from a sinking, has-been Howard was nothing short of the final death blow for long suffering Pete. It knackered him.

Tribute to Klaus Zimmer (by Stephen Skillitzi)…


KLAUS ZIMMER 31.3.1928 – 10.11.2007


When a friend and colleague crosses the final frontier from life to

death then memories, acknowledgements, perhaps even regrets, infiltrate

the consciousness of those that remain.  Assisting that celebration of

Klaus’ 79 years of achievements is the ‘must-read’240 page biography

published by McMillan Press in 2000 AD.  It features “an introduction by

Johannes Schreiter, essays by Geoffrey Edwards, Patrick Hutchings, Alex

Selenitsch, Caroline Swash, Jenny Zimmer and a memoir by the artist.”

Outlined therein is a fascinating odyssey of a 24 year old migrant from

his native Germany to Australia in 1952, his excursions to South Sea

Islands and his gradual rise, starting about 35 years ago, to rank with

the pioneering international ‘movers and shakers’ of the Stained Glass

fraternity.  His many commissions, such as the 19 windows and 30

miniatures for St Michael’s Church in Melbourne in 1988, revive

world-weary souls that visit that sanctified oasis.  His numerous

autonomous panels, often highly textural interplays of coloured glass

and metal attest to conceptual maturity and material sensitivity that

extend greatly the traditional ‘language’ of Klaus’ European Stained

Glass heritage.  Supplementing his visual creative outpourings was his

eloquence in word and letter and thought that together are so essential

for motivating his students, for justifying his commissions’ symbolisms

to perhaps-sceptical clients, and for enriching friendships.  Those

admirable, ever-present traits surfaced in Klaus’ introductory welcome

to the 1981 2nd Ausglass Conference held at the then Caulfield Institute

of Technology in his capacity as founding lecturer of its Glass

programme.  With co-organiser Jenny Zimmer, he toured Europe with the

first exhibition of contemporary Australian and New Zealand glass in

1984.  The year 1996 saw Klaus ably debating the Glasmuseum expansions

at Ebeltoft (Denmark) with luminaries Lynggaard, Littleton, Fujita and

Myers.  In his last years Klaus sought a quiet retirement in Adelaide

and at his country retreat with his partner Ingrid, yet he still

energetically completed a major commission for St Patrick’s Cathedral in

Parramatta, NSW, in 2005.  His innovative strength was undiminished as

evidenced by his last extensive series of fresh-visioned new sketches

shown to this writer two months ago, which Klaus realised would require

another lifetime to consummate.

  His recent departure is regretted.

  His enduring legacy is treasured.

  His many honours are deserved.


Stephen Skillitzi



Hunks of Glass: the invitation…


Ann McMahon has been hard at it (as ever) and has just sent over the invitation for the Hunks of Glass exhibition, which will be showing at ANCA during the Ausglass Conference next January.

And you’re in for a real treat – if it wasn’t enough to have the spunkiest men in glass strutting their stuff, we’ve also got the original spunk himself launching it!

But wait, there’s more!!! The opening will segue into serious party mode, courtesy of the spunkiest blokes on the Canberra music scene – the O’Hooligans.

Get out!! Too bloody good!!

Don’t forget to mark it on your dance cards.

It’s here!!! Election day…


(above) Ginger’s first-time vote.

Well, it has arrived – Election day has finally dawned and there’s a certain frisson of  fevered anticipation in the air…

Ginger has already been down to cast her vote (she’s registered in the ACT) and the Gang’s about to head across the state line, to Queanbeyhole, to vote in our electorate of Eden-Monaro. It’ll be a huge day – so stay tuned for a lengthy visual post (including Backyard Backanalia’s Electionalia session this evening…)

There’ll be plenty of wailing and keening and gnashing of teeth if those bloody Liberals get back in, don’t you worry about that. And we wish to declare – right here, right now – that if that bloody little-johnny-howard and those conniving, manipulating bastards do manage to crawl their way back, we’re gunna pull up stumps and move to the country…and we’re not kidding.

(…yeah, yeah, okay, so we’re doing that anyway! Ha, Ha!!)

Coastal trip with Lola and Luna…


(top) Tom Moore’s ‘wanted poster’ (above) the eyes of Lola Bottari…(apologies to Alfredo Jaar)

The extreme heat earlier in the week drove Luna and the Gang down to the coast for a quick beachy sojourn – and what would be security-trainee Lola’s very first taste of the ocean. The trip started out pleasantly enough, with a coffee stop at the Bredbo Gourmet Company (our latest source of delicious bunnies), but took a dive just before Nimmitabel where we were obliged to take refuge, cowering under an onslaught of sound and fury and 75 ml (3 inches) of dumping rain. Marooned we were, with a mixed bag of damp fellow travellers and a clutch of very apprehensive cyclists (poor be-lycra’d buggers). Anyhoo, once the flash flooding had abated we were off again – down the mountain into a soft rain that would last the entirety of our stay. Ah, never mind – we’ve months of summer stretching ahead and rain is more important than a coupla warm sunny days at the beach…(well, that’s what we kept telling ourselves!!)

So we did the usual; the Eden mussel run, the Australasian, Pambula river mouth… And Lola got her maiden dip, if only brief, and her first experience of sand and waves. The Gillespies came in for dinner, and the PO Box served up a cheque from the Wyndham Arts mob. Noice. Luna spent a couple of nights in the slammer with Tom’s ‘wanted poster’ (above), and a good, restful time was had all ’round.

Find the odd pic, just for posterity, at…

Mamana Mamanta: the floor talk…


(above) the hands of Jock Puautjimi…

Before Jock winged it back north, he and Luna gave a floor talk at Craft ACT; a photo-journal of their two year collaboration, covering everything from Tiwi Designs, Jock’s fabulous ceramics, Luna’s various trips to the island, Jock’s return trips south, and everything in-between. All in all the ‘mamana mamanta’ (gradual friendship) has been an epic adventure for both of them.

There were more ceramicists than glassies at the lunchtime event, which was kind of…’different’ (!!) Well, not really, of course – many a ‘glassie’ started out as a ‘muddie’ after all. And it seems that Jock may be doing a residency out at Strathnairn sometime later next year.

Mamana Mamanta: the exhibition, meanwhile, is attracting its fair share of deserv-ed attention – word from CraftACT is that the travelling calendar for 2009 is practically fully booked already. Damn fine.

There’s a smattering of snaps at…

CLAW revisited…


(above) Megsie’s cast crystal CLAW trophy given a leave pass for the wrap party.

Canberra Arts Marketing director Su Hodges gathered the CLAW mob together for an end-of-year wrap and tipple to celebrate the auspicious beginnings of that fab-and-fun interactive public arts project. All the principle shareholders turned up and a fair few of the artists (not all could make it – some were away…like Jono Everett, who was slumming it in France with Soph!!)

A bonza time was had by all, and plenty of laughs provided by the huge wall projection of highlights from the action-packed week’s program of events. The buzz in the room augurs well for next year and plans, naturally, are already afoot for the 2008 season…

Most exciting news of the day was from the inimitable Denise Ferris who had just recieved news of her doctorate – so that’s Dr Denise to you from here on in.

Catch a few snaps on…