How about this for Capital Hill…?

26 12 2009

Right up your alley, Jon…

Public art and useful….(and it might distract that Lake George mob…)

Drowning our sorrows…

31 08 2009

Tonight we were struck with the need to drown our sorrows, and found solace in Absolut Pear Voddy.

Omigoodness, have you tried that yet ?  It’s seriously gorgeous (too perfumy for Pa, but.)

We weren’t sad for long – well, we were sad, but it was a quality kind of sad…

Charles Butcher and Mat Heaney at Sabbia…

21 07 2009

Apologies to those who’ve been waiting (some impatiently!) for this article, but we’ve been sidetracked by all manner of other pressing commitments.




 sabbia gallery


When Charles (Chick) Butcher invited Megsie to open this show at Sabbia she was somewhat taken aback. The Tilba/Bega connection made sense, as did the contemporary art practice (as opposed to craft) context – but it was a provocative move on Chick’s part given Megsie’s…how shall we put it?…somewhat uncompliant relationship with the incumbent glass Establishment. Chick, only too well aware of the implications has, of course, been diligently pushing his own barrow in that regard so presumably the Megsie factor was, in some respects, a strategic buttressing of stance. Besides, he knew that she’d be completely frank about the work and that she wouldn’t give a speech full of the standard (gl)ass licking platitudes. So far so good. But the lead in to the show was less than ideal; Chick’s mooted trip down the coast to discuss the work/his mindset/the premise didn’t eventuate and a phone call from Mat two days before the event was unrevealingly brief. By the time the delayed Rex flight landed in Sydney there was barely enough time to preview the show, chat up the artists and gauge the work sufficiently to give anything other than a fairly superficial take. Hardly satisfactory from anybody’s point of view – particularly for Megsie who prefers to ponder such things at reasonable length before pronouncing an opinion.

Here, then, is a more fully considered appraisal of After the Object…




Charles Butcher has for some time now been chafing under the constraints of the commercial gallery/glass establishment patronage system whereby emerging practitioners are obliged to conform to hierarchically controlled avenues of advancement, paved by sycophancy and favouritism, which exert a contrived market driven pressure to produce branded collectable product.  Nothing wrong with the latter perse if technical mastercraftmanship alone is your penultimate goal. But if you have a compulsion to express yourself – to practice art as opposed to craft – then the way ahead is not so clear, and for a variety of reasons; the most fundamental of which is having possession of a genuine artistic bent. Because regardless of supercilious protestations from various tertiary nobs, this is not something that can be taught – it’s a (possibly preter)natural ability that you either have or have not. Yes, yes, yes; training in technique is mandatory (craftsmanship provides the essential ‘bones’ of a serious artistic practice), tertiary courses do offer the optimum facilities, an education in the arts is key to an informed and enriched practice. Going to an accredited Art School’s glass workshop is undeniably a crucial component of one’s professional development, but it doesn’t maketh the artist –  it merely furbishes the tools/hones the skills and burnishes whatever artistic sensibility, hopefully, exists.

[And in the worst case scenarios we know full well from anecdotal evidence that it can crush real talent and potential if the student in question doesn’t fit the ‘company mould’ and/or have the requisite balls to soldier on regardless. It takes some people years to rebuild self-confidence and recover from what many describe as creative violation by the academy. And before you all get up on your brittle high horses, this isn’t only confined to glass. n(Ed)]

Charles Butcher, as it happens, has all the hallmarks of the real thing – and with plenty of attitude to match. Technically at the top of his game, he is arguably producing the best cast work in the country as we speak. And not because he’s interested in the quantum competitive stakes (like the ‘I wanna win the Ranamok twice’ brigade.) He doesn’t connive to make work to win prizes (though he does win them nonetheless – he picked up this year’s Tom Malone), he is driven instead intuitively toward the bigger picture and a determined maintenance of unyeilding artistic integrity – resisting any attempts to steer his work towards the ‘safe-haven’ of the manipulated collectors’ bazaar. In other words, he refuses to play the game; he won’t be told what to make by his dealers, he won’t perform like the grateful trained monkey when offered a show and he won’t be brought to heel by those who cling grimly to their tenacious hold on the higher rungs of the glass food chain.

And all power to him for that, because it makes him a fine role model for the next generation of emerging hopefuls. He’s living proof that you can have a successful practice without resorting to the sychophantic scheming that’s become integral to advancement into the ranks of the a-list of Australian glass – the so called “succession” game. Butcher is not prepared to wait submissively for the nod of approval, and neither he should – he’s already eclipsed his ‘teachers’, if only they’d have the grace to concede as much. Technically his work is quite astonishing. It’s got the lot;  mastery and control, exquisite tuning and finish, great conceptual resolution, intelligent design, sophisticated aesthetics…

But wait, there’s so much more – and the single most important element is ticker (aka courage/heart.) When Sabbia Gallery offered Butcher his latest show he accepted on the proviso that he had full artistic direction of the space and that he be allowed to exhibit in tandem with his long time confrère, painter Mathew Heaney (who, like Butcher, has no interest in contributing to the interior decor/designer slant of the current art market.) Purists at heart, both had chewed the art philosophic fat for years and had long talked of co-exhibiting in a show that afforded them a true measure of autonomy; more specifically, the freedom of a visually emotive discourse. Both were into Rothko, and wanted to make work that expressed the physical and emotional; work that reflected their personal ongoing struggles with life, death and the intractable universe.  Both share, like Rothko, a healthy disdain for the stuffiness of bourgeois pretension and a keen sense of dissention (particularly of the anti-elitist variety). Neither has the stomach for ‘being managed’. They behave, in effect, as one always imagined artists should behave – before the latter-day era of professional practice contorted artists into designer-chic middle class conformist drones.

Chick 1 of 5 1

[Give us the scruffy angst-ridden boho prodigy any day, pl-ease…and Chick, we’re happy to report, has already got the look down pat!  n(Ed)]


In After the Object, the exhibiting credo is not unlike that of Rothko and Gottlieb’s in 1942; “We favour the simple expression of the complex thought.” Indeed, hinged on another quotation of Rothko’s, “silence is accurate”, the show is an orchestration of mood that strikes just the right chord of (almost morbid)contemplation. 

Setting themselves a limit of four pieces each,  the formal spacing of the works transformed the gallery into a vault-like chamber (or, yes, a chapel even, if you prefer to stick with the Rothko strain) that lent a sense of archaic memorial to an otherwise conventional gallery space. The limited palette, loaded symbolism and emotive overtones are immediately decipherable; not because they’re obvious or clichéd but rather because they’re so sensitively, and astutely, handled. The block of fathomless black on the rusted cruciform (After the Object 1), for instance,  is astonishingly powerful – and incredibly effective. We don’t need to know the specifics of the quasi-religious rationale behind the piece, we unerringly respond to the arcane nature of  it regardless. And the finish on the glass – so highly polished – is nothing short of superb. This last aspect of Butcher’s practice carries equal weight in its ultimate success – above all else he understands the importance of finish. The pieces standing sentinel at either end of the gallery have the texture of very finely chiselled monumental stone; After the Object 4 glows at the entrance with the soft, matt luminosity of alabaster…




…while  After the Object 3 keeps sombre watch from the opposite end of the room, restrained by a wide black border reminiscent of Victorian mourning paper…




The procession of glass is flanked by Heaney’s large canvasses, hanging the length of the room like huge windows to the darkening firmament; adding ever deeper notes of mournfulness in an unfolding tragi-drama. For Heaney, abstract painting is akin to sound and music and for the purposes of this exhibition he endeavoured to “create four works that would penetrate that same area of the psyche. That area beyond the rational.”  The interregnum between mind and matter.




Heaney’s work most certainly hits the perfect atmospheric tone/pitch, making the show, from a curatorial point of view, highly successful. More importantly, the overall sensibility of the show transformed the venue into a bone fide contemporary art space as opposed to Sabbia’s usual modish craft gallery vibe. In its exhibition blurb Sabbia actually made quite a point of reiterating  “how unique”, “how unusual” the show was for their gallery – presumably in terms of it being a well integrated, carefully conceived and balanced curatorial hang. Perhaps they might re-evaluate their habitual modus operandi and consider the benefits of instigating the exception as the rule. (It’s not a commercially dangerous proposition, after all – three works in this show did sell, and for big bikkies, notwithstanding the squeeze of the GFC.)

Otherwise, we suspect, craft will sadly continue to find itself paley loitering at the fringe of contemporary art…(apologies to Keats and PK.)


Megan Bottari is a NSW based artist/writer/curator. She was offered no inducements, financial or otherwise,  for this review apart from a $40 taxi fare in lieu of being picked up from the airport.

For snaps of the opening night go here.

Never a truer word spake…

15 06 2009

We don’t always agree with everything John McDonald says (no? really?) but he was spot on the money in last Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald. In an article covering the inaugural Sculpture by the Sea in Denmark, he had a swipe at the Oz Council – and what a fair take it was…


Yeah, wot he said! Especially that part about the nepotism and favouritism (never mind the mates on the peer group selection panels…)

 Not that it’s anything new – there have been mutterings to this effect for ever and a day (particularly in the last decade.) But there is something rotten in the state of Denmark (apologies to the Bard and Denmark), and the Australia Council is in want of a serious overhaul and cultural readjustment ASAP.

All the self-serving arts-politic manipulation has simply got to go. It’s nothing short of disgraceful.

It’s  a gyp, we tells ya!

iconophilia launch…

31 05 2009

Latest big news is the launch of Nigel’s new bloggo iconophilia. Great name. Check it out here, and whack it into your favourites…

Glass spotto…

17 05 2009

Someone who may prefer to remain nameless just pointed us to yesterday’s offering on, with the sardonic aside “…and yes, it’s glaaaass!! – jeez let’s have a moratorium…”




On some levels, we’d have to agree. But, of course, technically they are impressively big, as in length (and yes it is all about size, obviously), so at the outset one would have to at least admire the skill/controlled mastery of the blowing. Which led us to do a little digging (aka net surfing), and we discovered that ‘…She collaborates with Neil Wilkin in the blowing of many of her pieces.’

Ah, so we’re back to that old chicken or the egg conundrum of who maketh it art? The gaffer or the person who hires him? After all, would we give a toss about it if it wasn’t big (and colourful and shiny)?

We surfed a little further to check out Neil Wilkin and found plenty of cute stuff  (though rather a lot of it was way Chihuly-esque.) Here’s a few things we did rather like though…



   Neil Wilkin, Umbrella Tree


   Neil Wilkin, Raspberry Chandelier


   Neil Wilkin, Glass Grass


   Neil Wilkin, Wisteria Chandelier

Have a poke around his website, here. And while you’re at it, check out his ABOUT page.



   Neil Wilkin, himself.

Australian Glass pioneers: the paper…

22 03 2009

A wander down memory lane with Stephen Skillitzi.



Stephen with Elaine Miles and her percussion show…




…and the set up of his 1975 glass exhibition (opened by the legendary Don Dunstan) in the same space…



[That Playhouse Gallery has stood the test of time well – amazing really. n(Ed)]

While the Gang was in Adelaide we had the opportunity to have a natter with Stephen Skillitzi about things of a glassy nature and bemoaned the fact that we’d missed the Aussglass Conference in Hobart this year (Megsie,  in the throes of her new job, had been up to her neck in gallery renovations with the next hang and opening bearing down on her – so getting away simply wasn’t an option.) Anyhoo Stephen, after giving us a quick rundown on the conference, kindly offered to send through the paper he gave – and he’s included a number of snaps of early performances (check ’em out at the end of the tract.). It’s rather long, but it’s worth taking the time to read…and there are more pics at the end…


Australian Glass Pioneers ….S.Skillitzi   16-1-09




…Some might say: ”Don’t we glass workers have bona-fide historians without a personal ‘ax to grind’ and who are above career-long ‘empire building’ like some latter-day Ghengis Kahn. Incidentally, I observed no Studio Glass in Outer Mongolia, the ‘last frontier’ to resist international Glass incursions. “Surely they, those reliable historians, can give us the unbiased truth. So why does this panel dealing with this historical topic consist of 4 practitioners only and no pure academics or theorists?” 

A simple answer is: we need to hear from those practitioners who have done the hard yards by planting the actual ‘glass seeds’ and seeing to their sprouting above ground before they were visible to those historians who got involved later on. Indeed we pioneers can mentally relive in 3D what those historians attempt to do via inferior 2D research. Sadly, I have observed often the neglect of open and useful dialogue between authors and practitioners before and after publication. 

That perhaps belligerent perspective is what motivated the Danish pioneer glass artist Finn Lynggaard to regain control by compiling in 1988 his practitioner-written book on the development of International Studio Glass. In my opinion Finn correctly highlighted Harvey Littleton’s famous 1962 glass blowing workshop which was the major spark for the modern Glass Movement. For me the irritation by both Lynggaard and Littleton with some under-informed historians is justified. 

But for serious history students of contemporary Australian glass the survey texts by the authoritative Dr. Noris Ioannou and Grace Cochrane are hard to beat. We should respectfully reread them!   Another more individualized source of glass history is the so-called “Eminent Persons Program”, archived by the Canberra National Library. To balance the contributions of Nick Mount and myself, some more old-timers in Ausglass should have their histories preserved there.

Speaking personally, it seems my Glass got progressively better in reverse ratio to the ongoing unkind aging process I experienced. Pioneers by definition make mistakes, such as my sometimes lousy furnace designs, so those that follow need not repeat them. For example, my first solo show of clay with glass, at Sydney’s Grace Brothers store when aged only 18, was in January 1966. That was just before decimal currency started. I snobbishly overpriced my student items in guineas and half guineas because I saw mature artists doing just that. Of course a guinea was one pound and one shilling. In hindsight I’m thankful nothing sold. My point is that all us gray-headed pioneers have histories of individually-experienced steep learning curves and the taking of naive risks before we ‘learned the ropes’. 

An ancient proverb states : “As the sapling is bent, so the tree grows”.  I hereby pay a belated tribute to the Glass ‘old-timers’, the often underrated pioneers, who shaped our Glass tree by their risk-taking examples.  

I and only two others, namely Brian Hirst and Richard Clements, have been to all 15 Ausglass conferences. We three can confirm that about half the names on this list have never been mentioned at a conference before.  Incidentally in 1970 I observed Clements doing pyrex lampwork glass at Sydney’s Argyle Art Centre, using skills developed in England.

The narrow criteria for inclusion in my likely-incomplete pre-Ausglass list of in-Australia glass-artists are as follows:  “Those who had a full-time Glass career, or who had a solo glass exhibition, or who had completed a major glass commission in living memory before Ausglass started in December 1978”.  

These 38 Australians can be likened to ‘glass dinosaurs’, or ‘vitrified tribal elders’, or ‘father/mother figureheads’, — (whatever label you prefer)   they all occupied the glass scene before Ausglass was formed a mere 30 years ago. The 38 names alphabetically are: ……..

Douglas Annand, Les Blakebrough, Bill Boysen,  Maureen Cahill,  Richard Clements,,  Peter Dockerty,  Anne Dybka, John Elsegood, Mike Esson, Leonard French, Bill Gleeson, Peter Goss, Paul Hayworth,  Sam Herman, Helmut Hiebl, Regina Jaugietis, Gerry King, Rob Knottenbelt, Les Kossatz, Warren Langley,  Dick Marquis, Stan Melis, Peter Minson, Stephen Moore, Nick Mount, Dennis O’Conner, Tom Persson, Cedar Prest, Con Rhee, David Saunders, Julio Santos, Stephen Skillitzi, Ron Street, John Walsh, Jimmy Whitman, Don Wreford, David Wright, Klaus Zimmer.  

It’s important to note that six of those names were better known in other art spheres than Glass. Five or more have died but nineteen are still active glass practitioners, including a dozen Ausglass members. 

Others not on this list, but actively engaged in glass-related activities in various ways by December ‘78, quickly outshone many included in this ‘old-timers’ list. Those others include Jan Aspinall, Gizelle Courtney, Peter Crisp, Marc Elliot, Shar Feil, Marc Grunseit, Jeff Hamilton, Tony Hanning, Brian Hirst, Ede Horton, Kirstie Rhea, Neil Roberts, Graham Stone. But to the dozens of ‘rising stars’ I say: “Don’t get too impatient with us gray-headed ‘old-timers’. We are well aware of the stiff competition and dedication you present us. We dinosaurs will go extinct or get pensioned off someday, thus leaving the field wide open for all your fresh talent.

Beyond the scope of this analysis are non-contemporary stained glass workers, and mature, influential Glass artists, such as Moje and Proctor and Varga, who arrived after 1978. 

When in China recently I observed the Beijing Olympics’ mindset with its intense national rivalry.  I see a parallel to our Glass career-long competition for sales and status, but without me ignoring our altruistic desire for the betterment of the wider Glass fraternity, evident from the very beginning in the 1960’s. Because I see that parallel perhaps I have become a little more cynically ‘cuckoo’ than most. 

Ausglass was at first designated “People in Glass”, P.I.G. or “PIGs”, for a very short time, thankfully. “Ausglass” is a much more ‘kosher’ title!  

So at this juncture, on behalf of this very loosely associated group of pioneering glass artists, I “welcome”  Ausglass to the already-existing Australian Glass scene. Never forget, we ruggedly independent 38 glassworkers on that list were alive ‘n kicking glass ‘footballs’ around our studio workshops first!  

To use a telling analogy: In 1788 the first white settlers of Sydney-town arrogantly assumed Australia was uncivilized, therefore ‘up for grabs’ without needing any formal treaty with quote: ‘those primitive savages.’  In hindsight the ‘whitefellas’ were generally wrong, arrogant and exploitive of land and natives!   

Similarly, this ‘glass land’ of ours was not “TERRA NULLIUS”, (that is unoccupied or unexplored) before the 1978 ‘first fleet’ Ausglass conference arrived, also in Sydney.  So let’s not be ignorant or arrogant about our origins, like the 1788 First Fleet was! 

  Read the rest of this entry »

Tour de Force: in case of emergency, break the glass…

26 02 2009

Look out, darlings – it’s coming to a berg near you…




The Gang’s major excitement of the moment is the recent posting of the Visions of Australia grants round from the Ministry of Arts and All Things Heritage, Holy Water and Creatively Environmental (which is classic tautology and don’t we love that!)

But on a serious note, Megsie’s curating a contemporary art show for Artisan (formerly Craft Queensland) and she’s about to embark on the preliminary development round…she’s off to Adelaide today for an action packed gab-fest with three of her eight artists.

What?…Glass?…Contemporary art?…we hear you mutter…and yes, we do understand your skepticism.

But wait.

Listen to the rationale…


Tour de force: in case of emergency, break the glass.


At this juncture in time Australian Glass enjoys, without doubt, an enviable international reputation for both the quality of design and the technical expertise of the sector. The majority of practitioners are highly respected masters in the field and the various tertiary teaching institutions have programs in place that, at the very least, will ensure a continuation of the status quo. But after some three and a half decades post the initial exciting emergence of  ‘studio glass’ in this country, the glass scene appears to have lost the progressive impetus that had originally triggered the nascent movement. It has, when all’s said and done, settled into an established and comfortable convention. This is neither a great surprise, nor is it confined to glass – it’s merely the cyclical, generational phenomenon that has underscored the broader arts historic timeline since time immemorial. The glass scene, now securely rooted, is in conform and confirmation mode.


Hardly immune to the socio-political and economic forces of the day, the Craft sector has been driven for the last decade by an aspirant, conservative market place where Commodity rules and Zeitgeist Design has taken charge of the reins. ‘Glass art’ has become decorous and quantified – a trophy race of sorts, where focus is entangled in an interminable loop of academic semantics over material, technique and status. It’s become a sophisticated, media savvy industry in which makers now command extremely respectable, sometimes colossal, prices for their work. But is it art or is it high end product? Has the Arts vs Craft debate finally been derailed by the specious demands of the bourse (whereby practitioners are coralled into a competition for virtuosity alone.) It would seem so. But worse – courtesy of a stiflingly narrow and tightly controlled commercial reality (where collectors acquire ‘glass art’ like so many stamps), artists are obliged to quickly develop an idiosyncratic stock-in-trade with which to be yoked for the term-of-their-practicing-life. (And consequently become stuck in a rut of their own devising.) Australian Glass has in fact become so self-reverential and derivative – almost to the point of a creative stalemate – that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that it’s future development has hit a critical watershed. So where to go from here?


What is required is precisely the kind of generational resurgence that ushered in the studio glass movement in the first place. Now that the prototypical craft foundation has been well and truly laid it’s time to kick things up a notch. There needs to be a paradigm shift beyond the parameters of  ‘heritage’ craft principles – beyond the inanimate object on wall or plinth, beyond the predictable. It’s time to re-introduce the development of strong conceptual practices that engage on a broader, humanist level – in a way that pushes the boundaries and intelligently interrogates the art-craft dichotomy. In other words, it’s time to encourage the upcoming generation of glass artists to spread their wings and start considering their work in terms of a bona fide contemporary art practice. And art isn’t about dexterous technique or material properties – art is the eloquent visual expression of the human condition.


Only a handful of practitioners tackle it, but those few who do have mastered and sublimated the craft in such a way that they have indeed succeeded in transcending the constrictions of the guild. There’s an indefinable quality to such work – a spark of creative genius – that communicates itself to the viewer on a purely intuitive level. These artists, though small of number, are a tour de force on the local glass scene. They, might we suggest, are the way forward.


Timothy Horn has a sculptural practice that transfigures historical decorative arts into a conjunction with contemporary cultural entendre. By altering scale, context and material he loads his work with playfully subversive nuances that explore the articulation of exquisite vulgarity.





Deb Jones’ practice encapsulates a post-minimalist aesthetic courtesy of her early grounding in sculpture and graphic investigation. In many ways much of her work reflects precisely that – pared back, conceptually drawn sentiments held quietly in the shelter of a solid glass block, and though her practice is broad enough to include public art installation, she is perhaps best known for the interior expressionistic cast work.




Jacqueline Gropp works with scientific glass to produce, through an intertwine of metaphysics and empiric investigation, iconological arrangements redolent of the melancholic lyricism of sixteenth century Vanitas (a collection of objects chosen and arranged as a reminder of the transience and uncertainties of life.) The work, which more often than not includes ‘experiential’ elements such as liquids and Memento Mori-esque beading, has a stark, enthralling quality and haunting beauty.




Nicholas Folland is an installation artist who stages dramatic vignettes with an edge that precipitates and harnesses ambiguously unpredictable ‘events of nature’. His work, an intriguing blend of media and metaphor, has a wonderful sense of nihilistic elegance.




Neil Roberts was the first Australian glass artist to move into a fully-fledged contemporary art practice. His extraordinary practice is an intelligently provocative evocation of the (often poetic) frailties of human nature. His assemblages resonate with formidable sensibility. We will be borrowing work from the Neil Roberts Estate for this exhibition.





Tom Moore has long broken with convention to evolve a wonderfully eccentric practice that runs more along the lines of ‘the theatre of the absurd’. This is a mixed media construct amply laced with wit and ‘alternative’ wisdom; his imaginative narratives and his growing cast of unlikely protagonists –the autoganic enviro-hybrids – pose moral conundrums of surprisingly epic proportion.




Ian Mowbray inverts the conventional spectacle of glass by drawing the viewer into a sphere of voyeuristic intimacy. He works in the miniature; his signature ‘snow-domes’ revealing existential tableaus of private contemporary life. There’s a certain black irony at play in Mowbray’s work, a scratching of the underbelly of society as he ponders Ulyssian themes of death, sex and the universe. This is work that celebrates the painful truths and peculiarities of human nature.






Patricia Roan is the youngest and most recently emerged of the group. She too makes work of a curiously metaphysical bent, with scientific overtones that intimate all manner of mysterious organic experimentation. There’s a faintly Victorian-Gothic quality about her practice – an eye for the beauty of oddity. Not overly concerned with the ‘Big Picture’, she prefers instead to investigate the seemingly modest though no less fascinating ‘infinity of the interior’. Hers is a study in metamorphosis, with an almost intense delight in the natural order of things.





What these eight have in common is the artistic integrity, and the courage and commitment, to forge their own creative paths. While paying all due deference to the finely honed craftsmanship that necessarily underpins the material quality of their individual practices, these people are not defined by it. Their mastery of technique and understanding of the medium has set them free to pursue a loftier consciousness. And while their interests cannot help but coincide, their separate paths continue to maintain the fresh authority of a patently genuine originality.



                         Trish in her studio at ANCA a couple of weeks ago….
All will be making new work for the exhibition, which opens in Brisvegas in April 2010. It’s gunna be fabulous – we can feel it in our bones.

50 lashes for the fund managers, and 30 days in the brig…

24 11 2008

Well, the water tanks are full and there’s a wee break in the weather. But we’re back to spencers and ugh boots and cosying up in front of a roaring fire (we stayed in our jarmies all day yesterday – heaven). Were we really sweating (or rather ‘glowing’) in Brisvegas last week?

Here at the hide-out we wake up to every morning (Nige put us on to it eons ago, and it’s the first thing we do…ok, the second thing we do, on waking). Anyhoo, we thought we’d share today’s little gem from Barry Cohen in the Australian. It’s a classic.

And check out the fabulous snaps from the Jester Ball on riotACT. We guarantee at least 6 belly laughs…[note to self: must go to Jester Ball next year.  n(Ed)]

Nevertheless, stereotyping aside…

18 09 2008

Hallelujah, they’ve seen the light. Thank christ somebody‘s on watch…

Johnny Howard’s APEC Uranium deal is in balance. And not before time. Meanwhile Megsie’s little protest has been shining a lone, ghostly light in the wilderness…

..and there’s another voice of reason again today.

(article alerts courtesy of