THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY - abandoned but adorable and mercifully BRIEF
Sydney's Bourke Street Cycleway
has had its share of controversy. This section is denoted a shared space but with the cycleway also used as a speedway by some hoonish cyclists (there's a lot of them), it's a brave pedestrian who dares to use it. Maybe my changed colour coding will help to pedestrians to see it and avoid. (July 9th 2012) World Environment Day 5th June 2011Prince Alfred Park,
well revamped but with, unfortunately, a wide bicycle freeway cutting thru the centre of it (pedestrians beware, keep to the grass, particularly at commuter hours) a crowd estimated at 10,000. It was a beautiful sky blue day, warm, a typical winter day really for Sydney. A cold snap, also typical, soon to come.
There was a loud wild gypsy band playing, a couple of pithy speeches, a 92 year old woman as mascot, lots of bicycles, prams, babies, dogs and all told a loving and bonhomous atmosphere. With the speeches short and no lecturing, we were soon left to ourselves and the musical machinations of the rocker gypsies.Geoff Ostling at Sullivan +Strumpf 20 May 2011
Everyone was of one mind on the carbon tax and climate action urgency, but otherwise, it was the Kids and Cattle equation that was on everyones' lips. Malaysia (the refugee kids headed for detention centres) and Indonesia (the cattle headed for abbatoirs) both suspect in terms of humane governance. Bring on the stun guns or lets all go vegetarian. I find vegan a little extreme for me, a first step on the rocky road that eventually leads to fruitarian and finally, breatharian.
I ran into Tom Carment, the landscape painter, recovering from a shoulder injury, broken in a too fast bicycle accident, Richard Tipping, contemporary artist of AIRPOET signage fame, Gina Fairley, the arts journalist, Tony Twigg, the 'Fairweather' sculptor, Paul of SCOG, my bushwalking group with a sign that read NO NEW COAL, Gilbert Bel Bachir the photographer and Diane from Watters Gallery…I thought I would run into Cate Blanchett any second (Climate Cate) and David Humphries of Public Art Squad, but did not. Both were there.
I joke with Gina about her great outfit – cravat, waistcoat, trousers, - being a bit 'lesbo' (add a false moustache and she might have achieved drag king status) and Tony said quickly, almost too quickly, "Gertrude" (is lesbo a no no ?)
'Ah, yes Ms Stein," I rejoined and added 'Penny Wong'
'Miaou,' went Richard Tipping.
"She tore a strip off that catty senator," I said.
"Claw marks all over his back," said Richard. I took couple of photos. I liked the plethora of signs. As I took other photos nearby the three of them all called out good bye. "We are going to stand on the slope" I went up there later too - a wonderful panorama of the crowd and the city on a day that found the environment on its very best behaviour..
Geoff'Ostling, one of Australia's most celebrated tattooed men, is a creation of Ex de Medici, who has recently exhibited her extraordinary watercolours at Sullivan +Strumpf Gallery in Waterloo, Sydney. Pictured behind Geoff is Cure for Pain
, probably one of the largest watercolours ever painted (114 x 415cm). The portly Geoff has been featured in recent years in both the Archibald Portrait Prize and the Head On Photographic Portrait PrizeLuke Sciberras, and daughter Stella at Gria Shead's exhibition
Tim Olson Annexe March April 2010
Viva Las Degas it could be called. Lovely stuff. Small oils and pastels.
CAPERTEE VALLEY 2010
I spent Labour DayWeekend in the Capertee Valley which is much warmer than Sydney.
Camping out amid occasional drizzle, rainbows, sporadic sunshine. But we had bonfires,
a warm ranch house nearby, and a trip to Dunn Swamp in the Wollemi, via the beautiful back road
from Glen Davis,to keep us happy. Bush walk to Pagoda Lookout, canoing and sunshine.
I took this picture in strange post hailstorm light on the way back towards Lithgow on the Monday late afternoon.
SYDNEY'S DUST STORM - view from Redfern Heights
Wednesday 23 September 09
9 30am - Sun with a touch of blue thru the dust
SYDNEY AT NIGHT - Paddington and the art world 2009
Johnny Bell, the legendary painter, sartorially elegant as usual, and Martin Sharp distinctively attired as always,
in some sort of converse against an automobile outside Tim Olson Gallery. Inside ? Luke Sciberras
exhibition September 1st 2009 (More Than The Desert Reveals
) which runs until Sunday Sept 20. Worth a look. Luke has been getting out and about even more than usual. Beyond Hill End to MacDonnell Ranges (Altunga, Glen Helen) Flinders Ranges, dead owls and its all the raw and the cooked and a lot of it to feast on.. LONDON IN JUNE,THE WEATHER EXCEPTIONALLY FINE AND WARM, EVEN HOT.
In June this year I travelled to London with Louise Ferrier and Albie Thoms. Our main
object was to attend a Tribute Dinner for Andrew Fisher, hotshot international lawyer and former
editor of Oz Magazine (he did Finger Licking Good Oz and Hells Angels Oz back in 1968). Andrew died in Sydney from a mysterious brain disease a few months earlier, and Felix Dennis hosted the memorial event at the Groucho Club in Dean Street. I had the good fortune to stay at Felix's nearby Soho pad and the above photograph was taken one summer night from his roof garden terrace. The lighted doorway leads into the kitchen dining room. Louise Ferrier relaxed in Felix's library while we listened to the Best of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound.
The trigger happy and paranoid Mr Spector had just been found guilty of murder (or was it manslaughter), sowe were reliving his better days, oh so many years ago now. Da Do Run Run if I have the spelling right. Maybe not. The room was dominated by the raku fired Hyena Pup on the central table. So brilliantly sculpted it seemed alive and ready to pounce. Over the days, I took many photographs of it.
Louise Ferrier in animated conversation with Felix Dennis as the equally stimulating Groucho Club event concluded. Albie Thomas looks on with his usual stoic and bemused detachment. I spoke about Andrew with no particular brilliance - public speaking is scarcely my forte, but others like Geoffrey Robertson and Marsha Rowe (and Richard Neville by vidceo link) more than made up for any lack of wit on my part. Did do Anddrew a disservice ? Maybe. I am compiling a dossier of photographs and of all the good times with Andrew that in my incompetence, I forgot to mention.
(BACK IN SYDNEY)
I hadn't been to a Polly's event for many years. But a friend, David Cranston organised a table for 8 and out we
went to the Round House University of NSW at Kensington. We ate we drank we danced and then watched the floor show from close up on the floor. We got into the fun as did the big gal above. July 4th meant the floorshow had a
Yankee red white and blue theme. Which held it all together. Just.
Elegance, tall and in triplicate
Easter at Hill End 2008
Easter was a three day movable feast at Luke and Gria Sciberras's utterly charming Hill End home (at the end of the long and winding road thru the hills north of Bathurst) and the photo above is of Nicholas Pounder's
hand written and printed Menu de Paques, with the orgy of fine art and fine eating (not to mention dancing on tables, a step above lap dancing) co-ordinated by a large and willing team headed by Luke, Nicholas and Chris Haywood. The light rain on Saturday sometimes turned the event into Breughel (the resort to an array of hats and rain gear and huddling in the open galvanised sheds and shacks, all part of the charm) but it was always at least Fellini, particularly when the many guests squelched , wine glasses in hand, down through the field opposite under a rag tag of brightly coloured umbrellas to an old deconsecrated sandstone church for an evensong event which included Dean Martin's That's Amore
and a singalong with the choir and its somewhat eccentricly gesturing conductor. When darkness fell as it does, there was a huge bonfire and the LED attractions provided by lighting guru Mr Fogg - Boofhead, an Hibiscus, a Kangaroo,.a Snail (my favourite) and sensationally an enormous pulsating beyond neon, solid blood red corpuscular HEART (of the matter). And then next day, in sunshine, there was the opening of the Hill End Rabbit Press (a resurrected and restored antedeluvian machine, saved from imminent destruction by John Firth-Smith) and a cricket match. John Clarke (of Ubu Films fame) set up his tripod and took photographs of the first prints coming off the press.
Heart of the Matter. That's Mr Fogg there on the left, Creator of the arterially congested but healthy HEART.
Not lap dancing but table and ceiling dancing by the exuberant Anne Cayser (Can't you do something about your wife? I joked with Adrian who just threw his eyes heavenward and like everyone else, enjoyed the wild Romany gypsy music which had everyone hurtling around the floor if not the table. At least one of those who braved the table, fell off.
Table Dancer in Hat with a wild look in the eye and a wild drink in the hand. Not the bloke who fell off.
No one minded the (light) rain when there were these prawns which were in the bouillbaisse as well. There seemed to be buckets of them and a fiery sauce to go with them if you wished. Basically if you wear a hat it's almost as tho it's not raining at all. And looking at those hatless heads, and the absence of umbrellas, maybe this photo was taken during a break in the drizzle. The weather by the way, was never less than warm.
Reservoir Park Paddington