Light it up

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival starts tonight and it should be a beautiful night to go after the winter wonderland of all the fog this morning, which has dissipated into a beautiful sunny day today.  It’s also the last weekend of the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival if you’re interested in seeing a local gig.  I’ve seen musician Paul Kelly perform live before and he’s a man who’s led a very interesting life if you’ve ever seen the documentary Paul Kelly: Stories of Me.

Speaking of the night, I made it to the Night Life exhibition at Ripponlea earlier this week and I’m glad I managed to catch the show before it closes at the end of this month.  There’s also still time to catch the associated Vintage Fashion Market & Pop Up Beauty Studio as well as its final evening soiree titled ‘Putting on the Ritz’ next Saturday, which would be lots of fun.

The beautiful dresses that were on show were quite amazing although my favourite piece is the spectacular opera coat from Selfridges (above) on display in the very first part of the exhibition.  I hadn’t been to Ripponlea in a long time but it was a great experience to have a very civilised cup of tea served in beautiful crockery in front of the open fire at the teahouse before buying tickets from the vintage caravan out the front to then entering the period building itself, which is like going back in time.

My girlfriend Julia and I also had a wander around the gardens afterwards including sitting by the lake that’s there overlooking the water, which was like doing a seated meditation in stillness and calm.  The cold and the wind got the better of us in the end, but it was still a good thing to do in the depths of Winter.

Talking about all things artistic, those jobs I mentioned at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre are now online and open for application if you are interested in throwing your hat in the ring.  There’s an interesting upcoming sculptural installation at the Homestead next month which has also been inspired by Paul Kelly called From little things big things grow by Carly Fischer.  Have a great weekend!

 

Call of the Avant-Garde

I love the title of this Heide Museum of Modern Art exhibition on Constructivism and Australian Art and have always loved the fact that my ex-client Pat Mackle chose a play on words for her postcard business Avant Card.  Pat, and her partner Paul who runs Shop Neutral at the Prahran Market, have always been ahead of their time as most innovators are.

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Jake Treacy Spirit Tableau 2017 image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

Call of the Avant-Garde is being launched next Wednesday night and I’m also pleased to say that I’ll be seeing one of my Heide Visitor Services colleagues Jake Treacy at his exhibition Salon of Spirits being held later this year at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.  Speaking of which, I was at the Homestead for a Board meeting earlier this week so stay tuned if you’re interested in any paid gallery positions there as these will be advertised over the coming months.

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The Johnston Collection image via Wikipedia

Animal Kingdom is currently showing at The Johnston Collection museum of fine and decorative art in East Melbourne, which is the annual House of Ideas Exhibition-House tour with animal-inspired objects from the collection juxtaposed alongside fantastic creations from some of Melbourne’s leading contemporary artists.

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Image via Banyule City Council

There is also a call for entries before 31st July for the 2017 Banyule Award for Works on Paper with this year’s theme being ‘ebb and flow’ for the $10,000 main prize.  Finally there will be an Architour Art Deco to Moderne walking tour being held on 8 July and I’m also excited about Open House Melbourne later next month as La Trobe University and some of its more obscure and unknown buildings is part of this year’s event.

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Art Deco to Modern Walking Tour image via www.evensi.com

I’m very relieved to get to the end of the term and looking forward to a few quiet days ahead of me to recover.  If you’re a school parent, I’m sure you’re happy it’s holiday time!

The Guilt Trip

It’s the name of Kasey Edwards’ new book , which is a meditation on the guilt women feel about their bodies, relationships, pregnancy and childbirth, motherhood and careers.  It’s published by Black Inc. Books who have partnered with La Trobe to form La Trobe University Press and the University’s 50th Anniversary book – From the paddock to the Agora – a copy of which was given to me as a thank you from Vice Chancellor John Dewar for working on the 50th.  Kasey’s invited me to her upcoming book launch, in conversation with Clare Bowditch, being held on Thursday 25 May at Readings Hawthorn in Melbourne.  If you’re interested in attending, it’s free but please register on Eventbrite.  Being the small world that it is, Kasey has previously worked with Mr Rosanna while I have had dealings with her partner, an Associate Professor, who works at La Trobe University.

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Image via Black Inc. Books

I missed the recent launch of local author Les Zigomanis’ book for Young Adults called Pride (published under his pseudonym Lazaros Zigomanis) the other week.  I met Les last year at the Busybird Publishing Karma Kinglake writing retreat as he is the Publications Manager there, working closely with owner Blaise van Hecke.  I love the preamble to his book ‘dreams mean nothing unless you have the courage to pursue them’ so it’s another one to add to my list.

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Image via Black Inc. Books

Indeed it was interesting to note at the Leading Now 2017 leadership summit some of the practices of our greatest leaders include waking up early, yoga, meditation and reading books, and lots of them.  Apparently Elon Musk reads two books a day on average and many leaders curate the content of what they take in – choosing books over the noise of traditional and social media and being pedantic about their energy management.  I think it’s something the average person can take on board as well so we’re not feeling drained at the end of every day.

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Image via Busybird Publishing

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend so I just wanted to wish all the mums out there a fun day on Sunday.  If you’re interested in doing something arty, there are also two exhibition openings on tomorrow afternoon at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre – Technician’s Choice and Group Formalism.  The Homestead has recently re-introduced a lunch menu but also does great scones and jam.

Nb. Miss Rosanna is a Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Board member

The future of work

This is the title of my next Bold Thinking Series lecture and I’ve assembled an interesting panel of futurist, businessman, youth advocate and digital disrupter for Thursday 6 April at the State Library which will consider amongst other things, the jobs that will disappear in the next 20 years and the jobs of the future, the rise of robotics and Artificial Intelligence and what digitalisation and automation mean for us in middle class professional jobs or the service industry.  I’m thinking that perhaps I should have studied psychology instead of public relations!

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Image via www.latrobe.edu.au

But having said that I think I’m a natural communicator and I will be holding a couple of workshops at the Leading Now 2017 leadership summit taking place at Mantra on Salt by the beach in Kingscliff, NSW from 7 – 9 May.  There will be some impressive keynote speakers including Dr Louise Mahler and Dr Jason Fox and I’m grateful to have been invited to be part of this event by my former Telstra colleague Tiffany Gray.  If you are interested in attending, there is actually an early bird discount if you book before Friday 31 March and even better, you’ll get an extra 15% discount if you use the code: Christina in the promotion code box when checking out – it would be lovely to see some familiar faces there from this part of the world if you can manage it.

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Image via www.trybooking.com

I’m also pleased to say that Valentina Maxwell-Tansley, Ella Hinkley and I were successful in our funding application to Darebin Council on behalf of the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre with Council unanimously agreeing to increase investment in the centre along with expanding funding over the next three years in line with our recommendations.  Instrumental to this has been the work of the previous Board, current Homestead staff as well as Vicky Guglielmo from Creative Culture at Council.  I am looking forward to introducing the new La Trobe Art Institute team to my friends at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre in the next few weeks.

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Image via Facebook

Speaking of Darebin, the Darebin Community and Kite Festival is on this weekend, as well as the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix for any petrol heads out there.  I’m planning on taking it easy after a very busy past few weeks.  I was out with some work colleagues last night for a casual dinner at Indian restaurant Horn Please (near the Moroccan Soup Bar) which was a great night out – the samosas, dahl and cauliflower starter dish are highly recommended.  Needless to say, I forced myself to go to training at Cinch PT this morning in Macleod and Nikki and the girls at training recommended reading Tools of Titans which looks at the tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world-class performers and what commonalities there are between them in terms of concrete and actionable goals, as opposed to abstract dreams.  Have a great weekend!

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Image via Horn Please

Moving and shaking

The past 10 days seem to have gone by in a flash!  Events season is well and truly upon us as well as this Indian summer that we seem to be having.  La Trobe University turned 5o on Wednesday, which was also International Women’s Day, and I was lucky enough to spend my night at the Hyllus Maris Memorial Lecture which was largely an all-female event save for Isaiah Firebrace’s performance at the end.  Indigenous writer Dr Anita Heiss gave the keynote address on Education being the key to a better life, and was also very funny – she could have been a comedian as well referring to VIPs in the audience as ‘very Indigenous people’!  For me, the highlight was the Indigenous Academic procession into the Union Theatre heralded by a lone didgeridoo player, I had tears in my eyes both when the academics in full gowns entered and when they left – the significance of such an achievement as one of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in this country, was incredibly moving.

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Dr Anita Heiss image via 5oyears.latrobe

I spent last Monday night with my fellow Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Board member and Chair Valentina Maxwell-Tansley presenting to Darebin Council at Preston Town Hall in the hope that they may increase funding at the Homestead.  Council has a difficult job in determining how monies get allocated across the community but Darebin itself is a very creative municipality which values the social, cultural and economic contribution a visual arts asset such as the Homestead makes so I was very grateful to have been given air time to state our case.  Stay tuned for the result.

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Nathaniel Andrew & Isaiah Firebrace image via La Trobe University Twitter

Valentina has also been run off her own feet organising A Weekend in the Gardens event at the Botanic Gardens which kicks off from 4 pm today with John Farnham, Boy & Bear and Icehouse playing at three different concerts.  She’s been working with the same group of people who run the A Day on the Green winery concerts and there will be thousands attending each of the concerts for the first time at the Gardens this weekend.

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A Weekend in the Gardens image via Ticketmaster

The Melbourne Moomba Festival 2017 starts today and it’s a beautiful weekend to be in the city if you’re staying in Melbourne this Labour Day weekend.  Closer to home, the Heide Makers Market is also on tomorrow and if I didn’t have other things to do, I’d be attending this one.  Have a great long weekend and I’ll be back soon as there are stacks of events being held locally over the next couple of weeks as well as the launch of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Closing the distance

This is the name of the new Chinese and Chinese Australian artists’ exhibition which opens 2pm tomorrow at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre  exploring issues of migration, place and contemporary diaspora experience.  Both sets of my grandparents migrated here prior to and in times of the White Australia migration policy and my experience as a second-generation born Australian Chinese person has been very different from theirs.

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Owen Leong Mothertongue 2016 image via Bundoora Homestead

Central to this exhibition is the exploration of contemporary migration and the movement of people, culture and history across local and global boundaries. Closing the Distance highlights how cultural differences are valuable in providing diverse viewpoints, but also how shared personal experiences and narratives can provide a means to bridge these differences. The artists featured are from across the world and include Kevin Chin, Pei Pei He, Pia Johnson, Lindy Lee, Owen Leong, Eugenia Lim, Chun-yu Liu, Jason Phu, Cyrus Tang, Guan Wei, Shen Wei and Louise Zhang. Curated by Sophia Cai.

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Bundoora Nebula Residency image via Bundoora Homestead

The Bundoora Nebula Residency for artists also officially opens tomorrow afternoon at the same time – the Nebula being the revolutionary custom-built portable studio placed in the Homestead’s heritage garden allowing 8 different artists month-long residencies with two artists paired up for each month including one artist with a disability.

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Image via The Fish

I hope you’ve survived the heat this week and if, like us, you haven’t felt like turning on a hot stove to cook – we did try the The Fish in Burgundy Street Heidelberg recently and really enjoyed being able to select the fresh fish on display and choose from a selection of salads (Greek, green, quinoa and coleslaw) which makes you feel like you’re being a bit healthier.  The fried calamari dish in particular is recommended – it was delicious!  I’ve noticed too, in passing, the nearby cafe The Trainyard, but not yet been there.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope to have some new local profiles up soon on people from a number of local businesses – both online and in the real world.

Funicular fun

Ah yes…I just wanted to use that word funicular…it’s actually the clever contraption that Mr Rosanna and I are in (below) that his builder Uncle Peter has made for his spectacular cliff house on the river near the city.  This is us on Christmas night for the annual seafood dinner extravaganza which they hosted last year.img_5263I have been eating my way around the place these past few weeks.  If you’re ever in the eastern suburbs, Town & Country on Whitehorse Road in Balwyn is well worth a visit.  The cafe does great food and the nursery and retail shop next door sell some really beautiful homewares if you are looking to re-decorate  or update your house this summer.img_5258As a family, we’ve also done a number of local cafes including Hunter Lane in Rosanna where we grabbed a booth table looking out onto the railway.  It’s a really great addition to the area.  Funky Brewster is still closed until next week but I am looking forward to paying it a visit once it re-opens.img_5257We also popped in for a quick lunch at East Ivy in East Ivanhoe – again grabbing a booth table near the kitchen.  Both places do good food which needs a little bit of tweaking but I’m not complaining – the menus are much better than your average suburban fare and the service was excellent.img_5259I spent this morning out at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre with my friend ceramic artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen having a look at the Verdant Garden exhibition and Victorian Quilters Inc. show Regeneration – needless to say I’m always drawn to the works that feature flowers and plants (see above quilt images).  Unfortunately, upstairs was closed for maintenance due to storm damage but this should be fixed soon if you’re planning a visit.  Lene and I had coffees and devonshire tea in the stunning cafe setting (the scones are enormous so you can share one between two) currently featuring artwork by local artists Siri Hayes and Kate Hudson.  It was a beautiful way to spend the morning.img_5260For those of you lucky enough to still be away at the beach on holidays, I am jealous!  I’m going to try to make the most of my last weekend before going back to work next week.  Have a good one.img_5261

Nb. Miss Rosanna is a Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Board member