Go fly a kite

March and April are events season in Melbourne and I love the cool crisp mornings and warm days, and the more stable weather (perfect for painting!).  The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the Exhibition Building in Carlton opens this Wednesday and I could do with some advice as my back yard is in quite the state with a six month old puppy intent on destruction.

Image via Hatch Contemporary Arts Space Facebook page

It’s also Harmony Day on Wednesday and locally, A Taste of Harmony community lunch is being held in the Bell Street Mall – tickets are $10.  The mall in general will be celebrating Cultural Diversity week and it’s a good opportunity to also check out the  Urban Light Box Galleries on display.  Continuing the cultural diversity theme is Hatch Contemporary Art Space’s In conTEXT exhibition showcasing the work of five different artists, which opens on Wednesday 21 March.

Image via Eltham Twilight Market Facebook page

It’s a bit early but the Eltham Easter Twilight Market from 4 – 8 pm is being held this Thursday night while the Darebin Kite Festival is being held this Sunday and as someone who saw the recent Rosebud Kite Festival – it’s a spectacular sight.  I’ll be back later this week with the first local profile of the year.

Good Tidings

It’s the name of the book being launched at the Eltham Library on 10 December on the power of good people and I think it’s an important thing to remember when we’re bombarded with media images of violence and terror happening on the international stage.  There are more good people in the world than bad and I wish the world more peace in the lead up to Christmas.  Hosted by the Eltham Bookshop and published by Wild Dingo Press, the book is a story of courage, resilience, hope and hearts filled with compassionate friendship between Sri Lankan refugee Para Paheer and local penfriend Alison Corke – things which are greater things to meditate and ruminate on.

Image via Wild Dingo Press

There’s also some interesting performing arts events on around the place including local heats at Deadly Funny at the Darebin Arts Centre on the 10 December if you’re cheeky and loud, black and proud.  If you’re a fan of Tim Winton’s books, a sprawling stage adaptation of Cloudstreet is being held at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre from 5 – 16 December, tickets of which are now on sale at TryBooking.

Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

It is a cultural week in that Banyule Arts and Culture also announces its 2018 plans on 8 December at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.

Image via Marmoset Found

If you’ve started getting your house in order for Christmas celebrations, it’s worth noting that local homewares store Marmoset Found is having a warehouse sale, along with neighbouring outlet Sage and Clare on this coming Friday and Saturday at 21 Albert Street in Northcote.

Image via Kara Baker

If you’re a fan of bespoke fashion, local maven Kara Baker is launching her Beach collection on Wednesday 6 December from 5 – 9 pm at 1/414 Bourke Street although I prefer some of her latest Spring Summer range including this beautifully tailored dress above.  You’ll need to book a private appointment if you wish to attend at kara@karabaker.com

On stage

It’s been a while!  I’ve been in Noosa the past 10 days spending some time in the sun and the heat.  And while I’ve been there a number of times, this was the first time since having children.  I will post about my trip later this week.

Image via Melbourne Festival

I posted about the Banyule Performing Arts Festival at Hatch in Ivanhoe before I went away and I hope it was a big success – while the Heidelberg Theatre Company has long had a presence in Rosanna, there is a need to share the love with other performing artists in the area.  Speaking of performing arts, the Melbourne Festival has opened and if you get a chance to see a show, it really is a great experience – one that defines Melbourne as the arts capital of Australia.  My picks would be Chinese contemporary dance performance Under Siege, the House of Mirrors installation and Terence Malick’s Voyage of Time narrated by Cate Blanchett and set to music by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Image via Banyule City Council

But back to all things local, the Banyule Award for Works on Paper exhibition launch is this Wednesday and always a fantastic show to see if you manage to fit inside Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.  The Victorian Seniors Festival is also on at the moment and there is a morning tea being held at the Ivanhoe Centre this Wednesday (or Thursday).  I also love that there is an associated Evergreen horticulture therapy program being held on 12 October – as I’ve got older, I’ve started to appreciate the seasons, the outdoors and spending time in nature – gardening is a very life affirming and calming past-time.

Image via Hunter Lane Cafe

Finally, Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna is holding ‘A barber and a BBQ’ fundraising event for brain cancer research, in partnership with Valiant Barbers from Heidelberg Heights this Sunday 8 October from 2.30pm if you find yourself in the area – it sounds like Mr Rosanna’s idea of heaven!  Have a good week and enjoy the school holidays if you are lucky enough to be at home not work.

States of Being

It sounds very Zen but it’s the name of the upcoming show curated by Dr Anne Bennett at Hatch Contemporary Arts Centre in Ivanhoe, which opens this Wednesday.  The exhibition continues to explore this year’s theme of water, and its elemental importance, and will showcase 9 different artists’ work including Anne Bennett.  Anne and I have both been members of the Banyule Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.StatesOfBeing_A5_InviteP1FB_lowres

The fifth Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award opens on 16 August and I’m really happy to see two friends I’ve previously featured on my blog are both finalists in this year’s show – Louise Kyriakou and Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen.  Local creative family, the Pittards have scored a hat trick with all of them – Chris and Mary-Lou and daughter Jessie also this year’s finalists.  I was lucky enough to work with them when I was the publicist for The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham.  And it’s lovely to see another local artist Irianna Kanellopoulou‘s work featured on the website.

Image via Louise Kyriakou blog


Speaking of ceramics, Angus and Celeste currently have The Slightly Imperfect Sale on until Sunday 13 August meanwhile the Northcote Pottery Supplies Open Day is Saturday 19 August from 10 am – 3 pm.  It’s a popular day as Artists on Were Street in Montmorency also opens on 19 August and runs until 3 September.  I’ve long said that if Mr Rosanna and I had moved further out, our next suburb of choice was Montmorency.  We’re spoilt for choice in the north-east…

Image via Northcote Pottery Supplies

Light the flame

Being sick is no fun!  I’ve had the flu this week despite my best efforts to stay well so only now feel like I’m back in the land of the living.  I hope you’ve been in a healthier state than me this week.

Fire twirler image via Winter Solstice Festival

A few local things to mention – applications are now open for Leader Local Grants.  $1000 grants are available if you’ve got a great idea that will benefit the local community.  Applications close on 14 July so you’ve got a month to send yours in.

Image via Amanda Addams Auctions

I also noticed that local auction house Amanda Addams is interested in expressions of interest regarding selling their business after 30 years in the trade.  I often think that my third career will be in art and antiques so if there are any like-minded people out there with an entrepreneurial bent, this would be a great opportunity for the next generation of people interested in all things vintage and antique.

Larry the dog image via Pamela Irving

There are a number of upcoming exhibitions and events I also wanted to mention today.  In time for the Winter solstice is the Mid-Winter exhibition at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe which opens on 21 June, Irreverent Tales by Pamela Irving (Larry the dog sculptor) opens at Whitehorse Artspace in Box Hill on 22 June and Skin Thing at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre opens on the 23 June while Technician’s Choice is currently on.  Speaking of the solstice, there is a Winter Solstice Festival including bonfire at Edendale Farm in Eltham this Saturday night and I believe tickets are still available for this event.

Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

I’ve mentioned before that things have gotten increasingly sophisticated in the suburbs and there will also be a live music Parlour Gig with Benny Walker at Greenhills Neighbourhood House in Greensborough on 24 June, where my friend local writer Jenni Mazaraki works.

Image via Lumiere Art & Co.

Finally, if you’re interested Lumiere Art & Co. is holding its Collingwood Store sale tomorrow from 9 – 3 pm at 76 Cromwell Street along with a number of other boutique retailers and designers.  I particularly like their beautiful shibori linen bed throws which are hand dyed.  Stay warm and stay well!

The island of Equanimity

I’m wishing I was there at the moment.  Mr Rosanna and I have had a lot of change over the past year with jobs, juggling work and family life and a new transition again in the past month with him starting a new job after many years in his old one.  He was lucky enough to have time at home with our children last year – an opportunity not all Dads get – as well as the chance to step back and work out where to from here.  I think it’s something women get to do if they have children and I’ve seen many of my peers see life very differently after having children and contemplate whether they return to their old job (if they can) or try something completely new and different.  Necessity is the mother of all invention.IMG_5597

When change is thrust upon you, it can come as a shock and I’m reeling from changes in my workplace this week.  I’ve known change was coming but the nature of it has still been a surprise and it’s taken a little while for my emotions to catch up.  We are all human and it’s hard not to take things personally as much as I know that it’s only my ego that’s hurting at the moment!  The ability to remain calm and composed is a real skill and considered one of the sublime states of Buddhism, which teaches you to take a step back, hold your emotions in your arms and rock them like a baby so that you can maintain equilibrium – easy to know in theory but much harder to practise in reality…It’s also the end of term and I’m grateful that Easter is coming up soon.IMG_5619

It’s got cold and wet, particularly further up north, and daylight savings comes to an end this weekend, which always makes me feel a bit mellow although I have ‘winter’ friends who love being able to dress up in layers once the weather turns.  The Heide Makers Market is on tomorrow (April Fool’s Day!) and if you haven’t been, this will be the last one for the season.  My friend, ceramic artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen has had a stall there selling these gorgeous hand made plant pots – this one is now adorning my desk at work and it makes me happy to see it there every day when I come into the office.

Image via www.banyule.vic.gov.au

Given my current feeling, the aptly named Turbulence exhibition has opened at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe and is a response to global climate change and environmental sustainability.  It features work by Banyule-based artists from the Textile Art Community, sound artist Alice Bennett and environmental artist Felicity Gordon.

Have a wonderful weekend – I’m hoping to find my inner calm over the next few days.