It’s been an intense year and I’m not sure if it’s just because we’re all exhausted post-pandemic or because I’ve had a lot going on – at home, at work and in my personal life. It’s not going to end anytime soon and some of it is my choosing (to do certain things) and some of it is out of my hands. I’ve learnt you can only control your own actions and reactions, and not worry too much if it’s not something you can influence as an individual, but it will be a big three months until Christmas across a number of different fronts.
I’ve made time this week to catch up with some current and ex-La Trobe colleagues and we had a rollicking dinner out last week at Capitano in Carlton. It’s been on my radar for a while now as a local work-wise and if you’re into your pizza and pasta then this is the place for you. Ordering is done by QR code menu selection and four of us shared a salciccia (Italian sausage) square pizza and bread with fresh burrata cheese. Before we’d had time to order pasta, the waitress informed us that another table had double ordered and they had two hot dishes that would go to waste so we kindly helped them out! To finish, we shared the tiramasu with a twist (hazelnuts) which was delicious. Highly recommended and it was bustling inside on a rainy Thursday night.
After nearly six months in Ivanhoe, I’ve finally start to enjoy my local environs visiting the Eaglemont Village Market last Sunday and dropping into the Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub last week to see the Banyule Art Salon exhibition (which has been extended) on the ground floor Art Gallery 275. It was great to see some of my favourite local artists and friends’ work on display including Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen, Irianna Kanellopoulou and Louise Kyriakou. There’s a people’s choice award to vote for and the Children’s Library, social enterprise cafe Whispers and quiet area upstairs were all full of people of different ages from children with parents and grandparents to school and university students.
Having a local place to go (whatever it may be) in your community is a real treasure and something we can only sometimes see in the eyes of a visitor to the area. I’ve noticed that the Eaglemont Cellars Eagle Bar is always packed with locals and that The Post Inn (behind Mario’s cafe) at 1041 Heidelberg Road near Darebin station has recently opened.
I found myself in Hawthorn today eating more pizza at Santoni Pizza and Bar‘s rooftop which is a pretty cool space if you’re happy to dine al fresco (they do have heaters) and I know Whiplash cafe had a recent write up in Broadsheet along with the award-winning barista from Axil Coffee so a few places to go if you’re in the area.
Lastly, a shout out for my friend Kathryn Elliott who is speaking as a BCNA Ambassador for the Reduce booze for boobs event on 15 October at non-alcoholic venue Sip & Enjoy at 281 Johnston Street in Abbotsford. As a non-drinker, it’s great to see businesses like these now open and I have managed to go for a run this weekend along the (almost flooded) Yarra trail to work off some of those carbs – my highlight was meeting a small, lone kangaroo at dusk who I spied hopping along on my right before we stopped to have look at each other.
Destiny Deacon that is. She is a contemporary Indigenous artist and La Trobe alumna whose exhibition at the NGV has been interrupted by the global pandemic. On Friday, I was lucky enough to attend an online private walk through and curatorial talk of her bold self-titled exhibition DESTINY, which is free, and housed on the ground floor of NGV Australia at Fed Square. Her monograph book (below) is also available from the NGV design store and her exhibition has been timely given the social and political commentary around Black Lives Matter here in Australia and overseas.
Culture may be our saviour at the moment with both the Melbourne Writers Festival Digital and Melbourne International Film Festival on this month. While we can’t escape lockdown, there is no place we can’t visit in our heads if you’re looking for more wonder and adventure in your life. Locally too, my friend artist Louise Kyriakou’s delightfully colourful Sunday Everyday is currently showing online at Outre Gallery if you’re a fan of her modernist work while Liminal: a shared distance is showing online at Hatch Contemporary Art Space care of Banyule Council.
I’ve heard the word liminal described as ‘the time within time’ and think it’s very apt – we are living in an uncertain time after the first wave and now trying to work out what life looks like after the second. I hope you are coping OK – for those of us lucky enough to be working from home there’s not been a huge difference between stage 3 and 4 on a physical level but I know it’s been affecting many of us mentally, which is completely normal. I think once we get to this Thursday, it will only be a month until stage 4 hopefully ends. Sunny days like today make things bearable and we will get though this time, we must and we shall.
Some of us have mastered the art of sourdough while in lockdown and if you’ve been baking up a storm, I love some of the more creative nods to bread (and milk) over this period. Local jeweller Ada Hodgson has produced a ‘flour’ range of jewellery including sourdough loaves and croissant pendant necklaces in gold and silver (above) which remind me of the taco-inspired jewellery from Lucy Folk. We’ve been lucky enough to have a bakery within walking distance and I love the reusable cotton Aussie Bread Bags (below) that can be used instead of having your loaves wrapped in plastic. Also with sustainability and inclusion in mind, you can actually recycle the plastic tags that come with bread loaves to Aussie bread tags for wheelchairs in Adelaide – just put them into an envelope and once full post them off to good use.
Plastic is a scourge so I was also excited to hear about the great wrap company given the amount of plastic wrap that most of us use. Finally, while it’s not yet here in Banyule, I love that waste-free My Milkman household delivery of bread and milk (below) has launched in 19 northeastern suburbs – it reminds me of the days of old when the milkman used to deliver fresh bottles of milk to your doorstep. It’s a great idea not just for now but once the pandemic is over. It’s been heartening to hear about progress on the vaccine front and important to remember the big picture – this time may be for now but it will one day pass.
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.
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…