Saturday, June 28, 2014

Busy June...

June has turned out to be a bit of a whirlwind, no slowing down and turning in for Winter here, though I am hoping July may be a little calmer, with a little more daydreaming by the fire!

I don't have a studio, or even a room of my own here, though I do have a small and very messy desk in the corner of the living room, right next to the wood stove (good in this weather) and opposite the TV (not so good, though at least it's only the occasional dvd).  But I've found that I've been doing most of my recent 'visual' stuff curled up on the couch by the window, balancing my sketch/notebooks on my knee.  I've haven't done a lot, but I've started a project, which is part of a larger project, and there is another in the wings too.

This community down here is small enough that you bump into people you know every time you go out.  Yet it is filled to bursting with creativity and vitality in the arts.  In November this year, something called 'Brave New Works' will happen, as it does every year, and one of the projects launched for this year is an art exhibition called 'Everything is a Map'.  A lovely friend (and fellow music student, she plays cello...swoon!) is organising this and as a lifelong mapfan, I couldn't resist, so I'm working on ideas for a Curious Book of Maps (working title only).  So far only scribbles, but I'm hoping a quieter July might yield some serious work for this, I just love, love the idea.  There may also be a Map Song (which started life as this poem), but I'll see how we go!  Another project for BNW is waiting for funding, so I won't say anymore about it yet, but I've put my hand up for that one as well, it will take me back 20 years to my Theatre studies at uni, and so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

As well as that, I'm just about finished my Music Certificate II course, and our final assessment included 3 gigs at local pubs.  Very new experience for me, and we did our final one last night and I have to say, it's the most fun I've had at a pub for a very long time.  We performed at the local 'open mic' night at our local 'watering hole', and it's such a lovely night, there are so many great and talented performers all squeezed into this little corner of Western Australia.

So, a few pics of bits and bobs that I've been up to!

Some early 'mappiness' from an old visual diary, July 2009.

Not the best photo, I'm afraid, but gives an idea of proportions.

Closer in and you can read some of my weird and wonderful (I hope) ponderings on the notion of maps.

The lovely little book I made in January with Trace Willans.  Now I know what to do with it!

Title page.  Slightly off-centre, but that's part of it's home-made charm...well I hope it is!

Some tangled tracks across the page.

Right from the start these pages reminded me of a slightly mad map.  Very appropriate for me then.

I'm looking very serious because I'm concentrating hard...this IS a test!

As well as that, the school celebrated its Winter Festival, with storytelling, fairy lantern walk through the night time bush, bonfire and pumpkin soup and song.  Oh, it was lovely!  I felt like I was 5 again on the lantern walk, it was magical.  The senior class (biggest munchkin's class) had spent a great deal of time and care setting up fairy houses throughout the bush along the river.  When night fell, the path through the bush became a flickering, candlelit fairy wonderland, as we all, students and parents, snaked our way quietly in contemplation along the riverbank carrying lanterns or candles, looking into each little candlelit fairy house along the way to the sound of students singing and playing on their recorders.  We had storytelling, a Noongar story about fire spirits, then the senior students quietly paraded in carrying torches to light the bonfire with song and fire invocation.  It had been wet and windy all day, but the sky cleared and the stars came out, and the bonfire roared.  Then it was homemade pumpkin soup (a myriad of different recipes from every family) and fresh bread and butter, and apple crumble around the fire.  Wondrous!

A barely discernible littlest munchkin with the lantern she made in class.

Mmmmmm, toasty warm!

Littlest again.  Biggest was off running amok with friends!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The People's Poet is dead....

I'm not ready for the icons of my formative years to die.  RIP Rik Mayall, too, too young.  I, and many others I know, spent happy hours as teenagers in the 80s watching The Young Ones, doubled up in stitches on the couch and unable to breathe because we were laughing so much.  Phrases from the series still pop up in conversations and we laugh because of 30 years of shared memories.  I'm not sure if posting a video like this might be considered disrespectful, but it's how an entire generation will remember him...with great fondness, and with great respect.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Moving to the country for the 'quiet life'....... seems I've ended up busier, at least in some ways!  Still, there are worse ways to be busy than being at Tech studying music (and playing at the local pub as part of our assessment...EEEK!), getting involved in upcoming local arts projects, wandering all over town listening to music over the Denmark Festival of Voice weekend (fantabulous!), getting munchkins ready for school hikes on the Bibbulmun track, school busy bees and busking, making bonfires and roasting marshmallows (or, my favourite, bonfire toffee apples!)...and rather a lot of driving.  The driving is unavoidable, but I'd far rather drive 60kms along tree lined farms to Albany, than sit in traffic jams trying to get the 15kms into Perth in less than 45 minutes.  My drive to tech and back is about 40kms round trip, but the actual drive is so lovely I still feel like I've got a silly grin on my face for most of it.

Consequently, my Bone Woman puppet has not gone a lot further, and I think she's supposed to be finished this month!  Oh dear.  Well, I shall plod on, perhaps she'll be finished for next June!  But suffice to say, Winter is upon us now, and I'm still loving it here and cannot even begin to imagine why I'd ever want to move back up to Perth.  And once Autumn got itself into almost full swing (it's still drier and warmer than it should be), we were able to indulge in the simple pleasure that I was REALLY looking forward to.  A bonfire.  Well, only a small one, a campfire really, but there is something just really special about being able to have a nice roaring fire in your own backyard.  And once fire ban season was over (usually lasts between October and April, though it was extended into May this year because of the unusually late rains) we wasted no time.

Biggest munchkin is justifiably proud of her expert fire building.  Mmmmm, and Honey Liqueur from the Meadery (conveniently just 5 minutes down the road!) for the grown-ups.

She's in her PJs because she was a bit under the weather after a VERY BIG adventure (further news on that in another post), but perked up at the thought of a fire and toffee apples.

A big stick and a campfire...more fun than TV!

The clouds rolled over, but didn't rain on our parade.

The Big Guy gets into the act.  From this angle it looks like he's expecting Flynn to jump through a fiery hoop.  Flynn declares she wouldn't be that silly.

Yep, even grown-ups can have fun.

I think this might be my favourite pic of the evening.

Littlest Munchkin.

Biggest munchkin.

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