Friday, May 30, 2014

Gutter Gold

I joined a couple of friends at the Tweed River Art Gallery yesterday.  The Gallery alone is worth a visit.  It sits on a high parcel of land overlooking the Tweed River, green and rolling pastureland and with spectacular views to Mt Warning and the Caldera rim to the north. 

Source: Art Gallery Website
While we did enjoy fun and laughter and a delicious lunch out on the balcony, the real purpose of the visit was to see an exhibition by Adrienne Kenafake, a Gold Coast artist who says of her work......"my works focus on the immediate environment by investigating the flotsam and jetsam of daily life.  All the artworks are made from found and recycled materials, my sculptures have become a visual record of the unwanted items we carelessly discard on a daily basis"
 'Rare as Hen's Teeth' . Source
Silly me, I left my camera in the car, so these photos are from various art galleries, with credit to these sources. Not all of these were in the exhibition, but were on a similar theme, so you get the idea
Adrienne's work is stunning and confronting.  As well as using fabric she colours with windfallen leaves and barks from local plants in the style of India Flint,  Adrienne uses tiny bones from road killed animals, mostly wallabies, rat vertebrae, fish scales, human hair  and the fabric segments are roadside discards or from council clean-ups.

Her titles and imagery are telling too.......this is called 'Introduced Species".  Sorry, the pics are a bit blurry, but you get the idea.  She also made the little wagon from recycled materials as well.
'Introduced Species'.  Source

This next one was on show at the gallery, and was my favourite.  It's so iconically Australian, the sad sight of stiffened road kill all along our country roads.  You can't see it on this picture, but this one has an injured tummy, with big blowflies sitting on it, made with fabric, and fish scale very lifelike.  It's claws, if you look closely, are wallaby bones, and it's made from plant dyed silk.

                             Flyblown'.   Source
                                      'Wanderlust'.  Source
                 'Stay Together'.....that's human hair on their heads!   Source
This was a great exhibition, asome amazing, very detailed, thoughtful work from a very talented artist with some clear messages.  In her own words .....broken, busted, forgotten, lost, flyblown, shiny new, here in the gutter lie the treasure of the suburbs........golden traces of existence waiting to tell their stories.  If you find yourself in northern NSW, or hear that this exhibition is coming to a gallery near you, give yourself a treat and go along and see it.
We also checked out the new Margaret Olley Centre, a space dedicated to her paintings, sketches, education and workshop spaces and an amazing recreation of her studio and over 20,000 items collected in her lifetime.  More on that though in another post.
.............til next time

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Let's all light up...and in the garden

I haven't been posting much lately.  I've not been at my best, because of my new neighbour who is a heavy smoker, and spends her days on her deck, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, and smokes the day away.  While I have to close my house up tight to try and prevent the smoke coming in.  It doesn't work.  I'm living in a dirty ashtray!  And the smoke makes me terribly, horribly sick.  And sad, and varying degrees at varying times.  The smoke has infiltrated my whole house and yard smell, my animal's coats smell, my car parked under the house, smells, my clothes, fabrics and knitting wools smell.  I can't use my deck, because the fresh smoke blows across onto it.  I'm not in a good place, physically and emotionally. I've spoken to her about how her smoking so close to my house affects me, but there's been no change.

But I can still escape to my garden.  I've been slowly turning this weedy area that I've fenced off, into garden beds, it's my space where no feathered or 4 legged creatures are allowed.  There was really nice lawn growing here, but this side of the yard gets the most sun, so it seemed silly to waste it on lawn.  It's been hard work though, and it seemed as quickly as I  dug the grass out, the weeds crowded in because I wasn't able to get to the next stage quickly enough.

But here it is, a week later, and I've cleared a large area and put two beds in.  They've been prepared  with compost, composted horse and chook poo, and rock minerals.  Today I finished putting trellises in for the beans, peas and broad beans that'll be planted here, with greens.....kale, bok choy and Asian cabbage .....planted in front.  Photos of that in another post when I've planted up.
..............and here's one I prepared earlier.  In here there's cabbage, rocket, kale, silver beet and collards, a couple of parsley plants and climbing the wire fence on the left are sweet peas.  It's very satisfying to wander out and gather a good handful of greens for a meal.  The cabbages will be shared with the chooks!
On the other side I've started potatoes in used chicken food bags.  These are Nicolas, and I noticed today they're sending up shoots already.  I'll keep covering the shoots with soil and rolling the bags up, until the shoots reach the top......then I'll wait for the yummy harvest.  I grew potatoes this way a couple of years ago, and had a wonderful crop. 
And here's a couple of things that remind me there's lots to be happy and thankful for when I feel like I'm taking my last gasp through the smoke haze......this beautiful face
and the colours of an autumn sunrise...............
.....till next time.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bentley Battle Won

 Bentley at dawn .(Source Knitting Nannas against Gas Facebook)

 I have no photos from the day at the blockade camp yesterday.  I can't believe it.  I took plenty, but loading them tonight there was a funny google glitch and poof! all gone!

The camp was amazing.  Tents and camper vans everywhere.  People sleeping wherever they could squeeze into a small space.  It was all very well organised, with rosters for dish washing, toilet cleaning,  and serving meals.   There was a timetable of activities on offer throughout the and meditation,  information sessions for newbies at the camp, and workshops on non-violent action, and dealing with police presence. 

I met the Knitting Nannas, who've done some wonderful work with their peaceful knit-ins outside the local Member of Parliament's office, and keeping the task at hand in the public's face in a fun and non-threatening way.

Knitting nannas at the Nannadome - their slogan 'Knot the gate'(Source Knitting Nannas against Gas)

We were directed to join others at Gate A, to increase the public presence should the police turn up.  They didn't, but it felt good to be sitting in solidarity, all of us with a common purpose.

Gate A at dawn (Source Knitting Nannas against Gas)

The good news though is while we were quietly guarding the gates, talks were going on 1,000 kms away behind closed doors.  It was announced this morning that the mining company's licence to drill at the Rosella well at Bentley was suspended on the grounds that they didn't undertake effective and genuine consultation with the community as required.

 Source: Northern Star newspaper

The war isn't over, but we've had a great victory and have proved that non-violent, direct action, civil disobedience  and (in theory) democracy works.  Our victory sets a precedence for others in Australia and overseas fighting dodgy gas companies and hopefully will give them heart to not give up.

Source Northern Star newspaper

.......very satisfying

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Joining the Battle for Bentley

Source : Lock the Gate Alliance

I'm off to the blockade at Bentley tomorrow, a camp of up to 2,000 people, who are fighting to delay drilling for coal seam gas in this beautiful and productive farmland, a few hours south of here.  I've written before about attending protests to keep our Northern Rivers free of the destructive and invasive fracking process. 

Go here if you'd like to read some more about the camp at Bentley.  There have been rumours all week that the police will be turning up in force this week to disperse protesters and allow the drilling rig through.  This is a peaceful protest, but I don't think the police will hesitate to do whatever they can to clear the roads..........I hope tomorrow's not the day!!

I have no idea what to expect, people I know who have been camping there for weeks say it's inspiring to be in company with so many people who are passionate and committed to stopping the mining.

I'll find out for myself tomorrow !!