Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The common Koel

This noisy raucous creature spent all morning yelling at whoever would listen from the Blueberry Ash in the backyard. I had seen her at the birdbath a few times but didn't realise what a big noisy presence she had.
It's an Australian cuckoo or Koel and in the background is the little wattlebird that has been raising this impostor ever since it forced the other eggs and hatchings out of the nest. The demand for food is constant so the poor surrogate parent doesn't get much of a break. I don't know if its a male or female as the stripey yellow plumage is juvenile but I hope it gives us all a break soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Timeless: The art of Cressida Campbell

As is my wont I put off going to this wonderful exhibition and therefore queued with many other procrastinators on the last day. Cressida Campbell's woodblocks appeal to me on so many levels. Her crisp lines, translucent hues and seemingly mundane interiors have been a favourite since the the 90's when I cut out a mgazine print of From The Balcony and stuck it on my notice board. This tattered paper finally fell apart last week so I resolved to see the originals and if possible buy a copy of her recently published book.

The Sydney Morning Herald review puts it succinctly;
Over a career of almost 30 years there has been surprisingly little written about Campbell, most probably because she does not produce work that fits the rhetorical blueprint of our times. In other words, she does not employ obvious themes, theoretical or political ideas, making it hard for shallow people to find much to write about. However, one need take only a little time to look, and there is no space to say all that might be said.

When I look at her images of 'pedestrian' scenes of a room or a balcony I am inexorably drawn into her space. Her colours relax me and even a simple image of nasturtiums draw my eye with their compact perfection.

Images taken with a mobile phone do not do justice to these wonderful artworks but I am very glad that I did make it to the Sam H. Ervin Gallery to see them live.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Leonard Cohen at The Vineyards at Bowral.

Big natural amphitheatre surrounded by gum trees and grapevines. Lots of grass, shade, space to stretch out on the blanket; kids everywhere, no agro or boofheads or drunks.
On stage this amazing, gentle man with a resonant voice and a wonderful stage presence, singing songs from my past .

We left early towards the end of the second half, just after Hallelujah, to beat the traffic jam and because the lad had fallen asleep despite the music and the light rain.

After months of juggling work and shows and who is where, doing what, we finally got to go on a holiday. We took the weekend off because we had a new toilet installed courtesy of a very generous offer from the Sydney Water board and we couldn't use the loo for 24 hrs.

We went to Kiama and revisited all our favourite spots - the blowhole, the lighthouse and the playground in the town centre. There was swimming in the rock pool in the morning;

and a visit to Bombo Headland for the first time.
I had seen this dramatic and exotic scenery on various music clips and vintage shows like the Power Rangers and The Aunty Jack Show but it is a lot prettier in real life.After all too brief day on the coast we headed inland to The Centennial Vineyards at Bowral and the Show I had bought tickets for way back in november '08. Well worth the wait.