Thursday, June 30, 2005

Wayyyyyy Out West

Hey - HEre's a bit of cultural tourism for those with a solid planet fucking streetmachine - or very storng legs and agood raincoat......

Have you ventured into the centre of syndey and been dismayed by the dearth of culture that is the Sydney CBD? Paree it ain't.

Get on the tarmac and take that bit of street that runs past the town hall, uts and sydney uni and keep on going.

You gotta love Parra Road - my favourite bit is Hell World - it's somewhere near the non lieu of Croydon - just west of Ashfield.

Here you can see the soul of the city - as here is a self contained zone of sheer anti matter. It starts with a big blue and red Salvo's store - but don't be fooled - boutique op shopping it aint - kind of like aspirational simulacra - with a whole heap of dodgy ikea & kmart throw aways at prices higher than the originals-you can imagine kath and kim oging in there to buy last years cast offs for a "really wild" vintage fashion party........

Past the threshold of Salvos - you can see what I mean - A large patch of brick veneer and mdf chain store hell. Subway, KFC, McDonalds and BIG BP crowned by a block of flats. The BP is the last petrol stop before the freeway - and invariably crammed with road rage freaks in tax subsidised 4WD's. I have nightmares that the people in flats never leave the block - and spend their life circulating between the 4 chain stores - and being strangely fulfilled.........

Post hell world - one can either head onto the unfreeeway - or stick to the non paying non named way of PArra Pothole express. Parra Pothole promises a fleeting glimpse of the old Midnight Star Social Centre (great Squat it was) and what must surely be the largest concentration of bunnings warehouses in the known universe. It is an unreported fact - that Bunnings is actually consuming huge tracts of suburbia - and tunring the whole thing into warehouses.......EVERY 5 kilomteres from Homebush to Penrith - I kid u not - stretches an enormous 2 km long hangar of bricolagomania..........

By taking the scenic route - it is easier to turn into the traffic chaos of PArramatta. If you can drive down church street without killing anyone then check out the Heritage Centre - on the first visit of WESTERN FRONT

The unfree way - goes very fast. After 5 blinks - you can glimpse the moonscape of Australia Wonderland - and realise you may have missed the turn off to Blacktown.

consult map

go to BLacktown - and try to find the Art Centre.
It's worth it.
Think of Guan Wei

Back to nonfree way - scoot along to the river at EMu Plains and then take the knapsack bridge - and a few other turn offs and then go visit the Penrith Regional Gallery. The smae street had big plaquards for Johnny H during the last elections........

The highlight of EMu Plains - is the GREAT WESTERN FREEWAY. Get on it - and keep going as far as you can go. Which is about 600 metres. It then turns into a dirt track!
Curse the RTA and turn back. Somehow get back onto the M$ err M4 and keep heading west -up them hills.

katoomba has a main street project for its local artists at present. so have some hot chocolate in a cafe and enjoy the fleeting presence of white trash.........

But don't stop there. Keep following the road up and down.

Bathurst is GREAT. And the Wapstanza Cafe is REALLY good - especially on a sunday afternoon. It's on Keppel Street. Ask a local. I wish somehwere like this existed in sydney. the wedding circle approached it sometimes. SO did AD163 about 10 years ago (sob!).

If you are in a thelma and louise mode - keep going.

I got some long promo email from Wagga art gallery
I dunno how the hell they got my email address.
I know Wagga is the dyke capital of Australia - but I've never actually set foot in its streets.

Anway if you end up in Wagga stick the following in your diary:

Exhibition opening
2004 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award and Places that name us. RAKA
Award: Contemporary Indigenous visual arts #3
Friday 1 July, 6:00pm
The Wagga Wagga Art Gallery's Winter 2005 program features the biennial
travelling exhibition of Australia's finest drawings, the Jacaranda
Acquisitive Drawing Award to be officially opened by Jason Kelly,
Manager, Recreation & Cultural Services, Wagga Wagga City Council on Friday 1
July. Places that name us. RAKA Award: Contemporary Indigenous visual arts #3
displays new works by thirteen outstanding contemporary Aboriginal
artists short-listed for the prestigious Kate Challis RAKA Award. Indigenous
artists from across Australia have made works that are at the heart of
Aboriginal culture and experience. This varied exhibition includes bark
and canvas paintings, photography, prints, drawing and sculpture in a
carefully selected cross-section of the very best contemporary Aboriginal art,
and will be opened by artist Gordon Hookey on Friday 1 July, 6pm.
Cost: $5 or $3 for Friends of the Gallery
Bookings/ RSVP necessary: Art Gallery * 6926 9660

Prize contemporary indigenous art
Floortalk from featured artist Gordon Hookey
Saturday 2 July, 11:00am
At 11:00am, Saturday 2 July, Gordon Hookey will discuss his involvement
with the RAKA Contemporary Indigenous Art Prize, and his emerging role as a
significant spokesperson for political representation of Australian
Aboriginal people. Gordon Hookey was born in Cloncurry in 1961, and is
of the Waanyi people. Completing a degree at Sydney College of Fine Arts
in 1992, he has participated in group and solo shows in Australia and
abroad since the early 1990s, coming to prominence in group shows "Beyond the
Pale" (Art Gallery of South Australia, 2000) and "Uncommon World" (National
Gallery Australia, 2001).

Solo exhibitions of note include "Ruddock's Wheel" (Casula Powerhouse
in 2001) which is included in the exhibition at Wagga Wagga. Ruddock's
Wheel is a powerful response by Hookey to comments made by Immigration Minister
Phillip Ruddock which were quoted in the Washington Post in July 2000.
Ruddock was reported as saying: "We are putting in an enormous amount
of work to improve the conditions of our indigenous people... But we are
starting from a very low base... We're dealing with people who were
essentially hunter-gatherers. They didn't have chariots. I don't think
they invented the wheel."

To Hookey, the incendiary damaging remarks by Ruddock represented the
institutionalising of racism in Australia at the highest level, and
form the basis of his painting series included in the current exhibition. Gordon
Hookey will speak on his strategies to address contemporary
conservative politics in Australia at 11am this Saturday.
Cost: Gold coin donation appreciated
Bookings/ RSVP necessary: Art Gallery * 6926 9660

re:connections recycled art
Youth festival workshop
Saturday 9 July, 9:00am - 12:00pm
Art studio, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
Part of the Youth festival re:generate, Torres Strait Islander artist
Janice Peacock explores mixing cultures, and connections to indigenous tool
traditions, in an art class for young people using found materials.
Janice Peacock's work uses recycled materials to create "traditional" objects
of Aboriginal material culture, a comment on the habits of Australian
institutions to collect, identify or define indigenous artifacts as
ethnographic or utilitarian, ignoring artistic considerations in its
production. Peacock's 2002 series of sculptures featured replace
indigenous objects with 'anthropological' Western objects such as computer circuit
boards and keyboards, and her headdresses shaped as movie cameras and
satellite dishes reference her Torres Strait Islander background and
views on collecting 'pure' cultural remnants.

As part of the re:generate youth festival, Janice Peacock will be
visiting Wagga Wagga to run an art class for youth using recycled objects on
Saturday 9 July. Workshop Cost: FREE
Bookings necessary: Art Gallery * 6926 9660

Talking Glass
Artist's floortalk by Scott Chaseling and Helen Aitken-Kuhnen
Saturday 16 July, 1:00pm The Ranamok Glass Prize is the most prestigious glass prize in the
Southern Hermisphere. Scott Chaseling, winner of the 2004 Ranamok Glass Prize,
discusses his award-winning studio glass and career to date. He will be
joined by featured glass artist and jeweller Helen Aitken-Kuhnen to
talk about her practice based in Queanbeyan NSW. Helen Aitken Kuhnen was one
of the first of a new generation of Australian glass artists to emerge
from the glass program established at the Canberra School of Art by Klaus Moje
in 1986, and since that time she has continued a dual practice as a glass
artist and metalsmith, recognised for her distinct geometric kilm
formed sculptural pieces.

Intiially training as a glass blower at the Jam factory in the 1980s,
in2002 Chaseling was awarded the Gold Medal Bavarian State Prize, Munich
Germany, as well as the Rosalie Gascoigne Award Canberra Arts Patrons
Organisation (CAPO), and the Canberra Times Critics Circle Award,
before winning the 2004 Ranamok Glass Prize introduced his work to a national
audience. Chaseling's vessels are created in glass featuring embedded
narratives he invites the viewer to interpret. There is a real irony
that his depictions of ordinary everyday life are formed by way of an
extraordinary array of accomplished glass techniques including murrini,
fused, painted, hand-blown, and wheel cut glass.

Work by both Chaseling and Aitken-Kuhnen has been acquired for Wagga
Wagga's National Art Glass Collection, and they continue to develop
international reputations. A great afternoon is guaranteed with two fascinating and
celebrated practitioners of Australian studio glass and craft.
Cost: Gold coin donation
RSVP: Art Gallery * 6926 9660

Mozart Light and Shade
David Ward piano recital
Wednesday 27 July, 7:30pm
The Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is proud to host a concert by international
pianist David Ward. Relax and enjoy a recital exploring the major and
minor tonalities of the piano explored through works of Mozart and
interpreted by David Ward, appearing courtesy of the Charles Sturt University School
of Philosophy. David Ward will be performing the following works: Funeral
March in C Minor, K. 453a; Sonata in C major, K.545 Allegro, Andante, Rondo,
Allegretto; Fantasia in D Minor, K.397/385g Andante Adagio Allegretto
Andante; Sonata in F Major, K .332/300K Allegro Adagio, Allegro assai;
Allegro in G Minor K.312/590d.; Adagio in B Minor, K.540; Minuet in D
Major, K. 355/ 576b; Nine variations on a Menuett by Duport, K.573. This will
be an inspirational night of music for everyone.
Cost: $20 adults; concession $15 Bookings necessary: Civic Theatre * 6926 9688

Exhibitions in July
Places That Name Us: The 2004 RAKA Award of Contemporary Indigenous
Visual Arts 1 July - 25 September 2005
The RAKA Award presents the work of thirteen outstanding contemporary
Australian artists, including Trevor Nickolls, Julie Dowling, Gordon
Hookey, Janice Peacock, and Lorraine Connelly-Northey. A NETS Victoria
Travelling Exhibition.

2004 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award
1 July - 14 August 2005
The JADA seeks to encourage and promote innovation and excellence in
drawing and has played a vital role in fostering Australian drawing practice. A
Grafton Regional Gallery Travelling Exhibition.

2004 Ranamok Glass Prize
15 July - 4 September 2005
The Ranamok Glass Prize showcases contemporary art glass created by
artists from Australia and New Zealand. This annual prize is recognised as the
premier art glass event in the southern hemisphere, and from 2004
includes work by Richard Whiteley, Scott Chaseling, Wendy Fairclough, Penny
Fuller, Tom Moore, and Nick Wirdnam. Toured by Ranamok Glass Prize Ltd.

Stop, Look & Listen: words, music & photographs by Don Burrows
29 July - 11 September, 2005
Jazz musician Don Burrows is equally at home in the darkroom as he is
on stage: his photographs have been taken in many of the far flung places
of the world that Don has visited playing his music. Coordinated by
Bungendore Wood Works Gallery.

War of the Worlds: Glass works by Stephen Skillitzi and Julio Santos
CLOSING SOON! Until 10 July 2005
These two much loved Australian glass artists have joined forces to
produce a stunning show of art glass and metal. An impressive sculptural
collaboration between master glass blower Julio Santos and mixed media
artist Stephen Skillitzi who works in bronze electro- form and glass,
sending up the notion of the 'refined' studio art glass commidity.

Restore: An Installation by Izabela Pluta
Until 24 July 2005
Pluta is an emerging Newcastle-based artist who explores the
relationship between memories of images in our mind's eye and the absence of
physical objects. Plutas' unique installation includes resin wallpaper rolls and
resin frames.

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