Visiting Brisbane from the University of Western Australia, Darren Jorgensen will discuss Australian esoteric art at IMA. Ideas in the talk are from a paper he is researching, which looks at how artists such as Norman Lindsay and Danie Mellor mobilise ritual images in their work. In the process of synthesising ritual traditions, esoteric artists themselves become neither gods nor acolytes. Darren’s paper explores some of these tensions in Australian art history. See Darren discuss esoteric art on May 23 at IMA.
It is often the stories grounded in real experience that resonate the most. At just 14, actor and playwright Jon Haynes wrote his first piece of theatre, an autobiographical play, but was unable to find a producer for it. After another failed attempt at penning a play, he decided to refine and perform his first piece, The Poof Downstairs, and coerce friends into playing the extra roles. The problem with Jon’s rather slack friends, however, is that they often forget to show up. Jon will perform with or without his cast at Brisbane Powerhouse from April 24–27.
Scottish filmmaker Luke Fowler uses his films to create portraits of social radicals. In his film All Divided Selves, which was nominated for the Turner Prize 2012, Luke traces the life of Scottish anti-psychiatrist R.D. Laing, who quickly morphed from psychiatrist to celebrity after his theory on schizophrenia was published in his book The Divided Self. Luke’s documentary is constructed from historical footage, including comments from R.D. Laing. All Divided Selves will screen at IMA from March 16.
One of the most intriguing things about music is its ability to curl up inside your emotions. Between them, the four Quebecois musicians known as Le Vent du Nord purvey an infectious style of foot-stomping folk music that sends spirits soaring. The quartet’s tunes are inspired by traditional folk sounds and are cultivated using a piano accordion, jaw harp, mandolin and bouzouki, to name but a few of the band’s instruments. Le Vent du Nord will visit Brisbane Powerhouse on October 17 as part of its first Australian tour.
It has been said that if you develop a passion for learning you will never cease to grow. Adhering to this idea is Southbank Institute of Technology, one of the most successful institutes to provide pathways to tertiary institutions including QUT and Griffith University. You will be able to discover the grounds and the extensive range of study options available at the campus when it holds its information evening on July 25. From 4:30–7:00 pm at the Institute’s location of 66 Ernest Street, South Brisbane, you will have the opportunity to discuss career options with teachers and the courses on offer, such as animation, hospitality and applied science. It will also give you ample time to take a stroll around the Institute to explore the world-class facilities available and discuss financial help on offer, including scholarships, FEE HELP and VET FEE-HELP.
The bond between siblings can either be competitively paralysing or a pure catalyst to epic greatness – the Kardashian Klan is prime example for either or, whichever you prefer. But for Brisbane’s very own, Sheppard siblings, their dynamic bond has ignited fuel setting their hopes and dreams alive. Infiltrating the Australian and International music scene with their alternative Indie pop sound, Sheppard siblings George, Amy and Emma form Brisbane’s latest IT-band, SHEPPARD! Holding a strong family formation, the trio combined their talents with mates Jason Bovino, Michael Butler and Jared Tredly, becoming a gang of six. With their colourful, catchy mix of Indie tunes catering to any person of age, these kids express their youthful, affirmative take on the world throughout their 30 something produced tracks. Living proof that no dream is too big and that dust really can become glitter, they’re the newest kids on the block, in one creative family, bound by the love they have for music.
While you may bicker constantly, the bond you share with your sibling is one of the closest you will have in your lifetime. Jeffrey Kluger, a former senior editor of TIME Magazine explores this relationship with his book The Sibling Effect. Released in 2011, the book details Jeffrey’s own childhood experiences with his brothers, as well as historical documentation and scientific research to examine this bond, and the immense effect it has on shaping the individual. His extensive studies, combined with his heart-warming and entertaining narratives, encourage us to question our own family bonds, and provide insight into one of the most complex relationships. As a journalist, Kluger is famous for his involvement in a number of books and reports discussing a range of science and technological subjects. Perhaps the most widely known of these is his co-authoring of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, which was the basis for the film Apollo 13. To hear his thoughts on sibling relationships, listen to his TED talk here.
When Jane Birkin first moved to Paris at the age of 20, little did she know that she would soon become muse to one of the country’s most prolific personalities. But on the evening that she shared her first, somewhat clumsy, dance with legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg, after meeting him the set of their film Slogan, they fell madly in love. More than 40 years later – and 20 years after Serge’s death – that love affair still lingers, as Jane continues to share Serge’s legacy through song. Touring the world with a group of Japan’s eminent musicians, Jane and her benevolent spirit will grace the stage of Brisbane Powerhouse on March 19, for an evening of Serge’s greatest works.
The true secret to a good suit lies not in its intricate details, impeccable lining or masterful stitching. Instead, it lies in its tailor’s ability to discover the inherent individual style of the suit’s intended owner – the unique combination of sartorial elements that imbue the owner with an understated confidence, a natural elegance and a feeling that he could wear the suit forever. It is this simple yet crucial understanding that has proven the means of success for 31-year-old tailor Patrick Johnson who, from his Sydney-based atlelier P.Johnson Tailors (he also has an outpost in Melbourne), dedicates himself to discovering the inherent style of all manner of gentlemen.
American-born, Brisbane-based artist and illustrator Renee Treml has discovered she is tougher than she thought. In 2010, she learnt she had breast cancer, and while the temptation was to stay in bed through the taxing chemotherapy treatment, she forced herself to do soul food things, like play with her baby son and develop a manuscript for a children’s picture book. She also used the downtime to experiment with making necklaces and brooches from her delicate scratchboard drawings of birds and bilbies. Now, with a book deal, exhibitions and design markets planned for 2012, Renee is ticking many of her dream boxes and highlighting an urgent environmental message along the way.
Like Rapunzel in her tower, renowned Sydney-based artist and lecturer Mikala Dwyer confesses she is suffering a bout of cabin fever. At the time we speak, Mikala is halfway through a two-week install of her mixed media exhibition, Drawing Down the Moon, on show at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) in Fortitude Valley until April 4. She is dossing in the studio apartment above the IMA and – while she needn’t rely on any prince charming to rescue her – Mikala admits she’s hardly left the building as she obsessively sifts through the truckload of objects freighted to Brisbane from her hometown of Sydney.
Just as cubism pushed the boundaries of perspective on canvas, Photoshop has enabled imaginative folk to challenge the constraints of photography. Using his favourite camera (a Canon EOS 5d Mark II), a few additional lenses and flashes, a home-built PC, a knack for Photoshop and a wild imagination that knows no boundaries, Erik Johannson filters his imagination through his camera and PC to create surrealist photographs. Prodding what is and isn’t accepted by the consciousness, Erik’s seemingly realistic yet fantastical images capture a creative idea rather than a true moment. Erik’s interest in photography stems from a love of drawing, and each image begins with a process of sketching the ideas floating around in his mind. From there a number of photographs are taken and fused together. To delve more into the psyche of this creative, watch his TED talk, Impossible Photography.
Just like the smile plastered on Philippe Petit’s face in 1974, excitement dances in the bright wide eyes of this modern-day high-wire enthusiast. Self-taught filmmaker Seb Montaz captures the wild adventures of his friends tightrope walking between Parisian skyscrapers and jumping off the Norwegian fjords in his beautiful documentary I Believe I Can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies). Growing up in the French Alps, Seb took his childhood passion for winter sports and mountain climbing to the next level, qualifying as mountain guide and ski instructor. Then finding joy in photographing his clients, he strived to perfect his imagery, learning his incredibly vivid and inspiring filmmaking skills from the internet. The adrenaline rush from successfully traversing a flexible nylon line 1000 m above the ground is immeasurable, and it is this incredible achievement of mental and physical endurance – along with moments of fear, doubt, laughter, failure and strength – that he vividly captures in his documentary. Full of heart and character, I Believe I Can Fly connects audiences with Seb’s passionate circle of highlining and baselining pioneers, communicating how to find the strength to live your dreams.
Brisbane-based actor, director and writer Lucas Stibbard has a reputation for being darn funny. In 2011, audiences chortled their way through his smash-hit show, boy girl wall, where Lucas expertly played the roles of 25 characters, sharing the stage with only a sock puppet. The effort earned him a nomination for Best Male Actor in a Play at the 2011 Helpmann Awards, alongside industry heavyweights Geoffrey Rush, Richard Roxburgh and Toby Schmitz. Lucas is no stranger to riding the feast or famine seesaw that is an artist’s life and 2011 brought a banquet of roles, audiences and successes, but it also taught him that ‘balance’ is vital to his wellbeing.
The rhythmic whirl of the printing wheel, the overwhelming smell of fresh ink, the tactile pleasure of running your fingertips over thick, cotton paper. These are all simple pleasures that compose the daily toils of Alischa Herrmann, the graphic designer who left a successful career as a corporate art director to explore her passion for the art of letterpress. Almost five years on since she made the decision to follow her heart rather than her head, her home-based studio Bespoke Letterpress is delighting people worldwide with its menagerie of carefully created paperie. (more…)
Travelling the world on the back of a motorcycle can give you a wealth of thinking time, not to mention a distinct perspective on life. Spending two years intermittently traversing the African continent on two wheels was the impetus for Swedish entrepreneur Mats Wahlstrom to shift his focus in life to the realm of boutique hotels. In 2004, the rugged adventurer recognised an underlying spirit in an abandoned 14th-century palace in Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca. With the deft touch of his entrepreneurial hand, the palace was soon brought to life as the hotel Puro Oasis Urbano, a member of Design Hotels. (more…)
Melbourne-based product designer and maker Tim Fleming designs for the real world and also spends time lampooning design ideas in his imaginary land, Flatland. Tim makes actual limited-edition objects for Flatland on a miniature scale (think palm trees, skulls, crossbones and four-leaf clovers) and recently began tackling large-scale installations such as giant hand mirrors and escalators to nowhere, as well as crafting beautiful furniture. He also illustrates and self-publishes comic zines full of cynical characters and mock advertising that tell people how to live – although, he points out, he doesn’t expect anyone to listen.
Natalie Warne’s philosophy is that no one is too young to change the world. At just 17, she applied to volunteer with Invisible Children after watching a documentary about their efforts to end the abduction of 30,000 children forced to serve as soldiers, and to kill their own communities, in Africa’s longest-running war. Her passion and leadership skills stood out and she went on to lead Invisible Children’s largest project. The Rescue campaign went global on April 15th 2009, with thousands around the world raising their voices for the cause. Sleeping outside for six days, Natalie and her Chicago peace protest gained Oprah Winfrey as a celebrity ‘rescuer’. Natalie is now chasing her dream of becoming a filmmaker in California after also helping to create the documentary Together We Are Free about the global 100-city, 10-country awareness event.
Image via Invisible Children.
The eyes can detect an Andrew Baines work almost immediately and without question; his art has become one of the most recognisable and collectable of Australia’s contemporary artists. Moving to Australia from England in 1963 as a newborn, Andrew and his family settled into Australian life at Grange, just outside of Adelaide. It was the close proximity to the coastline and the subsequent beach culture that ensued, that has served as inspiration in most of Baines work: “the everchanging beach became a metaphor for my life”, he says. Work as a cartoonist for a local newspaper at the age of ten saw Baines receive his first paying commission, before becoming a commercial artist and working for brands such as BP Australia and Grand Prix Australia. In his early thirties, Baines became committed to his creative trade fulltime. Along with his appreciation of the beach, a trip to gloomy London as a teenager serves as inspiration in his most recent work, particularly seeing a group of businessmen, complete with bowler hats, briefcases and canes in the underground. Corporate people contemplating their futures in a goldfish bowl existence, is ever-present within his subject matter.
Inspired to bring a touch of greenery to her otherwise urban abode, Britta Riley began to think laterally. Wanting to be able to grow her own food, but lacking the yard to do it, Britta came up with the idea of using discarded plastic bottles as a means of starting a garden in her apartment. The concept soon grew and, as part of her work as a technologist and artist where she aims to problem-solve for environmental issues using crowdsourced R&D techniques, Britta created the organisation Windowfarms. Using vertical hydroponic platforms to grow food in city windows, Windowfarms have brought an element of self-sustainability to urban dwellers. The concept is constantly being improved upon by an online community known as ‘Windowfarmers’, whose feedback via social media allows the design to be tweaked and researched further accordling.