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My Blog

…the (more than) 7 days just passed – my blog #5
16 September 2013


I’m back – it’s been an incredibly busy few weeks creative, with some wonderful events to attend, a lot of late nights, some great people to meet and a lot of fun to be had! But now it’s time to catch up!


The ‘Bloody Chamber’


Image courtesy of Malthouse Theatre

August started off on a high when we attended the opening night of the ‘Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter at Malthouse Theatre.

A young woman with a  desire for luxury  marries a rich, evil – and very dangerous – man, who leaves her on their wedding night. He offers her instead, temptation – the keys to the castle – so long as she doesn’t enter a secret room …

Angela Carter’s treatment of the legendary story of the sinister Bluebeard and his ‘missing’ wives is playfully erotic, suspenseful and well sustained. With a haunting live score and actress Alison Whyte playing the heroine and the beast in an amazing  performance, The Bloody Chamber is a chilling and stark theatrical event. Brilliant direction by Matthew Lutton.

Alison Whyte was truly outstanding!


Conversation Hour

I co-hosted a very moving, emotional but ultimately optimistic  Conversation Hour with Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne on 7 August.

r1154681_14502728Our first guest was Lynne Panayiotis – a truly inspiring person. She is a former patient and now volunteer peer support worker at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre. Lynne’s life changed in an instant when she was badly injured in a bus crash in Egypt in 2006. She told her story of what happened, and the importance of creative therapy in her recovery, and her new life.

We were also joined by two therapists from the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre.

Dr Jeanette Tamplin is a music therapist, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Music Therapy at Melbourne University. She is an Honorary Fellow at the Austin Health Institute for Breathing and Sleep.

Jeanette talked about her research and the work being done to evaluate the theraputic value of creative therapy. Jeanette helped set up the Stroke-a-Chord choir for stroke survivors with aphasia – people who can sing but not speak.

More information on the choir and their gigs at strokeachord.com and www.facebook.com/strokeachord.

Steven Wells is a horticultural therapist and a clinical nurse specialist at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre. Working with patients, Steve established and maintains the beautiful gardens which provide joy to patients and staff, and outdoor rooms for patients to use for meditation and as a quiet space. He was ABC’s Gardening Australia 2012 Gardener of the Year.

As I have discussed in a previous blog, Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre is doing so much outstanding work using creative therapies including art, music, gardening and woodwork, but they they need our help on an ongoing basis.

To find out more about Creative Therapy at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre

or phone 9490 7230

To donate: 9496 5753 – Austin’s Fundraising Dept – where you can specify that the money is to go to Creative Therapy.

If you missed the program, or would like to listen again – Link 


Lectura Dantis

Image courtesy of L’Istituto Italiano di Cultura Melbourne

Image courtesy of L’Istituto Italiano di Cultura Melbourne

Visited the L’Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Melboourne on 23 August to see see some photography, enjoy readings of Dante’s Inferno and listen to some carefully selected musical interludes.

The photography was the opening of the exhibition Dante’s Inferno by Valentina Vannicola, a young Italian photographer. The exhibition was curated by Lisa Golden. Her images, inspired by Dante’s Inferno, using the residents of her small village outside Roma as subjects, were both powerful and moving.

Dr Adriana Diomedi introduced Lectura Dantis and readings of Cantos III and V in Italian were interspersed by music from Dr David Kram and Ms Naomi Eagar.

It was wonderful to hear the readings in Italian, enjoy some challenging photography, listen to some fine music and enjoy a glass of wine. Like being transported off the streets of Melbourne to Italy!


Transforming Designs


Image courtesy of Robin Boyd Fooundation

Image courtesy of Robin Boyd Fooundation

Organised by the Robin Boyd Foundation, Transforming Designs provided an opportunity to visit six brilliant examples of repurposed and sustainable building design around inner city Melbourne. Each provided an outanding example of how the combination of informed client and innovative architect can create something quite special in repurposing our old building stock – creating incredible residential design without losing the character and historical detail and significance of the building.

A great and rewarding day full of inspiration and ideas for the future.


Melbourne Chamber Orchestra – Brio

Another wonderful program from the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra – Bach, Beethoven and Schubert with pianist Aura Go.

Image courtesy of MCO

Image courtesy of MCO

Brandenburg Concerto No 6 in B flat major, followed by Schubert’s Symphony No.5 in B flat then Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 in C.

Wonderful performance by all.

Really enjoyable afternoon as usual – the MCO just seems to get better and better – Aura Go almost made a complex piece look effortless, playing brilliantly, the orchestra with Michael Dahlenburg was excellent, and William Hennessy was as ever, a quiet but powerful influence.

The audience – as shown by their sustained applause – simply loved it!

Image courtesy of MCO

Image courtesy of MCO

So, one more program this year, then a new exciting season for next year titled Heart Music, which promises to take MCO to new highs.

If you have enjoyed a performance by MCO this year, why not think about supporting Melbourne’s own chamber orchestra next year by subscribing to some or even better, all of the program.

A link to the brochure for the Heart Music 2014 season is here.

It is a difficult time for all arts organisations and they really do need your help.



Polish Visitors

Roz noticed that one of her photographic contacts from flickr was visiting Australia and suggested that we should ask if they would like to meet for a coffee. We have often thought how good it would be to meet some of the many photographers we follow and are are inspired by from Europe and America, but we have not yet had the opportunity. Here was the chance to return the favour in our own country.

Contact was made and arrangements finalised to meet with Jurek – known as Jerzy -Durczak and his wife Joanna at Fed Square in Melbourne.

What a delightful couple – both are professors at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Poland and excellent company – intelligent, witty, so very well read and so interested and curious about other countries and cultures. It was especially interesting and eye opening to see Australia with someone else’s perspective. We really don’t know how lucky we are as a country compared to many other parts of the world.

Image courtesy of Jerzy Durczak

Image courtesy of Jerzy Durczak

Jerzy is a really interesting photograper with a distinct and unique style who has had a number of exhibitions and published a number of books. Follow this link to view his photostream on flickr. He has a dry sense of humour and a wicked eye!

It was a great idea of Roz’ to make contact and a particularly enjoyable day. It highlights how social media can be a connector – linking people across countries and creating relationships based initially on shared interests.

I suspect it will be the start of a strong friendship.


With the Grain

latrobe uni invite

Attended the opening of With the GRAIN: Images of Nathalia, on 14 September at Magic Johnston.  The exhibition was opened by Lindy Allen, a La Trobe alumnus and Acting Director of Regional Arts Australia.

Photography and Photojournalism students from La Trobe University in Bendigo recently completed a documentary project based on photographing Nathalia townsfolk, each subject accompanied by their own choice of a defining personal possession.

The work was jointly supported by LaTrobe University and the inimitable Bill Kelly of the Grain Store Nathalia. A strong piece of photojournalism, and a wonderful addition to the social history of Nathalia.

Australian Photographic Collector’s Society Camera Market

Talked into attending the APCS Camera Market at Box Hll on Sunday 15 September. Amazing collection of camera gear and accessories for sale as you would expect. Huge line of people waiting at the door well before the 9am opening. Like everyone there, I couldn’t completey ignore temptation!

DSCF3552 (1)I think when you start buying old film camera bodies – not necessarily in working order –  to cannibalise for parts for your existing camera collection, I suspect you are well on the way to becoming hooked! Guess I am pretty much there!

Good fun apart from the manners of some of the buyers – it felt more like a Boxing Day department store sale at times!

And yes, I did mange to get some bargains …. I think.

It really has been a full, creative and wonderfully entertaining few weeks – seeing wonderful new art, meeting interesting people and thinking how creative practice/arts really makes such a difference to communities. I haven’t touched on the excellent exhibition at Centre for Contemporary Photography, the enjoyable night – The Italian Kitchen Table at The Way to San Jose, or long lunches at our favorite restaurants Cafe DiStasio –  Italian food & wine, hospitality, design and theatre at its very very best and Il Solito Posto – step off the street straight into a little piece of Italy – friendly knowledgable staff, beautiful food and wine.

so… all for now…



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