Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Changing faces...

At the moment this blog looks pretty plain and boring. If you have any images, illustrations or animations that you'd like to see as the header please let us know! I'd love to see the face of this blog constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, if you have any artwork that could be used as a header or background please email it to me. The header needs to be 660 pixels wide and include the heading text. If you do not have the tools to do this, I am happy to reformat images for you.

Also, if you know of any interesting sites, artists, groups or organisations it would be great to add links to them. I can add any links to the navigation panels (I'm not sure if everyone has editing control - let me know).

Cheers, and looking forward to hearing from you all!


Monday, March 24, 2008

Do Things Change? If so, are we changing?

Adelaide's been the place I call home now for over 11 years. My family moved here in 1997 because my parents wanted to give my brother, Max and I a chance for a better education. In 1997 my brother started Year 8 at Morialta High School and I went into Year 5 at Marryatville Primary School. This was a huge adjustment for my brother and I. I remember being so upset that my parents had dragged me away from the life I knew in Whyalla and from all my best friends. At nine years old I substituted this loneliness with the infatuation over the idea of having a puppy, continually pestering my parents, "I want a puppy!"

That wish was granted to me on the evening my mother and her walking buddy, Anne, returned with dog in toe. Coffee, the overly enthusiastic Jack Russell, that was named so after leaping onto my mum's lap mid-coffee-flow at Cafe Bravo. Coffee had immediately made himself a part of the family, making another one of his leaps he jumped onto my face (while I was sleeping) and licked my nose. Roused from my slumber, I exclaimed in glee, "Mummy! You got me a puppy!" Though this wasn't quite the full story as Coffee was an escapee pup from the local suburbs and had rather taken to the idea of Mum and Anne as being its owner, following them both all the way home. Of course the next day we had to return Coffee to his rightful possessors and I had to let go of the notion that Coffee was my puppy. But this story isn't about Coffee, it's about change, and it's about my home, Adelaide. 

Adelaide is known as the town of churches, a sleepy town and "The Festival State", as is printed on South Australian car number plates. Whenever I ask anyone who has backpacked around Australia, "So what did you think of Adelaide?" They're usual response has been something along the lines of, "It was boring." This is usually followed with things like, "I much prefer Sydney's nightlife and Melbourne's shopping" and so on and so forth. And yet looking around me today, March 2nd, 2008, I think Adelaide has alot more to show for itself and it's certainly doing so in this year's 2008 Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts. The Visual Arts Program is a collaboration between sister galleries around Adelaide and the Festival. The Artists' Week had already proved to retain a kicking diversity of sorts, bringing together in proud superiority a range of perspectives in the artistic realm. Artist talks, masterclass', group discussions, artist floor talks, journal launches, forums and gallery tours have built the framework for a productive and engaged week of thinking, talking, questioning and discovering more about contemporary art from Australia and all over the world. This opportunity has been grabbed by Adelaide's art enthusiasts with an encouraging rigourousness.  

I know, coming from the country originally, where your photo was published in the local paper simple for rocking-up to your brother's cricket match, that there is an undercurrent of social reform in Adelaide communities. We Adelaidians are very much stuck in a state of armed 'clickness'. By clickiness I mean the action of being so tightly knit that one individual, or a social network, or even an entire society becomes exclusive from all others. You may argue that this could not be the case because Australia is a multicultural nation, therefore how could we object to welcoming others? But I would say to you then that even with such diversity Adelaide social circles cling to their select groups. Whether that be a cultural group, sexual preference, a religious denomination, a sports team, workplace relation or any kind of 'click' imaginable. The thing is that we've all been guilty of excluded others because of this or that, and what for? To protect our 'click' from breakage because if the unspoken boundaries start to weaken who knows what could happen! Hell, next you might be welcoming a homeless person to the movies or inviting an international student to the pub with you and your mates. What preposterousness that would be. 

Adelaide seems to lack the desire to share its blossoming culture with the rest of the world. Well, at least that was the case before the Festival of Arts geared into action at the start of March 2008. Adelaide is now the place to be! Not only because of the delicious delights of renown artists', curators, writers and collectors gathering in Adelaide to share their talents with us during Festival time. But also the Adelaide Fringe Festival opened on Friday 28th of February, filling the City's Rundle Street and East Terrace with approximately 40,000 members of the public on opening night. Attracting both fifteen year old, straighten hair, tight jeaned, Hungry Jacks hanger, to the loud mob of drunken, petrol-head, Clipsal goer. That's right, Clipsal 500 cranked up a 'pumped up' and perhaps 'drugged up' audience of 291,400 this year between 21st-24th of February. In addition WOMADelaide, a three day world music concert swung into style March 7th-9th in the Adelaide Botanic Park.

Adelaide is currently buzzing with a spirit of curiosity, marvel and celebration. Setting us apart and cracking open our usual high brow reform, causing inquisition and humouring our better nature. Pushing us to get involved in making Adelaide come to life with art. Julianna Pierce, the Visual Arts Consultant and Curator of Artists' Week says that this year's program, "aims to leave a legacy in South Australia and nationally..." Woo there Julianna, nationally? Do you mean to say that our little Adelaide can make national acclaim? Well I suppose if Julianna thinks we can, we must. She goes on to say, "...where professional opportunities are created, knowledge and experience is shared and networks and friendships are formed" (Pierce, 2008: p.1).

Being the youngest student chosen to take part in the Critics' Masterclass for Young and Emerging Writers I feel I have a lot to live up to as my peers have had more life experience. For me, the most exciting occurrence was the opportunity to meet these talented individuals and build communication between young writers in Adelaide. I think we might just start a revolution...

Pierce .J., 2008, Visual Arts Program, Adelaide.
www.clipsal500.com.au, 2008, Media Release, Adelaide.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Response to Address by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan

I really liked Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan's Address at the 2008 Adelaide Biennale. This is not so much of a traditional review, but rather an attempt to capture sense of the work. Hope you enjoy it.

Piles. Tower.
Boxes. Stuff.
Room. Doorway.
Clothes. Books.
Sheets. Blankets.
Maxtor Basics
personal Storage.
Toshiba CD/DVD
Player. Reader’s
Huckleberry Finn.
The Way.
American Pie.
Spice World The
Movie. All Saints.
Jenny Craig’s 28
Moments. Isolated
moment. Making
Life Better –
Brisbane City
Church. Better Life?
CDs. Scottish Artists
Vol 1. Matchbox 20.
My Documents.
Kan-Tong. So Much.
How much?
750 pieces.

Shadow Theatres
& Shadow Films.
Sugar. Little Women.
Harpic. Foaming Blue
Block Twins. Raving.
Ace Ventura Pet
Detective. REM –
Everybody Hurts.
Bottle. Fake flower.
Authentic. Real.
Here. CD Player.
Tin. Grandmother.
Bike helmet. Printer.
Clothes. Again.
Xmas tree.
Bookmarked book.
Wrapped box.
Secrets. Stuffed
toy bat. Gears. PC
Keyboard. Make
it work. Empty fruit
container. Empty
Room. Multicoloured
drinking straws.

Miniature Chinese cabinet.

139 Boxes. The smell.
Christmas decorations.
Fruit Juices. Gremlins 2.
Black & Decker.
Encyclopaedia of
the World and its
People. Teddy bear
jigsaw. Videos. The
Animated Tales of Hans
Christian Anderson.
Children, but no
children. 6 coasters.
Books. Marry In Taste.
In The Long Dark.
Where Love Has
Gone. Family Circle.
Pledge – Duster Refill.
Knitted mermaid.
Dolly Fiction – What’s
Wrong With Anna?
Overwhelmed. 30 Days
to a more incredible
you! Action-man trapped
in a plastic bucket.
Treasury of Poems.
Tartan. Introduction to
Sociology. Quiet.
Being & Doing. A
Taste worth finding.
Go Maths! Helen’s.
Harry Potter and the
Philosopher’s Stone.
What Katy Did. Boys
On The Side. 500
piece Puzzle.
Australian Tax
Handbook 2007.
Handle With Care
Store in a cool dry
place. Telefunkin.
Funky. Sharp.
Sliced Pineapple.
The Riddle of the
Rivers. Mallee Root?
Classic Dustbuster.
Not new and
improved. The World
& Australia. Separate.
Together. Elite. The
Fever Peaks. Enough?
Fame Puzzles.
Maggie. Sweet Valley
Twins. The Twelve
Million Dollar Note.
Dealing With Difficult
People. Brad Pitt –
Hollywood Hunk.
90210. Men in Black.

Me... Menzies.
Australian and
International Fine Art.

Good art.
A World of Dreams,
Friendship, Fun,
Laughter and more!

Challenging the Men.
Asia through Asian eyes.

H’ITS Awesome ’86!
Diego’s Tennis Ball.
Trafalgor First Aid
Kit. Ultra lite. Baileys.
Family. White Pages.
People everywhere.
Brisbane Injury
Lawyers. Clothes.
Annie Proulx. Mad
Jake. Robinson Crusoe.
Busy days. The Psychic
Circle. Esky. Garlic &
Parsley Mini-Baguettes.
Mmm, Food. Comforting.
Clifford, My Best Friend.
Shenzo’s Electric
Stunt Orchestra!

Fat Burner. New Body.
Australia & World War
One. People from
everywhere. Seas of
Land. Prisoners &
Gaolers. Solid Room.
Built from Memory.
Family. Soothing
smell. It’s all junk.
Nothing. And
Everything. The
Whole World.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Well, it was bound to happen. When writers get together one of two things could result:

1. Everybody gets overrun by egoism and indulgence, and nobody gets anywhere.

2. Something spectacular happens on a truly grand scale.

Although this blog is but a humble beginning I have little doubt that it can be pruned by skilled hands to flourish into something fruitful. I hope that this can be a place of inspiration, exchange, and community - a feeding and breeding ground for creativity and exploration. Or, at the very least, a common ground from whence to test the lingual waters before diving into the publishing pool.

What more can I say but to forth, Adelaide writers, and expose the arteries of Adelaide culture and the beating pulse of the arts!