Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nominal determinsim stripes again

Art of education

"The range of educational programs the Art Gallery of NSW offers provides a substantial educational role, which it seems the universities are not (''Universities are letting Australian art down'', March 24.)

The Art Gallery Society of NSW is in its second year of presenting a 33-lecture art historical course, Art and Australia., There are two lectures on each subject, which includes indigenous art.

The Thursday lunchtime lectures are sold out and the Wednesday evening ones well-subscribed. The lectures are given by gallery curators and, interestingly, academics from local and interstate universities. With the added bonus of being able to see the originals on its walls."

Craig Brush Executive director, Art Gallery Society of NSW, Sydney
accessed Sunday 27 March 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It wasn't me. No one saw me do it. I wasn't there. You can't prove a thing.

Universities are letting Australian art down

Nicky McWilliam
March 24, 2011
"I recently advertised on an arts industry website for a part-time assistant for a commercial gallery in Sydney. There were more than 80 applicants, and all were either graduates of, or students attending, tertiary art schools. At interviews, there were works on the gallery walls by significant Australian artists including John Coburn, Gary Shead, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Brett Whiteley and Grace Cossington Smith. Only a handful of interviewees could identify any of the artists or works. Interviewees showed little knowledge of or interest in Australian art and art history; most said their courses offered Australian art only as an adjunct or secondary field of knowledge.

I discussed my concerns with an art history student, Vi Girgis, and we began to investigate: is there a new generation of graduates in the arts who have little understanding of and appreciation for Australian cultural and artistic heritage? If so, why?..

This lack of interest is not a new phenomenon, but a dysfunctional cultural cringe trumpeting the superiority of European-American art over Australian. The variety, depth and high standards of art practices are a strong foundation for not only the successful practice of art making and theorising, but also a deep appreciation for the art, culture and heritage of this country. It is incomprehensible that this is not a fundamental focus of universities teaching art history.

Elizabeth Grierson, head of the school of art at RMIT University, has suggested a new way of looking at art institutions that would turn the focus away from the northern hemisphere. An art school, she says, should operate ''as a knowledge-generating site with a role and responsibility to the community of which it is a part. As such it contributes to, shapes and reflects the cultural and historical values of a given community.''

Australian culture deeply appreciates the history and participants of sport, entertainment, fashion and gastronomy. It is time for tertiary institutions to promote critical appraisal of Australian art and its participants by making Australian art mandatory knowledge for students of art theory.

Nicky McWilliam is a lawyer and fine arts graduate who is a director of her late mother's gallery, Eva Breuer Art Dealer."

accessed Saturday 26 March 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bike Marrickville's ride of the year

Chocolate  and fine food  Ride

Eat your way around the backstreets of Marrickville on an almost  calorie-neutral bike tour of chocolatiers, gelato manufacturers, specialty shops and patisserie and confectionary wholesalers you never knew existed.

On Saturday 9 April Bike Marrickville is leading its famous Chocolate and  Fine Food Ride to encourage shopping locally and sustainable transport.

Refuelling stops at TIM Products, Casa Del Gelato, Georgiou's  Confectionery,  Adora Chocolates and more.

Meet 8:45 for a 9am start at Petersham Station (southern side, outside RSL  club).  Finish back in Petersham at 12:30.  An EASY ride (mostly 10  minutes  riding then 10 minutes eating...) suitable for all.

See: PushOn Rides Calendar to confirm details.

Friday, March 11, 2011



At Sydney Town Hall this week, Sydney Theatre Company Artistic
Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton pointed to Sydney's
world-class venues and performers, and explored what we need to do to
promote our cultural strengths and strengthen our cultural vitality.

Our latest CityTalk focused on the links between action on global
warming and Sydney's cultural life, particularly the Sydney Theatre
Company's 'Greening the Wharf' project, which is creating a unique
green cultural precinct at Walsh Bay.

In this era of climate change, the creative impulse must be our
greatest ally. As we map out the challenge confronting us, creative
minds will suggest solutions, imagine new ways of doing things and
offer alternatives. Creativity can help us secure a sustainable future
and it is no surprise that our creative communities are among the
first in finding new green solutions.

Cate and Andrew told a packed audience that Walsh Bay had the
potential to be the world's first green arts precinct. The Sydney
Theatre Company has installed the nation's second largest roof-top
solar energy system so that Pier 4/5 now gets most of its energy from
renewable sources. A rainwater harvesting system is being installed to
provide all of the building's non-potable water.

It was a provocative presentation, based on the optimistic premise
that Sydney has an exciting, unique and distinctive cultural offering,
with many of the basic building blocks in place, but an enduring
failure to celebrate and effectively develop our achievements.

Cate and Andrew, strongly supported by the audience, repeatedly
stressed that for Walsh Bay to deliver on its potential, it needs
improved transport, revitalised nooks and crannies, and more
opportunities for people to linger and soak up the atmosphere.

At an earlier CityTalk in 2007, Belvoir Street Theatre Director Neil
Armfield spoke about the need to maintain the "seedbeds" of
culture-places where artists and performers are nurtured. Authentic
culture must grow organically, but there is much we can do to
fertilise and stimulate that growth.

Neil described opportunities provided to young musos and visual
artists by the Melbourne small bar scene.  It was then I resolved to
move a private members bill to introduce small bars into NSW licensing
laws and we now have 36 small bars providing new options at in Sydney
at night.

I have worked to expand affordable working space for artists, so that
Sydney's high costs don't force artists out of the inner city. Council
encouraged Frasers to develop the Kensington Street studios on the
former CUB site and has established other artists' studios in a former
Council depot at Woolloomooloo-with more ideas being developed.

Promoting creativity and innovation, Council has also recently funded
the Sydney Film Festival for a further three years; the 10th
anniversary of information technology trade event Cebit Australia; the
Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival; and the Sydney season of the
musical Mary Poppins.

Since its modest beginnings in 1954, the Sydney Film Festival has
grown to be one of the world's most respected film festivals and a
major fixture during Sydney's winter months. In recent years the
Festival has responded to the City's request that it increase access
for people on low incomes and it now hosts a community screening
during the Festival each year.

Council's support of the Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival is largely
value-in-kind, including use of Sydney Town Hall. The Festival helps
promote Sydney as a major fashion centre and its use of Town Hall
helps promote the venue for major events. The 2011 Fashion Festival
includes over 50 satellite events across the city and in our

The City's in-kind support for Mary Poppins reflects our wider
strategy to attract major premieres to Sydney, which recently secured
the premiere season of Dr Zhivago and the Australian premiere of
Legally Blonde in 2012. Such shows can draw more than 2,500 extra
visitors to Sydney every week, spending money in our restaurants,
cafes, shops, hotels and visiting our other attractions.

Around 35,000 interstate and international visitors will attend the
Cebit trade event from 27 May to 2 June, providing significant
economic benefits. The City will provide sponsorship of $20,000 for
the event, which includes a one day Sustainability Industry Conference
in Sydney Town Hall.

* Video of City Talk presentations and panel discussions available
for download at:
* Officers' Reports on the Sydney Film Festival and Cebit Australia:
* Officers' Reports on the Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival and Mary

Monday, March 7, 2011

...and if a few people get their tits out....


Cyclists try the wedding tackle to score their point

Gordon Farrer
March 22, 2010

"...It's sort of an all-encompassing green, hippie, sun-loving attitude," said event organiser Heidi Hill.

Ms Hill said that in recent years the main message of the event has been taken over by "biketivists" — cycling activists — whose aim is to raise awareness about the dangers of cycling. As the message on one rider's back read: "Now you can bloody see us."

Cycling slogans dominated but a smattering spoke to different causes: "Fit not fat", "Burn fat, not oil" and the slightly puzzling "Wear wool. Wool real green".

After getting their gear off in Brunswick lane, the riders headed down Lygon Street, hit Parliament House, then swung around St Patrick's Cathedral and St Vincent's Hospital before heading back to Brunswick.

"A lot of it is about joy and fun and the sheer hystericalness of riding around naked," said Ms Hill."

accessed Monday 7 March 2011

Have just had the pleasure of watching again the documentary 'Naked Painted People' about Sydney's now defunct Sydney Body Art Ride. Spent yesterday working with SBAR's driving force Jake Lloyd Jones creating a collaborative artwork will be installed by myself and Jake at INDEX, St Peters, in the 'Collisions' group show, opening 12 March. 

'Collisions' and ARTcycle tours are part of Art Month Sydney. 

INDEX for details.

Zen and the Art of Bicycle Riding

(Taken from the May/June 1989 Utne Reader, which took this from Shawn Gosieski, New Cyclist, Fall 1988.)

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying the sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the first student, "You are a smart boy! When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over like I do."

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path!" The teacher commended the second student, "Your eyes are open, and you see the world."

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all sentient beings." The teacher was pleased, and said to the fourth student, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, "I am your student!"