Wednesday, 30 May 2012

...on Exposition

G’day Possums,
We recently spent some time manning the Ballarat International Foto Biennale stand at the Digital Photographic Expo at  “Jeff’s Shed” (also known as the Melbourne Conference and Convention Centre).
Hence the “old-bling” shot as a header.

The BIFB Stand with a bit of "Twilight Zone" about it
There also works from the last,(2011) biennale from Carolyn Buckley, Jeff Moorfoot (Director), Zenga Peckham, Eric Algra, Kristin Deimer and myself.  These were things from the ”fringe”. 
What was interesting was how much better they looked in the more neutral setting of a dedicated exhibition space than I recall them looking in their original “fringe” exhibition spaces. Eric agreed with that point and it was something I mentioned in one of my missives on the “fringe”a few entries back  so it will be instructive to see if  we alter our manner of exhibiting or our way of looking in the 2013 Biennale.
Three Graces of BIFB
Many people came though and signed up either as volunteers or to receive info about the 2013 Biennale which was good and with some startling results:
 “Do you know about the Ballarat Biennale?
Woman, “Yes”
Did you attend?
 “No, I was otherwise occupied”
For a full month?
“Yes, my husband had been diagnosed with cancer”.

He’s fine now.

Or Ms Gass from Ballarat who proudly announced that she attended every core and fringe show but one.
“Which one did you miss”?
“The one at the Bean Barn”
“Well, Madam, come this way and you can see it now”. (It was my show)
And it turned out the Ms Gass had seen it ( twice in fact) and had been thinking of Kirrily Bailey’s show which had been “gazumped” by her first venue. (Was seen later at Portico). So this lady made a supreme effort.
As we did a little tour through a fraction of the “fringe” Ms Gass and her companion made some very interesting points as to the time it takes to perambulate 140 shows and opined as to the value of guided tours and regular talks by photographers etc.
Which is one of the reasons why we attended the expo.

Serious Bling

There was plenty of good equipment “bling” on show too, I was particularly taken with the new LED 1000W (equivalent) studio lights made by Pinewood Studios in Britain… and the PhaseOne digital backs on a Horseman were drool-worthy.
Very good expositions and promo stuff; I liked the Nik software demo and the exhibitions were good to see also.
.....more serious Bling

Hmmmm….. a Mamiya 645 w/ 50MP back, a w/a, a standard and tele, a new Mac system to handle it all….hmmmmm certainly not on my present moolah.  Ohhhh well… we can dream….

News:  exhibition coming up; Bean Barn September to October 2012.  Ballet stuff to co-incide with South Street Dance Comps…. More later…..
Nikon Exposition


A $20,000,000 a counting ”error” by management has closed down ¾ of Hastie group with the possible loss of 4000 jobs, Australia wide.
Will Mr Rabbit and his minions pursue this with the same “Henny Penny” obsessiveness they've exhibited with Mr Thomson?
Or are 4000 jobs and corporate bungling insignificant in comparison?

Mr Bowen (Labor) guzumped his leader over temporary work visas for 1700 Chinese…much embarrassment.. made Gina Rinehart laugh for once though.

Joel Fitzgibbon (Labor) leaves meeting  with female staffer looking like she’s dressed in black leather. 
Govt. “Whip” and Madam Lash?

In the Tardis State of Victoria where all goes backwards the Baillieu Liarbrils have slashed $19,000,000 from the most dis-advantaged of schoollies in State Education. Martin Dixon the Minister blithely said, “….parents…often enter into payment plans with their schools to spread the cost.”
“.. often enter into payment plans…”          and does that not suggest that those parents are doing it tough already?
$2,000,000 has already been re-allocated to private schools.

Slasher Baillieu would probably consider himself a Christian but hasn’t heard of his Saviours’ admonishment of  “…suffer the little children….” He’s cutting off free Whooping Cough vaccinations just when the scheme is reaching a critical mass of cocooning all from this awful malady.

Ex Liarbril Premier Jeff “foot-in-mouth” Kennett has been offered a board position at the casino… no conflict of interest with his sinecure at “Beyond Blue” (a depression and suicide prevention organization)  nahhhh…. ‘course not!  Problem gamblers don’t get depressed.

Cheers, Petals.

Monday, 21 May 2012 search of Giselle

Shane in Ballet booties.....
Hello Possums,
Once, leaving a performance of the RSC and Peter Brook’s version of “A Mid- Summer Night's Dream”  I noticed the public on the street looking quite unreal;  ill-dressed,  poorly co-ordinated.  
The reality: A  450 year-old play had been more powerfully relevant and affecting in a theatre.  I remember Puck delivering his epilogue almost sotto voce, to a audience of 2500 with his legs dangling in "the pit"... there was not a sound from the 2500.

Photographing a rehearsal of Giselle recently, similar thoughts struck me. How can a performance (ballet in particular) about young women who die before their wedding day, who come out of their graves and dance until first light, dancing to death any hapless male who crosses their path, have any semblance of veracity or relevance in a contemporary world?

Giselle rehearsal
I think  because Giselle’s  1841 creators followed Noverre’s dictum that libretto, music, choreography and staging all follow the same path. And probably more importantly, Giselle is a work of its time; a ballet which seems to encapsulate the Romantic artist’s notion of a spirit of and in nature, ethereal sentiment and otherworldly less known values that are perhaps based in a earlier animistic European culture. 
Historically then the Wilis are really very frightening. They act without reason. They are a force that cannot be interacted with, only submitted to.
Giselle rehearsal
There were moments during the rehearsal watching the Wilis surrounding Hilarion when you sensed his movements were only prompted by cold vapour rushing past, unseen but inexorable and malevolent.
Giselle rehearsal, Hilarion
Or when the Wilis in arabesque cross the stage in opposite lines, it felt as if a chill mist was slowly enveloping the area; draining all warmth and life away.

Giselle rehearsal, Hilarion
It may be a “Romantic” ballet and seem “pretty-pretty” but it’s really a horror story in the realm of Frankenstein, Dracula or even Alice in Wonderland or Coleridge’s The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and fitting musically with Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony and the art-works of William Blake. 
Giselle, in her wheeling arabesque, translating into movement a descriptive sense of being here and not here and the mental confusion of being not alive but not quite dead....
Poster for performance

In short a bloody good watch and good art.
Wombat Droppings

Ohh Possums, where to start?

Slippery Peter’s accuser, Ashby has withdrawn most of the charges he’s laid except two of sexual harassment. Queried as to why he didn’t seek to resolve his concerns “in-house” through normal channels he said he was too afraid of Slippery Pete and the Govt.
Which presumably, is why the press and opposition sighted his allegations before his accused did. 
Hmmmm ..I think I’ll start calling him Godwin. .....and Mr Whyne, on balance of evidence, a liar.

It strikes me too, that Mr.Rabbit should have been taught at some stage by his mentor Pell,  “…..that he among you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone”.

Senator Heffernan (Liarbril) has been accused of assaulting an (allegedly) bent staffer and calling him a “poofter”. Heffie was in strife a few years back with another seemingly homophobic attack on the then Chief Justice of the High Court, Michael Kirby.
Mr Rabbit doesn’t think it’s a sacking offence…just a distraction thought up by the Labor lot to protect Thomo…

Heffie must be a bit disconcerted as it seems at the moment that eligibility for the Lliarbrils might well be having to be gay….. as well as vicious.

In the State of Tardis
I don’t know what it is in the air on the Peninsular but another State Liarbril down that way is in strife. This time it’s Geoff Shaw, accused of letting his tax-payer funded parliamentary car entitlements to be used for his hardware business on interstate trips.
Member for Frankston says he might have inadvertently let someone have the keys…..duhhh… and also posted embarrassing missives to his wife …too publicly.

What is it with these Liarbrils and their constant bad taste?

“The minister in charge of the state government's so-called ''integrity agenda'' has been caught withholding information from Parliament about his own portfolios.
Documents show Liberal (sic) frontbencher Andrew McIntosh has sat on answers to questions he was meant to provide - sometimes for months after his department briefed him.
The practice appears to be common for the Corrections Minister, who is also in charge of reforms designed to improve transparency and integrity in public office, including Ted Baillieu's long-awaited anti-corruption commission freedom-of-information reforms”.
“………opposition spokeswoman Jill Hennessy accused Mr McIntosh of not meeting the transparency test when it came to his own job. ''Minister McIntosh is the government leader of the house. It is very bad form for him not to be replying to questions on notice from the Parliament. Secondly, he is the minister for public integrity yet these documents demonstrate that he has dithered and delayed on providing information,'' she said.
The documents, which Labor obtained though freedom of information, show Ms Hennessy tried to get Mr McIntosh to answer questions about Victoria's prison system. When he did not provide the answers, she lodged a freedom of information request, only to discover he had been withholding the details. 

An office set up to advise the Premier on climate change policy has had its staff cut nearly in half since Ted Baillieu's election.
The climate change branch within the Department of Premier and Cabinet - responsible for dealing with Canberra over carbon pricing and overseeing the state's climate policies - has had its staff reduced from 14 before the 2010 election to eight, documents show”.     “The Age”

A recent study has found that Australia has the highest number of problem gamblers in the world and that 12% of total Govt. revenue is from gambling.
There are two gaming venues in the Western suburb of Braybrook that has a population of the most disadvantaged in Victoria but also combined revenues of $16,000,000 p.a. from the venues.

38 / 39 applications for more gaming machines are successful, despite local council opposition.

TAFE funding has been slashed to ribbons... the disadvataged will have less options for future work and as private schools are recieving more funding for 1/3 of the schoool population  ...go figure. Teaching staff will be lost, programs cut or diminished.... I did say these Liarbrils lack imagination....what they destroy in five minutes takes twenty years to re-build.   Time to re-define the BOGAN I think.

Professor Kuruvilla George, who was Victoria's deputy chief psychiatrist (former Christian missionary) a member of a doctors group known as “Doctors for the Family” made a submission to Senate inquiry declaring opposition to gay marriage stating that gays had unhealthier children than "straight" parents. He was also on the Equal Opportunity Commission  …go figure… equal what?
Deputy Premier Peter (Ronnie) Ryan (also Police Minister) said he saw no problems with George’s statements as they were only personal statements…. Really, Pete?
Police this week ordered private vehicles to be used as road blocks to stop a speeding driver on a freeway. Crash happened, many cars damaged. Fortunately no injuries to public (one man who's car was hit was in it with partner and children)… go figure what sort of mind-set had occasioned that little piece of tactical brilliance… perhaps the same sort as a Police Minister who seems not to know the difference between public office and private views.

Cheers, Petals

Friday, 11 May 2012


G’day Possums,
Time for celebrations…. 
The Wombat’s No:1 daughter has arrived home after another year in France and a surprise gathering was organised for her close friends by daughter No:2 and one of the friends. Unbeknown to daughter No:2: she had been deliberately misinformed as to the correct time of No:1's arrival and was thus and duly happily surprised herself.

So the surprise was completed at Collingwoodworld    ta’s to  Layla for helping organise things.

  Second celebration was daughters No:1 tale that Wilde’s tomb at Pere Lachaise had not only been cleaned up but also protected from his “admirers”. I was quite appalled at its condition and the mentality behind the state of this stele when we saw it last year. 

I found this recent sample of the new “look” at

The sculpture is made from Hoptonwood stone, a good architectural limestone that fairly well can absorb oils, inks and vegetation stains.   If you examine the image of the surface of the newly cleaned sculpture you will see that the “love-damage” is still apparent.
Each time this type of stone is cleaned the detail is abraded away, ultimately till nought is left.
I can more readily understand the raison d’etre of the Taliban dynamiting the ancient Buddhas in Afghanistan than I can the slow destruction of a memorial by you, of someone you allegedly like and admire.  Perhaps it’s a childishly plaintive cry in seeking identity or recognition?


Mr Rabbit gave his reply to the federal budget...... fizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......

He was defended by one Right Winger (“Boris” Kroger, power maker with a sweet tooth [whose "ex" btw has just been dumped from the Federal No1 place on the Senate ticket] ) as “…a Rhodes Scholar in economics..” to which a talk-back caller quipped,  “You mean roads, dontcha?” (Mr Rabbit is a keen cyclist). Jon Faine ABC.774
Same RW is also in a spat with a former colleague Peter Costello, but said Costello was “Aus’s greatest treasurer..) Uuuumm…. I know he spent like fury before every election and funded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the tune of $20 billion whilst refusing to acknowledge infrastructure, educational, medical, environment and development needs.
Allegedly a poll of business types when he first got the job suggested they thought him an idiot.
Costello’s timing (as noted in a prior post) of this latest infantile dummy spit is……. superb! Virtually wiped Mr Rabbit’s reply speech away…. Which is probably a good thing as he fired shots that were blanks.
(Another talk-back quip, “We need an Abbott and Costello in parliament!”)
Costello's seen walking from a plotting session with Kelly O Dwyer…..I want to know who was giving Bitchy lessons to whom?
Mr Rabbit says he wants Aussie kids to have better foreign language skills, whilst saying he’ll vote down a Labor budget initiative, “School Kids” bonus. Perhaps he’ll have a chat with Mr Kennett ( ex Liarbril premier, Victoria) and see where all the language teachers went after they were made redundant some 12 years ago?
Mr Rabbit also wants to abolish the mining tax  “ … will make Australia a better place to invest and let the world know that we don’t punish success”.
Hmmmmm… “….a better place to invest…”  Invest in?  or Invade? 
Hope I quoted a “typo”.
So, the world’s richest woman along with the biggest Queensland miner (6 billion-dollar-man) need tax breaks?
Mr Rabbit thinks that the Labor budget was… “…an ignoble piece of work ….. that will offend the intelligence of the Australian people”.
I rather think that the Liarbril Party is by design offensive; that their pre-selections catfights are the really ignoble things in the best of middle class, aspirational bad taste and that they seem conflicted as to their own meagre policy positions.

In the Tardis STATE of Victoria where everything goes backward, the Minister for Anti Corruption Andrew McIntosh….. looks, in a meeting, like he really shouldn’t be there ‘cause he’s really not interested and why should you be …oohhh this is boring….  But thinks the new guidelines for anti-corruption are fantastic.
Law Council and opposition  think they are Byzantine and designed to obfuscate!
He is also “unavailable” to discuss this matter with the redoubtable and attractive Josie Taylor on ABC “Victoria”.
Hello Mr Baillieu.
Poor Ms Josie T. then gets to interview the Baillieu appointed Governor of the Tardis State…….
Daughter No:1 could have opined … “at least Sarkozy had panache…” Mrs Wombat begins to snore…
so I’ll leave you Possums with these quotes from “The Age”…..
 “Mr Chernov replaces a man not afraid to speak out. Professor de Kretser used his own migrant experience to criticise the Howard government's citizenship test, and passionately warned of the consequences of climate change”.
 “But it is clear Mr Chernov will not be an activist. Asked if there were issues he would pursue, Mr Chernov said: ''I'll leave those things to the Premier. He decides the issues.''

And because we're talking of dead things….. another  image from Pere Lachaise......

 and one from the beautiful Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay

cheers Petals,

Friday, 4 May 2012 a circle

G’day Possums,
T’other day I was sorting through some images from the French trip and came across a church the name of which I had no record of. It was a stop on our way from one Gite in Vernueil Moustiers  to another in La Charite-sur-Loire.

We had, after leaving V. Moustiers early, stopped off at the Priory at Orsan; a place discovered very early in the researching of the trip and looking well worth a visit. The church in question was photographed some twenty five minutes after leaving Orsan so I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to locate by checking through all the Eglises noted in the Michelin map book that could be approximately 25 minutes away from Orsan to the East and North East and google-mapping the villages.

Well Petals…. A day later I finally found it. It was South East at Le Chatelet!
Puy Ferrand, Le Chatelet.
A  beautiful C12th church, unfortunately closed, so no interior shots but wonderfully persevered detail in the decorative carvings.
Mrs Wombat sensibly had kept a diary of events  (I didn’t…… dumbo…) and some looking through that for clues had me thinking “Well, this time last year we were in….”
Images of which are now being presented here…….. a year late!

Below are some pics from the Priory at Orsan  a place with 800 years of history and the gardens being re-developed in the Medieval manner...a lovely place. And if you're very well off, can eat and stay there...

 and around this day (May 4-5) we were here in Gaillac and Moissac

Moissac Cloister and Jeremiah winding his sinuous way around the portal of St Pierre. Magical works. Even Mrs Wombat was impressed... 

St Michels, Gaillac. Dark, dank, severe and fascinating
Musse de Beaux Arts, Garden, Gaillac
A delightful gallery in a chateau which featured the works of a father and son team of painters (local) which was very interesting and a most helpful chap who was the sole attendent


Clive Palmer says he is going to run for a seat in Federal Parliament… what does six-billion-dollar-man want with parliament? 
Why, his own way of course.
He said he would look after the Australian people… which is why he’s contracted the Chinese to build his replica of the Titanic.

Christopher Pyne ( Liabril whiner) had a 2 hour drinky-poo’s with the gay staffer who is accusing Slippery Peter of sexual harassment; a month before the allegations were made… hmmm shades of Godwin Grech?

Peter Reith has been popping up more frequently of late: Liarbrils must think they are an absolute shoo-in for the next election if that disgraced and discredited has-been can get an outing on Q and A;  He was a panellist with Sophie Mirabella.

“In 2007, Ms Mirabella earned the dubious honour of being one of only a handful of government MPs to be kicked out of the House of Representatives when the Liberal government was still in power. 
She continually interjected a Labor MP who raised concerns about a $15,000 donation given to her support group by British American Tobacco. 
The member for Indi stayed out of trouble for four years, before making headlines in March by calling Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan a “bag-man”. 
Since then there have been a flurry of indiscretions. 
Ms Mirabella has been booted out of the chamber five times in 36 parliamentary sitting days — twice in March, once in July and twice this month”.
Quoted from The Border Mail
Another in-ya-face Pit-Bull of a Liarbril is Kelly O Dwyer… why are the women in this party so rudely aggressive and offensive? 
Does it say something about the political party they are members of or is it that they just lack all grace?
I think I’m close to re-defining what a real Bogan is.
The sense of crisis the Liabrils are generating is taking it’s toll of the government and Labor will probably be wiped out at the next election; but funny thing is, they are actually governing pretty well… policy settings have maintained a stable economy and they haven’t been radical in their affairs. Except for asking the Miners to pay taxes…. The mud that’s been thrown is sticking and this boorish electorate is being taken in by Mr Rabbit’s spin. 
He will take them for a ride they wont forget in a hurry.
On the Victorian Front … Baillieu slashes public service jobs and TAFE funding but builds more prisons … that should help us all! 
At least his Minister, Peter Hall said it was a shit policy decision… and fines have been upped by 12%… there have been calls for civil disobedience …. by not breaking the law! And he's upped parliamentarians "super" by 25%... (tings are tuff...)

Cheers petals…..