Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Newspeak of Advance Australia Fair

 Shane Wombat and Time
Shane and the Times

G'day Possums...

A few more shots from the most recent shoot…
Mariel and Stephanie
Mariel and Stephanie

Olivia and Alex
Olivia and Alex

Emma S
Emma S

Shot at  Ballet Theatre of Australia...

Wombat Droppings or the Low-down on Oz Politics

Scott “The Drone” Morrison the first non-immigration minister in Oz history has sought to clarify the humanitarian nature of his fellow Liarbril rabble by ordering public servants to refer to asylum seekers as “illegals” and as “detainees” rather than clients.
This Orwellian Newspeak also has practical form in that a single case-worker can now decide the refugee status of any one arriving by boat and on finding them refugees only give them a Temporary Protection Visa which allows no prospect of permanent settlement. Those judged to have no refugee claim would be deported or detained and stripped of appeal rights.
His Newspeak appeals to the Aspirational Bogans of limited imagination who voted for this rabble and who see “Tough-on-Boat-People” rants as indicating strength of purpose and a fitting national identity.

Advance Australia Fair

Prime Miniature “Rabbott” with consistent honesty in “Trust Us” mode has featured as the driver of a fire vehicle during the NSW bushfires. Unfortunately, like his fraudulent claims on the taxpayer purse these pics are not what they seem. They were taken back in January!
His honesty is on a par with the seriousness with which he takes Climate Change.
It’s crap!

Advance Australia Fair

Non-Environment Minister, Greg “Ozone-Hole” Hunt can’t explain how their revocation of the Carbon Price Mechanism is going to work for business and can only say when questioned about the looming confusion,  “Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves”.
What a prat!
The longer we see of this rabble allegedly in charge of the country, the more you realise that they not only really haven’t a clue what they are doing but have little idea of the consequences of their actions on the country as a whole.

Advance Australia Fair

As Nicola Roxon (Labor) said in her John Button Lecture: “We can want power, but we have to want it for a purpose. So we have to know how to use that power well, and to full effect.

Exactly the opposite of how the Liarbrils operate. Power is for its own sake.

Advance Australia Fair

L W Britt
L W Britt

Here in the “Tardis State” (Where-all-goes-Backward), in a  cynical effort to engender harmony in the workplace, school Principals have effectively been ordered to make sure that 30% of staff in State Schools do not get salary increases. This is happening as Pretend Premier Dennis (Inutilus Rusticus) Naptime wants “Professionals” to take up teaching… and his Federal counterparts led by the “Head-Prefect” Chris “The Whyne” Pyne are planning to privatise at least 30% of State Schools.
You really have to ask yourself, when you see what they are contemplating:  Why do the Liarbrils seem to hate this country so much? 
I think it's because they actually do lack real humanity and genuine imagination.

Cheers Petals, Advance Australia Fair



Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Death of Photography 2 and Ten Anachronisms of Aspirational Bogans


Shane w/ cameras
Shane w/ cameras

Is photography dead?

No, not really. It’s just been swamped by Bogans with ‘phones and other gear.

As Juilee Pryor said in her piece in the last blog that “… the savage swiftness of this phenomenon (I-Phones, Instagram, filters etc) set in place a mild but tenacious depression…….”  and that ….. “I was feeling redundant and all those years of dedicated work and accumulated skill in the art, craft and science of my photography was reduced to pretty much nothing.
That may be true but I don’t doubt that the photographers who attended Clarke Field with their Graflexes the evening the Hindenburg tragically caught fire would have eschewed the capacities of the modern digital camera to properly expose and store not only still images but also video simultaneously.
Much as the advent of the 35mm camera with its portability and discrete size assisted the development of photojournalism and the picture magazine, the I-phone’s proliferation means that all who hold it can record a scene as it happens and upload it to the world. Making all who hold it a potential journalist. 

LG in Red
LG in Red

The Chicago Sun-Times has just sacked all 28 of its photographers.
The journalists are the ones, with I phones, who will make the picture content.


But in this turn of the wheel there is a catch. There may be some who may take the time to consider what they are photographing and eventually will work out that the image making process is different from the reporting and writing process.
The commonness of images and image making equipment has led to a lowering of visual aesthetic expectation: apart from there being too much to see and not enough time to see it, it has also lowered the value of the talent and time spent making an image which resonates.
When everything that “looks” OK will do and it is very much a case of, “I did this therefore this is good or good enough. And who are you to criticise anyway? ”  


Some of these types even pretend to “Teach” photography, too!
Tennis Australia is currently offering photographers the “opportunity” to use their own expensive DSLR’s, Tele lenses, software, computer, organisational and production skills for nothing except the possibility of on-line publication.
And the warm inner glow of photographing sweaty athletes.
I was recently “offered” the opportunity to spend hundreds of dollars advertising in a mag that basically is the showcase for someone else’s photography!
There is probably still the same number of “practitioners” of real skill as there used to be but as I said, the Bogans and the technology swamp them. The ubiquity of the technology has not only multiplied the numbers of images it has allowed the adding of another category to the craft, the “selfie”. Which is radically different from a portrait or self-portrait.
The latter subject titles imply on one hand a considered approach more like a painters’ seriousness of intent in “capturing” a likeness or allegorical meaning; The “Selfie” on the other is more bound up in the narcissism of self-promotion and the constant exploitation of physical personality.
Works like those of Gillian Wearing, Cindy Sherman, Arnulf Rainer and Lukas Samaras are the opposite of the vapid and aesthetically inconsequential “selfie” plastered over the web and even though some might hold a candle for and rank the works of Hester Scheurwater as “Art”, I still think 0x0 = 0
Photography’s not dead but is quite sick.

Wombat Droppings or The Low-down on Oz Politics

Anachronism 1  “Rabbott” wants Labor to repent on its sinful Carbon Price Legislation and in attempting to address climate change. 

Anachronism 2  “Rabbott” hasn’t repented for vilifying Slippery Pete or being bent himself.

Anachronism 3  “Rabbott” hasn’t visited the Aborigines he said he would in his first week in power. He should repent.

Anachronism 4  “Rabbott” said he would stop the boats.  The boats keep coming. Repent, again.

Anachronism 5  “Rabbott” has impressed ones, Barbara Speed and Olivia Hallo. Big Deal! 

Anachronism 6  “Rabbott” has an Attorney General whose ego is as big as his rorted library.

He’s a Far Norther… he’ll never repent. 

Anachronism 7  “Rabbott” sees no conflict of interest in the Pacific Trade Deal, his “Pollie Pedal” Sponsors and the PBS.

Anachronism 8  “Rabbott” sees as much value in “Scientific Whaling” as he does in grazing cattle in National Parks as a conservation method. 

Pity ‘bout the introduced weeds in the merde. 

Whose merde? We haven’t discovered.

Anachronism 9  Journalism and Andrew Bolt

Anachronism10   Fiscal rectitude and the Liarbril Party brand of Loyalty.

Anachronism10a Geoff "Fiddles" Shaw and good behaviour.

Cheers Petals,


The Australian Index

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

To Swill the Trough and see the Death of Photography

Shane Wombat and Cameras
Shane Wombat and Cameras
 G'day Possums...
quite a bit of stuff today so there's plenty of variety ....
We did a shoot recently intended for a calendar and here are three of the shots

Alex Mcdonald Lawrence Winder ballet shots
Alex McDonald

   Tamra and Gus.... Lawrence Winder Ballet Shots
 Tamra and Gus

Chloe P ... Lawrence  Winder ballet Shots
Chloe P 
...and recently, quite fortuitously came back into contact with Juilee Pryor whom I had first met at BIFB 2009.
In  conversation Juilee was telling me about her most recent project which I thought would be a good one to share here.

A few thoughts on the Death of Photography …

I first come into contact with film photography nearly 30 years ago when my father took it up as a hobby when I was a teenager. He would get me to sit as a model for his local photo group and have me to come and help him on weekend trips to shoot in the hills around our home. It wasn’t however until I started at Art School a few years later though that I first experienced the magic of the darkroom. I was immediately seduced by the alchemy of watching and waiting for the print to emerge from the chemical bath and it quickly became one the main tools for my artistic expression. This generational passion has never waned and I have created and shown my photographic artworks locally, nationally and internationally with works in Museums and private collections and they have been published various publications over this time. I have always had my own darkroom as part of my studio and worked from time to time as a darkroom technical assistant in Art Schools.
Some years ago as the digital phenomenal began to take hold I began to digitize and editing a vast back collection of negatives and while I was doing this I began to think about how quickly the old ways where passing. We now live in a time where everybody is a photographer courtesy of their iPhone camera and with the advent of Instagram and other social media platforms people can simply touch a few buttons and apply a few filters and hey presto and instant artwork with little or no skill needed. The savage swiftness of this phenomenon set in place the beginning of a mild but tenacious depression. I realized that I was feeling redundant and all those years of dedicated work and accumulated skill in the art, craft and science of my photography was reduced to pretty much nothing. That may or may not have been a realistic conclusion but it was how I felt and it gnawed away at me for some time.
Eventually after a big photo media exhibition in New Zealand I returned to Sydney and knew that the next thing I need to work out of my system was this persistent irritation with the new ways of photography. As my photographic vision has never wavered I had to do this in order to be able to go on as a photographic artist being able to use what tools were available to me and if that meant digital then digital was what I needed to get my head around.
Sitting in my studio one day with a local newspaper in my hand looking at an advertisement for a PiƱata workshop and reflecting on how annoying it was that newsprint also was going the way of the dinosaur and how much I was going to miss that bit my daily life. Which is when the genesis of artwork that became ‘A Few Thoughts on the Death of Photography …’ came to me. 

Camera detail Juilee Pryor
Camera detail Juilee Pryor

I began using a basic Papier Mache mix to create a mould around some old vintage cameras I had and then cut the mould off it and remoulded it together so get a hollow and almost realistic copy of the camera. This I allowed to dry and then gave it six coats of high gloss white enamel paint. The effect was a little like a ghost of the actual camera and while it fitted into the body memory of the item in my hand it also was very different. The camera looked almost like the real thing and yet totally unreal at the same time. Once I had begun I could not stop and over a three month period produced and entire analogue darkroom from Papier Mache. 101 items in total make this single artwork. 

Camera and gear  Juilee Pryor
Camera and gear  Juilee Pryor

So ‘A Few Thoughts on the Death of Photography …’ is a sort of Momento Mori and a way that I can look back over the chasm of change and honour what has been and then turn and step forward into the future of photography. La Roi est Mort. Via Le Roi and all that. The paper darkroom is displayed on a long table draped with black fabric like and old fashioned tableaux and all the various items that make up the darkroom are arranged upon it in various ways. 

Table Piece Camera and gear  Juilee Pryor
Table Piece  Juilee Pryor
They are all the same high gloss white and I envisage it in a darkened room with strong over strength spotlight playing on it so it is reminiscent of a marble sculpture. This bold multi- part work is a sculptural interpretation of the idea of analogue photography as a form of creativity that is becoming redundant. It is both a Memento Mori and a way of honouring the art, craft and science of the wet darkroom. It is also a way to open a conversation about the idea of the death of analogue which is one that hasn’t happened yet and I believe is needed.
Table Piece Camera and gear  Juilee Pryor
Table Piece Camera and gear  Juilee Pryor

 I don’t think I’m the only one out there who has been feeling disgruntled and strangely out of sorts when they see an Instagram photo or when they can’t buy a roll of film.
The artwork comprises one hundred and one individual pieces in total including sets of trays in various sizes, tongs, developing tanks, film canisters, jugs and beakers, boxes of paper and all sorts of other sundry items. There are nine different cameras and these are doubled up with one being black and one being white. This is to represent the shadow side of photography. As all of these have been created by moulding them around and actual darkroom item and then cut off and remoulded they are rough and fragile and obviously hand made so they look right and not right simultaneously. 

Table Piece Camera and gear  Juilee Pryor
Table Piece Camera and gear  Juilee Pryor

All these items are like little ghosts or chimeras designed to satisfy the body memory of being in the darkroom while also being a representation of the idea of the darkroom. And most interesting of all is that the best way I could come up with to talk about the idea of The Death of Photography was by not using photography.  This complete simulacrum of a darkroom is my own homage to what is passing and serves as a bridge between digital and analogue photography and my own responses to different ways of creating photographic imagery.
This bold multi- part work is a sculptural interpretation of the very idea of analogue photography as a form of creativity that is becoming redundant. It is both a Memento Mori and a way of honouring the art, craft and science of the wet darkroom. As photography becomes a new digital form of language available to all via the iPhone and Social Media platforms like Instagram, we segue into a time where everybody is a photographer. The paradigm shift is so radically different to the slower skill based experience of analogue photography that something vital and magical seems to be passing from the world. This is my way of acknowledging this and moving on in to the future of photography.


Mrs Wombat and I visited Frogmore Nursery  again... there's always something to experience there
Frogmore Nursery
Frogmore Nursery

 be it the peaceful order or

Frogmore Nursery
Frogmore Nursery, Tulips
the last riotous blooming of the Tulips

Frogmore Nursery
Frogmore Nursery "le vue Chateau"
 or something small and diverting

Frogmore Nursery
Frogmore Nursery Office  window
Frogmore Nursery
Frogmore Nursery

 Wombat Droppings or the Low-down on Politics in Oz

To swill the trough

A blanket ban on his minions talking to the press by Prime Miniature “Rabbott” really doesn’t matter. You wouldn’t hear them anyway for the noise of the snouts in the trough.
That the Prime Miniature, his Attorney General, his Foreign Affairs and Agriculture Ministers, the Speaker of the House (probably) and numbers of others of the Liarbrils have all been re-paying monies they have rorted from the taxpayer over a number of years is disgraceful. That they have been rorting the taxpayer whilst venomously pursuing others for doing the same, often for lesser amounts, but only as political pay-back exposes once again, their putrid, hypocritical sense of morality and the contempt this rabble have for civil society. That the “champion” defending them is Peter (Rottweiler) Reith, Union-basher extraordinaire, he of a phone rort scandal of huge proportions and he of lying about refugees throwing their children overboard from asylum seeker boats I think fully illustrates my points about hypocrisy, contempt and morality.

Funniest moment of the week was on ABC’s “Q and A”  was viewing Luo Xioapeng a “…founding member of China’s first autonomous reform think tank which contributed to major policies reform in the 1980s…”  and his looking with something like disdain at Liarbril Environment Minister, Greg (Ozone-Hole) Hunt as if " Ozone-Hole" is some ideologically redundant apparatchik; a Pickwickian character with a misunderstood PHD as Hunt was obfuscating about climate change with very rubbery figures.
Kate Ellis encapsulated Labor’s present miasma by interminably waffling before finally reaching the point of being able to make solid hits on Hunt’s Neanderthal policy’s. But full marks must go to Hunt’s make-up girl at the ABC… she had his lips painted just the right shade of “Tarty” Pink to suit his precious, mincing demeanour!

The IPPC report has been handed down and we’re going to hell in a hand-basket!
If a doctor says you should give up smoking or overeating or die, and you ignore his advice, that’s a personal decision that affects you alone.
If the majority of the worlds’ scientists declare a consensus that we are destroying our ability to live on this planet and a minority of political, business, media and economic people choose to forestall action to ameliorate this condition and further their own economic ends, what can we do?
This is an entirely new situation the world is in.
What can we do about these “Quisling” ideologues?
Their actions are not democratic. Should our response be democratic?
How do you bring Minister Hunt to “book”, when with increased heat in summer, frail susceptible people die and warmer seas are killing off the reefs and their bio-diversity?
How do we bring Gina Rinehart and her “Quisling” cheer squad at the IPA to “Book” over land degradation and extinction of species?
How do we bring Ian (Chainsaw) MacFarlane to “book” when “every last drop of gas ..” has been “fracked” , the water table is polluted and farmland useless with less food available?
How do we bring the boss of Monsanto to “book” for wiping out crop diversity or broadcasters Alan Jones and Ray Hadley for lying to their audiences on the consequences of climate change?
How do we tell these “Quislings” they are morally culpable for our fate in choosing “not-to believe-in” the scientific evidence of climate change until it is too late?
The irradiated seas are already boiling at Fukashima.

Cheers Petals,


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Hey,Ho,Hey,Ho it's back to the 50's we go


....The Ascent of the Bogan....

Shane gets a cuddle
 We have another small exhibition in Ballan ...the following are some of the exhibits
Ballan Mechanics Institute
Ballan Mechanics Institute

Old Telegraph Office, Ballan
Old Telegraph Office, Ballan
Greendale Storm
Greendale Storm
Incipient Storm, Blackwood
Incipient Storm, Blackwood
Exhibition is at "Expressions of Love", Cafe'  Ballan....

Wombat droppings or Politics in OZ

I was listening to The Science Program on ABC, RN when presenter Robyn Williams began his interview with Lisa Jardine “….. tracing the evolution of scientific endeavour in Britain over the last four centuries…..and discussing her series and commentary on radio and television science broadcasting in the UK, comparing successful techniques used in landmark series such as The Ascent of Man… a 13-part television series made by BBC in 1973, written and presented by Lisa Jardine’s father, Jacob Bronowski.”…  a program I loved watching.
The interview finished with a replaying of the last moments of “The Ascent of Man”; Bronowski’s moving and heartfelt summation on humanity as he picked up a handful of human ash from a pond in Auschwitz where many of his family had been murdered.
I had been reading reports of  Pyne the Whyne’s ideological plans for Oz education prior to listening to this program and  realised, hearing  Bronowski  the scale of the humanitarian abyss and intellectual gulf that separates the likes of Pyne and his cohort from the likes of the Bronowski’s of this world. It brought me close to tears. 

Hey-Ho, Hey-Ho it’s back to the 50’s we go!

Interestingly true to form “The Whyne” was duly slapped down and effectively told to “shut-the-f--k-up” by “Rabbutt” ‘cause he’d let the cat out of the bag in announcing a cap on tertiary places and (again…back to the future) the abolition of student union fees.
Sinodinos was slapped down too when he suggested “…. Getting into the super…”
As this two-stepping was common prior to the election we shouldn’t be surprised now by rabble-like pronouncements and confusion over what passes for policy-on-the-run.
Joe “Oh-What-a-Feeling” Hockey, back from Bali, apologised for not finding a financial or budget crisis and was sorry that “the-bottom-line” was not as bad as he had predicted but we couldn’t trust the figures anyway!
He then ran away.
Calling Kevin 07+6 called by "Rabbutt", “…a hyper control freak” over similar media control..... one thing seems certain about our new Prime Miniature, he is of the old “don’t-do-as-I-do, do-as-I-say” school.

Hey-Ho, Hey-Ho it’s back to the 50’s we go!

“Rabbott’s” and “The Drone” Morrison’s politicisation of the military has taken another step forward from where “Little Johnny” Howard and Peter “Rottweiler” Reith had left it with SIEV X and the “Children Overboard” calumny’s.
By literally running for cover over not just the ten boats that have reached here but particularly, the one that didn’t, which sank 50 meters from shore 24 hours after sending distress signals (the survivors claim) and drowning at least 50 men, women and children. The military are being made the front line in “Rabbutt’s” cruel ideological war on asylum seekers and as the Liarbril’s run and hide by closing down any media commentary it is the military left holding the bodies.
It will be interesting to see how long the ADF will tolerate the high standing they presently have with the Australian public being trashed by “Rabbott”, “The Drone” and minions’ ideological insanity.
So, is this is our new “…Grown-up Government”?
Things are so serious that Alexander “Things-that-Batter” Downer has given himself a guernsey and is making pronouncements to anyone who will listen.

Hello, hello, is anyone there?
Like my Fish-Nets, thweeetie?

Hey-Ho, Hey-Ho it’s back to the 50’s we go!

Greens Leader Christine Milne has been positively and gangrenously careless and lost all six of her top staff….. and a third of the vote…dark days being Green.
But things may be looking up …..they almost have someone on their side… the new Environment Minister, Greg ”Ozone-Hole” Hunt.
“Ozone-Hole” says that although he accepts the IPCC report's findings on climate change (with fingers crossed) he isn't planning any immediate action to protect Australia's coastal communities as it’s all a long, long, long way away and we have to stop or buy the boats first. Second, reduce the NBN to a technological laughing stock, and then Third, repeal the Carbon Pricing scheme so that the monies saved can be used by the CSG industry to lower the water table, pollute farmland, export the profits, push up domestic gas prices and further pollute and debilitate the earth’s atmosphere with the consequent huge releases of Methane.
This will also keep Manufacturing Minister, Ian “Chainsaw” Mc Farlane very happy as his conversion from climate scepticism was never really solid, no matter what he told farmers in NSW and besides, he’s another from the Far North and they are different!

Senator, George “Loose-Lips” Brandis is another “Far North-er” doing thing differently claiming from the taxpayer, nearly $1,700 on flights, accommodation and car hire for attending a wedding…. he says, “… primarily for work purposes…...” Really?

Yeah and the dog ate his homework, too.
He is also currently revising the Parliamentary Code of Conduct.
That should make for interesting reading.
“I-did-nothing-wrong,” said the Attorney General, “and besides, I’ve paid the money back.” Hissily, stamping his foot, he runs away.
He attended this wedding in 2011 when trying to bring the Govt down  by assiduously and zealously pursuing Craig Tommo and “Slippery” Pete over matters similar.
This hypocrite of a First Law Officer should be sacked but let’s see what “Rabbutt” will say…. probably only reprise “Little Johnny” Howard’s line when Peter “Rottweiler” Reith loaned his Commonwealth phone to his son who then racked-up a $20,000.00 bill.
“It’s not a hanging offence” said that ex-Prime Miniature.
Also remembering his own re-payment of $10.000.00 for his book publicity tour will help “Rabbutt” make up his mind, too.

Senator Brandis was accompanied in this fraud by Barnaby Joyce who, although less financially culpable, and once an accountant, failed to see anything untoward either…. till it was exposed.

Hey-Ho, Hey-Ho it’s back to the 50’s we go!

Here in The Tardis State “Where-all-goes-Backward” pretend premier, Dennis “Inutulis Rusticus” Napthine has spent, it is only said, (he will not say) $90,000,000.00 buying most of the Evo Apartments that may be surrounded by the new East-West freeway.
Locals in Mooroopna thought some of the money could be better spent on a spell-checker for the staff who organised the plaque on Moorpoopna’s, (oops), new Police station.
Poolic Minster, Kim “Down-the-Drain” Wells denied he was keeping the mis-pelled plaque to sell on E-Bay and later said it was to be mounted on the column of the late, Eight Hour Day opposite Trades Hall to remind everywun whose booss.
Hundreds of locals closer to the proposed freeway rejoiced at their “Evo” compatriots good fortune and celebrated on the streets, North Korean Style, grateful for being chosen as a sacrifice in getting no compensation for the same lack of amenity.  
They appreciate that this is The Way of the True Leader and necessary penance for their trendy presumption in occupying good inner-city land only to live on and where their homes are blocking progress.
Ex PM “Big-Red” Gillard has had an enthusiastic even if “excitable-girly” reception in both Sydney and Melbourne for a controlled conversation with Anne Summers.
Leigh Sales’ snide and bitchy comments on ABC’s 7.30 on the event in place of reporting it once again added nothing to our understanding, except showcasing her quite astounding and unnecessary poor manners which may indicates more about Sales’ poverty of technique than anything else.
“Rabbutt” has arrived back from apologizing to the Indonesians and tugging his fore-lock has promising not to do it again.
The boats, by-the-way, haven’t stopped!

Cheers Petals,