Saturday, 24 October 2015

A day with Catherine and Mozart.

Shane Working

Well, G’day Possums,

I’ve been a bit tardy with this blog lately …been working on the renovation which, as all building projects, is taking longer than anticipated.

 Wall panelling goes up next then there are in the final stages of tiling and the glass splash backs. Two more weeks should see it all complete.

bathroom renovation

Mrs Wombat and I took a jaunt to the “Big-Smoke” to have a look at the samples from The Hermitage in St Petersburg at the NGV that was all sort of decked out as a facsimile of the Catherine the Great’s Russian palace.

Catherine the Great, NGV

Drawings, paintings, sculpture, jewellery, topographic views, architectural drawings, Chinese object d’ art, furniture and ceramics made this sampling of masterpieces an exhibition to help whet your appetite for the real venue and the magnificent collection started by Empress Catherine in 1765.

Favourite of mine, Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin was there represented with the beautifully subtle “The Laundress.”  The harmonious tones enveloping all from the misted background woman hanging the laundry to the little boy pulling our eye forward with his ephemeral bubble and the central white of the freshly washed cloth all is studied and so very quiet. The composition too, is placed with care as an adjunct to the colour and tones.  As his contemporary critic Cochin said, Chardin could be “…. a dangerous neighbour.”
The Laundress, JBS Chardin
The Laundress, JBS Chardin

This painting has a version in the Stockholm Nationalmuseum. The cats eyes are open and looking at the viewer and the tonalities seem darker with more contrast…..  it would be interesting to visit it.

Then Perroneau’’s “ Boy with Book” Another delightful rococo piece of “sensibilitie.”  The muted tones in this seem to reflect Perroneau’s interest in pastel painting and his superb drawing skills.

Perroneau, Boy with Book
Perroneau, Boy with Book

The immediacy present in Anthony Van Dyck’s “Family Portrait” subjects is stunning. The family could still be at the sitting their presence is so affective. Each personality, and its individual character is rendered so beautifully and drawn so articulately that the diamond lozenge composition seems less rigid in its control.

A. Van Dyck Family Portrait
A. Van Dyck Family Portrait

Then, mentor to Van Dyck is Peter Paul Rubens’ “St Paul” looking as intense as Rasputin.
And look at that hand literally popping off the canvas, the subtle counter-swing of the head and the shoulders to enliven the subject in the composition where the light is as much a compositional element as is the palpable space behind the subject.

PP Rubens St Paul
PP Rubens St Paul

All of these works had glorious paint handling, as did the Jacob Jordaens seen in this detail of “Saints Paul and Barbara” where textures are real; silk is silk, hair is hair and flesh is flesh.

J. Jordaens
Detail: J. Jordaens

Then there was the C18th Chinese silver-ware of Filigree Silver, gold and enamel and utterly exquisite workmanship.

But let’s not forget the millions of poor serfs who made all this possible for Catherine to collect.

A fine show that was followed by a very ordinary dinner (Italian…sort of…) at Southbank and then off  to the concert hall for the Melbourne Symphony and Choir to perform Mozart’s, Requiem….. that was brilliant!

Wombat Droppings

 The chronicle of Australia’s inexorable slide into fascism.

"AUSTRALIA will not yield to blackmail by pregnant asylum seekers," says Non-Immigration facsimile, Peter “Dodo” Dutton.
Journalist may have to pay $8,000.00 to visit our refugee concentration camps on Manus or Nauru and Gillian Triggs, Human Rights Commissioner is banned from visiting but “The Ugly American,” Murdoch’s scribe Chris Kenny (with many long standing contacts with the Liarbrils) can get in with a Border-Farce escort and photographer to harass the said woman.
 Let’s not forget the Hazara refugee Khodayar Amini who self immolated out of fear that Border Farce were looking for him and might deport him back to Afghanistan.

Sieg Heil, Dodo and Border Farce!

Joe “Eleventy-Cereal-Toyota Killer” Hockey, failed Treasurer has left the house.  His final speech was as useless and as pointless and as forgetable as his 19 years in parliament.

Good riddance!

Rabid-the-Hun, failed Prime Miniature, Health, Workplace Relations ministers, failed concrete plant manager, failed journalist and failed seminarian is putting himself forward as a public speaker. This is very odd, as Australia’s experience of his public speaking would indicate that  he had no talent for this either and as he usually only uttered three word slogans his proposed fee indicates he wants $13,333.33 per word.

Tongue Flicking will be free.

New pretend Treasurer “The Drone” Morrison, provides misleading figure to bolster his Xtian (well if you call Hillsong Xtian) act of slashing social services.

Why should today be different?

The Ruling Rabble has suggested that children 14 years of age be subject to control orders.
“The effect of a control order may range from house arrest without access to electronic communications, to a restriction on the people you can associate with. The order can remain in effect for up to 12 months. 

It can be obtained in a secret hearing about which the subject knows nothing at all, until they are arrested and served with the order. And even then they are not to be told what the evidence was that was used against them. 
So if someone made a mistake, the subject of the order won't know and they can't find out because they are not allowed to see the evidence that was used against them.” 
(From Julian Burnside’s spray on this)
So you think I’m being silly about our slide into fascism?
Three eminent Climate scientist are invited to have talk with Pollies about their subject… talks a gazumped into a slanging match “debate” when three non-entities from “The Coots-With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe” asylum (the IPA) earn their 30 pieces of silver from The Ugly American, Murdoch, The Biggest Miner, Rinehart, The Cancer Company, Phillip Morris and probably the Koch Bros.

New Prime Miniature, Malcon Turnbullfop is hereby ordered to note that this country is staying “far right.” 
Liarbril “woman,” Concetta Terrazzo-Pomidora or something or other, opined similarly echoing Vichy Abetz’s chagrin at Malcon looking dangerously centrist.

Rabid-the-Hun has offered to pay for the marble table broken at his sacking party. He still expects the taxpayer to foot the bill of $7,000.00 for the booze though.

Hoo-roo Petals,

PS: this is now being stored as Meta Data by our fascist ruling rabble.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Changing narratives..or Not.

G’day Possums,
Shane the renovator
Shane the renovator

We've been busy playing renovator this week.

I'm remodelling the second bathroom and changing its configuration … a cavity sliding door has been fitted saving much space and providing an agreeably larger and less cluttered feel to the room…

So this week it’s really all about the chronicle of our country’s inexorable slide into fascism with Wombat Droppings
Rabid-the-Hun going overboard
Freshly assassinated prime miniature, Rabid-the-Hun has been as good with his word to current pm Malcon Turnbullfop as he was with the electorate. Coming out of hiding and the sulks, Rabid being a good IPA office boy, has been attempting to re-write history to suit his own peculiar view of the world by claiming with his three shock jock friends he has left, that it wasn’t that he was really “on-the-nose,” just misunderstood, and that because Turnbullfop hasn’t changed any of his policy disasters his culling was all because of a press beat-up, the Runes, the Masons and/or Communist plotting from Nth Korea.
Malcon Turnbullfop
Malcon Turnbullfop
Many in the country have had bouts of vomiting on hearing the really loopy “far right” extol Rabid’s copious serves of humanity, decency, morality and sheer brilliance as a national leader but quickly recover on also hearing that there have been mass defections from the liarbril party at his political knifing with some suggesting the orange life-boats be pressed into service again to take them to asylum in Indonesia.
The national euphoria on this malignant person’s demise has been palpable but the real sting in the tail is that Turnbullfop will not be allowed by the “right” to change much, so all it really is, is a case of new conductor, musicians changing chairs but the ensemble is scratching out the same dirge only smiling about it and saying how romantic it is.
Australians seem to have been fooled into thinking “things-are-better-now”…. when it’s really two minutes to midnight….. the following is a section of a piece by Victoria Rollinson from her blog and re-used in the “Australian Independent Media” pages.  
 “The right wing narrative is a scary story about a community I would never choose to live in. I was not brought up to blame the disadvantaged for their predicament. And nor will I bring up my child to think our societies’ problems are the fault of the vulnerable, the disabled, the sick, the mentally ill, the poor and the abused. The rejection of the Abbott government has, I hope, proved that the majority of Australians, like me, reject this story and don’t believe that life is a race. I hope so. But either way, next time someone says the Liberal government is missing a narrative, just remember the narrative is there. It’s just not a very nice story and they know this so they do their best to keep it hidden. Don’t let them get away with it. You know the story. Call it out whenever you see it.”  Victoria Rollinson
Hoo-roo, Petals,