MonthJune 2020

Val Johnson – Bonjour and G’Day

Strathnairn Arts
90 Stockdill Drive, Holt, ACT
Gallery 1 & 2 | 2 July- 26 July 2020
Online  at

This exhibition features paintings from Val’s recent travels in France and outback Australia. The paintings show the contrasting aspects of Val’s travels. Each place has its own identity – the soft purples and greens of France, and the reds and oranges of outback Australia.

Barbie discusses Bonjour and G’Day with Val Johnson
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Sharon Field – Dead Leaf Dreaming | vignettes

A solo exhibition of new works
Suki & Hugh Gallery, Bungendore
Saturday 4 July to Sunday 19 July 2020

Online from Wednesday 1 July.

These vignettes are small, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a particular insight into the character of plants and insects and their settings in the bush.

Barbie speaks with Sharon Field about the exhibition

Sharon will be in the gallery on Saturday 4 July between 1 & 4 pm for a chat. On Sunday 5 July between 10 am and 1 pm she will share her technique with visitors in a casual demonstration.

Image: Sharon Field, watercolour and graphite
Image credit: Rob Little Digital Images.

Bastille Day relaunch for Alliance Française French Film Festival

New dates: 14 July – 4 August 2020
Palace Electric Cinema Canberra

The 31st French Film Festival had barely begun before it was disrupted by COVID-19 restrictions. But the Festival will resume nationally on 14 July, with 28 films confirmed.

Patrice Gilles from the Alliance Francaise previewed the festival before its COVID-19 suspension. Some of the information may be out of date.
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Jane Godwin – When Rain Turns to Snow

Lothian, an imprint of Hachette, Australia, 2020

Between the beautiful cover artwork of Allison Colpoys lies an equally beautifully told story of the adolescent search for identity, family and connection.

Jane Godwin tackles many issues of social significance in this book including the difficult question of social media and its potentially dire effects on its users. Trolling, shaming, the sharing of inappropriate images, exclusion and manipulation all come under scrutiny.

Jane Godwin talks to Barbie about When Rain Turns to Snow
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Josephine Moon – The Cake Maker’s Wish

Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Books,  Australia, 2020

This book is beautiful both outside and in. Set briefly in Richmond Tasmania and then mostly in the imaginary village of Stoneden in the Cotswolds, the story is deeply rooted in a sense of place.

In fact, it is the search for her place in the world and for a family she feels she has always lacked, that drives our heroine Olivia, a cake maker, to apply to be part of a social experiment aimed at the economic revitalisation of this small dying community.

Barbie speaks with Josephine Moon about The Cake Makers Wish
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PLATFORM – multi-sensory mobile art space

Live online festival  at
2pm – 8.30pm 27 June 2020

Eastern Riverina Arts presents PLATFORM, a space purpose-built within a modified shipping container. Configurable as a sensory space, chill-out area, exhibition space or small stage, throughout the course of an event, festival-goers can visit Platform to engage the senses or take some time out in a calming environment.

Barbie speaks with Scott Howie about Platform
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MIRKA – A revelatory exploration of the astonishing life of Mirka Mora

Jewish Museum Of Australia
26 Alma Rd, St Kilda, Victoria
Opening December 2020

The Jewish Museum of Australia: Gandel Centre of Judaica, in collaboration with William Mora Galleries, presents MIRKA – the most expansive survey of work by the late Mirka Mora (1928–2018) ever shown, and an intimate, previously unseen view into her rich and fascinating personal history.

Marking its first major showcase since Covid-19 lockdowns, the museum will re-emerge to illuminate the life and work of an artist whose seminal influence on Australia’s art and culture is undisputed.

Barbie speaks with exhibition curator, Elini Papavasileiou
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Canberra to come alive with sounds of driveway music

Musicians and singers of all levels
2pm – 2.20pm on International Make Music Day, Sunday 21 June 2020
Patios, balconies and driveways across Canberra region

International Make Music Day began in France in 1982 as the Fete de la Musique. It is now held in more than 750 cities in 120 countries, with millions of musicians participating.

MusicACT director Daniel Ballentyne, says that ‘Our live music culture has experiences a huge negative impact with the necessary response to COVID-19. We want live music to become and essential part and a marker of our COVID-19 response.’

More information is available at and

Music at the Artists Shed

88 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick
Sunday 21 June from 2-5pm.
Grace Notes and Daniel McFeeley

Grace Notes are three women who sing beautiful harmonies in songs from many genres

 Daniel McFeeley is the creator of witty, thoughtful, unpredictable music – often all three at once! He plays a variety of music from foot stomping rhythms to lilting melodies.

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Trent Jamieson and Rovina Cai – The Giant and the Sea

Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia, 2020

This beautiful work begins with sweeping views of the sea and the sand and the tale of a giant who keeps watch.  The giant’s message to the girl is that the sea is rising due to a ‘machine’ in the city. Unless it is turned off the oceans will rise, and everyone will drown.

Predictably and reflecting our sad reality, the people do not listen to pleas to shut down the machine, but rather they glorify and worship it – and disaster ensues. Short term salvation by the compassionate and wise giant leads only to further disaster.

Barbie talks to Trent Jamieson about The Giant and the Sea
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Felicity Harley – Balance and other B.S.

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2020

Felicity Harley will be known to many as the founding editor of Women’s Health magazine and of as well as for her appearances on commercial breakfast TV and the ‘I Support Women in Sport’ campaign.

A mother of three small children, she continues to lead a busy professional life and has turned her attention with this book to the widespread feeling of stress and being overwhelmed experienced by women, especially the millennials and Gen X/Gen Y-ers.

Felicity Harley talks about Balance and other B.S.
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Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick – On a Barbarous Coast

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2020

This is historical fiction, but rather than an account of what we know from Cook’s journals, it is a- re-imagining of his voyage up the eastern coast of Australia, which has the Endeavour shipwrecked near what is now called Cooktown and a small party of survivors making it to shore.

What we know from our currently recorded history is that Cook and his crew spent 47 days in ‘Cooktown’ in 1770 after running aground on the Great Barrier Reef, the ship undergoing repairs and finally making port in Batavia in October of that year.

Barbie speaks to Craig Cormick about On a Barbarous Coast
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Karen J Carlisle – Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire

Kraken Publishing, Australia, 2020

Aunt Enid is an unusual heroine in today’s popular fiction. She is in her seventies and is a protector of the world against evil, against the intrusion of other damaging and wicked worlds into ours.

I am not usually a reader of fantasy and so this was a good introduction to the genre – I applaud the author’s adoption of the older woman as her central and active crusader figure.

Barbie speaks with Karen J Carlisle
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Krystal Hurst: ACT finalist in Telstra NATSIAA 2020

Museum and Art Gallery, Northern Territory

For the second successive year, Krystal Hurst is the ACT’s entrant in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

She is one of 67 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists selected to exhibit in the 2020 NATSIAA) Australia’s most prestigious and longest-running Indigenous art awards.

Barbie speaks with NATSIAA finalist, Krystal Hurst
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