Canberra Theatre Centre reopens with school holiday production

Canberra Theatre Centre & CDP with Tall Stories
Thursday 1 October 2020, 12pm & 4pm
Friday 2 October 2020, 10am & 12pm
Saturday 3 October 2020, 10am, 12pm and 4pm

Room on the Broom is a dramatisation of Julia Donaldson’s hit picture book, featuring songs, comedy and scary fun for children aged 3 and up It will be the first production at the Canberra Theatre since the March closure due to COVID-19.

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David Roberts – It’s Elementary

Belconnen Arts Centre
Until 25 October 2020

David Roberts’ first solo exhibition is an evocative collection of landscapes, showing the artist’s keen observation of the relationship between land and sky. He depicts the varying moods of nature with skilful execution of clouds, earth and water.

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FlashWrite – a Gunning Arts Festival project

Short stories up to 1500 words
Submissions open until 8 February 2021

The Gunning Arts Festival invites people to participate in the FlashWrite short story writing project by submitting stories of up to 1500 words encapsulating local life experiences. Stories related to the 2021 Festival theme Rejuvenation are especially welcome.

Barbie talks to Greg Baines about FlashWrite
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Padma Menon – Moving Archetypes Dance Contemplation Intensive

The union of Sky and Earth
10am – 12.30pm Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 October 2020
Online and Face To Face (those who prefer online will be emailed a Zoom link)
Moving Archetypes Studio | Unit 10, 19-25 Kembla Street, Fyshwick ACT

This dance contemplation intensive focusses on the Ardhanarishvara tradition in Indian temple dance.

Ardhanarishvara is the embodied practice of going beyond the usual dualities of our perception to realise our deepest and unified connectedness to the movement of life.

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Flow Line – Abstraction from the CMAG Collection

Canberra Museum and Gallery
Until 7 November 2020

Ham Darroch and Guy Warren in conversation with exhibition curator Virginia Rigney on Wednesday 23 Sept at 1 pm

The title of this exhibition draws from a term used in the oil industry that describes the behaviour of viscous liquids . Applying it to look at these paintings, it asks us to find the ways that artists have held tension, created dynamic, forced rupture or found a sublime intuitive flow.

Barbie speaks to curator Virginia Rigney at CMAG
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Eddie Jaku – The Happiest Man on Earth

Pan Macmillan Australia, 2020

If you buy just one book in this COVID-19 year, please let it be this one. Eddie Jaku’s memoir is at once a hopeful and a horrifying account of his 100 years on earth.

It relates, of course, his and his family’s experiences leading up to and including his imprisonment in 1943 in the Nazi regime concentration camp of Auschwitz  – he is an ‘Auschwitz survivor’. But he, and it, are so much more (if there can be more than that).

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The Bushfire Book – How to be aware and prepare

By Polly Marsden and Chris Nixon
Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette, Australia, 2020
Front cover design and illustrations by Chris Nixon
Full cover and internal design by Liz Seymour

A book for children and adults about bushfire preparedness is highly appropriate at this time as we reach Spring 2020 and face the coming summer.

The summer of 2019, for some people and communities one like no other, highlighted for the nation how climate change has brought a new ferocity to our fire season. Many people and homes were lost in different parts of Australia.

Chris Nixon talks about The Bushfire Book
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Rebecca Mayo – Embracing the Familiar – a community arts project

Tuggeranong Arts Centre
Ongoing with an exhibition in 2021

Embracing the familiar by Rebecca Mayo is a community participation arts project that responds to some of the challenges that have faced the ACT region and the world since late 2019.

Barbie speaks with Rebecca Mayo about Embracing the Familiar
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Carmel McCrow – Mélange

Strathnairn Arts Centre
90 Stockdill Drive Holt ACT
Until 20 September 2020

For the oil and acrylic paintings in this collection Carmel takes her inspiration from cast and beautiful Australian landscape from the Kimberleys to the Snowy Mountains. One room features the magnificence and complexity of the sky. The other room is about the land, the earth.

Barbie spoke to Carmel McCrow at Strathnairn about Mélange
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September exhibitions at M16 Artspace

Leonie Andrews  – The Opening Stitches Project
Naomi Zouwer – Strange Days Indeed
Until 30 September 2020

In 2019 Leonie Andrews invited people, via social media, to provide a square of cloth with one or two sets of stitches on it.

In responding to the squares given to her by the contributors, Andrews has created her own artworks of threads and stitches. This body of work continues Andrews’ exploration of developing artwork within a rules-based framework.

Barbie talks to Leonie Andrews

In the first month of ISO, Naomi Zouwer began a new ritual of making a painting in one sitting every day by picking things from her sewing box. Using her collection of nostalgic remnants such as; ricrac, Glomesh, sequins, beads and braid and the occasional leaf, rock or seed pod.

Naomi Zouwer speaks about her work
Naomi Zouwer

In each of these paintings Zouwer has played with the compositions to reflect the social distancing regulations as they were changing from groups of 10 people outside, then to 5 people, then to staying at home with your ‘cluster’.

Through Strange Days Indeed, the collected items found in the artist’s sewing box have become the subject matter and metaphors for the strange times we are all experiencing. There is also a beautiful collection of tins on which Naomi has painted the ric-rac braid motif which has come to stand for a lost and much longed for past.

Top picture: Leonie Andrews

Dr Anita Collins – passionate about The Music Advantage

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2020

Known to ABC television audiences for her role in the Don’t Stop the Music series and to thousands for her TED music education talk, Anita Collins is a passionate and knowledgeable music educator.

In this book, intended for both parents and educators, she takes us through the basics of significant and approachable current research into the benefits of an education which includes music learning (not just appreciation).

Dr Anita Collins talks to Living Arts Canberra about The Music Advantage
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Julie Lark and Sheryl Miller – A Touch of Spring

Bungendore Fine Art Gallery
Throughout September 2020

Although originally a watercolour artist, Canberra based Julie Lark adapted her style to fluid mediums after being diagnosed with Macular Degeneration more than five years ago.  She now enjoys the freedom of swirling layers and the unpredictability achievable with fluids.

Barbie speaks with watercolour artist Julie Lark
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Caroline Beecham – Finding Eadie

Allen & Unwin Australia 2020

This is Caroline Beecham’s third historical fiction novel. Set mostly in 1943 London, it is a tale of baby farming, betrayals, friendships, war-time and the publishing industry.

Held together by the novel’s heroine, Alice Cotton, who works in a London publishing house and who finds herself inconveniently pregnant, the story delves into the grim reality of unwedded motherhood at the time. It is largely driven by Alice’s quest to find her baby, taken from her almost immediately after her birth – Eadie.

Barbie speaks with Caroline Beecham about Finding Eadie
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Les Misérables – Film Review

A film by Ladj Ly
103 minutes, MA15+
In French with subtitles

Don’t expect stirring singing and beguiling gamins in this contemporary French take on the degradations and social misery of the immigrant communities of Paris, specifically Montfermeil, the suburban area where Victor Hugo set his 18th century novel. Do expect to be confronted by this film, which can best be described by the clichéd term gritty.

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La Belle epoque – Film Review

A film by Nicolas Bedoa
Starring Daniel Auteuil (Victor) , Guillaume Canet (Antoine) , Doria Tillier (Margot) and Fanny Ardant (Marianne)
1 hour 55 minutes, M rated
French language with sub-titles

I love this film. I loved it the first time I saw it and I will love it no matter how many more times I watch it.

It reminds me somewhat of the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, in which the young American hero, Gil Pender, a writer, travels back to La Belle Epoque, the period of history he sees as the richest. The notion that sometime in the past was better, the rosy hue of nostalgia for the unattainable past is a common literary (and life) theme.

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