CategoryOur Diary

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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Mallacoota Time by Milena Cifali – book launch

The Artists Shed
88 Wollongong Street Fyshwick ACT
Sunday 13 September, 3.30 – 5.30pm
Bookings essential

Australians have proved time and time again that they are resilient, but truly, how does one come back from losing almost everything close to your heart?

On her own quest to answer that question and heal from the loss of her home, her beloved pets and the devastation of her community in the Mallacoota bushfires on New Year’s Eve 2019, award winning singer-songwriter, poet and photographer, Milena Cifali takes us on a personal journey towards recovery.

Her heartfelt new book, Mallacoota Time, was written against the larger backdrop of an unprecedented bushfire season and the coronavirus pandemic.

The launch will include music, poetry and book signing.

Bookings through Milena at or on Facebook at

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

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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Indigenous musicians join Griffyn Ensemble for Songs from a Stolen Senate

Online on Friday 4 Sept 2020 at 7pm, and Saturday Sept 5 at 2pm and 7pm

You are invited to interact online with the Griffyn Ensemble and some of Australia’s most inspiring First Nation musicians in three performances covering topics ranging from stolen generations to climate politics.

Richard talks to Griffyn Ensemble director Michael Sollis
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Indigenous Literacy Day goes live around Australia

Wednesday 2 September 2020
12.30pm  on the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s YouTube channel
2pm  on the Sydney Opera House YouTube channel

This 45-minute celebratory event, designed especially for children aged 3 to 11, will inspire the community about the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s first languages and why learning in language is important.

It will feature ILF Ambassador Jessica Mauboy and long-time supporter Archie Roach.

Tina Ray, from the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, talks to Barbie
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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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Migrant Women’s Art Group

10am – 12pm Mondays until 21 September 2020
Weston Creek Community Centre

Tuggeranong Arts Centre invites women on Monday mornings for art and craft in a welcoming environment. Artist Hangama will lead activities to build your artistic skills and confidence, and you can share your skills and experience too.

Barbie spoke to Hangama about the Migrant Women’s Art Group
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Impressive lineup for Bad Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival

10 to 13 September 2020
Online at

Tickets are now available for the international writers’ component of Bad Sydney with an impressive line-up: Jo Nesbø, Camilla Läckberg, Karin Slaughter, Kathy Reichs, Nicci French, Don Winslow and Ann Cleeves.

Barbie speaks with Catherine du Peloux Menagé, Artistic Director of Bad Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival
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First Seen Program – Barren Ground by Helen Machalias

The Street, Canberra
Friday 4 September 2020 at 5pm
Online performance, limited places
Book online at

Canberra-based writer Helen Machalias returns to The Street for the third and final FIRST SEEN: new works-in-progress in 2020, her new play, Barren Ground.

Machalias’s story explores timeless themes of dislocation, forgiveness and redemption and the plot, character and dialogue draw on  elements of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Barbie speaks with Helen Machalias about Barren Ground
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Doreen Shaw – Aussie Country

Bungendore Fine Art
Until 28 August 2020

Award winning artist Doreen Shaw’s exhibition depicts an Australian motif of nature and her relationship with the countryside.  She works in gouache and multi-media. Her images are powerful, with a vibrant colour pallette and a very strong graphic design element.

Her work is a celebration of a diversity of Australian landscapes: from familiar country backyards scenes to dry, hungry bushland and domestic interiors. On other occasions Shaw invites us to share the joyous environment of the Magpie.

Doreen Shaw grew up in Balmain and Drummoyne and studied with Professor Bissietta’s Art School in Pitt St in Sydney, NSW. She has had more than 25 solo exhibitions nationally and internationally and is represented in public and private collections here and overseas.

Art in Miniature Annual Exhibition

Raglan Gallery
9-11 Lambie St, Cooma, NSW
Wed – Sun 10:30am – 3:30pm
Until 27 September 2020

The Art in Miniature Canberra friendship group invites you to its 20th exhibition of miniature works, an art form stretching back to the 8th century. There are 12 original members out of a current membership of 19.

Barbie tours the exhibition with Camelia Smith onsite at Raglan Gallery, Cooma
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