Stories from inside life's big top.

Posts from the “craft” Category

Memento Mori: Laila Marie Costa

Posted on September 27, 2019

Not long ago, a ‘call to action’ floated across my social feeds. “Gondola. Need one. Anyone selling theirs? Or could help hook a sista up?”   It was from Melbourne artist Laila Marie Costa, an old friend of a friend whose art I’ve seriously admired for many years.   Given her line of work it wasn’t unusual. She wasn’t kidding either.   Reaching deep into her Italian heritage and harking the call of refused, obsolete, junk objects – the addiction fever-grip to which she’s been answering her entire artistic life – I intuited she was in the throes of (another) new upcycling project…   While the self-described “creator of art stuff… curator of collections, riffage musician and champion weeder” later told me she “wasn’t…

Second Life: Karen Lynch

Posted on December 4, 2018

Earlier this year, after travelling many miles and relocating for the umpteenth time in my life, I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a lovely act of kindness.   It happened when I met Australian collage artist Karen Lynch in person for the first time.   I’d recently moved to the “southern creep” of Adelaide, Karen’s home city. On a sunny day in May we arranged to catch up in one of the sleepy seaside villages between our respective suburbs that only ‘the locals’ know about.   We’d been ‘virtual’ blogging buddies for 4 years, encouraging each other and interacting as co-members of the very first intake of Pip Lincolne‘s ‘Blog With Pip’ (an online “how to” course for bloggers),…

On Nodding Terms

Posted on February 4, 2018

High-res version

In February 2018 Auspicious Plastic was selected as a finalist in the Frankie “Good Stuff” Awards in the ‘Writing + Podcasts’ category.

 

 

I submitted an excerpt from “Episode 10“, featuring a conversation with dedicated diarist and digital publisher, Carrie King. It went into the running for the ‘Writing + Podcast’ category, and the People’s Choice Award.

 

 

Bobbing around out there on that roiling sea of podcasts, sometimes it can feel as if you’re in the boat alone, rendered invisible by thick fog and heavy swells. So it’s very nice to receive some acknowledgement. And an oar back to shore…

 

I was chuffed (and genuinely surprised!) to be selected as one of six finalists in the category. And grateful to everyone I’ve interviewed for the series so far, Cooperblack for the theme music and Studio Ink for the lovely logo design. And to my late Mum Margaret who inspired it all.

 

Thank you to everyone who has listened to the series, been touched it, and who voted for it in the ‘People’s Choice Award’.

 

POST UPDATED: ‘Auspicious Plastic’ didn’t win the category, but it was great to be selected along with five other auspicious finalists. Read more – and about the winner (congrats Taku Mbudzi!) – on the Frankie website.


TAKING A LITTLE BREAK: ‘Auspicious Plastic’ will return in 2019. In the meantime there are 14 episodes to catch up on or to re-listen to – on Soundcloud, and/or listen+subscribe on iTunes.


 

A Podcast about Precious Objects

Posted on May 15, 2017

“Objects should not ‘touch’ [us] because they are not alive. You use them, put them back in place, you live among them: they are useful, nothing more. But they touch me, it is unbearable. I am afraid of being in contact with them as though they were living beasts.” – Jean-Paul Sartre Auspicious Plastic is a monthly podcast about ‘things’ that bring meaning to our lives, and even make us happy.   When using my Mum’s old Tupperware containers as “grief therapy” after she passed away, I discovered how such simple ‘pieces of plastic’ could hold so much meaning – and emotion. And how these objects touched me so profoundly, as if animated by something deeply mystical…   I wondered how my use of…

Close To You: Lucy & Molly Dyson

Posted on May 9, 2017

History is littered with creative siblings, often in music, sometimes in film, occasionally in literature…   See the Sisters Bronte and Arquette; the Brothers Grimm and Gibb; the Coen Brothers, Baldwins, Wachowskis and Gershwins; soft-pop super-duo The Carpenters, hard-rock guitar heroes Malcolm and Angus. The families Corr, Barrymore, Boyd and Mora.   Then there are my personal faves, Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart. Seventies AM rock would have been nothing without these sisters, nor their songs Barracuda and Crazy On You. Nothing.   It’s come time to add a pair of visual artist sisters to the list: Lucy Dyson and Molly Dyson. Both are from Australia. Both live in Berlin. And both are starting to leave their mark in a serious way.  …

Let Them Eat Cake: Lyndal Walker

Posted on January 3, 2017

I’ve always been fond of ‘goo’.   It’s the name of my favorite Sonic Youth album. It’s one of my favorite words, caught somewhere between “coo” and “gum”.   And ‘goo’ has always been one of my favorite things to eat, especially if it’s coloured pastel pink. Growing up in the 70s I consumed my fair share, especially ‘Junket‘, one of my mother’s specialties.   It would arrive as ‘sweets’ at dinner parties, often on the heels of pineapple ham steaks or chicken chow mein. It was the gelatinous, wobbly version of musk sticks, fridge-set, in tall curvy glasses on stems. A sugar coma in the making, us kids couldn’t get enough of it.   All these years later and on the other side…

Pussy Riot: Casey Jenkins

Posted on September 20, 2016

When I watch ‘Vaginal Knitting’, the video of Casey Jenkins’ performance installation Casting Off My Womb, I see a powerful, graceful figure at work.   With her beatific smile, the artist looks like some kind of angel as she sits there, back perfectly straight, quietly going about the business of knitting, using wool she has buried deep inside her vagina…   The yarn hanging above her is so pearly white it shimmers: the only thing that’s missing from this picture is a pair of wings. Wings that in my opinion belong to a bit of a superhero…   A simulacrum of historic portraiture also erupts from this moment of looking: centuries cascade across the image. It becomes a critical reflection on the historic act…