Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hatching an idea

Well Easter is almost upon us and I was reminded of all things chicken, bunny and egg while decorating Thomas' Easter bonnet for school this morning.

Speaking of which, Hatch Contemporary Arts Space - the exciting new dedicated cultural hub for Banyule located in the renovated Art Deco Arts Space at 14 Ivanhoe Parade in Ivanhoe is being launched on Thursday 4 April from 6 - 8 pm by Cr. Wayne Phillips, Mayor of Banyule Council.

I love the new name, especially given my love of birds, but I also love what the name represents - the birth of new ideas and beginnings.  Co-inciding with the launch of Hatch is the opening of Home: Reframing Craft and Domesticity curated by the very clever Claire Watson, which will be officially opened by Cr. Jenny Mulholland, Banyule Council with guest speaker Professor Callum Morton, Head of Fine Art, MADA (Monash Art Design and Architecture).  The exhibition will feature 85 works by 55 artists and includes a program of satellite events at other venues around Banyule.  This is one not to be missed!

For more information on both Hatch and Home, go to

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Going mental

It's been a while.  I've had a manic start to the year so I'm hoping post-Easter (and post-Easter break!) that things will settle down.  I've been working for the lovely Pat Mackle at Avant Card for a couple of months now and looking after their monthly e-newsletter, PR, marketing copywriting and advice.  The best part is visiting their funky warehouse office in Brunswick once a week to hang out with the gang (and their dogs!).  It's kept me busy on top of also handling ongoing PR for one of my other lovely clients in The Light Factory Gallery.
Image via Urban Spoon
I caught up with an ex-manager friend of mine who is also a north eastern local today at my friend Bec's brand new cafe - Becca's Foodstore at 82 Grange Road in Alphington.  Bec is a pastry chef who used to run the Station Street cafe in Fairfield and this is her latest venture.  Coffees are good, the pastries not surprisingly are fantastic and while I didn't get to sample her savoury food, it also looked pretty awesome and they also do catering.  Local mums and bubs, tradies and business people in the area also dropped in while I was there and the fit out is pretty groovy although has a cooler feel with the tiled floor.  It makes a nice addition for the good people of Alphington who, along with APTE cafe, are now lucky enough to have two good cafes to choose from.
Image via Banyule Arts & Culture Facebook page
The award winning Banyule Festival is on this weekend so I am hoping to make it to Twilight Sounds on Saturday night to see some live music even if the boys don't make it to later when headline act Mental as Anything play.  We'll also be marching along in the Burgundy Street Grand Parade on Sunday morning for the Kid's Arty Farty Fest.
Image via Harvest 'n' Graze Festival
If you're in Nillumbik - the Harvest 'n' Graze Festival is also being held on Sunday 24 March at Montsalvat and if it's a nice day, it will be a pretty spectacular day out on the hill bathed in sunshine.  Live music is also on offer and if you're an 80s tragic like me, you'll even catch Pseudo Echo plus other bands.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Poetry of Dance

Libero by Kate Baker
I spent yesterday visiting both The Light Factory Gallery and Montsalvat in Eltham.  Kate Baker: Selected Works and Balkote - Zing up life by Jackie Gorring open at The Light Factory Gallery today and are on show until 14 April.  Kate Baker is an established fine art photographer and her beautiful and dramatic black and white photographic prints of a dancer show 'La Poesia della Danza' or 'The Poetry of Dance'.  Meanwhile printmaker Jackie Gorring's colourful and fun works using some very interesting materials (Chux wipes!) are inspired by a stay at the Ragini Art Village in Balkote, Nepal - one for modern art lovers.  The official opening is this Sunday from 2 - 4pm at the gallery.  Entry is free.
Zing up life by Jackie Gorring
I met with jeweller Jeanette Dyke at her studio in Montsalvat yesterday and her work is quite stunning if you are looking for both everyday pieces (I'm a big fan of her silver rings and earrings) or specially commissioned pieces for weddings, anniversaries and other keepsake occasions.  She will also soon be holding jewellery making workshops at her studio.  I fell in love with her 'peacock' drop earrings inspired by Montsalvat itself and the free range peacocks who wander the gardens - one of which gave me a big fright when it popped its head out at me while I was eating my lunch at The Meeting Pool restaurant.  Got to love all the nature out here!

Nb. Miss Rosanna is The Light Factory Gallery's freelance PR consultant.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ladies Day

I did neglect to mention yesterday that there's a new manual coffee machine which received 23.5 out of a possible 24 points in The Age's home coffee machine review yesterday - surprisingly it's the Breville Dual Boiler - at $1500 a shot, it should be that good...To be honest, I'd still rather pay under $1000 for a Rancilio Sylvia or Lelit machine which are both made in Italy.
Image via Banyule Youth website
It's International Women's Day tomorrow and Banyule City Council is holding a free 'Sisters in Song' outdoor concert from 6 - 8 pm in the Heidelberg Gardens, to celebrate women in Banyule and globally.    There'll be performances by female dancers, musicians and singers and the event is open not only to women but also partners and families.  Refreshments will also be available.  BYO Picnic food and rug.  I might even see you there!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

With a twist of lemon...

Today's Age Epicure is the coffee issue featuring the 10 best cafes in town according to them.  In the north, Code Black Coffee in Brunswick and St Ali North in Carlton North both got mentions while in the east Miss Frank in Camberwell also rated.  Some more places to visit if you're in the area and needing a fix!
Image via Montsalvat website
Image via Montsalvat website
I also wanted to mention a few interesting exhibitions.  Bodhisattvas, where are you? by artist Hui Chuan Wang opens tomorrow at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.  Based on Chinese ancient wisdom, the exhibition is about searching for the meaning of life in our modern era.  Meanwhile, Woven Treasures from Afghanistan also opens tomorrow at Montsalvat showcasing carpets, kilims and textiles collected by Alexandra and Leigh Copeland (as well as vintage rugs which are also for sale).  If your tastes lean towards the more exotic, these two are for you.
Image via BAAG website
Finally for nature lovers, Birds of a Feather by Avis Gardner and Liz Walker, exploring the significance of birds on the relationship between man and the natural world, is currently on at the Bolin Bolin Gallery at BAAG (Bulleen Art and Garden).

Friday, March 1, 2013

True North

Welcome to Autumn - my favourite season of the year.  There are a number of events on today and this weekend including the inaugural True North Arts Festival taking place in Reservoir.  Check the program for details on events taking place from today until Sunday.  A Reservoir local has told me that Lady Bower cafe (which I've previously posted about) is the place to go to if you're in the area.
Blue Light by Sophie Haralambakis image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre website
Speaking of north, Northern Lights at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre also starts today.  This exhibition celebrates women artists from the northern suburbs 'in a search for the sublime, subliminal and seminal' in their words.  Thirty-one artists from diverse backgrounds and backgrounds but connected by location are showing as part of this exhibition.
The Melbourne Ukelele Festival also starts today in Northcote and runs until Sunday.  There is an exhibition of custom painted ukeleles opening tonight at Bar 303 in High Street as part of this festival.  You're invited to come dressed in the Mexican Day of the Dead at the opening tonight from 6 - 8 pm.

Continuing with all things musical, the Melbourne Didgeridoo Festival is also taking place in Manningham tomorrow at the Mia Mia Aboriginal Art Gallery in Westerfolds Park, Templestowe.  Have a great weekend!