Monday, February 8, 2016

Monkey Magic

Happy Lunar New Year to you!  The Year of the Red Fire Monkey has arrived and I wish you good health, love, luck, happiness and prosperity for the next 12 months.  I think it's a particularly auspicious new year today - it falls on the 8th day with 8 being the luckiest number for the Chinese.  It's also a New Moon - a time of new beginnings and a good time to start new things.  Apparently if you start an activity on a New Moon, you're more likely to continue with it...this is a good thing if you need to re-set any resolutions for this year.
Lions dancing - Lunar New Year Festival celebrations
It was a beautiful sunny weekend and I hope you are enjoying this last month of summer.  I caught up with Montsalvat Arts Manager Jeannette Davison last week at Montsalvat, which is one of my favourite places in the north-east.  Jeannette's worked incredibly hard (and still does) in the time she's been at Montsalvat,  which doesn't receive any funding at all, and she gave me a run down on past, present and future events - there's been a lot of changes behind the scenes at Montsalvat as well during her time. They are currently showing the Laughing Waters : Art, Landscape and Memory in Eltham exhibition in the Barn Gallery and I was thrilled to see a work by my friend, tonalist painter Melanie Scaife had been selected as the hero piece (painted during her residency at Laughing Waters where I was lucky enough to visit her) for the catalogue and on display when you walk into the gallery.  Montsalvat's Puesta del Sol sunset poolside events have also been amazingly popular and there's talk of introducing a night market to accompany these as well.
Garden plant at Montsalvat
Melanie Scaife image via
Speaking of friends, it's been fantastic to see Louise Kyriakou, who was the very first local profile on this blog, featured on The Design Files last week.  While I have a couple of her paintings I commissioned when I had my children, she's become known for her gorgeous ceramic faces - a more modern interpretation in some ways of the Fornasetti plates and even more beautiful given they are hand made.  You can buy them direct from Modern Times.
Louise Kyriakou image by Modern Times

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