MonthJune 2018

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TIme

Canberra Theatre Centre 27 June to 1 July 2018

The National Theatre of Great Britain’s highly acclaimed stage adaptation by Simon Stephens of Mark Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time begins with high drama – a scene of a dog with a garden fork protruding from its prone body. Continue Reading“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TIme”

Studies with Light – works in glass

Kirstie Rea and Lucy Palmer curated by Aimee Frodsham
Suki & Hugh Gallery, Bungendore until 12 August

This exhibition which opened on Saturday 30 June, showcases the work of Kirstie Rea and Lucy Palmer. The common thread is a preoccupation with the Australian landscape and the way light plays on it. The exhibition was curated by Aimee Frodsham, Artistic Director of Canberra Glassworks. Continue Reading“Studies with Light – works in glass”


Emily Birks – Sanctuary: A Year at Mulligans Flat

Strathnairn until 22 July

This beautiful exhibition by Emily Birks is the result of a year-long residency at Mulligans Flat, a nature reserve surrounded by a predator-proof fence in the north of Canberra. Emily’s exhibition focusses on vulnerable species and is a collection of detailed sensitively rendered ink paintings. Continue Reading“Emily Birks – Sanctuary: A Year at Mulligans Flat”


Gail Jones – The Death of Noah Glass

Text Publishing Melbourne 2018

I must confess at the outset that I am not an impartial reviewer of the work of Gail Jones. I love the way she writes and the stories she tells. I’ve been a follower of her work since 2004. A writer as critically acclaimed as she is hardly needs my endorsement, but here goes – another powerful and absorbing story from a mistress of the writing craft.

Gail Jones writes so exquisitely. Every sentence holds meaning and every sentence is beautifully crafted – she writes poetic prose with attention to each word and its placement.

The Death of Noah Glass travels between Palermo (Sicily) and Sydney, past and present stories, separate and entwined lives. It explores the bonds of love and family, guilt, grief, happiness and the intersection of lives. This tale of secrets, family and place insistently holds the reader in thrall, both for its form and its substance.

Gail Jones is the author of 2 short story collections and seven novels: Black Mirror, Sixty Lights, Dreams of Speaking, Sorry, Five Bells, A Guide to Berlin and this latest The Death of Noah Glass. I recommend that you read them all.

James Sanderson – Sherlock Holmes and the Six Napoleons

Published by

The fourth of the James Sanderson’s canine Sherlock adventures has just arrived. Like its three predecessors it is beautifully illustrated by Harriet Rodis.

The original on which this rhyming tale by Sanderson is based is The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, one of the 56 Holmes short stories by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Living Arts Canberra looks forward to speaking to this Canberra author soon about his latest sleuthing adventure for young readers or bedtime listeners. James has also generously agreed to read the four stories for LACE radio. We’ll keep you posted on that one.

Jeremy Scott – The Long Road From a Broken Heart

This text is from Jeremy Scott’s website

As a toddler, Jeremy Scott had a huge hole in his aorta valve that cruelly denied him the opportunity to live the life of a normal healthy child. At just four years of age Jeremy underwent Open Heart Surgery at the hands of renowned surgeon Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes.

Thirty four years later with practically no experience or training, Jeremy took the unbelievably courageous plunge and began a 2 ½ year, 51,916km bicycle ride that would see him cycle through 29 countries from London to New Zealand.

While separate encounters with the Iranian and Filipino Mafia had Jeremy fearing for his life, it was the beautiful acts of kindness offered by strangers throughout the world that will forever warm his heart. While this beautiful story of self-discovery will leave you feeling genuinely inspired, Jeremy’s stunning photographs from the road will render you speechless.

The Long Road From A Broken Heart is not only a story about life in the saddle, it is a story about the beautiful side of humanity and an example of what someone can achieve if they believe in themselves and have the courage to chase their dreams.

10% of the RRP on each book sold will be donated to the New Zealand, Australian or British Heart Foundations.

ISBN: 978-0-9941886-0-1 (Hardcover)

  • Listen to Barbie’s interview with Jeremy Scott



S.A. Adair – Locus at ANCA Gallery until 1 July

We couldn’t make it to the opening of this show on 14 June but caught up with the artist this weekend for a chat and to experience her work.

Locus is a twisted network of white felt, black lit and filling the white gallery space at ANCA. Adair aims to immerse us in her work and let us decide what it is we are experiencing in her installation. It is visually rather beautiful and coldly quiet, as befits a winter experience in Canberra. Continue Reading“S.A. Adair – Locus at ANCA Gallery until 1 July”


Dark Histories Bright Futures

A women’s forum as part of National Refugee Week and in conjunction with an exhibition by Hangama Obaidullah, Street Children of Kabul and other works – Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Thursday 21 June at 6pm

This was an excellent forum focused on women’s issues but for an audience of both men and women. Striking statistics on domestic violence and Information about the parlous conditions of some immigrant workers were presented respectively by Barb Baikie, President of the National Council of Women Australia and Heather Moore National Policy & Advocacy Coordinator – Freedom Partnership for The Salvation Army. Continue Reading“Dark Histories Bright Futures”

Tessa Lunney – April in Paris 1921

Readers who love a gutsy Australian heroine, the 1920s, anything French and a tale of spies, art theft and general skullduggery will love April in Paris, 1921. Tessa Lunney introduces us to the redoubtable Kiki Button, erstwhile Australian army nurse and spy/detective in WW1 France. Buttons returns post-war to Paris to escape the stifling authority and bourgeois authority of family and Sydney society, and finds work as a gossip columnist for a London paper allowing her access to both the aristocracy, the wanna be American socialites and the Bohemian artworld of the era (including Picasso).

A ripping yarn well told, April in Paris explores the changing social mores and the aftermath of war in the early 20th century, the whispering rise of Nazism and European class systems with their inequalities, the role of women and affairs of the heart. It is most of all though a thoroughly readable, non-put downable novel to warm the hearts and tease the minds of Francophiles far and wide.

We eagerly await the promised second of the Kiki Button mysteries.

  • Hear Barbie’s interview with Tessa Lunney

The incomparable Song Company with True Love Story

Friday 15 June 2018 at The Street Theatre

The Song Company is truly an experience somewhere between salon and theatre. We feel so close to the performers and Antony Pitts encourages us in, and yet they are definitely on stage and in role throughout their performance.

True Love Story is their latest offering, the story of Guillaume de Machaut and Péronelle d’Armentières, told in their words from letters and poetry of the 14th century. With minimal set, The Song Company evokes the story of the ups and downs of this romance between an ageing Machaut and the much younger object of his affections.

This is a work of 9000 lines, Le Livre du Voir Dit – just how true we cannot tell. Suffice it to say that the audience believes what it sees and is moved to chuckle, empathise and wonder in equal measure as Director Antony Pitts ably leads his singers through this tale. The excellent (free) program provides ample background and explanation to guide the audience through the work despite the language challenge of 14th century French.

The 2018 program is entitled Imagin’d Corners and The Song Company cleverly takes us places we might never have ventured without their help.

Their next visit to Canberra is on Friday 7 September with Four Colour Season.

Following the movement of our planet around the sun, the weather changes and nature responds in colour and shape to the wind and the rain, the shadows and the sunshine. The traditional four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter have been depicted in European art and music for centuries, but the Aboriginal experience of the seasons is a much more varied and subtler story that tells of the patterns of animal and plant life and their direct impact on survival. In this sympathetic synthesis of two artforms The Song Company is joined by a duo of dancers from Thomas E.S. Kelly’s Karul Projects to trace the course of the Earth’s annual journey in movement and song, both old and new.

  • Read more about them at
  • Listen to Barbie’s interview with Antony Pitts

Barbie and Richard attended True- Love Story at their own expense.


Lindsay Cameron-Smith exhibition opening

Artistic Vision Gallery, Fyshwick, 15 June 2018

A small but enthusiastic group gathered on a horribly cold Canberra evening to celebrate the opening of this exhibition of work by deceased Canberra artist Lindsay Cameron-Smith.

Margaret Hadfield and Kathryn Spurling have labored hard over this collection of retrieved and renewed work, bringing it to life by cleaning and restoring, renovating frames or reframing entirely. The result was a vibrant collection of works by a mostly forgotten figure in the Canberra arts landscape.

And this is indeed the vision of the gallery. Visit to see what they are up to and find out what drives them to altruistically follow this path. Find more at