John Cook with Jon Bauer Allen & Unwin Australia, 2020
This beautifully told story of John Cook’s time as keeper of remote lights off the Tasmanian coast is both a history of the lighthouses and a slightly fictionalised autobiography. Working collaboratively with British author, Jon Bauer, John Cook has retold the minutiae of lighthouse life, but has also delved into his own turbulent feelings during those 25 years in the service of sea safety.
Renate Rienmueller & Tim Selwyn Suki & Hugh Gallery, Bungendore NSW, 8-30 August 2020 Open 10am to 4pm Saturdays & Sundays, other times by appointment
The focus of this exhibition is Renate’s relationship with Tim, a sculptor whose Indigenous ancestral line comes via his mother from the Wiradjuri / Wongaibon people (Central West NSW). Together they explore ideas around connection, responsibility to our land and its people, selfhood, community, identity and the need to challenge the stereotypes that separate us.
Spanning two centuries, Milk tracks a conversation between three Aboriginal ancestors: an old woman is dying, clutching the stone that should have killed her sealer husband; a middle-aged woman curls her hair in preparation for another date; a young man grapples with the past before plunging headfirst into an uncertain future.
Tuggeranong Arts Centre 25 July – 19 September 2020
First Response is a series of four new works from artists Martin Ollman, Marissa McDowell, Anna Georgia, and Shannon Hanrahan commissioned to document Canberra’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The works aim to show the profound and personal effects of the pandemic on individuals and communities in the ACT.
Palace Electric Canberra from 30 July 2020 103 mins, rated PG
I first saw Dave Johns (Dave) on screen in Ken Loach’s powerful 2016 film I Daniel Blake when it was included in one of the British Film Festivals – it was a standout. And Dave Johns – once seen, never forgotten. He is a consummate actor, capable of expressing a world of emotions within an always restrained performance.
Palace Electric Canberra from 23 July 2020 97 minutes, rated G
House of Cardin begins with a montage of rapid- fire footage and sound-bites, mainly dedicated to admiring assessments of Pierre Cardin as an innovative genius. It is rather a relief when the pace slows somewhat to examine Cardin’s background and early career and then the various periods of his (mainly professional) life.
Felicity McVay (words) and Caroline Seltz (pictures) New Holland Publishers, Australia, 2020
Gosh! We are all in need of a bit of fun right now (and always) and The Boy who Burped is guaranteed to inject a dose of this for its readers and listeners. Most small children are rather interested in bodily functions, and those involving embarrassing noises always invoke hilarity.
Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2020 Available for pre-order
This is a book so near to my heart that I find it hard to write impartially – in fact, I will not try.
Peter O’Brien’s memoir, Bush School, is mostly an account of that part of his life when as a 20-year old single young man he was sent in 1960 to Weabonga, one teacher school in a remote area out of Tamworth.
As one whose first teaching post in 1972 was a four teacher school, though not particularly remote, I felt such a deep sense of familiarity with everything he writes that I was immediately transported back to my 20s and the challenges of beginning teaching.
Memoir is an interesting form of writing, as one always speculates what has been left unsaid. In A Particular Woman, we fancy this is also true but Ashley Dawson-Damer has generously shared a great deal.
She speaks with honesty and heart about many aspects and periods of her life and times (she was born in 1945, as she once proudly announced in a Board meeting, when her capacity and experience were subtly called into doubt).
Hidden Thoughts II: Return to Sender Composed by Dr Katy Abbott Performed by the Flinders Quartet with mezzo soprano Dimity Shepherd and actor Richard Piper Streaming live at 7pm, Thursday 23 July 2020
Hidden Thoughts II: Return to Sender is a musical response by Melbourne composer Katy Abbott to the many letter sent by Australians to asylum seekers on Nauru last decade, nearly 2000 of which were returned unopened.
Featuring spoken word and music, the piece was to have been performed at this year’s Canberra International Music Festival.
Moving Archetypes studio is now open for in person classes whilst continuing online teaching for those who prefer this model at this time.
Term 3 courses will focus on the beauteous and powerful deity, Saraswathi. Padma says: ‘Saraswathi is a contemplative space of depth and profound relevance to our times. As the deity of Vaak, vac or expression, she invites us to expression that is free from delusion and dependence on the conditional narratives we use to frame our reality.
Bearing out the common belief that fact is stranger than fiction, Robert Wainwright’s biography of Enid (born Enid Lindeman) treats the reader not only to a fascinating personal story but to an insight into the history of the era in which she lived.
This charming book is both beautiful to look at and highly appropriate in its message – ie that we all need to be prepared for change and able to adapt to new circumstances. This moral is, of course, not just one of our times, but is a particularly salutary one for both young and old in the COVID-19 world.
National Film and Sound Archive McCoy Circuit, Acton ACT Daily 10am-4pm from 1 August 2020
A new interactive public space opens on 1 August 2020 at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA). It will use interactive technologies to provide visitors with an insight into its collection – and the experts tasked with preserving it.
The centrepiece of Hive is a new interactive display titled Storywall, produced by the NFSA and SBS Digital Creative Labs.