MonthAugust 2020

Julie Lark and Sheryl Miller – A Touch of Spring

Bungendore Fine Art Gallery
Throughout September 2020

Although originally a watercolour artist, Canberra based Julie Lark adapted her style to fluid mediums after being diagnosed with Macular Degeneration more than five years ago.  She now enjoys the freedom of swirling layers and the unpredictability achievable with fluids.

Barbie speaks with watercolour artist Julie Lark
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Indigenous musicians join Griffyn Ensemble for Songs from a Stolen Senate

Online on Friday 4 Sept 2020 at 7pm, and Saturday Sept 5 at 2pm and 7pm

You are invited to interact online with the Griffyn Ensemble and some of Australia’s most inspiring First Nation musicians in three performances covering topics ranging from stolen generations to climate politics.

Richard talks to Griffyn Ensemble director Michael Sollis
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Indigenous Literacy Day goes live around Australia

Wednesday 2 September 2020
12.30pm  on the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s YouTube channel
2pm  on the Sydney Opera House YouTube channel

This 45-minute celebratory event, designed especially for children aged 3 to 11, will inspire the community about the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s first languages and why learning in language is important.

It will feature ILF Ambassador Jessica Mauboy and long-time supporter Archie Roach.

Tina Ray, from the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, talks to Barbie
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Caroline Beecham – Finding Eadie

Allen & Unwin Australia 2020

This is Caroline Beecham’s third historical fiction novel. Set mostly in 1943 London, it is a tale of baby farming, betrayals, friendships, war-time and the publishing industry.

Held together by the novel’s heroine, Alice Cotton, who works in a London publishing house and who finds herself inconveniently pregnant, the story delves into the grim reality of unwedded motherhood at the time. It is largely driven by Alice’s quest to find her baby, taken from her almost immediately after her birth – Eadie.

Barbie speaks with Caroline Beecham about Finding Eadie
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Les Misérables – Film Review

A film by Ladj Ly
103 minutes, MA15+
In French with subtitles

Don’t expect stirring singing and beguiling gamins in this contemporary French take on the degradations and social misery of the immigrant communities of Paris, specifically Montfermeil, the suburban area where Victor Hugo set his 18th century novel. Do expect to be confronted by this film, which can best be described by the clichéd term gritty.

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La Belle epoque – Film Review

A film by Nicolas Bedoa
Starring Daniel Auteuil (Victor) , Guillaume Canet (Antoine) , Doria Tillier (Margot) and Fanny Ardant (Marianne)
1 hour 55 minutes, M rated
French language with sub-titles

I love this film. I loved it the first time I saw it and I will love it no matter how many more times I watch it.

It reminds me somewhat of the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, in which the young American hero, Gil Pender, a writer, travels back to La Belle Epoque, the period of history he sees as the richest. The notion that sometime in the past was better, the rosy hue of nostalgia for the unattainable past is a common literary (and life) theme.

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Migrant Women’s Art Group

10am – 12pm Mondays until 21 September 2020
Weston Creek Community Centre

Tuggeranong Arts Centre invites women on Monday mornings for art and craft in a welcoming environment. Artist Hangama will lead activities to build your artistic skills and confidence, and you can share your skills and experience too.

Barbie spoke to Hangama about the Migrant Women’s Art Group
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Laura Imai Messina – The Phone Box at the Edge of the World

Translated from Italian to English by Lucy Rand
Manilla Pres, Great Britain, 2020

This was a book so beautiful that, when I finished reading it, I felt I had lost something precious. I deliberately read it slowly to hold onto it for as long as possible – a bit like the grieving and their grief, so delicately portrayed in this story.

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Impressive lineup for Bad Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival

10 to 13 September 2020
Online at

Tickets are now available for the international writers’ component of Bad Sydney with an impressive line-up: Jo Nesbø, Camilla Läckberg, Karin Slaughter, Kathy Reichs, Nicci French, Don Winslow and Ann Cleeves.

Barbie speaks with Catherine du Peloux Menagé, Artistic Director of Bad Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival
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First Seen Program – Barren Ground by Helen Machalias

The Street, Canberra
Friday 4 September 2020 at 5pm
Online performance, limited places
Book online at

Canberra-based writer Helen Machalias returns to The Street for the third and final FIRST SEEN: new works-in-progress in 2020, her new play, Barren Ground.

Machalias’s story explores timeless themes of dislocation, forgiveness and redemption and the plot, character and dialogue draw on  elements of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Barbie speaks with Helen Machalias about Barren Ground
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Doreen Shaw – Aussie Country

Bungendore Fine Art
Until 28 August 2020

Award winning artist Doreen Shaw’s exhibition depicts an Australian motif of nature and her relationship with the countryside.  She works in gouache and multi-media. Her images are powerful, with a vibrant colour pallette and a very strong graphic design element.

Her work is a celebration of a diversity of Australian landscapes: from familiar country backyards scenes to dry, hungry bushland and domestic interiors. On other occasions Shaw invites us to share the joyous environment of the Magpie.

Doreen Shaw grew up in Balmain and Drummoyne and studied with Professor Bissietta’s Art School in Pitt St in Sydney, NSW. She has had more than 25 solo exhibitions nationally and internationally and is represented in public and private collections here and overseas.

Jeanie Green – The House Sitter

Author Academy Elite, USA, 2019

Jeanie Green’s debut novel draws on her vast expertise with all things equestrian and her own life experiences in Scotland and semi-rural Victoria. She weaves her love of horses, dogs and other animals into this fast-moving tale of things fractured and repaired.

Barbie talks with Jeanie Green, author of The House Sitter
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Art in Miniature Annual Exhibition

Raglan Gallery
9-11 Lambie St, Cooma, NSW
Wed – Sun 10:30am – 3:30pm
Until 27 September 2020

The Art in Miniature Canberra friendship group invites you to its 20th exhibition of miniature works, an art form stretching back to the 8th century. There are 12 original members out of a current membership of 19.

Barbie tours the exhibition with Camelia Smith onsite at Raglan Gallery, Cooma
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