MonthFebruary 2021

First Nations composers turn parliamentary voices into song and story

Songs from a Stolen Senate
Presented by the Griffyn Ensemble and Belco Arts
2pm & 7pm Saturday 13 March 2021
Belconnen Arts Centre

Songs from a Stolen Senate is the beginning of a series from The Griffyn Ensemble that challenges how Australian identity had been forged since European settlement.

In this instalment, First Nations composers from across the country have taken parliamentary voices and reworked them into song and storytelling from their Indigenous perspective.

Michael Sollis from the Griffyn Ensemble talks to Barbie about Songs from a Stolen Senate

Eight of Australia’s most prolific First Nation musicians from a diverse genres and backgrounds join The Griffyns in this work:

  • Aranda country music icon Warren Williams
  • inspirational Noongar singer-songwriters Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse
  • Norah Bagiri from Mua Island in the Torres Strait
  • Ngunnawal custodian Richie Allan
  • Larrakia hip-hop artist Jimblah
  • Canberra-based Christopher Sainsbury from the Dharug Nation
  • Yuin composer Brenda Gifford.

From Stolen Generations to climate politics, Songs from a Stolen Senate offers different perspectives of our national past and the Australian parliament.

COVID seating applies: One empty seat will be left between separate bookings to aid in social distancing. Tickets purchased in the same booking will be seated together.

Image courtesy Belconnen Arts Centre

Angharad Dean – I am Strong

M16 Artspace, Gallery 3
25 February to 14 March 2021
Open Wednesday to Sunday 12 noon to 5pm

Angharad Dean’s solar plate etchings are made from original ink drawings and depict a mature woman’s form in a variety of poses, mostly expressing strength and confidence with the occasional view of weariness and perseverence.

Barbie spoke to Angharad Dean at M16
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Esther Campion – A Week to Remember

Hachette, Australia

A group of people gather in a beautiful guest house in West Cork, Ireland, for a restorative stay. However, as life goes, they all bring secrets and issues which cannot be left behind simply with a change of geography. In fact, this is the place for facing demons.

Barbie speaks with Esther Campion about A Week to Remember
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Pillar of The Church keeps the faith

Review: Steve Kilbey, supported by The Dalmations
Belconnen Arts Centre Theatre
, 20 February 2021

The new Belconnen Arts Centre theatre established its credentials as a live music venue on 20 February when it hosted a COVID-capacity concert by British-born and now expatriate Canberran Steve Kilbey, best known as lead singer of The Church, of which he is now the only original member.

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Maria Pfohl and Siva Nathan – Colours of Nature

Kyeema Gallery at Capital Wines Cellar Door
13 Gladstone Street, Hall ACT

Thursday to Monday from 10.30am to 5pm
Until 15 March 2021

It is heartening to see galleries opening up after the challenges of COVID year, and the good folk at Kyeema Gallery in Hall now have a full year of exhibtions scheduled for 2021.

Maria Pfohl and Siva Nathan have exhibited together before and while their styles differ greatly their work hangs together well.  They bring a deep sensibility to their paintings, which pay homage to Nature’s restorative beauty.

Barbie talks to Maria Pfohl and Siva Nathan about Colours of Nature
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Julie Lark and Sheryl Miller – Art from the Heart

Magpie Room, Dirty Jane’s Canberra
80 Collie Street Fyshwick
Until 21 March 2021
Open daily 10am to 5pm

Julie Lark’s lustrous alcohol ink abstract works are paired with  Sheryl Miller’s distinctive landscapes and bird paintings in the current exhibition in the Magpie Room at Dirty Jane’s Canberra. The artists create joyous works and clearly share a love of colour and line.

Julie Lark talks with Barbie about her work at Dirty Jane’s
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32nd Alliance Française French Film Festival

Palace Electric Canberra
4 to 31 March 2021
COVID restrictions apply – bookings essential

Karine Mauris, Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of France in Australia, has assembled 37 films from established filmmakers for her inaugural season as festival artistic director.

Hailing from a background immersed in cultural creativity, Karine is passionate about nurturing emerging talent and discovering stories that cast a spotlight on the many rich facets of French life.  She aims to make audiences, laugh, enjoy some romance and, importantly in these times of COVID, to breathe.

Barbie spoke to Nancy Ford-Waites, new Director of AF de Canberra and Artistic Director, Karine Mauris, Cultural Attaché to the French Embassy in Australia.
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Improvisation, local are bywords for folk festival’s new artistic director

Katie Noonan thanks ABBA and a Benjamin Britten opera for her musical DNA.

As the National Folk Festival’s new Artistic Director, she will make Canberra her home for about a week a month, and is relishing the challenge of programming the next three festivals in an age of COVID uncertainty.

Listen to Richard’s interview with Katie Noonan
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Jane Gerrish – Observe

Suki & Hugh Gallery 38A Gibraltar Street Bungendore, NSW
Until Sunday 21 March 2021

A visit to Suki & Hugh and the current exhibition about Matisse and his world by Sydney artist Jane Gerrish is highly recommended for any devotee of modern French art and art history.

The artist’s exquisite drawings pay homage not only to Matisse but to the models he worked with and to his collection of objects. Gathered from around the world, the objects were a feature of much of his work.

Barbie visited Suki & Hugh Gallery to talk to Jane Gerrish about Observe
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Annie Parnell – Clay is like Stone, Glaze is like Rock

Strathnairn Gallery until 7 March 2021

This exhibition demonstrates the importance for the emerging artist of time to play. This is not indicate a frivolous diversion but rather the space to experiment and make work that does not intend necessarily to be functional or commercial. It expresses a delight in simply making forms, playing with the mediums, inviting the viewer to make of them what he or she will.

Barbie went to Strathnairn to talk to Annie Parnell
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Davina Stone – The Alice Equation

Feathers and Stone Publishing, Australia, 2021

The Alice Equation is the first in a planned series by this West Australian based author, who was a finalist in the 2020 Valerie Parv Award – praise indeed. The story follows the many ups and owns of the relationship of Alice and Aaron as it moves from a rather one-sided long-standing crush by Alice to something much more satisfactorily equal.

Barbie spoke to Davina Stone about The Alice Equation
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Canberra Men’s Choir invites new members at any time

Mondays, 7.30 – 9.00 pm
Harmonie German Club
49 Jerrabomberra Ave, Narrabundah ACT

All men are invited to attend the Canberra Men’s Choir’s weekly rehearsals, take part in the music and enjoy the camaraderie.

The Canberra Men’s Choir is a non-auditioned choir which welcomes all men who enjoy singing, regardless of their musical experience and ability. Its aim is to encourage more men to get involved in singing and to enjoy themselves.

Richard spoke to musical director Leanne McKeen, and choir members Kerry Groves and Jeff Kingwell.

The Choir currently has about 20 members, and is proud that for many of them, the Choir has been their first experience with singing.


Image courtesy Canberra Men’s Choir.

Katherine Kovacic – The Schoolgirl Strangler

Echo Publishing, Australia, 2021

I am not usually a reader of true crime, but as a rusted-on fan of Katherine Kovacic and her Alex Clayton art sleuth mysteries (and especially Alex’s beautiful Irish wolf hound Hogarth), I was confident that this book would be superbly written and of substance. And I was not disappointed.

Barbie speaks with Katherine Kovacic about The Schoolgirl Strangler
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Lime Flamingo Collective OutsideIn / InsideOut

West Gallery, Belconnen Arts Centre
5 February – 21 March 2021

Lime Flamingo is a networking group for emerging professional artists from the Canberra region. This is an exhibition by members Lesley Andersen, Jenny Blake, Jodie Cunningham, Sarah Earle, Roger Hancock, Gillian Jackson, Diane McWhirter, Angella Price and Jo Walters.

Barbie went to Belconnen Arts Centre to speak with five of the Lime Flamingo artists
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