MonthAugust 2021

Re-storying: The Resilience Project

The Street Theatre
Until October 2021
Live and online depending on COVID-19 restrictions

The Street Theatre’s Re-Storying: The Resilience Project is a six-module program, which was launched in July 2021 with the support of ACT Health. It is designed for artists from all practices and has attracted actors, writers, poets, visual artists and others wanting to counter the impact of the pandemic on their livelihoods.

Barbie spoke with Abbey Mackay of the Creswick Collective, which has been documenting the project
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Deanna Copeland – Reluctant Pioneer

Internal illustrations by Julie Stapleton
Self-published, Australia, first edition 2016, second edition 2019, third edition 2020

Deanna Copeland is a Canberra-based visual artist and writer. Reluctant Pioneer, the first of her two novels, is inspired by stories told to her by her mother, who came to Australia from England with her husband in 1948.

It is however a work of fiction, an Australian rural romance set in the recent past during the 1940s and 1950s.

Barbie talks to Deanna Copeland about Reluctant Pioneer
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Folk duo hits high note with new lockdown album

Montgomery Church
Where the Quiet Can Hide album
Performing at The Street, Canberra
11 February 2022 (COVID restrictions permitting)

Partners in music and life, Cielle Montgomery and James Church, are making the best of their inability to tour and travel because of COVID lockdowns.

They’d originally planned to travel to Nashville to record their new album. Instead, with remote help from a producer in Melbourne and collaborations with musicians from Braidwood, Melbourne, Newcastle and the the USA, they invested in recording equipment and used their stone hut in the Cooma area as a studio.

Richard samples Where the Quiet Can Hide with Cielle Montgomery and James Church
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Katherine Kovacic – Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries – Just Murdered

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2021
Written by Katherine Kovacic based on Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries episode 1, written by Deb Cox

This novelisation of the TV series of the same name no doubt aims to broaden the following and woo audience for a project bound to be met with some resistance from traditional Phryne Fisher fans. And what a success this book is!

Contemporary crime write Katherine Kovacic brings all the required qualifications to this task and instantly engages us with the sixties era and character Peregrine Fisher, niece of the missing Phryne and heir to her not inconsiderable estate.

Katherine Kovacic talks about Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries – Just Murdered
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Endangered birds benefit from recycled mobile phones

MobileMuster donating funds to Landcare project
Throughout August 2021

A partnership between Landcare and MobileMuster is directing funds to a project restoring habitat for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater in North Central Victoria.

Barbie spoke to to coordinator of the Regent Honeyeater Project, Andie Guerin
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Jennifer Bardsley and Mez Thomas – A Land of Muddy Puddles

Halstead Press, Australia, 2021

This happy picture book reminds us of the joy of simple childhood delights.

Told in the voice of a small boy, it recounts his day from wake up to nap time, observing the beauties of nature in his own backyard on a rainy day – the pond with its fish, droplets falling from a tree, puddles to splash in, the delightful sensation of mud between his toes, a conversation with a friendly frog, a rainbow, the colours of the plants in a sunshower.

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Alison Booth – The Painting

RedDoor Press, UK, 2021
Cover design Emily Courdelle

The Painting is the sixth of Alison Booth’s novels.  It is a fine piece of fiction – historical in that it is set in 1989-1990 and with the World War 11 and post-War era in Hungary at its core.

The centrepiece of the story is a gift from family carried by our heroine Anika to Australia when she manages to begin a new life in Sydney.

Alison Booth talks about The Painting
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Tessa Lunney – Autumn Leaves 1922

Pegasus Crime, NY, 2021

I became an immediate fan of Tess Lunney’s work with her first novel April in Paris 1921 where we met heroine, glamorous spy Kiki Button. Tessa nails it again with this thrilling breathless sequel, a tale of espionage, power and politics in 1922 Paris.

Barbie spoke to Tessa Lunney about Autumn Leaves 1922
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Majura Café Poets – Toast to Poetry

Edited by Clint Wright
Foreword by Fiona McIlroy
Cover design by Karen May; layout by Clint Wright
Self-published, Canberra 2021

The Majura Café Poets have been meeting weekly in various venues around Canberra since its inception in 2009, a practice that was interrupted by the restrictions of COVID-19.

Rather than this presaging poetry’s ‘being toast’, however, the situation  simply threw up a challenge to the poets to keep in touch via other means.

Barbie spoke to Marilyn Hutchinson and Fiona McIlroy from the Majura Café Poets
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Angela Himsel – A River could be a Tree

Fig Tree Books, New York, USA, 2018

As I sit down to write this, the ACT has just entered a seven-day COVID-19 lockdown, its first since early 2020, and I am reminded how very important books and words are to me, have always been to me. Books are a source of solace, information, mind expansion, vicarious experiences, armchair travel and joy.

Barbie spoke to Angela Himsel via Zoom
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F*ck COVID! – ACT Writers online initiative

1.30pm to 5pm Saturday 28 August 2021 (two sessions) via Zoom
Both sessions facilitated by Nigel Featherstone
Free event but donations greatly appreciated to assist in paying the participating writers

‘The COVID-19 shut-downs across the country are causing considerable disruptions to writing events: festivals have been postponed or cancelled, bookshops are not able to offer events, and writers aren’t able to attend even small-scale panel discussions or give masterclasses.

F*CK COVID! is ACT Writers’ way of supporting primarily debut Australian writers who are trying to navigate these precarious times.’

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Film review – The Ice Road

Dendy, Hoyts and Limelight Cinemas Canberra
From Thursday 12 August 2021
Rated M, 109 minutes

This action-packed drama about a desperate rescue mission to save miners trapped underground after an explosion was inspired by Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic 1953 French thriller, The Wages of Fear. And it is just as suspenseful.

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2021 Telstra NATSIAA winners announced

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)
Exhibition continues until Sunday 6 February 2022
Admission is free

Judges have announced the seven winners of the of the Telstra NATSIAA awards.

They were chosen from 34 finalists from the Northern Territory, 14 from Western Australia, nine from South Australia, four from Queensland including one Torres Strait Islander artist, three from New South Wales and one Victorian artist.

Barbie spoke with the winner of the Emerging Artist Award, Queensland artist Kyra Mancktelow
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