Catherine McCullagh’s fictionalised history joins a swathe of current works about the WW2 European experience under the Nazis. Whilst set in a Paris cabaret, Le Prix d’Amour, it interests itself largely with how the ‘normal citizen’ coped with the many privations and difficulties of Vichy France, at the time of the German Occupation and then under its total control.
Saturday 19 June 2021, 2.00-4.00pm at the National Portrait Gallery Saturday 7 August 2021, 2.00-3.30 pm at Belconnen Arts Centre Wednesday 18 August 2021, 2.00-3.30 pm Tuggeranong Arts Centre Wednesday 1 September 2021, 2.00-3.30 pm at COTA Hall, Hughes Community Centre
The GOLDs are a Canberra Dance Theatre dance class and performance group for movers and non-movers who are over 55. The focus is on fitness, mobility, sociability and creativity.
To celebrate their 10th anniverary, the GOLD dancers will be performing at a number of venues in Canberra to promote the benefits of dance for seniors. GOLD actively challenges stereotypes of older people and espouses the philosophy that dance is not just for the young!
Conducted by Guy Noble Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music Saturday 26 June at 7.30pm
East Meets West Orchestral Evening is an opportunity to hear Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto and Yellow River Piano Concerto, two hugely popular Chinese classics, rarely performed live on Australian stages. The Canberra Symphony Orchestra joins the touring musicians for this performance.
Domenic Mico – In the Shadow of Light Kyeema Gallery at Capital Wines 13 Gladstone Street, Hall, ACT Thursday to Monday 10.30am to 5pm Until 27 June 2021
Canberra arts mover and shaker Domenic Mico has found time in retirement to paint. He has held successful exhibitions from 2018 – at FORM Gallery Queanbeyan and at M16.
The collection of large, brilliantly coloured oil paintings in this body of work are abstract expressions of joy and celebration. Carrying titles merely suggestive of their subject matter, they are in fact an open book for the imagination.
Strathnairn, 90 Stockdill Drive Holt ACT Until 27 June 2021
Cartography of Cloth is the first Australian Complex Weavers members-only exhibition and has been four years in the making. It is a judged exhibition, and what a stunning display of weaving artistry it is. Each piece is a clear demonstration not only of consummate skill but of the love of making by each artisan.
HQ Fiction, an imprint of Harlequin, a subsidiary of Harper Collins Australia, 2021
Let’s get this clear straight away – I loved this book. It’s a delicious piece of contemporary cosy crime, well written, full of relatable characters and social issues, all rendered with a delightfully light touch.
The book falls into the category of the ordinary Joe or Jane prompted to investigate a crime due to a personal connection. In this case, our heroine is Poppy McGowan, researcher for ABC children’s education section. She’s staying with her very nice Mum and Dad during renovations to her little historic cottage, when the builder unearths a set of bones.
Work is interrupted so that the nature of the bones and their historic significance can be assessed. Sadly, an ex-colleague, Dr Julieanne Weaver, with whom Poppy has had a chequered relationship, turns up to do the investigation. Not long after that, said colleague also turns up dead in the excavations – not until after she has organised for the local council to execute a stay order on Poppy’s building work, despite the bones turning out to be from sheep and other livestock and not particularly special although quite old.
Hence, the motivation for Poppy’s investigations to clear her name when she is dubbed suspect number one.
What follows is a twisting tale delving into right wing religious groups and the mirky mire of politics. Poppy proves to be not only intelligent, feisty and fearless, but a dogged investigator, though one who mostly defers to the investigating police, under the leadership of the redoubtable Detective Chloe. She also demonstrates her prodigious people skills – we understand her to be a person who treats others with respect and hence is a loved friend, family member and colleague – all very refreshing in the world of crime fiction.
The book is also laced with witty humour. Its supporting cast are well observed, roundly drawn and always recognisable. We do know people like the stalwart, laconic Terry and Dave, her newshound cameramen buddies. We also know builders like the wonderful Boris (am a bit in love with this character), boyfriend types like Stuart and certainly local Councillors like Cardigan Man. Pamela Hart writes her people so that we can like or loathe them, but there is often still compassion for the badduns, even those we are glad to see get their comeuppance.
Digging up Dirt is definitely a ripping yarn with a contemporary bent. We can get our teeth into the social issues addressed, but we can also just enjoy this as a crime romp. Justice is served, as we expect it to be and goodness wins the day. There’s even a dash of romance, but not mindless abandon – our likeable heroine is not all head, but then not all heart either.
Such a pleasure to learn that Poppy and some of her compatriots will ride on into a series of books. The next cannot come soon enough for me.
Thank you to Harper Collins for the review copy and to Pamela Hart for such an informative and pleasant conversation about the book and other important things.
An Ensemble Theatre production Canberra Playhouse Theatre 3 to 5 June 2021 Approximately 90 minutes, no interval, not suitable for children
Inspired by an experience in 2018, Melanie Tait has scripted The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race, a funny, honest and heart-warming story about upsetting the status quo and standing up for your principles.
Albert Hall, Canberra Thursday 10 June 2021 at 7pm
Fifty years ago, English composer Gavin Bryars was struck by a tape loop of a homeless person singing a fragment of a hymn tune. He added harmonies and instruments and created Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet – a hypnotic piece that has since gained a cult following around the world.
Humble House Gallery, Fyshwick ACT June 2 – 27 2021 Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm
Andrew Vukosav’s sublime aerial images of the Australian landscape would improve any public building or corporate foyer. They are large works appropriate to the vast country they capture.
Shot from his single-engine Cessna 182, using a professional digital camera mounted over an inspection port, the photographs are mostly of pristine, if not untouched, places in Western Australia and South Australia. The images are inland and coastal, though his preference is for inland.
All about Crime podcasts will examine the hot topics and themes in crime fiction – true crime, psychological thrillers, domestic crime, spy thrillers, police procedurals and more with crime writers and readers, both Australian and international.
M16 Artspace Canberra Until 6 June 2021 Open Wednesday to Sunday 12pm to 5pm
The marriage of Colin Grant’s dreamlike figures (mostly women) and Felicity Green’s almost hyper-real forestscapes may seem unlikely, but in fact the works sit very comfortably with one another. Both bodies of work simultaneously occupy a real and an imagined space, one in which light is the dominant element.
PhotoConnect is a collaborative photography association which aims to encourage connections between photographers and other artists and the community at large. It is a membership organisation open to all artists regardless of medium, experience and skill level.