Firebird – Film Review

Estonia, 2021
107 minutes, rated R
Dendy Canberra Tuesday 17 May at 6.30pm celebrating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

It always comes as a shock how recently it was that homosexuality and relationships between people of the same gender were illegal across the world. In Australia, it was not until 1997 that Tasmania became the last jurisdiction to decriminalise homosexuality.

This film, set mainly in Soviet-annexed Estonia and Moscow in the 1970s, is the true story of a love affair between Russian conscript Sergey Fetisov (Tom Prior) and fighter pilot, Roman Matvejev (Oleg Zagorodnii). At the time, Soviet men in uniform caught having a sexual affair were subject to severe punishment.

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The Song Company Close-Up – Becoming Beatrix

Chloe Lankshear soprano, Francis Greep piano
3pm, Saturday 14 May 2022
Wesley Music Centre, Forrest, ACT

Chloe’s idea to construct a program around the life and legacy of Beatrix Potter has led the Song Company to explore a wide range of beautiful Art Song by Claude Debussy, Robert Schumann, Eliot Carter, George Crumb, Ross Edwards, Sally Whitwell, and Elena Kats-Chernin.

Chloe Lankshear and Francis Greep talk to Barbie about Becoming Beatrix
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Canberra Men’s Choir concert

Harmonie German Club
Saturday 28 May 2022
2:30 to 3:30pm

The Canberra Men’s Choir is a non-auditioned choir that welcomes any men who enjoy singing regardless of their musical experience and ability. The Choir is proud of the fact that many of its members’ first experience with singing is when they join the choir.

The Choir’s aim is to encourage more men to get involved in singing and to enjoy themselves.They rehearse every Monday at 7:30pm at the Harmonie German Club in Narrabundah. Feel free to email to introduce yourself and ask any questions via the contact form on the website.

The Musical Director is Leanne McKean. Leanne is an experienced opera singer and conductor who has worked with a variety of community, school and chamber choirs.The accompanist, Vivian Zhu, is an accomplished pianist with a wide and varied repertoire.All are invited to go along and enjoy a fun afternoon of music and song.

Antony Jeffrey – The Poinciana Tree

Connor Court Publishing, Australia, 2022
Cover Antony Jeffrey’s daughter Ann
Design Guy Jeffrey

The Poinciana Tree is an homage to the author’s mother, but it is also a portrait of the author, his family and their lives. It is as well a social history of the first part of the 20th century in Australia, especially the years before, during and immediately after the second World War.

Barbie spoke to Antony Jeffrey about The Poinciana Tree
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The Mara! Big Band  – Zashto? (“Why?” in Bulgarian)

The Street Theatre
Friday 13 May 2022
115 minutes

Eastern European gypsy brass band meets jazz big band traditions –  the cream of Australia’s jazz and world music present a kaleidoscope of musical styles including brass, piano accordion, percussion and voice.

Barbie spoke to Mara Kiek
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Tania McCartney – Plume global nibbler

Hardie Grant, Australia, 2022
Design Jo Hunt, Tania McCartney

The second in the Plume series is an exploration of the joys of foods and food culture around the world. As with her other work, Tania McCartney has demonstrated an understanding of how young children think and behave, whilst creating a book which adults will also enjoy.

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New national metal prize honours memory of celebrated designer

Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre and  FINK + Co
Inaugural 2022 Robert Foster F!NK National Metal Prize
Submissions close Monday 27 June 2022

The Robert Foster F!NK National Metal Prize is open to Australian-based metal working artists who create hollow-ware, flatware, lighting, small scale sculpture and objects.

Robert Foster, who trained in silversmithing at the then Canberra School of Art, founded FINK + Co in 1993 in Queanbeyan, near Canberra. He was killed in a car accident in July 2016.

Barbie spoke to Jodie Cunningham, CEO + Artistic Director at Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre and Gretel Harrison, Director of FINK and Co, at the announcement of the prize
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Majura Café Poets – Poetry Patisserie 2021

Self published, Australia, 2022
Cover design Karen May
Internal design Clint Wright

Cover photo depicts Le Bon Mélange Café Patisserie Gungahlin

The Majura Café Poets have been meeting since 2009 under the leadership of Canberra poet Fiona McIlroy. Despite the limitations of COVID lockdowns and uncertainty, the group has continued to gather and enjoy collegial support for their writing over the last two years and has produced this excellent slim volume of selected works.

Fiona McIlroy talks to Barbie about Poetry Patisserie 2021, and several of the poets read their poems
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Casey Bruning – When I Grow up, I will Shine

Self published, through Tell Well, Canada, 2021

Casey Bruning’s first children’s picture book is as cheering as the little girl who is its main character. It’s a work that focuses on many things positive, starting with human kindness.

Barbie talks to Casey Bruning about When I Grow up, I will Shine
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Roger Beale – The Magic of Light

Humble House Gallery
93 Wollongong Street Fyshwick
30 April to 29 May 2022
Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm

This exhibition of predominantly oils and pastels is the work of an accomplished and assured artist.

The collection includes delicious scenes of idyllic, nostalgia-inducing Paris gardens, immediately arousing wanderlust in the viewer. The combination of all that European greenery, the sculpture, the park benches, the floral borders and the dappled light not only makes for classically composed paintings  but also for classically beautiful objects of desire.

Barbie explored the exhibition at Humble House Gallery with Roger Beale
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The Bundian Way – Canberra International Music Festival

Saturday 7 May 2022
Kambri Cultural Centre, ANU
75 minutes followed by a Q and A with John Blay, author of On Track

This multi-media event is new work by Kate Neal, Brenda Gifford, Eric Avery and Damian Barbeler. Instigated by Damian Barbeler, the 75 minute performance is immersive, with images from the track and music which captures the many aspects of nature and culture of the south east of Australia.  Featuring John Blay reading from his book On Track.

Barbie spoke to Damian Barbeler about The Bundian Way
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Mike Lucas and Daron Parton – Let’s Build a Backyard

Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette, Australia, 2022
Designed by Ingrid Kwong

The second in the ‘Let’s Build a’ series, this is a bright, colourful book extolling the virtues of working outdoors together as parent and child and of the joys of nature.

Barbie spoke to Mike Lucas about Let’s Build a Backyard
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