Mountain District Radio Episode first aired on 11 December 2017 at 3:00 pm
STOP PRESS! Address for Kumbada End of year performance is The Hall at Aquinas College, Great Ryrie Street.
Hello Good Lifers,
I hope you are not feeling as frazzled as I am at present…. Still to make the Christmas cake and do Christmas shopping! In despair…
Such a busy week, which started with an afternoon at Tarrawarra Museum of Art, where I spent ages absorbing the details of the Fred Williams’ art and the complementary exhibition of brilliant photography by Rosemary Laird. It offers a very powerful statement about our relationship with the environment and our abuse of it and I do encourage you to visit if you can!
I had the pleasure of speaking on the program with the curator, Anthony Fitzpatrick, who told us it was the year of 1974 when Fred Williams became acutely aware of how humans were damaging the land and this is the theme of his paintings of that period. There are only eight in the exhibition, but one of them is HUGE, a triptych which graphically demonstrates the effect of the limestone quarry which played a major role in the early industry of Lilydale. My own favourite is of the “blue train”, which some of us would remember, as it passes through a landscape drastically changed by human intervention. There is also one with local appeal which features a forest pond in Sherbrooke.
We agreed that a Williams’ painting needs to be seen in reality, as photographs can never do justice to the textures which are such an important part of his work. Another memorable feature is the way in which he captures water surfaces….so real I wanted to dabble my fingers in them.
Rosemary Laird’s photographs are extraordinary… they reveal the bush from a totally different aspect and the way in which she introduces the intrusion of humans is incredibly effective and startling in its impact. There are several particularly vivid depictions of the aftermath of bushfires.
There is a beautiful book of her photography available for sale at the Gallery and it would be a wonderful Christmas present, perhaps with a gift pass to see this splendid exhibition.
It was a great pleasure to speak with Anthony and I am sure you will enjoy your visit to this beautiful spot in Healesville.
ANTHONY FITZPATRICK – CURATOR OF FRED WILLIAMS/ ROSEMARY LAIRD EXHIBITION TARRAWARRA MUSEUM OF ART, 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Rd. HEALESVILLE.
OPEN TUESDAY – SUNDAY 11.00.AM.- 5.00 P.M. EXHIBITION ENDS 11/2/2018 ………………………….
I had hoped to speak with actor Steve Bisley about his recent memoir All The Burning Bridges, but it was only his message machine that answered!
However, he did phone in later with an apologetic explanation and I look forward to speaking with him during January.
Our next guest, Alison Cassidy of KUMBADA Dance & Yoga School in Kalorama, interrupted her student rehearsals to speak briefly with us. Her dance classes cater for all ages of children between about 5 and 16 and they were in rehearsal for their current end of year production – The Rise & Fall of the Boastful Cockatoos.
Their performances this year are 15th/16th December and I am sorry to say I did not write down the hall address and can’t remember where it is! I am waiting for Alison to return my call and will put details on Facebook! The phone number at Kumbada is 0409 554 670.
KUMBADA DANCE SCHOOL END OF YEAR CONCERT – 15th/16th DECEMBER.
A few weeks ago I received a book titled Burnt Face by Annette Swann. The cover shows the badly burned face of a young girl and the story it tells is that of Annette and her incredible spirit!
It is a story of courage and heartbreak and resilience, which has a wonderfully happy ending!
Growing up in a Western suburbs household consisting of several generations, Annette had never had her own bedroom until she moved with her parents into a commission house in the Broadmeadows area and we share in her delight at suddenly having her own privacy!
Life was great….but at the age of 9 she attended her mother’s work BBQ, and in an act of incredible stupidity, a man threw methylated spirits on the fire, there was an explosion and Annette was very severely burnt on her face and body.
After months of hospitalisation, she returned home and, despite the problems she was enduring, her very strong mother insisted she return to school and try and resume as normal a life as possible. Of course, there were the inevitable cruel reactions from some of the kids, but she found a small group of staunch friends, accepted that she was “different” and learned to almost ignore the jibes and stares.
As she reached teenage years she also learned to accept that she was not going to be the girl who got invitations from the boys they hung around with… Remember, these were “Broadie” kids and some of them were pretty tough, as she points out.
Annette writes vividly and often amusingly about those days and her mother and father encouraged her to live as normal a life a possible, although there were spells in and out of hospital for painful treatments along the way.
However, the tide turned for her when one of the boys she found most attractive, Mark, paid her attention at a party and invited her on a date!
Frustratingly, as I told her, she leaves us dangling there… but not before telling us that she moved to Mackay with a 3-year old child and her parents and met there the love of her life, who is now her husband and father of their three children!
I reproached her for this, she laughed and promised me a copy of her next book .. which continues the story!
Annette was a delight to interview and has achieved a highly successful career as well as a happy and fulfilling life.
Despite its tragedy, this is a “feel good” book and I do recommend it for holiday reading.
BURNT FACE – ANNETTE SWANN
Another book I am finding totally absorbing is THE WHITELEY TRIAL – an absolute thriller! I don’t really remember details of the very long court case – and its sequel – so I am reading avidly. The author, journalist Gabriella Coslovich, writes very subjectively, which I love, and we share her puzzlement, dismay, and personal comments after every court sitting. She also provides a vivid description of each of the characters, both in appearance and dress. This creates a great sense of involvement for the reader. I think this is a great holiday read and I have no hesitation in recommending it! If you like a good trial novel, this is it! (I am hoping to speak with Gabriella during January.) …………………………
Isobel Blackthorn hosted a very successful launch of her book The Cabin Sessions at Oscar’s Alehouse on Wednesday night. Hosted by Andy Cowan, a swag of local musicians enacted the roles of characters from Isobel’s novel and apparently the evening was a huge success! I regret I was not able to be there…other than in spirit!
I did get to the Annual Presentation Day at Worawa Aboriginal Girls’ College during the day and, as usual, it was a delight. I love to share the buzz of excitement that always exists and to see those beaming faces as the girls perform and/or receive their awards.
Dr Lois Peeler, their Principal, has also been honoured this year by being awarded the title of Victorian Senior Citizen of the Year and, as icing on the cake, the College has been granted the academic status of being able to offer education for years 11 & 12 now. What a great year for them all!
The feature this year was an exhibition of student art and you can see this now at the College, as well as the art gallery which is always open.
I’ll be writing more about this event on Anncreberscollections.wordpress.
WORAWA ABORIGINAL GIRLS COLLEGE – 60-80 BARAK LANE, HEALESVILLE …………………………
Pop-up businesses are like mushrooms these days, but one you should not miss has been opened by Tracey Roberts at Shop 3/260 Main Street, Lilydale. Open Wednesday – Saturday 10.00 – 4.00 P.M. and Sunday 10.00 – 3.00 P.M.
Tracey has a range of her own art works, cards and CDs… perfect presents!
Hopefully, next Monday my guests will talk to us about food and wine for Christmas. Ben Higgs (formerly of Wild Oak Restaurant and now moving into a different foodie area) Gary Cooper of Proserpina Bakehouse in Sassafras and Steven Creber, who is writing for James Halliday and working as a consultant for several independent liquor stores. (Yes, a bit of nepotism there!!) ………………………….
Thanks to friend TJ, who manages to find time to place this up on the internet and to John Weeks, also for sharing his website and for all the hard work he puts in on The Good Life.
All at 3MDR are feeling very proud that one of our presenters, Pri Herath of the Sri Lankan program. has been awarded the title Female Presenter of The Year. Warmest congratulations from your fellow 3MDR presenters, Pri!
I am hoping to see Call Me By Your Name over the weekend and will cover it next week……it has had excellent reviews.
For those who are wondering about “my” greyhound, I decided that as I am away from home so much at the moment and Nina, my grumpy old dog is of uncertain temperament at the best of times, it is probably more sensible to wait until this mad time of year has passed and life becomes a little more stable!
Hope you all have a pleasant weekend ahead! So many festive events happening!!
(The Good Life on 3MDR 97.1 FM, streaming on
http://www.3mdr.com Every Monday between 3.00-5.00 P.M.) ……………………… Track listing