Saturday, February 11, 2017

RAW GARDEN STORYTELLING

We all have our passions and mine are multiple. They include storytelling (of course) and gardening.

I belong to Storytelling Australia Victoria and as an office bearer on the committee, I get to be part of some exciting ideas. We've been exploring partnerships and one of those is with the RAW Garden.

Mariam Issa and Dee
Some time ago Mariam Issa opened up her heart and garden and formed RAW with a team of like minded women. The garden explores the private garden as a shared space, open to the public. There is an out door kitchen, permaculture garden and chooks. RAW offers a rich program of activities and once a month there are stories.

This year Singaporean storyteller Durgah Devi Palanisamy (Dee) is holding the space for the stories. Dee moved to Melbourne over a year ago and has dived into the storytelling, enriching the Story Vic gatherings with Asian tales exquisitely told.

Dee and Martin deep in conversation

Every so often we are privileged to welcome storytellers for overseas or interstate. Martin Jefferd from the UK is a favourite. Martin visits Australia in the summer to catch up with his grandchildren and he always arrives with stories.
Martin in full flight
These beautiful photos where taken by Tatiana Scott.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wheels within Wheels

I love collaborating and creating events with other like-minded odd balls. And bikes are one of my 'things'.


In recent times I've been enjoying some adventures with Patrick Verdon, the Story Peddler. In mid winter, we toured around the Hamilton region with his gorgeous tent as part of the Woolly West Festival.



And just the other day Patrick pitched it in Dandenong Park, and again, it was my good fortune to be invited to fill it with stories. Bike, tent, books, comics, storytelling: I'm happy!  
 

I love working in the Greater Dandenong area, this is a wonderful community to be invited into; I would call it a 'capacious heartspace'.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Raising awareness about migratory shore birds: the work is never done!


A fine morning spent in the company of remarkable people including the Hobsons Bay Conservation Rangers (Libby and Andrew), Birdlife Australia (Sean and Caroline) and The Connies (tram conductors, performers, educators, ecologists and nature lovers).
 
The Curlew, sculptured by John Kean in our back room, was ceremoniously passed over to Birdlife's Caroline Wilson for educational and outreach programs. The event 'Dogs Breakfast' is an annual social gathering organised by Council, to awaken the responsibility we all have, especially dog owners to the continuing survival of migratory shore birds.

Sean Dooley from BirdLife Australia gave a moving talk about the plight of our shore birds. He spoke at length about how common these birds and other migratory species were in Hobsons Bay (where I live) as recently as the the 80s. The statistics are heart-breaking and the decline is happening before our eyes. Yesterday this life size sculpture of a Curlew was formally handed over to BirdLife Australia, to use in their outreach and educational programs. Currently there is one Curlew in our vicinity, where once there were thousands. Its beyond sad.

It takes a team!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Behind the Label


In full flight - telling 'Tales from the Flyway'
WHEN: December 1st
TIME: 7.30 - 9.30pm
WHERE: Cromwell Studios 136A Cromwell, Street Collingwood
Bookings: HERE

I'll be one of a line-up of speakers talking about telling stories in schools and festivals and the complexities and delights of rummaging around in culturally complex spaces.  But the passion at the moment is in using my  skills to bring people closer to the natural environment. I'm a 'birdo' and live by the urban wetlands in Hobsons Bay where I work to raise awareness of the plight of the migratory shore birds.

I've also received a couple of gongs for my two children's books and adult short stories. That's another passion!

Behind the Label more info HERE

Monday, October 31, 2016

'Singing from Country' launched at the Maldon Folk Festival

It has been with pride and pleasure I have had a place on the Singing from Country steering committee representing Storytelling Australia Victoria. Any project that aims to deepen connection to the land through understanding is a winner in my book.
 Uncle Rick Nelson: Welome to Country
This event was the pilot project; the goal is to eventually roll the idea across Victoria. Almost two years in the planning, it was wonderful to see the hard work come together in a day of workshops and a powerful and joyous concert.

The pilot Singing from Country was launched on Dja Dja Wurrung Country  bringing together traditional knowledge holders, ecologists, naturalists, singers, songwriters and choir leaders.

Workshop: Rebecca Phillips, Djali Balag (Langugae Group on language and culture)
Two months ago, four of Australia's celebrated songwriters were immersed in full day of presentations and stories to assist them in the task of writing two songs each, to be arranged for community choirs.

Neil Murray (songwriter)
These songs were revealed at the Maldon Folk Folk Festival as works in progress (still to be arranged and polished) at the concert. I am still smiling and savoring the delight of the day. To hear a hall full of people singing about Allocasuarina, swathes of wildflowers, skin and bark, to hear a welcome sung in Dja Dja Wurrung - powerful and memorable. A wonderful beginning.

 Songwriter Eva Popov (left) with the help of friends
Hats off to the Dja Dja WurrungCommunity Music Victoria, Victorian Aboriginal Corporation of Languages, Connecting Country  

So many people to acknowledge who have contributed to the project so far. I suggest you visit the Singing from Country website, join the Facebook Group and follow the journey.

Songwriter Kavisha 

 
Songwriter Carl Pannuzzo

Friday, October 28, 2016

'Tales from the Flyway': Sunday 27 November


click on poster to enlarge
Sarah and I will be performing some of our Tales from the Flyway during an exhibition curated by visual artist Kate Gorringe-Smith.  Kate shares the passion for migratory shore birds, their plight and the metaphor their epic journeys gives to our lives.

FROM A HOME TO A HOME: A STORY OF MIGRATION seeks to raise awareness of the migratory shorebirds that travel the  East Asian Australasian Flyway and their habitats and raises empathy for people who have migrated to these shores looking for sanctuary.

The exhibition includes works from seven of the twenty-three Flyway countries. Artist include: Kate Gorringe-Smith (Curating artist), Cui Xiao Hua, Kyoko Imazu, Nakarin Jaikla, Vicki Kinai, Andrej Kocis, Helen Kocis Edwards, Khue Nguyen, Minh Phan, Ema Shin, En En See, Pamela See, My Le Thi, Pimpisa Tinpalit, Haily Tran, Rebecca Young.



Exhibition details
FROM A HOME TO A HOME: A STORY OF MIGRATION
Friday 25 November – Thursday 8 December
Opening: Friday 25 November , 6.00–9.00pm
Brunswick Street Gallery, 322 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Gallery hours: Tues–Fri 10am–8pm; Sat–Sun 10–6pm

Here's one of the Tales we may tell. Will be hard to choose, we love telling them all.
 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

House Concert: C.J. Dennis The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke

Its been a quiet few months as I've been recovering from a broken arm. Miserable as it is,  I have been enjoying the chance to focus on writing. I love writing, once I get started, but if if the sun is shining I'm easily distracted. So.. not able to drive, ride my bike or work in the garden, one hand typing has been my thing for the past eight weeks.

I like to think I'm not superstitious but I do have a streak of superstitious caution when it comes to talking about projects that are still waiting for that contract that says - 'its a goer'. So I won't reveal too much, suffice to say I have been immersed in mid 19th century to early 20th century Australian English.

This culminated in a House Concert: C.J. Dennis The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke. My friends Alan and Dave Davies created a 30 minute piece around 4 poems from The Bloke a while ago, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary since publication. Dave has been memorising and reciting verse for over 60 years and his son Alan is a dab hand at the art form as well. The poems were linked by Australian Bush tunes, selected and played by Nicola Johnson. I had the pleasure of being 'The Narrator'.

My friend Alex Kharnam arrived with a truck load of camera gear and lights and filmed the event for posterity. The results will be available for all to enjoy.

Dave, Alan and Nicola are friends from the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club, a great caldron of creativity in Melbourne.

I love House Concerts and aim to host a few every year. They are a great reminder that houses are not just for eating and sleeping.

Followers

Blog Archive