Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What it is? Bernard Caleo and Alex McDermott. Readings June

"Comics can do more with history and history can do more with comics." Bernard Caleo

This was the thrust of What it is? No 3 at Readings Bookshop in Carlton where the artform of comics is provoked and smashed up against other artforms.

In this episode Alex McDermott's Australian History for Dummies was launched and then smashed (in a creative collision-y way) into ... well ... comics.

Alex made the point that he believes history is doing a bad job of selling itself on the open market of ideas. A shame really as an understanding of history gives our national community a sense of who we are - its real and tells us how we came to be who we are today.

Bernard spoke about how a comic is read with the whole body, a kind of immersion takes place, the reader has to actively fill in the gaps.

Having set out the idea, Alex and Bernard then proceeded to teach us a little history using pictures and dialogue. The stories of William Blandowski and Redmond Barry were woven together in a way far to complicated to describe her but suffice to say, the tale was moving, funny, informative, provocative, engaging. Melbourne circa 1850 was brought to life before our eyes.

"I'm giving it 5 stars David. What about you?"
"Well Margaret, I loved it too but you know how I feel about hand held work - so I'm giving it 4 and a half."
"Oh David (snort) ...."

The next What it is?:

Musician Martin Martini and comic book artist

Bernard Caleo collaborate on a performance in which comics become music and music becomes comic books.

Details: Readings Monday July 25 8.00pm

Friday, June 24, 2011

Barwon Heads: Storytelling for little people

Well ... I always say, its not a bad job and someone has to do it!

And not a bad way to end the week either. With a story box full to bursting, I was up at dawn for breakfast, in the car and on the freeway heading west before the commuters (or so I thought). The traffic was moving steadily and I was in Barwon Heads within an hour and a half. The Barwon Bridge is still being renovated. The road freshly tarred, there were no signs of the dead puffer fish that bridge fisherman casually toss for the cars to squash.

I vist this seaside village every year and tell stories at the local kinder. Every year the sun is shining, the breeze is light and the children greet me with the healthiest energy of anywhere. Every year I think , I can't do this, its too far. But its just too beautiful not to be part of Barwon, even if it is for only a day

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Newport Folk Festival: WORDS WORDS WORDS July 1-3 2011

This is an invitation to the Newport Folk Festival but specifically to WORDS WORDS WORDS.

In a Festival that is primarily about music WORDS is a dedicated event for the wordsmiths in the community.

Writers groups, the Storytelling Guild (Vic), poets and singer songwriters will all be stepping up to the mic and sharing words.

The lunch is catered for by BREIZOZ, drinks at the bar.

This is an informal event, no prizes, no stars - its designed so folk with similar interests can meet, share their doings and quaff a few ales!

Please say 'Hi' and tap me on the shoulder if you would like a spot at the mic in 2012.

See full program: Newport Festival

click on poster to enlarge

Torquay Froth and Bubble Literary Festival 2011

Life is mostly froth and bubble,

Two things stand like stone,

KINDNESS in another's trouble,

COURAGE in your own. Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833 - 1870)

The title for this Literary Festival is taken from Adam Lindsay Gordon's poem Ye Wearie Wayfarer.

The kindness and hospitality that greeted Claire and me when we walked into the Festival was palpable. The venue was full to bursting with people of all ages bustling to talks and workshops.

Andy Griffiths packed them in as always.

Peter Caddy,

author of a series of picture books about the Couta boats, rocked the building with a performance poetry piece with the students of St Therese Primary School. I was blown away by this well rehearsed and joyous choral speaking!

Claire's Saxby's workshop : making your own story, was a hoot as always. What can be more fun than playing with rhyme? You can read the results on Claire's blog

After lunch, I delivered my passionate and serious lecture on oral traditions. I can of course bang on for hours about stories and storytelling but I'm alway aware of what I don't know and how much there is to learn. One lifetime is simply not adequate!

The truly exciting thing about a Festival is the people you meet.

Ceridwyn Gordon, comes from a storytelling family and is keeping the tradition alive and I finally met Lee Foyster aka Leedy the Storyteller. There is certainly talent and enthusiasm for storytelling on the Surf Coast.

Many thanks to the Froth and Bubble Festival and to John Adams in particular.

Froth and Bubble Literary Festival

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Newport Artists Market : Kamishibai Australian way

Stories, stories stories.

It's been a while since I set up a story space at the Newport Substation Artists Market. It's my stubborn belief that stories have a place in a market alongside the handmade soaps, jewellery, knitwear, pickles and boutique ales. Having told stories in a small room away from the hubbub, I decided it was time to set up my bike, with kamishibai mounted on the back, and stop the
passing traffic.

The result brought many surprises. Here is Justin next to the set up after having listened to the tale of Split Dog. Justin said he was delighted to find a kamishibai in the market and it reminded him of his childhood - listening the the travelling kamishishai tellers in Japan.

My Kamishai was loaded with five tales. The Two Brothers, I acquired as a result of the Kamishibai Swap Library set up by Derek in the UK. This
beautiful story tells of the imagined beginnings of the first men to tell stories this way. You can see Ted Smith standing there with the children totally engrossed. The beautiful wooden box is of course all Ted's handiwork.

The day wasn't about money , although I did make $2.00! It was really about promoting the Newport Folk Festival July 1 - 3. This is a fantastic event created and managed by my local
folk club. Its like a big party with something for everyone. This year there will be workshops, talks, activities for the kids - it grows and grows and it is a privilege and pleasure to part of the team.

Christine, me, Alan and Ted (Newport Fiddle and Folk Club)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Workshop: Melbourne Library Service

Struggling through morning peak hour traffic, inching through one intersection at a time and sadly observing how we all choke up the roads with our single driver cars, you can imagine how delighted I was when I saw the car parking space reserved for me at East Melbourne Library.

Booked to run a PD workshop for children's librarians at East Melbourne, this is not a task for the faint hearted. Already these people are highly skilled and well informed. Where I zoom in and zoom out, these professionals run a story time every week. With the luxury of time to develop relationships with the children and families that visit their libraries, thematic programs are evolved, costumes donned and colourful characters developed.

In such an environment it's difficult to know what to offer and how get the most out of the day. I took a full story box and more - anything I could share to help these magicians continue with the magic.

I was left wondering at the end of the day- how do we mentor the young ones coming through? How do we build the confidence of people to stand in front of 70+ adults and children and deliver storytime? We need to work on this one. The work is too important not to nurture and grow.

Thinking cap is on!


Blog Archive