Friday, December 03, 2010

Artful-e: Issue 06

A Collation of Opportunities Sent Almost Every Week
from the good folks at Cairns Regional Council: Cultural Services & Facilities Branch
Cairns Festival HQ and Community Partnerships Unit


EDITION SIX: Reinventing the World
Electronic Alert for a Growing List of Creative People in and around Cairns
(556 of you, and ever-expanding)

"The city is like a family portrait, and you don’t tear apart a family portrait,
even if you don’t like a certain uncle’s nose. Why?
Because that portrait is also a picture of yourself. Cities are a collective dream."
-Jaime Lerner


We are building a new city: right now, right here, every day. And lately, civic-minded folks have been debating the idea of a new CBD, and a rejuvenated urban core in Cairns. Any serious conversation about urban improvements in the 21st century should probably start with Jaime Lerner and what he managed to do over the past three decades in Curitiba, Brazil. 

Famous for declaring that "creativity stars when you cut a zero from your budget," Lerner sees the city as a family portrait and small civic works as a kind of urban acupuncture. His methodology eschews long drawn-out planning, in favour of quick, small, inventive projects and ideas that can be put in place and adapted. Newsday puts it this way: "Lerner is a longtime proponent of what might be called 'blitz urbanism' — the rapid, workable improvement that does an end run on bureaucrats and doubters."

Here's a presentation that Lerner did at TED, and it only scratches the surface of what a visionary, rapid-deployment civic agenda can accomplish...

There is still so much to learn. Dialogue and walking about and reflecting on the urban experience, these are good things for citizens to do.We are, all of us, building a new Cairns. The past is a foreign country. They do thing differently there... 

Friday December 10 from late afternoon: doors open, hospitality, new art and creative projects across the CBD. Stops include 12 BC, Cell Art Space, Blunt Edge Portraiture Award, Cairns Regional Gallery, Havana Music Cafe, Circa 1907 Gallery, Cairns Festival HQ, and more. A little experiment in pedestrianism, creativity, and cultural exploration. Reply to this message if you would like your own guide and map to the first ever Cairns Creative Crawl one week from today.

CBD Revive Team to take on Taipans in next hoops tournament. No, not really. New Cairns Post effort assembles some choice civic minds to assess our urban core. They begin, as you do, by lambasting and peripatetically demonizing. And they took a short walk, as you do: "the group spent more than an hour walking around the CBD this week to identify the most pressing issues facing Abbott, Lake, Grafton, and Sheridan streets, bordered by Shields and Aplin streets."
How mean are these Far North streets? We might not be a favela in Rio, the slums of Calcutta, or a Krushchev-era apartment block in Minsk. But are we really filthy, ugly, haphazard, outdated, tired, unentertained? Find out what else Team CBD Revive is saying, and more schoolyard trash-talkin quasi-sensationalism here. Add your comments too. Remember what Hegel said about good old dialectic: thesis and antithesis will get you somewheres, namely synthesis. Some folks just call it progress...
In the States, there is one model for non-profit property development that supports artists and provides first-class live-work space for creative people. It's called Artspace USA, and the also have a tendancy to revive old heritage buildings, breath new life inot communities, and generate new cultural destinations. Have a look...

Entirely kid-designed, community-built playgrounds: Leathers & Associates knows how. They've done a few in Australia, and thousands in North America. Have a look at some of their fantastically creative playground environments, and let's ask children in Cairns what theirs might look like in the Botanic Gardens, City Place, or Gordonvale...

Paducah, Kentucky' was a dilapidating small town with vacant buildings and no heart to its urban core. That is until a few people came up with the Artist Relocation Program, began inviting and providing incentives for creative people to move there, and made it easy for studios, galleries, and bookstores to fill the main street with life. Pretty soon, people from near and far were taking tehm up on the offer. You can too...

Google's Innovation Time Off is a workplace policy that gives employees one free day each week to think up and do what they want. Gmail and other good things have coem of it.  What if we all got one paid day of leave each fortnight in Cairns, and were asked to think about new ideas, develop innovations, and simply do some more good in the Far North?
Jaime Lerner says the car is an invited guest who doesn't want to leave the party, always demands more infrastructure, and does nothing for our health. Cairns has no pretensions of being a 21st century city, just yet. But what if we all started thinking about post-automobile requirements, infrastructure, and petrol-less existence. What if we built a network of Skyrails and made them affordable commuter transit? What if we built a series of bicycle-powered monorail lines from Gordonvale to Palm Cove? Maybe they coudl be solar powered and computerised. What if...

Melbournians articulate a vision for creative infrastructure redevelopment. Blue sky thinking, Spanish Steps, largest laneway, student stages, WiFi free?Wait, what, did he say WiFi-free?

Have a program that engages with 12-25 year olds? Want $20,000? Click here to read about Queensland's Youth Engagement Grants...

Look at all the live music and stuff coming up at the Esplanade and City Place. Drumming workshops, market days, Suave Swing, Junior See Poy Trio, lantern making, rock and roll dance...not to mention the busking. Who said the CBD lacked a vibrant core?

"Imagine if the rest of the world lived like us." Pondering a rural collective and experiment in sustainable community known as Gaviotas. Millions of trees planted. Free housing for all. Solar and wind power. There is no jail. They have no Mayor. Could this be the reinvention of the world? Read more about the Gavioteros here...

at Green Ant Cantina183 Bunda Street Cairns from 8:30pm on Saturday 4th December 2010.
The McMenamins are an acoustic duo from FNQ wtih a musical style that ranges from intimate storytelling within soundscapes to high energy foot tapping folk'n'roll. Guitar, mandolincountry fiddle, and more...

What are Creative Industries? Are you one? Here's a good overview of what, exactly, they mean by the words Creative Industries...

Hey 15 to 26 year olds: Are you passionate about theatreThen register now for the 2011 JUTE Young Ambassadors programYou will receive a stack of benefits including VIP passes to opening nights, discount tickets for family and friends, behind the scenes look into the making of professional theatre,and a connection to the industry. In return, Young Ambassadors will help spread the JUTE message. A fantastic way to get connected - so contact JUTE now to register, applications close soon! 

Haven't seen a theatre show in the past five years? We want to send you to five - for free! JUTE will be running Focus Forums in 2011 and is on the lookout for people to attend each JUTE production in exchange for their feedback. A fantastic way to discover professional theatre and watch new Australian Stories told. Click here to contact JUTE...

Researching Innovation Strategies in Australian Local Government? Start here...
And who knew there was a ten year innovation agenda?

The largest, most unique, fiercely Australian film festival is calling for your content. Submit your work, head to the Hunter Valley in May, and seat yourself in the classic James Theatre (the oldest continually running cinema in the land). Learn more, here...

End of February is the next deadline for the Reef Hotel Casino Community Benefit Fund. Visit this link, and hatch your funding request plan soon...

On the eve of Oprah-mania, Sydney Opera House is in a bit of a crisis. CEO Richard Evens is doing his best to make the iconic cultural facility useful, engaged, and more than simply a performing arts hall. We should listen closely, as civic leaders in Cairns ponder a Cultural Precinct, to what he is talking about: 'If all people can do is leave their living room, drive to the Opera House car park, come to a show and go home, that is really a very old-fashioned way of viewing a performing arts centre."' And then "''I'm interested in much greater analysis informing our programming, in us being an audience-led organization." But perhaps most telling: ''Unless we can improve or find a way for everyone to have an Opera House experience without actually being here, over time we are going to be anachronistic. We will slip off the back of the wave quicker than you can imagine.'' Read more here...

Pondering a Lake Street to Cultural Precinct pedestrian mall transformation?

Opera House jumps on the High Def simulcast bandwagon and puts The Marriage of Figaro in Australian cinemas...
Next up, it's Elijah Moshinsky's Fellini-esqu version of Verdi's Rigoletto. La donna e mobile, as you've never seen/heard it...

An overview of the Oprah-handling machine, and what it takes to get her and 40 million viewers to the land down under...



An American theatrical tragedy? New musical to close after protests and much discussion of minstrelsy and justice...

CREATIVE CRAWL: Cairns Regional Gallery
Throughout his artistic career, Sidney Nolan returned intermittently to the theme of Gallipoli. The series of painting begun in 1956 is a powerful slice of Australia’s military history. At 6pm Cairns Regional Gallery will be launching the new travelling exhibition from the Australian War Memorial,Canberra titled Sidney Nolan: The Gallipoli Series. Presenting some of Sidney Nolan’s most famous artworks this exhibition is a must see for all those interested in iconic Australian art. An informative curators talk will be presented by Lola Wilkins at 5:30pm prior to the official launch by the Honourable Warren Entsch, member for Leichardt. This is a free event with complimentary nibbles and a cash bar.  Learn more at this link...

CREATIVE CRAWL: Cell Artspace and 12 BC
Cell Art Space, 109 Lake St is a contemporary art space managed on a voluntary not-for-profit basis and run in the spirit of community cultural development. Cell Art Space was established in 2003 with the support of major sponsor Ergon Energy. Opening during the 10 December Cairns Creative Crawl is COLLECTIVE IMPRESSIONS, photographic works by Lou Davidson, and a warm adn inviting reception a few doors down at 12 Bar Cafe in City Place. Lou Davidson’s images are created in-camera using movement, panning,hand-held long exposure, breaking the rules of traditional photography techniques, rather than being restricted by them. Free to express the memory of what she sees, hears, smells, tastes, feels and senses from her surroundings - without the clutter of unnecessary detail to soften and simplify the subject matter.

“Collective Impressions is about seeing what I feel, how the ordinary can become extraordinary by creating blurred representational forms – recognisable even without the detail engaging the view to interpret; evoking memories, sensations and dreaming of a time, a place or beings. Even abstract form and colour gives way to an infinite variety of interpretations.”

Melissa Edwards, Co-Director of Cell Art Space says "Engaging new audiences and wide-spread involvement in the arts is one of the most exciting outcomes the Creative Crawl hopes to achieve. Through collaboration, local arts organisations, arts groups and business are providing the foundation for a refreshing evening of cultural engagement."

CEATIVE CRAWL: Blunt Edge Awards & Reception
Are you ready for the Far North's answer to the Archibald Prize? See what 75+ local artists have been doing to their portrait subjects: each other...

Here's how co-founder Dom Johns describes the Blunt Edge phenomenon...
"In early 2007, Roland Nancarrow and I were enjoying a beer on his back deck whilst talking about the art scene in Cairns. We both agreed that there was a lack of opportunity for artists to exhibit in group shows and thought it would be a good idea if there was a show that enabled emerging artists to meet and work with more established ones. We got to talking about the traditional aspects of the arts in general, and it was a natural progression to end up at portraiture. As somewhat reactionary guys, we thought we could set up our own version of the Archibald and keep a distinctly “Cairnsian” flavor in the mix by excluding all the things that used to pissus off about establishment rules. As Roland was to describe it – Keep it BLUNT! (and have fun with it…)"

There are 84 artists this year, and they will be on view at Pink Phoenix Studio, 82 Boland Street from 7pm on Friday 10 December. End your Creative Crawl there, find out who won the coveted awards, and (please) keep it blunt!

CREATIVE CRAWL: Cairns Festival HQ
Here's a few reasons to stop by the Cairns Festivla HQ during teh 10 December Crawl: Free posters2 for 1 Art-o-mat tokens (that's 2 original works of art from our retro-riffic vending machine for only $5!), plasma screens(thanks Michael Aw The Good Guys) showing a look back at the 2010 Festival 9through teh lens of local photographer Colyn Huber), and a place to relax in our Project Space, designed for the Festival by local interior wizards, Zabu Cairns. 

CREATIVE CRAWL: Cairns Esplanade Plaza
After twilight on the Creative Crawl, head to the Esplanade to check out this year's artful Christmas treeLocal artist Kristin Tennyson attracted a lot of interest with her Australian inspired “kangaroo” theme last year.  Keeping the unique “Australian” Christmas theme going this year, “Cockatoos”  are the feature element.  Individually designed at different stages of flight, and laser cut in variations of reds, with accents of grey and black acrylic, the birds fly up the tree. The traditional star is replaced by the largest of the cockatoos, sitting proudly on top of the tree. Additional individually designed acrylic spherical “ornaments”  inspired by Australian flora  inter mix with the birds

CREATIVE CRAWL: City Place Stage
Start your Crawl with live music on stage at City place, the much-maligned mushroom is teh centre of it all. From 3 to 6pm, Pauline Bradshaw Duo will be on stage, featuring Julian Young on keyboards and Pauline Bradshaw on vocals. Don't miss 'em.
CREATIVE CRAWL: Circa 1907 Gallery
From to 6pm, stop in adn view CINERAMA - Far North on Filman exhibition by Annaliese Ciel Walker and the Cairns Historical SocietyThis a not to be missed opportunity to view and revel in the nostalgia of an assortment of local slides and film clips from the Cairns Historical Society collection. TV screenings will include 'Life in Cairns', 'The Cane Cutters', 'Amateurs', 'Fun in the Sun' and 'Ashton's Circus'. A free trip down memory lane. Walk in there for sure...

CREATIVE CRAWL: Canopy Artspace and Arts Nexus
Stroll around the corner to 124 Grafton to visit impressive works by Far North Indigenous artists on view at Canopy. In the expansive 1,000 square meter (11,000 square feet) gallery, collectable contemporary works by internationally recognised artists such as Dennis Nona and Wynne Prize winner Joanne Currie hang along side those of emerging indigenous artists. Currently on display are works from Lisa Michl and Jeremy Geia. AAN is located in Canopy Artspace on 124 Grafton Street, Cairns. Then call in at the Arts Nexus office there, and become a member of our region’s leading arts advocacy network. The space will be open until 6pm for the December 10 Creative Crawl. 

Following releases on the infamous Mego label, Japan's Tujiko Noriko has captured imaginations with her wildly esoteric songs. An electronic chanteuse of the highest order, she has carved out a unique sonic universe in which beautifully melodic passages collide with eruptions of digital abrasion and disarmingly coy wordplay. On her most recent album 'U', Tujiko Noriko strikes out at a new sound, rich in deep bass, pulsing rhythms and emotive hot flushes of harmony. Inspired by the success of U, Noriko travels to Australia and is joined for the first time by her collaborators Lawrence English and John Chantler.  These will be the very first concerts in Australia by the Tujiko Noriko Trio, who have previously performed in both the UK and EU. promise to be an entirely compelling and beguiling lull into Tujiko Noriko's song cosmos. The free performance begins at 7:00pm. The Kickarts Shop and Bar will be open the entire time.

Mornington Island Painting PlaceA selection of work from the artists working within the Mornington Island Art Centre: Thelma Burke, Karen Chong, Dorita Escott, Elsie Gabori, Sally Gabori, Amy Loogatha, Dolly Loogatha, Netta Loogatha, Paula Paul, Reggie Robertson, Ethel Thomas, Stephanie Toby, Joseph Watt, Darryl Williams, John Williams, Renee Wilson and Betty Yarrack. The exhibition continues to 5 March 2011.

Altered SpeciesAuto-inspired sculptures by Daniel Wallwork
Daniel Wallwork is a Cairns based artist whose practice extends on his trade skills as a professional spray-painter. His works playfully explore Australia’s iconic automotive and road cultures, their suburban roots and relative sub-cultures. Using high gloss automotive 2 pack paint, custom techniques and various industrial surfaces, Wallwork embraces various aesthetics and stereotypes of many automotive subcultures. Tapping into the visual language of the suburban ‘rev-head’, Wallwork brings another level to ‘auto-appreciation’ with his own minimal and colourful ‘auto-aesthetic’. While the materials and surfaces of car manufacture are used to fabricate his works, the ideas and the creative processes are often organic. Daniel allows the materials to influence shape and form. Seeing bumper bars stacked on top of each other at a smash repairer's brought to mind rainbow fish scales. The shiny and hard surfaces of rhinoceros beetles inspired Daniel to create his own series of high gloss hard black horn forms. In 2010 he continues this theme with his new exhibition Altered Species. Inspired equally by the butterflies and their chrysalis of North Queensland and his childhood superheroes, Daniel has applied the automotive aesthetic to create a series of unique altered species. The exhibition continues to 29 January 2011.

Feature WallCracker! The annual KickArts Shop Merchandising exhibiton.
Innovative hand-crafted or designer cards, themed objects, decorative items, small works of art and contemporary gift must-haves will showcase creative talent during the KickArts Shop Annual Christmas Exhibition. The exhibition features work from: 3 GIRLS + a goat, A Common Thread by Maree GRENFELL, Bobby WEBER, Elly OAK, ERUB ERWER META, Heather KEIKO, India COLLINS, Julie DIMITRIJEVSKI Kristin TENNYSON, Kylie BURKE, Kylie JOHNSON, LOVE LUCY by Lucy DE VRIES, LUMA bands, MYE Family, Pocket Carnival, POLLI , Poppies for Grace, TUULIKKI TITINE, Vanessa R WILLIAMS....and the of course all the fantastic merchandise from all the regular KickArts Shop suppliers...there's over 100 of them! The exhibition continues to December 24.

CREATIVE CRAWL: Havana Music Cafe
Get into the Latin vibe, and check out lake Street's newest Cuban, Jamaican, and Trinidadian connection. For the Creative Crawl, Havana Music Cafe will offer a free sampling of its extensive Tentadores plates, everything from tostones and salt fish cakes to jerk chicken skewers, fish spring rolls, and goat cheese stuffed chili peppers. Guitarist Johannes Selhofer will fill the airwaves with tasty Latin sounds, making this a delicious stop on your crawl.  But pop in between 5:00 and 6:00pm, as a private party takes over from 6:30!

CREATIVE CRAWL: Beautiful Art Spaces
Hayley Gillespie left her hometown of London and has resided in Cairns for the past 15 years, Drawing influences from the Far North's colour and life style and iconography of both.The Once Upon a Time shop at 44 Lake Street will celebrate all of Hayley's originals, prints and cards along with merchandise inspired from her images and products and toys that feature in the paintings themselves"Our Philosophy is good old fashioned fun, jump back in time, throw away your batteries and play- no matter how old you are! Along side Hayley, Tania White, a creative, dynamic business woman, who has managed Australian department stores for many years. will be managing the shop.

OZI CHALK ART & Sign studio:  31 Lake Street
Maree and Christine are a dynamite pair of sisters who specialise in original, hand completed chalk menu boards.  They offer art classes in chalk art, Chinese brush painting and calligraphy.  Their latest product is spray-on stencil tattoos, allowing your body to be temporally coloured suiting your wildest fantasy.

ANGELA ARENA:  33 Lake Street
Angela has been sewing since the age of six and has won many awards for her sewing and creativity.  She designs, paints, works leather, carves wood, and is an occasional milliner.  She likes finding innovative different designs in traditional patterns.

Ideas are being accepted for the 2011 Cairns Festival program, and anything is possible. The formal Expression of Information kit will be supplied early in the New Year, but that's no reason to delay your project and event proposals. The upcoming season marks the 50th festival, going all the way back to the 1962 opening of the Green Island jetty. For the 2011 program, we'll be exploring Cairns Past, Present, and Future...and we need artists and creative people to become fellow travellers in the Festival's Far North Time Machine. Those interested in proposing an element for the 2011 Cairns Festival should reply to this email, stop by the Festival HQ in City Place, or contact producer Eric Holowacz on 4044 3086 to set up a sit down and chin wag.

Sydney Harbour will become a flatting home to 20+ productions of opera from 2012. If only that city had some sort of large concert hall or venue that could stage operatic works...

Cairns Regional Council celebrates 125 years as a local government entity, and community events and opportunities are afoot. See item above and get your free tree, then click below and find out what other 125th activities are in the works...

The arts and creative industries as a political football...


Click here for a good summary of the 2010 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and its cultural importance in the far North, from none other than Anna Bligh...

What if there were a purpose-made money-giving charitable conduit, the Foundation for the Artist? Click here to learn about a new model, new money...
And click here to see a pretty good existing model in action, just across the ditch...

Visit the Tropical Arts website now, read about what local creative people are doing, and become a supporter and member today!

Arts Queensland to convene a special free forum on digital platforms and the arts, February 17 in Brisbane. Learn more here...
And thanks to the digital age, a rich dialogue is already brewing..

New Visitors' Centre construction has begun at the Tanks. Read about it here...


From Monday December 13th through to Friday January 21st The Young Company have 6 four-day themed short drama programs for children and young people aged 7yrs and over. Participants will develop and extend upon a range of theatre skills including: improvisation, voice and movement, characterisation, acting techniques, film making, singing and dancing, devising and rehearsing scenes, as well as sound, lighting and multi media elements. Program participants will also perform scenes at the end of the week for parents and friends in the TYC Theatre Studio, Cairns City. For more information on TYC’s Summer Drama School please phone 4041 4066, email or register

Long-winded report takes a good hard look at the craze and movement behind the Cultural Industries focus in public policy and civic development...  

Taking a down to earth look at how cultural policies and community development work in Australia. How they don't work. Should work...

Cairns is now home to the first Art-o-mat machine in the Southern Hemisphere. It joins about 100 other repurposed vending machines from Seattle to Vienna, and a new work of art is yours for a bargain $5. Stop by the Cairns Festival HQ in City Place to meet our Australia's first coin operated affordable art dispensing machine. Learn how to become an Art-o-mat artist and contribute to the global phenomenon here...

If you missed last week's edition, or want to delve into the archives for a special tidbit of information, find past versions stored here

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This issue of Cairns Artful-e is a melange of creative opportunities, links, happenings, ideas, and instructions. Have a look. It ain't very fancy...yet. Apprehend what you will. Some of this stuff, it is true, will be of no use. Other items might be revelations. Please let us know if you don't want to get this regular email transmission. Pester us if you are receiving it more than once at a time. Send us stuff you want to have mentioned. Forward to a friend. This is our earnest attempt to be helpful, and spread information. So join us in giving thanks, for so many of the creative things around us...and this diverse living, breathing culture we write about...