Tag Archives: arts

art when words won’t do

30 Apr

Well hello there my lovely reader! Thanks for dropping by!

Lately, I have rediscovered the healing powers of art, of creativity.

I want to share with you a work I created last week when I was feeling particularly sad. I was about to dive into the icecream and have a fantastic wallowing session (wonderful, in its place), when my sister sent me message telling me to paint instead of dwell in sadness.

Here it is (and wherever he is, I hope he is happy, and exploring great things).

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Life is exhausting, so take time out — even half an hour — to do what you love  and devote all of your mind to it. Turn off your phone (god forbid) and shut out the rest of your world. So many things and people demand our constant attention: put that on hold, and create something directly from the heart.

Bisous xxx

P.S. Marten has taken a trip for a while, but I’m expecting him back home in the next few days… Can’t wait for his battered old Saab to come rolling down the street. I’ll keep you posted. x


Just fricking chase your dreams

19 Feb

This blogger is inspired.

Here’s why:

Number one: I’ve spent the morning reading the memoirs of Grace Coddington. Look her up and you’ll understand.

Number two: I was at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) last night for a writer’s forum (“any theatre that doesn’t try to change their audience is a waste of time” — playwright Steven Sewell) and staged reading of Steve Yockey’s new play, Pluto. Despite a discussion on the writer’s political responsibility, I was most moved by a woman in the audience who stood up to ask a question of the panel. More than sixty years old, she expressed a frustration at not being able to get her own plays produced, and wanted to find some kind of encouragement (annoyingly, they didn’t offer much).

I’ve been thinking about this woman all morning. I want to know her; I want to know what she has done with her life. But I don’t, so allow a little conjecture. This woman is probably retired, has probably raised a family or faced the hardships of the workforce for forty years (or both). She’s at the tail-end of her life (but, as an aside, still undeniably beautiful — what well-kept hair!!), and many would say she has achieved all she needs to, and can now live a quiet old life as a retiree.

But no! She has decided that now is the time to launch her career as a playwright. All the things she has seen, learnt and experienced are being scripted by her for an audience to view on the stage. What courage.

Determination, resiliency, strength of character.

Wow. Imagine being so ambitious and driven even at that age. It’s easy for me to be ambitious and driven now: I’m filled with the naive idealism of a 22 year old. But will I be like that in fifty years? If all of us could live like this woman, constantly striving for more, unafraid of failure and never settling for mediocrity, IMAGINE WHAT WE COULD ACHIEVE!

Number Three: I have been looking through photos from summer, and have found these. I have been a very bad blogger and never shared this amazing experience with you. The show was Concrete and Bone Sessions (created by the Aussie company Branch Nebula: “a ravenous appreciation of so-called low brow culture”), an electric piece of theatre performed at the skate park in Dulwich Hill. A combination of dance, Parkour, skateboarding, BMX, Free Running and break dancing (all to music and the setting sun), this was a display of endurance, crazy-ass skill, and a total lack of fear (the paramedics were on standby).

Take a look. Imagine having this much passion and drive. Throw yourself (literally) into what you love, and this is what you’ll produce:

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(the guy underneath is on a skateboard)

2013Jan (282)   2013Jan (352)  2013Jan (363) 2013Jan (375)

Until next time: work HARDER, fight STRONGER and above all, STAY TRUE to the essence of your dreams.

There is no limit.


Vivian Chan Shaw: a retrospective

6 Feb

Life can be so serendipitous.

This morning, by chance, I stumbled into one of the most inspiring fashion exhibitions I have ever seen.

Until February 13, the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Surry Hills is hosting a 40 year retrospective of designer Vivian Chan Shaw. I took my mum to Whitehouse this morning to show her the school, only to discover that it was the first day of the exhibition celebrating one of Australia’s most formidable and courageous designers.


Vivian Chan Shaw began designing fabric garments in 1972 and soon moved onto knitwear (she’d been knitting from five years old). Her knitwear was ground-breaking: her bold, beautiful colours, continual references to nature, her evening wear, and incredible seamless designs – all made individually on a hand loom – brought her international acclaim. Her label has forever changed the face of knitwear, proving that it can be used to produce much, much more than a token sweater.

Mum and I had the fortune to meet Claudia Chan Shaw, Vivian’s daughter and collaborator: an intensely beautiful woman, she spoke to us personally about the creation process (“yes, we’re crazy”). What a creative, talented and inspiring woman.

Enough of my talk.

See the exhibition for yourself:

6-13 February

Whitehouse Institute of Design, Sydney

2 Short St, Surry Hills

10am-5pm (daily)

Cost: Free

Here’s a taster:

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Vivian’s jewellery: hand-knitted wire.

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You have to go and see these pieces in the flesh. The craftsmanship, expertise and creative vision (spanning 40 years, no less) will blow you away.

The exhibition is on level 5 of the Whitehouse Institute. Speak to the lovely receptionist and he’ll show you the way upstairs.

You can also visit their flagship store in the Queen Vic Building (get off at Town Hall station): shop 33, level one.