Friday, August 7, 2015

More on Beaniefest 2015

Main Gallery One, at Araluen Cultural Precinct, with a stunning Adi Dunlop needle-felted blanket banner. Plus hats on the tree, by local primary schools.

I am very grateful that I could afford to make it out to Alice Springs again, for the 19th Beanie
Festival, at The Araluen Cultural Precinct.
I took the night train down to Sydney, to be able to catch a plane at a reasonable time. There are no flights, directly from the Gold Coast Airport, closest to where I live. There were some flights from Brisbane, which is about 3 hours away, but they leave at 6am, so I'd need to stay somewhere overnight, or leave home at 2am or so.

I thought the train trip would be fine, I'd get to sleep and arrive fresh to get out to the airport on suburban train, but thanks to a squeaky grinding noise beside/below me in the carriage, kept me awake all night !
It was a wet and cloudy morning, and due to an ill passenger, we sat on the tarmac for over an hour, while they ascertained if they were able to fly or not, and then to locate their luggage, so then our plane, had to wait for a new runway vacancy. It did mean the cloud cover had a chance to lift a bit so take-off was more visible.  I missed seein the Blue Mountains due to cloud but did see the Simpson Desert areas beneath a dot painting of clouds.
 This put me late arriving into Alice, and just missing the office hours of the backpackers I was staying at. I just felt like lying down and sleeping, lucky there was a sun lounger by the pool.  Still no sleep 'tho.

Above are some close ups of one of my exhibition hats for this year 
Spirit Sisters Dancing Free

Morning walks from outside Alice's Secret Backpackers was prolly the best thing about it.

Beanie Central had some awesome work in it yet again, some of it still there at the end, due to some of the volunteers, apparently showcasing their plainer beanies in prominent hat stands, instead of uncovering the treasures buried beneath 'boring' ribbed beanies of one colour. 
I'm glad my first job, was to 'fine dress' the display, and correct the appalling first 'lay out' of beanies.

 After I'd worked my way down the first wall of tables, I happened to hear two volunteers looking for their hats, " I can't find it, I put it on one of these stands, someone has moved it !! " ..... Yeah Me ! ..... I think to myself, it must have been too insignificant, to warrant being on high display ! 
 I didn't get to spend as much time in BeanieCentral, as I once did. I used to spend nearly all my time in there, constantly dressing the display with the really outstanding beanies, after people trying them on, leave them in big piles in front of mirrors etc, and searching for SwingTagLess Beanies, in the hope they are still in the room. 
These days, with my fatigue, I just couldn't manage it, but I wish I had. Instead I did what I thought was the right thing and responded to a plea from Jo, for more volunteers in both the cake stall and the soup kitchen. 
Being a Chai Wallah, I thought, easy, I can do that. But both those shifts ended up being my worst ever Beaniefest experiences. I guess it didn't help that I ended up arriving late, to the first shift, in the cake stall on Saturday morning, due to an unfortunate mix up of 'Meg's', wanting to be picked up by Kris in the courtesy bus, at the very same time!  lol ... (you wouldn't believe that it happened a second time with the same other Meg, on another day, nearly making me late again, but thanks to long time Beaniefest Goer Joan Stanley, I got there with a lift from her).

I had planned to spend time out on the forecourt adding colour and creation and connecting with some local women, which for the second time, I actually did manage to do. Meeting Julie Kitson, in the green shirt, the first morning, albeit briefly, we'd  said hello in a quiet Beanie Central back on Thursday, later to meet properly on the Saturday night evening Beaniefest entertainment at a venue in Todd Mall. We sat beside each other, after I'd calmed myself in the hot spa tub in the hotel up the road, where I'd been fortunate enough to be put up in by the festival 2 years ago. I'd just had my third emotional meltdown in Beanie Central. due to my extreme fatigue, which was accumulated tiredness of 4 nights of no sleep or hardly any sleep ! Train, backpacker roomates turning heater on high, in a tiny caravan, sleeping on a couch in TV room after the late night TV watchers vacated !

Meeting Julie, was one of the highlights, as it turns out that I had met her younger sister there in 2013, and I had been very impressed with 'A'Kitson's deadly needle-felted hats  6 in the Main Gallery, where I'd met her late on opening night, as she and her friend Julie, shyly watched the slideshow of photos from the workshops held out on country.
I asked them where they were from, they shyly pointed to their community, the letters written in needle-felted bunting, Willowra or as the call it Wirliyajarryi, then I asked did they have any work in the exhibition, and we ended up over where they were hanging. A's work was extraordinary, very detailed, well finished neeedle-felting, she had 6 pieces in, which in itself is testament to her calibre, as only 2 hats are generally allowed these days due to the high number of beaniologists entering.

Over the four days of the 2013 festival she completed 4 or 5 more, sitting out at the needle-felting work tables, all outstanding ! She was highly motivated at this new medium, for painting her stories.

Earlier this year down at The Canberra Tent Embassy, on the anniversary of the apology, there was a gathering of GMAR, the National movement of GrandMothers Against forced Removals of kids, still going on today, worse than it ever was. I met  3 elder aunties, who'd made the trip from Willowra, which I found out, as I welcomed them into the Chai Tent. They told me that A was very sick in Katherine Hospital.

Doreen, Audrey Martin, Barbara with Chris Tomlins behind

The reason I have only been using A instead of her name, is because I learnt from Jason Quin the new Chief Beanieolgist, that she has passed away, which became a slight problem for me when talking to Julie Kitson this year, at dinner, When I learnt she comes from Willowra, I told her about meeting A in 2013, but having just learnt of her passing. I didn't want to offend Julie by saying her name. I was telling her about meeting the 3 Aunties down at Embassy etc, and in the end she told me it was OK to say her name. .... Turns out Audrey was her youngest sister,  terribly sad loss. Cancer.

Julie had a broken arm, bandaged with just a back strap at first. It was broken as she defended herself from being hit over the head with a Nulla Nulla, by the senior elder at her community, because as the strong woman that she is, she stood up to his mis-management of their community !

It was good meeting Julie, roughly the same age as me, and easier to form a connection with than the elder aunties sitting weaving. Also quite interesting to meet all these people from the same community

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Dad ..... Thanks for my Genes

Happy Birthday to my dad Ian who would have been 87 today, he would love that I have continued onto to be the family photographer, and would enjoy these photos. He would have also enjoyed the wondrous world of digital photography, that we are blessed with today. He would be amazed that we can shoot straight into the sun like this, and thanks to the high ice crystal cloud, capture a glorious Carona around the sun.....

I have always heard about Glory Bows, but I had never been fortunate enough to see on. Last month, I found myself in one, on my morning walk up the ridge above us .... truly magical to dance in one, utterly Glorious !

Ian was a phenomenal scientist, a Bacteriologist, a Virologist and a Micro-Biologist .... a real mouthful for me to say in Grade One, when asked "What does your dad do ?) I wish I'd known I could just say Scientist ! 
Aaaaaah  ........    finally ....I have been able to work out how to gain access back into my original blog.... it has been over a year..... ( I made a new blog with a new email, then couldn't sign in to this one.... mustta been too fatigued to work it out... which I have now finally and easily worked out ....)

So before I make a huge long interesting post..... this is a test page
 The new Rainbow Chai Tent at The Canberra Tent Embassy Canberra Feb 2015