March 18, 2009


It has been almost two months since I returned from India. It is now that memories begin to sort themselves into important and not-so-important. My experience at Ishwari Women's Centre was one of the 'important' ones. It was there that I saw first hand the power one person has to influence people and create positive change.

Ishwari is a place of peaceful industry. Women from disadvantaged backgrounds are given the opportunity to learn domestic skills such as embroidery, sewing, card-making, cooking and home remedies. They can then use these skills to earn an income. But there is more to it than that- these women are cared for, respected and recover a sense of purpose and self-empowerment- more than money can buy. Ishwari also has two buildings that serve as homes for orphaned children.

Arriving at Ishwari, after travelling over long bumpy and dusty rural roads, I felt as though I was entering a sanctuary. The houses are surrounded by humble but meandering gardens, filled with all sorts of fruit, vegetables and herbs. They had a cow, rabbits and ducks. It was almost completely self-sustaining. And it was quiet.
All this is presided over by the quiet yet strong Sister Rosaria (pictured). We were there as Girl Guides to make a difference to the lives of the girls but in the end I think we came out the most changed.

It was the experience of her generosity and quiet determination to help improve the lives of others that made the deepest impression on me.

March 5, 2009

In Love With Birds

I have fallen deeply in love with Marian Drew's new body of work 'Birds'.  I almost wept when I saw them at the Queensland Centre for Photography's latest exhibition opening.  For me there is a sublimely spiritual feel to these works.  One which I cannot express in words.  
In the works Drew "hopes to draw attention to the value and beauty of these animals".  Her interests are in the environment and in this work she brings the issues to the domestic front as beautiful and feminine tableau's.
I was impressed by the attention to detail in the choice of cloth and the inclusion of feminine and domestic objects such as a needle, a thimble or a jug.  In some she combines drawing with photography.  Fallen Bird is a stunning example of this.  
Her work is showing at the QCP until 29th March and they are well worth seeing 'in the real'.  
Just beautiful.

Above Image: Kingfisher with Chinese Cloth and Strawberries by Marian Drew 
Image courtesy of the artist

March 2, 2009

Launch arrives at Clayton Utz

Our ears popped as my partner and I took the quick lift to level 28 of Riparian Plaza. The view was stunning.  Just on sunset, cumulo-nimbus clouds piled high in shades of blue and pink- looking like ice-cream just waiting to have a spoon dipped into it.  
There were celebratory drinks this evening to mark the arrival of the LAUNCH finalists works into the Clayton Utz office. 
Champagne in hand we played the game of 'Find the artworks', poking our heads into the many conference and meeting rooms that make up the maze of Clayton Utz.  As a fledgling artist it was a thrill to see my image (above), from the Archimedes' Field series, gracing the wall of one of the larger meeting rooms.  The image seemed to leap out of the mustard yellow wall and  I was glad I chose to print the image so large.  On the opposite wall was a gorgeous work by the talented Adriane Hayward also perfectly matched to its location.  It was wonderful to see so much consideration taken in the placement of works.  
The works are on loan to Clayton Utz for six months and are a mix of photographic art, painting and sculpture from 25 artists.