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By Celeste Hawkins

RRRThere are many reasons as to why Melbourne is known as the cultural capital of Australia. I know I am probably preaching to the converted here for most of our Melbourne readers, but Community radio station RRR (102.7) is an absolute gem shining in what sometimes may seem like a sea of commerciality and banality. For the benefit of overseas visitors to this site and those living in other states-you can stream RRR live any time online.

I’m going to share with you just two of my many favourite segments here:

Smart Arts with Richard Watts.

Anyone who has listened to Richard will soon realise that he is extremely passionate about the arts and in particular has a penchant for live performance. This morning they were talking about some of the pieces that are going to be apart of this years Melbourne Fringe Festival which kicked off yesterday- but I couldn’t listen to all of it, so fortunately I can catch up on it here. Richard is also the National Reviews Editor for Arts Hub.

Multi-Storied with Elizabeth Mc Carthy and Louise Irving

These ladies always have some interesting commentary on story telling- interviews with authors, all things stage, poetry, mythology and reviews contribute to the mix.  As presenters they converse in a witty and most comforatble way that makes you feel like you are apart.


Happy Listening!



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See the link here for Malcolm’s response regarding the future of community television.




The Australia Community Television Alliance is shattered by the announcement today from the Minister of Communications, Malcolm Turnbull that their access to broadcast spectrum will not be extended beyond the end of 2015 – a move that will almost certainly lead to the death of community TV in Australia.

ACTA is disappointed that this decision has been made public without any reasonable process of consultation with community TV stations and rejects the Ministers assertion that this decision “is in the best interests of community television”. This decision has been made in the interests of the major media organisations and at the expense of the community.

ACTA asserts that free-to-air television is presently the dominant form of media in this country and that community access to spectrum is a vital contributor to media diversity. ACTA accepts audiences are moving online and the sector should be preparing for this future, however it is unfair that community television be forced off the air well in advance of all other television broadcasters and in a time frame that is likely to cause the closure of all stations.

We call on the Minister to open dialogue with the sector to find a solution that would enable community television to transition its business model in a time frame that is more feasible or to explore the option of sharing the SBS multiplex, utilising their third channel, currently used to re-transmit the stations primary channel.

Community Television in Australia has a 20 year history of providing open access to local communities to broadcast their stories on free-to-air television. Community Television’s purpose is to ensure that free-to-air broadcast spectrum is accessible by all members of the public – to make and screen content that is local, provides access to community groups and provides industry based learning for media students and independent filmmakers.

At a time when there are six shopping channels broadcasting on free-to-air in the capital cities, it is unfortunate that the Minister does not value the contribution community television has made – and could continue to make – to media diversity in this country.

You have no choice…

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By Celeste Hawkins

You have no choice but to make art.

Artists are like scientists or mathematicians. They set out to crack a code, to work though a problem. They never give up until they’ve ‘cracked it’ (double meaning there!). But even if they feel like they have-there is always more. If they give up they are tormented. If they keep going they are tormented. Either way, the life of an artist can be extremely frustrating, elating and isolating all at once. All the fears arise along with feelings of self-judgment, shame, doubt and self-deprecation. But despite all this-they know they have no choice. They must make art. There comes a point where a balance has been lost. A sacrifice must be made. A breakdown of a relationship or loss of a paid job is common as the only satisfying element left is the act. The strongest most reliable relationship is with the art.

However, just like a Hollywood movie, every cloud has a silver lining. There is also solidarity and collaboration with others who share your yearning. There is a feeling of deep immersion in your craft and immense feelings of joy. There is the exploration into the infinite caverns of the subconscious mind. There is a deep satisfaction that what you are doing is worthwhile and necessary and what is everything else anyway?

Art is everything in that it is both immaterial and material. It comes from this other worldliness, which is immaterial and can be sold or viewed as a commodity, which is material. It has a language of its own, mostly visual or spatial but sometimes textual or a combination. Most of all at its heart, it is the real language of life.

I’ll leave you with this. One of the three short films in a collection entilted; ‘New York Stories’. This clip is taken from the Martin Scorsese short called ‘Life Lessons-starring Nick Nolte and Rosanna Arquette. Its one of my favourtes! Enjoy.


Facts and Figures

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By Celeste Hawkins

I thought I would share with you today my personal picks in regard to artists of the figure painting and drawing kind.  One of my favourite Melbourne figurative painters is Jon Cattapan. Jon seeks  to make art that is engaged with the human condition and contemporay society, but also draws influences from Science Fiction and Film. Some of his earlier influences include :Schiele, Duchamp and Picasso. His works often draw on diffferent events and themes, for example,  the theme of fire saw works created on a Footscray chemical fire in 1989 and the burning of the houses of parliament, a historical event.

Jon Cattapan The Break (Vekeki) 2009 oil and acrylic on linen 180.0 x 250.0 cm -Image-Station Gallery

“I see painting as a personal observation of the ironic nature of life”. Jon Cattapan-Artist Statement 1980.

Cattapan on the children overboard affair: “I think its a very particular thing to try to record something like that through paining, to actually make a painting very slowly and absorb the event through the actual act, the physical act of making the work takes it somewhere else.”

In essence, Jon is an interpreter and dissector of events, further reinforcing the relevance and importance of the artist within our society.

Source: Jon Cattapan-Possible Histories-By Chris Mc Auliffe

Jon Cattapan is represented by Station Gallery


Godwin Bradbeer

I had the chance to view the works of Melbourne native Godwin Bradbeer at the James Makin Gallery in 2013 at an exhibiton called “Pentimenti” The sheer size and grandeur of his works were awe inspiring. The confident and often overlapping lines and perfect balance of the form, extra limbs,  and carfeully rubbed back areas were what struck me. A head confidently extends itself off the top of the paper as is the foot and the hand. This classically drawn woman had an etheral quality about her, almost floating or weightless on the surface. His backgound and knowledge of photography is  evident,   given the perfection and realist elements present with his burnishing techniques and use of Chinagraph- giving him that ‘solarised Man Ray photograph’ quality that he describes.

Bradbeer,Godwin -White Woman Chinagraph, pastel dusk silver oxide on paper – Image-James Makin Gallery

Transit of the Drangonfly

Bradbeer,Godwin -Transit of the Dragonfly Drawing – chinagraph, silver oxide and pastel on paper Image Size: 122 x 114 – Image- James Makin gallery


Bradbeer says himself about his imagery, that he is conscious about drawing himself. “This knowledge of the figure is embedded in you. If you understand that and can drag it up then that really can help when you’re having difficulties”. 

From his series of works called the “Metaphysical Body”, a survey exhibiton from 1970-2005, Dr Neill Overton sums it up beautifully, “Summarily, Bradbeer explores the mechanisms of Renaissance intent without hiding it beneath irony; in this endeavour he is arguably the most postmodern of artists, unafraid of the figurative language he explores.”(see website).

To summarise; I think that artists have their own language, a visual language that is uniquely their own. How they perceive their reality can affect how they read into and interpret current events to give them greater meaning, relevance and understanding.

Quote Source: Bradbeer,Goodwin- Steve Lopes: Artist Profile, issue 12, 83-86

Nicholas building

Open Studios Nicholas Building Celebrates 10 years

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If you have never had the good fortune to visit the Nicholas building, I highly recommend that you do. It has a rich and varied history, but for many years has housed a number of work spaces for Melbourne artists. This twilight festival starts tomorrow afternoon at 4pm.

Celebrating 10 Years


Nicholas building


BLINDSIDE presents their 2014 Festival: MEET THE PUBLIC from 27 August to 6 September.

This 11-day multi-platform event tests the limits of public participation in contemporary art practice. It showcases a series of performative and participatory works by artists and art collectives who explore the parameters for artist and audience engagement through live art, site-specific interventions, and inter-subjective encounters.


Amy Spiers, Please Wait Here Until Called, 2014. Courtesy of the artist