17 March 2013


Art Not Apart is back. I just read this morning a comment that art is different in Canberra – more community, arranged by the artists, less corporate than other cities. This feels rights. Certainly, ANA is like this: several weeks of contemporary arts of all types, theatre, poetry, music, discussions, more. All free. Arranged throughout Civic in various venues. I’ll attend some of the Difficult Music series, and anything else that’s opportune. Yesterday, I goaded Megan and some friends into the New Acton ANA event. It’s a full day of markets, music, arts, presumably with a bit of corporate support. It’s bustling and friendly. Along with the body painting and vintage clothes and tuned gongs and chats with visual artists, we caught freestyle dancer Alison Plevey accompanied by altoist Andrew Fedorovich. Then some Canberra referenced poetry, delivered with aplomb and full voice, by Raphael Kabo. I’m just discovering a love of poetry when performed. First were some readings at last year’s ANA. I note two poems: one of London place names melded with Canberra locations; another of reciting poets huddled in the Phoenix bar missing fire and calamity outside. We were not sure if this referred to the Canberra bushfires, so a truish story, or to a mythical revolution and retribution. We’d have to hear it again, but it was impressive and visual, musical and nicely repeated. You may see more poetry in these posts. Then Natalie Magee dropped in from Sydney with a band including at least the other Brendan Clarke, for her 500th anniversary gig (23yo to the despair of the MC). This was modern, pop music with some jazz sensibility through trumpet solos, and an unusual Indian sensibility in Natalie’s vocals. We just heard 3 tunes, originals by Natalie. I imagine this is perfect JJJ-unearthed material, so watch this space. Just a visit but a perfect day and a friendly, arty scene. Nice.

Just a pic or two of the Arboretum. This was our outing for coffee and some nature awareness-raising. It’s early days yet (give it 50 years) but this will be spectacular (provided we can still water it). At least the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection is up and running and it’s already a treat with specimens dating back 60+ years and the dear old cork plantation (planted ~1920) is a little-known delight dating back to Burley Griffin and Charles Weston.

Alison Plevey (dancer) performed with Andrew Fedorovich (alto). Raphael Kabo (poet) recited. Natalie Magee (vocals) led a band with Callum Gracie (trumpet), Peter Koopman (guitar), the other Brendan Clark (bass) and Dan Kennedy (drums). And a visit to the National Arboretum.

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