Saturday, December 31, 2011

Not really a review of the year

I just wanted to mention some favourites for the year. My favourite fiction book was The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. My favourite non-fiction was Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

The exhibitions I enjoyed the most were the handmade books at Framed Gallery, in particular the work of Winsome Jobling. And Nocturne, and exhibition at Territory Craft, paintings by Sandra Kendall and glass by Natalie Jenkins. Sandra’s work had a Victorian feel, a bit Beatrix Potter but dark and atmospheric, and beautifully painted. There were heaps of other great exhibitions (not to mention the ones I never made it to) and that is one of the joys of living in Darwin amid so much creativity!

My favourite kind of night out has to be ‘off the page’, the spoken word nights organised by the NT Writer’s Centre. Coming up in 2012 will be Wordstorm combined with the national poetry festival which should be fabulous – I can’t wait.

Right now it’s very quiet, half the population of Darwin is either in Bali or down South. I’ve been enjoying a week off work – in particular pottering in the garden pulling out weeds which are rampant in the wet, and riding my bike down to the beach, I’m hoping to build up my stamina enough to pedal to work in the dry season… we’ll see!!!

Thankyou and best wishes to all the people who drop by my blog. Wishing you a creative and happy year in 2012.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More mermaids… if you can stand it…. and something about failure

I have been meaning to post a picture of these ‘dolls’ which were also in the mermaid exhibition in November.

It was really fun to work within the same shape/template but just play with colours/fabrics and my entire repertoire of embroidery stitches! (chain stitch, back stitch, running stitch and oversew). I have already started a couple more of these – sewing just might keep me sane over the xmas hols.

For the book group I go to, we have just read the Anh Do autobiography ‘The Happiest Refugee’, it’s an entertaining, easy read – a love story, a rags to riches story, a family drama all entwined. What impressed me was his willingness to have a go at anything and to try again after failure. He writes this, about his father’s attitude to failure when he didn’t get chosen for school captain.
‘But my father treated that loss as if it were a win and it was a lesson that stayed with me for a long time. If the worst happens, if you lose and fail, but you still celebrate coming second because you’ve given it a red hot go. There is no need to fear failure.’
I could have used that advice early this year – I entered a couple of literary awards and an art award and was knocked back from them all – and got discouraged instead of celebrating the fact that I had work finished and good enough to submit.

Well, one of the positives of the year has been starting yoga classes, I’m working on a poem about it, here’s a bit of the first draft.

Going to yoga

What I get is an hour
and a half of peace,
a view out to a garden
where water trickles,
once a bird flew down and
perched on a ginger stem
as I made the tree pose.

I love the asanas with names
like eagle and warrior
the name is powerful,
and how our teacher
describes a pose as strong
instead of difficult.

When she demonstrates
I think
no way I can do that
and then I find I am
balancing one foot on the wall
the other planted on the ground
one hand resting on a block
the other reaching up –
half moon pose.

Wishing you all a relaxing xmas and a creative 2012. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with a bit of a review of the year, favourite book, best exhibition, etc.
Bye for now.