Thursday, January 15, 2009

Denise Litchfield Knits Newtown!

Denise Litchfield (and Baxter) tagging in the May Lane Art Project, St Peters. (photo Sahlan Hayes)

Go Denise! I know Denise through Roomies Artspace. She's been a great champion for Clarrice Collien's amazing window wire and wool tapestries and I'll post on the upcoming Roomies Exhibition at Parliament House February 5th to 27th.

I love Denise's take on knitting: "It redefines street art and is also a reference to graffiti," the Stanmore woman said. "It's absurd and feminine and fun."

Knitta is the global outlier of guerilla knitting. As mentioned in the SMH article by Sunanda Creagh, January 14 2009. Which I'm quoting in full because... GO DENISE!
WHERE other graffiti artists use spraypaint, Denise Litchfield uses wool. Litchfield is part of a growing global movement of guerilla knitters, who stitch their handmade creations onto trees, poles, street lights and other objects in the public domain.
"It redefines street art and is also a reference to graffiti," the Stanmore woman said. "It's absurd and feminine and fun."
Using recycled or cast-off yarn, Litchfield has attached her creations to poles and trees in Newtown and Rozelle and her long-term goal is to knit cosies for fire hydrants and bollards.
Ms Litchfield also pokes fun at the notion of a graffiti "tag" by creating cardboard swing tags similar to those attached to items in a boutique.
"I write messages on them and put them on bikes and dogs. One friend said she was walking down King Street and saw a tag that said 'All your problems have been taken care of' and thought, 'Yeah, I needed to hear that,' " Litchfield said.
"I have been doing it for about six months and I don't know of anyone else doing it in Sydney. I haven't been intercepted by a council ranger yet but often when I put them up people stop to ask what I am doing and to have a chat," she said.
Litchfield has won the support of a Marrickville councillor, Peter Olive.
"I'd be only too happy for her to do some knitting in the Marrickville local government area," he said. "I see it as a form of art and it's not harmful or anyone else's property or the public space. I think it should be encouraged."

Emily Howes, an expert from University of Technology, Sydney, and author of a PhD thesis on "indie craft", said guerilla knitters operated in Scandinavia, the US, Japan and South Africa. She thinks Litchfield might be Sydney's first.

"I think there is a groundswell of activity. The really big guerilla craft group is a collective called Knitta, which has outposts around the world," she said. "They see craft as a subversive and politically motivated act - a way of jolting people out of their comfortable reverie."

Vale Nancy-Bird Walton 1906? to 2009

Nancy-Bird Walton in 1934 (Fairfax Archives)
Australian aviation pioneer Nancy-Bird Walton has died at age 93 in her North Sydney home. Full SMH article here.
She lived an interesting life and I'm exceedingly pleased that she saw some respect for her accomplishments within her lifetime.
Mainly though, I wonder which came first. The name Bird or the flying? Was it a self fulfilling prophecy? Or like my grandma, did she change her name to suit herself?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dr Who? Matt Smith who?

As Kat comments on the Times Online:
You know women, or people of colour can be Drs too. Perhaps the people at the BBC don't know this.
The BBC's response is clear.

My hopes are dashed. Again. I fear that the sexy young thinging of the Doctor is an irreversible decline of standards, however the more I read about Matt Smith, the more I think he has interesting acting chops. And I'm kind of getting used to the face.

I remember thinking that Peter Davison, the former youngest doctor ever, was a lot unbelievable but I got over it.. No, actually he still looks like a complete prat. And I also don't think a time lord needs to look wizened and twisted. Let's extend!

1. William Hartnell (1963-1966)
2. Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)
3. Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)
4. Tom Baker (1974-1981)
5. Peter Davison - pictured (1982-1984)
6. Colin Baker (1984-1986)
7. Sylvester McCoy (1987-1996)
8. Paul McGann (1996)
9. Christopher Eccleston (2005)
10. David Tennant (2005-2010)
11. Matt Smith (2010 - ?)

Professor River Song for President!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family holidays are fun!

I seem to have misplaced my sarcasm somewhere amongst the mistletoe. It's shooting ducks in a barrel. It's also terribly unproductive. I am actually proud of myself that so far I haven't started any fights (well hardly any).

Of course, my live without alcohol this year resolve is looking a little bit sunk and it's only January 3rd. I blame the children.

And so blog, I apologise. I thought I could carpe diem and write more. I was wrong. Firstly, I am being social. Secondly, if not being social I am being incredibly organised and Ikeaing the entire family. Some mothers knit. I build furniture, pack trucks, find replacement pieces for precious broken things and sort like some kind of turbobot. I also take out the rubbish. Tons of it.

In the break from facilitating my parent's (still not finished!) move to Sydney, I have done the children's annual clean and sort. I think an amazing garage sale is coming up as I've exhausted the capacity of relatives (in distant lands), under the stairs and I'm tired of packing things up to donate them to the school or childcare centre or cat protection society.

Finally, we're about to go off again to place without internet. Which has caused some damned angst I can tell you. Not to mention the cats. I trust my eldest will utilise the opportunity to hang out here watching wide screen tv while feeding the little buggers and give them some attention.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Vale Helen Suzman 1917- 2009

Leading South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman, who for decades served as a lone voice of parliamentary dissent against white minority rule, died on Thursday at the age of 91. Full SMH article.

Amazing story. I am discovering a lot of interesting women in politics and the arts recently. Like Clara Haskil, the great 20th century pianist, or Shirley Chisholm, Geraldine Ferrera and Barbara Lee - less well known in American politics than Hilary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice.

Helen Suzman was a privileged young Jewish white woman in South Africa who dropped out of university to marry and live the good life. She then got tired of horse riding, dancing and parties, went back to university and became politicized.
From 1961 to 1974, she was the Progressive Party's sole representative and the lone liberal voice in the white-only Parliament and used her debating time to rail against forced removals, racial inequalities, the erosion of the rule of law, capital punishment, torture, censorship, police abuses and other trademarks of white minority rule.

Her two main targets became segregation - which saw about 3.5 million blacks removed from their homes - and the laws that allowed the state to detain political opponents without trial for 90 days.

An apartheid minister once told her in Parliament: "You put these questions just to embarrass South Africa overseas", to which she replied: "It is not my questions that embarrass South Africa, it is your answers."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why Y2K?

Loved it. I have the number plate. Got married that day. etc etc.

Why doesn't anyone talk about it anymore?

Column inches devoted to Y2K before 1/1/00 - approx 38500km or enough to reach moon for 36th time. (Although not with the same bang as India's first lunar landing in November 2008.)

Column inches devoted to Y2K after 1/1/00 - approx 3km or a short dog walk. (If you can hear the whimper, it's the dog complaining.)

Waiting for the Y2K reunion next year.

Let's have a blast!