Wednesday, September 30, 2009

unexpected pleasures

Sleep broken by news of an earthquake and tsunami in Samoa. Not a great way to start the day.

One of the biggest differences I find between my Australasian homes is that Australia sees itself as part of Asia, while New Zealand is deeply rooted in the Pacific. When I moved to vibrant, multicultural Melbourne, the sounds and faces of the Pacific seemed acutely absent and I miss them.

So, concerns about a possible tsunami in Aotearoa aside, my day began with fears and thoughts of people I think of as my familiars.

In an attempt to balance my day I tripped down wind blown Flinders Lane to catch some art before work. What a delicious concept, to start the day with an exhibition before 9am.

Mailbox 141 is one of the city’s smallest galleries. A mere handful of wooden boxes lined up along the wall of a very cosy foyer. Being a working building the gallery is open 7am-7pm weekdays and being a mere bite-sized installation it’s easy to grab 10 minutes en route to work or play to be soothed or inspired by a pint sized project.

I’m inspired by the 141 story in itself. Billed as an alternative public art space committed to supporting experimentation and exhibiting new works, it is wonderful seeing creativity in otherwise business-like spaces. I’d gone to see Girl Printer’s new show. An exhibition of letterpress pieces, whimsical and beautiful and perfect for the gallery’s mailbox format. I came away with a gladdened heart and a burning desire to lobby the body corporate of my work building to donate an unused display cabinet for similar gallery concept.

Carolyn Fraser
Letterpress works on Paper
Mailbox 141
141-143 Flinders Lane

On now til the end of October, don’t miss it!

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Blogger lmrb said...

I feel the different focus too - I arrived here in 1972, so a long time on these shores. Little things here highlight the lack of knowledge about the Pacific - the mis-pronunciation of Samoa is uppermost at the moment. If you haven't already, have a look at TVNZ and TV3 for their recent news stories about the tsunami. I was horrified by an Australia commercial news presenter's description of Samoans still displaying their "happy go lucky" attitude amidst the destruction. The NZ stories were nothing like that - even John Campbell got it right. A big gap in understanding, eh.

10:40 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I rarely watch TV now (just selected ABC and SBS shows on catch up) and I think my life has been improved by no longer being exposed to commercial TV news now.

I headed straight to to get my news about the pacific earthquakes/tsunami because I knew the kiwis would report it better. Sadly, I wasn't the only one and Stuff virtually ground to a halt with all the traffic.

Haven't heard KRudd making plans to go to Samoa though the kiwi PM is currently touring the devastation.

PS: your profile is blocked, do you have a blog - I'd love to be invited to see it if you do :)

11:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Another": No blog, considering being more open...quivering in the corner for now. And in case I sounded anti-Australian, I LOVE this country, truly LOVE it - and chose to become a citizen, a magic moment in my life. However, sometimes I feel that as a New Zealander here "we" (I feel I can speak for my NZ compatriots) feel that our voice is considered just the same as Australians. Similar, yes, but different.

I caught the commercial moment in one of those flick over moments - the ABC is my place too, SBS a close second.

12:00 pm  
Blogger lmrb said...

Oops, the anon comment was from lmrb - I thought I was still logged in. Back to the ironing as I watch the rain falling outside.

12:03 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Imrb I think we have a similar experience. I found the difference for me between being a kiwi living in London, to one living in Melbourne (and previously Sydney) quite interesting. In the UK you are significantly different to the locals, the class system is not subtle, you are tolerated, sometimes they found me endearing other times not.

In Australia the differences are more subtle. You are expected to be the same but I've found Australians less tolerant of our differences. It's hard to explain til you've experienced it. It took me years to be able to date Australian men. They are poles apart to their kiwi contemporaries - much more sexist....

oh...don't get be started.

Really must do some work now... :)

12:09 pm  

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