Clay Stories – contemporary indigenous ceramics

Clay Stories – contemporary indigenous ceramics

I've been looking forward to this exhibition for months! Clay Stories is a touring exhibition of contemporary indigenous ceramics from five remote Australian communities: Hermannsburg Potters in the Central Desert (Northern Territory), Ermabella Arts in South Australia, Erub Arts in the Torres Strait Islands, Girringun Aboriginal Arts Centre in far north Queensland and Tiwi Designs [...]

Textures of Sam’s island

Textures of Sam’s island

Just off the coast of Dampier, Western Australia, a castle of red stone, coral and seashells perches on a tiny island. This was the home of Sam Ostojic, who settled here in the 1960s and lived alone with his cat Tiger for company. After Sam's death in 2005, the building started to crumble until a [...]

School of the road

School of the road

My daughter Ling turned 13 this month. She's a sponge for new information at the moment, discovering gaps in her knowledge which it's a pleasure to help her fill. We have a lot of conversations along the lines of: "Who's Marilyn Monroe?" "Oh my god, you need to watch Some Like it Hot immediately". To [...]

Melbourne Now exhibition

Melbourne Now exhibition

I visited the Melbourne Now exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria on two occasions - first with my dad and kids, and later with colleagues from the State Library. Here are some snapshots from my first visit. One of my favourite exhibits was this modest and idiosyncratic display of drawings curated by artist John [...]

Bush camping in Lerderderg

Bush camping in Lerderderg

Over the Anzac Day long weekend we went camping in Lerderderg State Park, 14,250 hectares of rocky, scrubby bush about an hour north-west of Melbourne. Normally we avoid camping in school holidays and on long weekends. We prefer to stage 'commando' camping raids on regular weekends, doing a quick set-up on Friday night and driving [...]

Snippets of Gove

Snippets of Gove

In January my kids, my mum and I visited my brother and his family in Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula in far north east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Geographically and culturally, this is about as far as you can get from Melbourne and still be in Australia. It was deep wet season so we were [...]

Participatory art for kids (of all ages)

Participatory art for kids (of all ages)

Visiting Brisbane for work recently, I had 15 minutes to kill before heading to the airport, so I ducked into the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. A couple of great participatory art installations in the '21st Century Kids' exhibition: A table of white lego by Danish artist Olaf Eliasson... ...and a wall of choose-your-own-wish ribbons [...]

Camping… resolution for 2010

Camping… resolution for 2010

For good reasons (bushfires) and lame (life got in the way), we didn't do much camping in 2009. So we have resolved in 2010 to do more of it. In our overscheduled lives, the way to ensure this is simply to put it in our diaries. First booking for the year - Lerderderg State Park, [...]

Backyard playgrounds

Backyard playgrounds

I've been thinking about reworking the backyard a bit (or a lot, maybe) to make it more play-friendly for my kids. The space worked well when they were preschoolers. I resisted the traditional cubby house - kids seem to get bored with them fast, and I saw so many unused cubbies that were damp and [...]