Like a surgeon losing the functionality of his/her hands or a king unable to make a speech, Betty Churcher lived through the degeneration of her eyesight. Who is Betty Churcher? She was the former Director of the National Gallery of Australia, art critic at The Australian newspaper and all in all lived for the love of art. In her latest book, My Notebooks, she takes the reader through some of the best known galleries around Europe and the United States with her own sketches and opinions. Find out how this amazing painter, curator and author keeps her passion alive against all odds. The photograph pictured here by Dean Golja was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2009.
Apr 4, 7.30-9pm, Shearers Bookshop, 99 Norton St, Leichhardt, $5-7, 9572 7766, shearersbookshop.com.au
In my interview with 67-year-old Aboriginal actor Jack Charles this week (watch this blog), he described himself in his twenties as such, “I was political and thought of myself a useful person but I wasn’t as outspoken as I can be today. I was very shy and held back quite a bit. But theatre was the driving force behind putting me in front of people. I realised my potential here.” And today, he tells his story of drug abuse, the arts and the memories of being a part of the stolen generation on stage at the Belvoir Street Theatre. Join Associate Professor Peter O’Connor as he discusses theatre as a vital forum for communities to express issues that are otherwise overseen, ignored or even suppressed. Entertainment aside, there is no denying that theatre is a byproduct of our social, political and psychological world.
Mar 29, 6-7.30pm, Sydney Law School (Camperdown), New Law School Building, The University of Sydney, sydney.edu.au/sydney_ideas/lectures/
FOSTERING A GREEN CULTURAL PRECINCT AT WALSH BAY
How do we make Walsh Bay green and colourful at the same time? Already hailed the arts hub of Sydney, Walsh Bay is the heart of arts central (amidst Sydney Theatre Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, Australian Theatre for Young People, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Regional Arts NSW, Accessible Arts, The Song Company, Gondwana Choirs and Sydney Children’s Choir) and on March 8th, it will also go green with a panel armed with ideas to make the hub a sustainable cultural precinct. Panelists include Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton (Co-Artistic Directors of Sydney Theatre Company), Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP, Craig Allchin (Director, Six Degrees Architects), Lisa Havilah (CEO, CarriageWorks) and Rafael Bonachela (Artistic Director, Sydney Dance Company). This event is free so let’s get the city talking about the two subjects that fly under the radar – the arts and the environment.
Mar 8, Sydney Town Hall, 483 George St (cnr Druitt St), Sydney, Free, 8256 2222, cityrecitalhall.com
In the style of Art Gallery New South Wales’ Art After Hour, the Australian Museum is bringing you art, live music, film and talks all through summer with Jurassic Lounge. An initiative by the people who bring you the annual Canadian Film Festival, The Festivalists. Enjoy a little culture after hours every Tuesday till the end of February. So instead of watching a film like, I don’t know Valentine’s Day this Valentine’s Day, bring your partner to a discover the truth behind love, lust and the science behind attraction. It could be the way someone’s face is stretched to the limits after a botox overload or the way they say “like” after every three words, love is inexplicable. What? I’ve been Keeping up with the Kardasians. On a serious note though, sexologist Dr Patricia Weerakoon from Sydney University will talk about everything from the way you lose your ability to form sentences around the luster to the scientific secrets behind everlasting love.
Feb 8, Australian Museum, 70 Riley St, East Sydney, $20-$30, 9320 6225, austmus.gov.au
If the films Men’s Group and Separation City are anything to go by, we know that Australian men and especially fathers need a better community network system where they can address their anxieties, overwhelming emotions and fears without being judged. The Benevolent Society recognises this and has gone a step further and introduced a workshop for expectant fathers that not only addresses their psychological state but also provides practical skills and tips on how to bond with their babies. We know our Aussie men make great husbands and dads so here’s to letting them know we support and care about them too. Please call the number below for more information about this worthwhile workshop.
Every Mon until 20 Dec and starting again from Jan 17. Scarba House, 24A Ocean St, Bondi. Free. 0419 461 422
The Woollahra Festival is hosting Australia’s favourite grey fox in a panel quite unlike any other. Yes, ABC’s Tony Jones is making an appearance in a Q&A style discussion, The Big Conversation: Invisible Cities – Communities Actual, Virtual, Possible and Improbable. Panellists include Malcolm Turnbull, Ian Hickie, Lynne Strong and Kay Wilhelm in a conversation about big issues surrounding small communities. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind festival that does away with the usual. A real treat for lovers of forums, talks, discussions and big ideas. Most events are free but book in advance to avoid disappointment. Now if you don’t have any other questions, we’ll take that as a comment.
12 – 14 Nov. Various Locations. woollahrafestival.com.au
No, Shaun Micallef has NOT written an autobiography or memoir although I reckon his would be a rather fascinating read in comparison to the truly mind-boggling biographies that line the “me, me, me” shelf at bookstores these days. Think Fierce by Kelly Osbourne. Really? Or Learning to Fly by Victoria Beckham. Reeeally? Micallef has taken the road less traveled by commercially successful television personalities (Full Frontal, The Micallef Program(me), Newstopia and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation) and written Preincarnate, a fictional novel about a fast-paced adventure through time. The jury is still out but hey anything to see the man’s rubber face and quick wit reminiscent of Peter Cook, whom he aptly played in Good Evening: The Sketches of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore on stage earlier this year.
My favourite Micallef sketch.
27 Oct. 7:15pm-8:30pm . Palace Cinema, 99 Norton St, Leichhardt . $12 with $5 off with purchase of the book. 9572 7766, shearersbookshop.com.au
Please note the date for this event is 15 Oct
Bondi, here’s another reason to clink glasses. All in the name of literary inspiration of course. Swirl the finest red and sip chilled whites as Ben Hughes and Kate Griffin talk about famous writers who used alcohol to conjure bestsellers. Click here to see pictures of their last event on Facebook.
15 Oct. Gertrude & Alice Cafe Bookstore, 46 Hall Street, Bondi Beach. 9130-5155, gertrudeandalice.com.au
Join some of the sharpest minds in science and medicine to discuss some very important topics at the Garvin Institute this month. Or just walk in to see the amazing interior design of the building that looks like a set from a sci-fi movie. Don’t miss the panel discussion What Will it Take to Cure Cancer with Garvin researchers Prof Roger Daly, Dr Alex Swarbrick, Dr Lisa Horvath and oncologist Dr Sue Pendlebury from St Vincent’s Hospital. This will be followed by talks that will give the public an idea of the kind of research Garvin has been undertaking in diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, eating disorders, hearing loss, asthma, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Can’t physically make the open day? Watch live webcasts on the website listed below.
24 Oct. 9am-3pm. NAB Auditorium, Garvin Institute of Medical Research, 384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst. Free. 9295 8110, giving.garvan.org.au/openday