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Getting back into it ...

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

I’ve had a week of tentatively re-engaging face-to-face with the visual arts world and it’s been balm for the soul. After all these months of mostly digital engagement it was appreciated even more deeply.

The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre has been hosting an exhibition called Black and Blue 2. Curated by Faye Wilson, it’s an eclectic mix of art, text and historical artefacts in shades of blue and black. Based on stories (some fact some fable) of the Blue Mountains and its inhabitants, there’s a focus on murder and tragedy and some surprises (like the fact that chemical weapons were stored in tunnels in the Blue Mountains during WW2!). The meld of poetry and art add to the appeal and some of the poems are reproduced in the brilliant Blume Illustrated magazine, distributed free around the Mountains. Black and Blue 2 runs until September 27 but check the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre website for Covid updates. In case you are wondering, there’s plenty of room to maintain physical distance in the gallery.

My other arts outing was a visit to Sydney and the wonderful SH Ervin Gallery at Millers Point. The Memorial Portia Geach Portrait Prize is in its last weeks (closing 20th of September). It was really enjoyable to get up close and personal with the 60 portraits and read about the artists and their subjects. Pre-book tickets to ensure entry, as numbers are limited.

I miss all the live arts events I planned to attend this year. The Voices of Women project for example, was one of live monologue readings both in Sydney and on tour in regional areas. Lliane Clarke and her team made a valiant effort to present the monologues in alternative form on film and podcast (and did a great job) but I have to say, for me, live events rule. My dystopian story, ‘Skin and Bone,’ was part of this project. Click HERE to listen to the podcast. Or read online in Verity La Creative Journal ('Skin and Bone' is the last story in the line up).

The Aussie Writers’ Festival – ‘Write On’ scheduled first in May, was postponed initially to October then postponed again until 2021. I have a story in their 2020 Anthology, which was supposed to be launched at the Festival, but that will have to wait.

Lucky also to have a poem in the 2020 ZineWest print zine, but again, big question mark over launch date and readings. In the meantime, some of my Covid Haiku is HERE on the ZineWest Popup Zine

Although the live arts like theatre and music are suffering badly at the moment, books and online art sales are booming, and it's not surprising. A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, ‘The Reading method that can help you find your way out of stress’ talked about what’s called ‘bibliotherapy’ – a method of ‘led reading’ that helps people cope with stress (and there’s plenty of that around at the moment). Any reader knows this, but it’s a more formalised approach that uses reading to support people through difficult times. If you're interested in knowing more about it, check out the article.

‘Til next time, keep reading, viewing and supporting the arts. Every bit helps 😊

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