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Archive for February, 2008

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Byron Bay Film Festival 2008

The Byron Bay Film Festival offers a unique program of films to inspire, inform and enlighten. Awards include Best Young Australian Filmmaker (under 25), Film, Cinematography, Documentary, Drama, Short, Animation, Experimental, Environmental and Surf Films.

The Byron Bay Film Festival is an initiative of the Byron Community and Cultural Centre and local filmmakers. The Byron Bay and Northern NSW region is home to many filmmakers. BBFF is located in one of Australia’s most desirable locations – a town known world-wide for creativity, style and green-living.

Do yourself a favour & check it out! The Byron Bay Film Festival runs until the 8th March 2008.

Australian Design Awards 2008

A waterless urinal, a candelabra and a clever peg are just a few of the everyday objects that are amongst the finalists at this year’s Australian Design Awards.

Many of the objects in this year’s selection are domestic products used every day including a state-of-the-art stroller, kettle, blender, car and bike light, all of which have improved on the design of their predecessors.

Other products show an interest in social, health and environmental concerns. One outstanding product is the SolarScan that assists with the early detection of melanoma (skin cancer). This product is also the recipient of the inaugural Powerhouse Museum Design Award, given to a design that has the potential to make a significant improvement to the quality of health, wellbeing or the environment.

Other clever designs showing in the Australian Design Awards exhibition are the Optalert glasses which provide early warning of driver drowsiness; the Frogmouth Filter, a self-cleaning low maintenance water filter for urban rainwater tanks; and a high performance pulley block for use in small racing sailboats.

Each year the Powerhouse Museum exhibits a selection of the finalists in the Australian Design Awards. You will catch the exhibition from Thursday 28th February to Wednesday 5th March 2008 at the Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo, NSW.

Surry Hills Markets


The Surry Hills Markets have been an integral part of the Surry Hills community since 1981. In response to community consultations, the Markets were set up to trade in recycled, second hand or hand made goods, distinguishing them from other community markets.

The original concept was to offer a focus for Surry Hills which was experiencing rapid changes in local population, and to provide an opportunity for local & other low-income earners to make additional money. Over the years, Surry Hills has continued to be ever-changing, and the Market now provides an opportunity for locals and visitors to experience the unique diversity of our area. A visit to the Surry Hills Market, either as a buyer or seller, is a reminder that the notion of a community market is still viable in the rapidly changing inner-city environment.

The Surry Hills Markets are held on the first Saturday of every month, at the corner of Crown and Collins Sts, Surry Hills, in Shannon Reserve, regardless of weather. Additional Market dates are sometimes scheduled. In wet weather, the market may be restricted to the paved area.

For more information you can contact the Market Coordinator on 0424-735 081, or alternatively, ring the Centre on 02-9310 2888.

Two Flat Whites interview Payarm Eskandari

Two Flat Whites sat down over a cold drink with architect Payarm Eskandari. Pay enjoys mixing science with art to create a design that enhances the community as well as sizzling the client. He is one of two partners in the architectural firm Abstract Designs. When Pay gets the chance, he also enjoys going to live music gigs & spending time with family & friends.

If you sign an autograph what do you write? And where do you call home?

I don’t sign autographs. Architects are born arrogant with character traits which are only concerned with one’s self-admiration, self-centeredness and self-regard, thus I have no desire to sign autographs. Just kidding guys, I honestly can’t see anyone asking me for an autograph. I don’t actually think anyone in our industry would get asked for autographs, although, you do meet many in the profession that have attitudes and ego’s that would rival Tom Cruise or Justin Timberlake in the midst of a brat attack.

I still call Australia HOME!!! Sydney to be exact.

In your own words, what do you do?

In architectural jargon: I aspire to manifest space that is experiential and exclusively human in nature, yet have it evoke, simultaneously, connotations that are almost other-worldly, and which challenge the human realm of its understanding.

In simple terms: I design buildings and try to create nice space

Childhood Memories:

TV Show –

1. All Bruce Lee movies cause I thought and kind of still believe I am him.
2. All the Police Academies with Sgt Carey Mahoney in them. They lost the plot after awhile when Michael “I’ve never been funny cause I make stupid sounds” Winslow took the lead role. They should have given it to Sgt Eugene Tackleberry.
3. Revenge of the Nerds (I loved Louis Skolnick’s laugh, Arnold Poindexter’s glasses and I just loved everything about Ogre);

1. WWF (World Wrestling Federation) cause Hulk Hogan was another hero of mine. Hell I cried as kid when King Kong Bundy splashed him and crushed his ribs 2 weeks prior to the infamous cage match before Wrestlemania 2. Oh yeah, and I had heart palpitations and almost failure for 1/2hr during Wrestlemania 3 when Andre the Giant almost crushed the life out of the Hulkster before Hogan managed to set him up for the big leg drop and make me the happiest kid in the world. Oh and one more reason, my sister and I use to love watching wrestling, was to laugh at the Iron Sheik’s Persian accent, cause half my relo’s talk like that;
2. Rugby League to watch the mighty Balmain Tigers and to hear the moose and his bias commentary;

1. The Cosby Show;
2. Welcome Back Cotter;
3. Different Strokes;

1. Fat Albert;
2. Smurfs (Cause I wanted Gargamel to eat them all);
3. The Flintstones;
4. He-man;
5. Road Runner (Why couldn’t have Coyote just eaten that stupid bird);

Hobby –
Sport, sport and more sport. I played weekend sports such as Rugby League, Cricket, Touch Football and Tennis growing up, but also represented my school in Basketball. Also did Hapkido for about 3 years cause I wanted to fight just like Bruce;

Food –
Chocolate and Macca’s (Big Mac’s + Cheeseburgers of course);

Fear –
1. Spiders;
2. Climbing Heights. I had no issue once I was up there; I just hated climbing up trees, ladders, etc. Not much has changed there;

People –
Family and Friends;

Defining moment –
I don’t think I can nominate one moment; life is an adventure of opportunities and many moments;

Schooling memories, chore or cherished?

Cherished it. Loved it to bits and sometimes wish life could be so simple again. Cause all you did was play all day with your mates, learn a bit in between and develop different crushes on different chicks on a weekly basis;

From the hours of 9am to 5pm, what do you get up too?

Run my own architectural firm;

Where can people see your work?

It hasn’t been updated in like 2yrs, so we are launching the new site at the commencement of the new year.

For love or money?

Both. That’s just being honest. I love what I do, but I also love the money that’s associated with the hard work I put in. No Pain, No Gain. Success only comes to those with desire, drive and hunger;

What future endeavors are in the pipeline?

Hopefully going back to University to do some post graduate research. I completed a Thesis a few years back which was a year’s worth of research into a Japanese design theory and it’s something I would love to go back to and explore in more depth over time. I have no idea when or how with my current lifestyle, but that’s still a long term goal of mine that I have not let go of;

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Content with everything life has to offer as in the present;

If you could invite 3 people to chat over coffee, who would they be & why?

1. Michael Franti to speak Music & Politics;
2. John Pawson to speak about Architecture;
3. My future partner in life, thus my eternal best friend;

Coffee or Tea?

Green Tea.

Malabar Indian Restaurant

Two Flat Whites had heard a lot of good things about an Indian Restaurant recently & wanted to try it for ourselves. So we ventured to Darlinghurst & stopped by Malabar Indian Restaurant for a meal that we will never forget! What we received was so much more than a great meal. Malabar was one of the true dining experiences!

It is ideally located in Sydney’s exclusive Darlinghurst area, near St. Vincent’s Hospitals and the infamous Kings Cross which seats about 70 people. The décor is contemporary with a wonderful mix of greys, whites & blacks, the patrons are surrounded by photographs of people and places of Malabar.

Malabar is a region of southern India, lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, and comprising the northern half of the state of Kerala. Geographically the name is sometimes extended to the entire southwestern coast of the peninsula, called the Malabar Coast.

We heard a rumour that Chef Mohammed Sali often found his way out of the kitchen and enjoyed greeting & talking with guests. We were not disappointed. Chef Mohammed Sali is a very likeable man who you can tell has a real passion for his restaurant & tantalizing food that he creates.

The food itself was out of this world. We decided on the Malabar Banquet which comprised of Patti Samosa, Chicken Tikki & Dosai Masala for starters. Then for the mains we had the scrumptious Chicken Makhani, the irresistible Lamb Varutha, Mixed Vegetables curry with Basmati rice, Naan, Mint Chutney & Pappadums. The mains were a selection of mild, semi mild & a kick of Indian spices. Chef Mohammed Sali also recommended the Goan Fish Curry which was a mouth watering dish that did not disappoint!

Malabar is the finest place to sample the extraordinary regional Indian delicacies, created by Chef Mohammed Sali, with his brigade of master chefs, for a marvellous fusion of tastes. At Malabar, this unique offering will take you on a gourmet journey.

Akina – Sydney based artist Lang Leav

Akina is a villain with a button fetish. She attacks innocent teddy bears to steal their button eyes!

Sydney based artist Lang Leav uses pastels and pixels to weave the enchanting world of Akina. Since its inception, the illustration based fashion label has established a cult following worldwide. In 2005, Akina was selected as winner of the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards judged by industry heavyweights such as Peter Morrissey. Later, the label went on to inspire a documentary that aired internationally on ABC television in 2006. As well as critical acclaim, Akina has achieved commercial success, being sold through key boutiques in Australia and Japan.

Lang’s artwork has also drawn recognition. In June 2006, she was invited to participate in the Strange Worlds Exhibition at China Heights Gallery, followed by Gas at The Global Gallery in November. She is also one of the select artists chosen to have her work showcased in the fourth edition of world renowned publication Curvy.

Her first solo exhibition was held at the Kinokuniya Gallery in April, 2007. The exhibition titled ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ featured a series of works that offer a sinister twist to our much loved fairytale characters.

Within this world, Gretal discovers something more delicious than candy, Little Red Riding Hood undergoes a ghastly transformation and Rapunzel uses her long, golden locks to commit atrocious acts. It is a world where button fetishes are contagious, childhood nursery rhymes are interwoven with macabre themes and happily ever after is anything but.

‘I am often asked why I create such sinister twists to fairytale characters. I remember when I was a little girl my Dad bought me a Fairytale book. It was a huge thick book -” a collection of the complete and unabridged tales of the Brothers Grimm. The stories were contrary to the happy Disney-esque ones I was accustomed to. They were violent and often ended with children meeting gruesome deaths. I think I realised then that in their purest form, fairytales are dark. This irony really influences my work’.

Recently Lang Leav was awarded a prestigious $25,000 Winston Churchill fellowship to study the Harajuku Girls, an underground sub culture seeded in Tokyo where Lang heavily draws her inspiration. Among her other influences are Mark Ryden, Donovon Crosy, Shoichi Aoki, Tim Burton and Gary Baseman.

National Jazz Writing Competition 2008

The National Jazz Writing Competition is the only competition of its kind in Australia, with a focus on jazz-related writing. Entrants will need to submit one short story (max 2,000 words). The story must be about, inspired by or responding to jazz or improvised music.

Note: Where the reference to jazz is not explicit in the story you will also need to supply a brief (200 words maximum) explanation of the link. For example, if a story was inspired by the music at a gig or on a recording, name the musician(s) and give details of date and venue or CD.

The winner will be announced at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz – Australia’s best loved and most prestigious annual jazz event – on the first weekend in November. 1st prize is $750 and publication in extempore & 2nd and 3rd prize will be confirmed.

extempore is a biannual (six-monthly, in November and May) journal of jazz-related writing and artworks including reviews, short stories, poetry, features, interviews, prints and photography. 

Content is about, inspired by or responding to the music. The journal also includes a directory of jazz-related venues, festivals, courses, opportunities and events. The first issue of extempore will be launched at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz on the first weekend in November 2008.

Future Music Festival 2008

The 2008 Future Music Festival is bringing the best of global electronic music down under for another scorching summer send-off.

Where in Australia can you see the likes of Aesop Rock, Roger Sanchez, Who made who and Shapeshifters as well as trance maestro John Digweed? But wait there’s more. Markus Schulz is back down under and many a Future music ticket holder will be wetting themselves as perennial faves The Chemical Brothers have confirmed they will bring their long awaited live show to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Sat Mar 1 – Brisbane
Sun Mar 2 – Perth
Sat Mar 8 – Sydney
Sun Mar 9 – Melbourne
Mon Mar 10 – Adelaide

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2008

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival kicks into gear from the 22nd February to the 8th March 2008. With 220 tantalising events over 16 delicious days there is something for everyone!

You’re invited to the biggest backyard BBQ of the year.  Fabulous food, a dedicated kids’ pavillion and music to boot!

WHEN: Saturday 1 March, 11.00am – 5.00pm

WHERE: Federation Square, Riverbank

World’s Longest Lunch

Drink in the expanse of the single, elegantly laid long table. Eat the atmosphere. Enjoy a welcome drink upon arrival. Listen to the clatter of thousands of knives and forks as we serve a delectable three course luncheon with Victorian wine.

WHEN: Friday 29 February 2008, 12.00 for 12.30pm – 3.00pm

WHERE: Flemington Racecourse

Celebrate the Bean

Make sure you’re in fine form for a day of utter extravagance at Sunday’s Celebrate the Bean. An all day, open-air coffee celebration with an abundance of sweet treats for the chocolate fiends. Join Melbourne’s best roasters and hottest baristas, arrive as the first grinders crank into gear and steaming milk begins to whistle. Through the day on stage – Crocs Home Barista Championship, Equal Latte Art Smack Down, Ethiopian Coffee Roasting Ceremony and Live Music.

WHEN: Sunday 2 March 11.00am – 6.00pm

WHERE: Waterfront City, Docklands

Portrait of the observer – Martin Shaw

Portrait of the observer … Martin Shaw, reflected here in his intriguing artwork, says people interpret it according to their own experiences.

Bob Hawke thought the blue figure was Ned Kelly. John Laws thought it symbolised the economy. And to Cathy Freeman, it represented someone unwise and uncaring.

We’ll never know who’s right. The artist Martin Shaw, who painted Three Well Known Australians in barely a day in 1982, banks on the mystery surrounding the figures’ identity for the painting’s longevity. And for 25 years, the canvas has toured Australia continuously, piquing people’s curiosity.

Giving a colour print of the painting and its title as a guide, Shaw wrote to hundreds of famous people asking them to guess who the figures were. The responses hang alongside the painting in an exhibition at Parliament House in Canberra.

Ned Kelly came up often for the boxy blue figure on the left. Not only was it the former prime minister’s guess back in 1993, it’s been the suggestion of many members of the public who, over the years, have recorded their opinions in binder books Shaw calls yearbooks. To the artist, the yearbooks – which chronicle the occupations, addresses and the guesses of generations of Australians – are the real work of art.

“They’re a national portrait,” Shaw says. “They’re like a passing parade. Each generation in Australia chooses different names for the images. The books are a social commentary of the changing times in Australia.”

And has anyone correctly guessed all three identities? That, the 54-year-old artist would not say, nor plans to tell before he dies. The exhibition at Parliament House continues until the end of February 2008.

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