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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.

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.

Thai Culture and Food Festival 2008

Melbourne’s 5th annual Thai Culture and Food Festival will be held on Sunday 2nd March 2008 at Federation Square and River Terrace from 10am to 9pm.     ENTRY is FREE!!     
There will be something for everyone with 20 Thai food and desert stalls; 19 performers direct from Thailand; Live cultural shows; Thai martial arts shows; Thai kick boxing shows; Fashion parade – 12 models direct from Thailand featuring Thai Silk; Thai cooking demo on main stage & Buddhist ceremony.

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