Arts, Culture & Entertainment News - April 4

Bill, Cynthia and their friend Chicago artist Nick Cave
New York designer couple Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers are to receive a 2012 SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) Legend of Fashion award at the Institute's annual show, dubbed THE WALK, on April 19. While Rowley, an SAIC alumna, oversees her signature label, Powers is a host of Work of Art and co-owns the Half Gallery with Andy Spade and James Frey. Together they parent two girls. "Cynthia and Bill know what they’re doing as a creative couple and a family unit,” their friend Cave told The New York Times. Paper magazine editorial director Mickey Boardman will serve as the evening's emcee and Jerry Saltz, senior art critic for New York magazine, will present the award.

Celebrity painted chairs are making a unique exhibition in The Fracture Gallery at Federation Square, Melbourne, between April 2 and 12, in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Celebrity photographer Alex Fevola has decorated her chair with the images of famous people who have survived breast cancer, including Olivia Newton-John, Raelene Boyle and Kylie Minogue. "My chair is meant to be an eye piece with lots to look at and a source of inspiration for people battling cancer. All the pictures are of women who have survived breast cancer and are now living healthy, happy lives. The words are the word 'Hope' in different languages," she said. For more information, drop by The Porch.
Photo by Joe McNally
Joe McNally has been described as "perhaps the most versatile photojournalist working today", and his work is travelling Australia in a new exhibition. He has shot cover stories for LIFE, Golf Digest, TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated, and is currently an ongoing, 23 year contributor to National Geographic. The "Through the Lens" tour, supported by Nikon, will see Joe present seminars, keynote talks and workshops, starting in Sydney on May 7.

Lord Melvyn Bragg is an eloquent fellow with a particular interest in English language literature who has written a book about the King James Bible, the every man's translation that celebrated its 400th anniversary last year. "Just imagine it... suddenly you get this treasure chest," he told an audience at The Sydney Institute, broadcast by the ABC, encouraging us to imagine how liberating this access to the greatest book there ever was would have been. The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible 1611-2011 is a compelling account of the Bible that gave Englishmen the "permission to think" about the abolition of slavery and the empowerment of women in the 19th century, amongst other things, which changed the world profoundly. "Bragg tells the history of the King James with the vigour and pace of a storyteller rather than the dry precision of an academic," said the Independent.

Screening at the Australian Centre for Moving Image, Melbourne, from April 14 to 29 is Sing Your Song, a documentary that examines the art and activism of singer Harry Belafonte ("daylight come and me wan' go home..."). Spurred by his mother’s advice to “never awaken where there isn’t something in your agenda to help set the course for undermining injustice”, Belafonte stood tall against racism alongside Dr Martin Luther King. He has been at the forefront of the anti Apartheid movement, famine relief and youth education with the determination to use culture as an instrument of social change the enduring quest of his life, says ACMI. 

Meanwhile, Australian artist Jimmy Little – the first indigenous Australian to receive mainstream success in musicpassed away on Monday aged 75. His legacy includes the Jimmy Little Foundation, which aims to bring health to indigenous communities. Fellow musician Jimmy Barnes tweeted: "RIP Jimmy Little love to all friends and family."

The Miles Franklin Literary Award finalist's list is out, featuring seven women authors amongst the 13 titles. The award, now worth $42,000, was bequeathed by the will of Australian novelist, Miles Franklin (My Brilliant Career) for a 'published novel or play portraying Australian life in any of its phases'. Kim Scott won last year for That Deadman Dance.

"There are no prodigies in literature,” novelist Tom Robbins says. "Literature requires experience, in a way that mathematics and music do not." The New York Times looks at the phenomenon of self-published kids' authors ("a growing corner of the book world that raises as many questions about parenting as it does about publishing" – the new battle ground for child supremacy?), while elsewhere the Times profiles Charlotte Rogan who has worked on her book, The Lifeboat, on and off, for 10 years... when some of the new child-authors were but tadpoles. Publisher's Weekly reports on the Digital Public Library of America, and finding "a just equilibrium" between democratisation and commercialisation.
A Daniel Mackie design @ The Creative Finder
Design Taxi aims to inspire, promote and empower creative professionals around the world, and now the crew have launched The Creative Finder, a means through which creative professionals can showcase their design, illustration and photography work with others in the international community, by way of networking and seeking commissions.

"I have been inspired by paper and making things from it all my life," says Skye Rogers, the lady behind stationery label Skye's the Limit and new book Paper Bliss: Projects and Musings on Life in the Paper Lane ($45; Harper Collins). "Once I made the decision to dedicate a year to producing a book about my passion I was away! I have loved sharing my ideas about the sometimes tricky process of following my own creative path... so many people dream of doing this that it was a delight to share that journey." There are 29 crafty projects inside the book, along with templates hidden within the book jacket, Skye's tips and creative encouragement, and tear-out decorative papers peppered throughout.

The May issue of House & Garden magazine features Jessica Hanson's 'Sewing essentials' (I love a beautifully styled flat-lay page; check it page 29), as well as stylist Jo Emery's "Beatrix Potter house" (part of Melbourne's Open Garden Scheme), 'Mothers of Reinvention' (mums who have made the home their business hub) and 'Time traveller', which takes us to a 1890s villa in Adelaide owned by Brenda Scott.

Over the weekend I had occasion to run into some of the Girlfriend editorial team who have been working on a One Direction one-shot magazine, which goes on sale today for $9.95 a pop. "With their Australian concerts selling out in under three minutes, the demand for One Direction has reached fever pitch," says editor Sarah Tarca. "Our readers have been telling us they just can’t get enough of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis." The ladies also informed me that there are levels of One Direction fandom, and it's a highly contentious issue as to just how fanish you are. GWAS teen columnist Georgie Carroll confirms this, adding that you are called a "directionator" if you are not a 'proper' fan. "It drives me mad because they're forgetting fandom is all about shared love and acceptance, not about who's the 'best'," she says.

GWAS will be getting down with the kids at Easterfest music festival this weekend. And last, but not least, Cold Chisel's new clip starring a little angel in a pink dress called Tallulah Rose.

Girl With a Satchel


Scarlett Harris @ The Early Bird Catches the Worm said...

I'd be interested to get your thoughts on Campbell Newman's scrapping of the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Erica.

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

This piece puts it nicely, Scarlett...