Pollination – October 10th 2014

Kaitlyn performing her poetry

“POLLINATION was an exhibition that explored the powers and potentialities associated with springtime: both in the natural world and in the realm of  hearts and minds. The exhibition showcased individual and collaborative works by five creatives:”

1. Temily –  a visual artist whose work draws on a richness of experiences from living in numerous communities throughout the world (including recent travels around Queensland).

Temily with young fan – Kaitlyn in background posting about the exhibition on line 😉

2. Minaira Fifita –  a visual and performing artist whose artwork is grounded in her Polynesian and Celtic roots and nurtured by her faith in the unity and diversity of human relationships and it’s connection to the environment.

3. Sheida Vazir-Zadeh –  an Iranian writer raised in Australia who is currently exploring how the art of filmmaking can be used as a tool for the empowerment of young people.

Some of the Crowd – totally packed!

4. Kaitlyn Plyley –  an American-Australian spoken word artist, broadcaster and writer whose solo show ‘Not Much To Tell You’ appeared at the 2014 Queensland Poetry Festival.

5. Ruha Fifita – is a visual and performing artist of Tongan/European descent whose work reflects on nature and the physical environment, exploring the insights it offers into processes framing mankind’s spiritual and material progress.

(From the Exhibition Facebook Information Page.)

It was an amazing night full of energy, vibrance, colour and joy. People were packed into every spare piece of available floor, and overflowing out onto the streets.

There was music, dancing, poetry – and lots of people mingling to celebrate the themes of the art exhibition.

The exhibition spaced was provided by Box Vintage.

Ruha performing

For more photographs of  click  Pollination

A man, a guitar, country songs: quest for portraits

Bob – By June Perkins
Bob – by June Perkins
Bob – By June Perkins

Bob Elliston asked if I could do some portrait shots for him.  

We met at Song Trails last year, where I was the workshop photographer and fellow songwriter participant.

Bob is the President of the Yungaburra Folk Festival and music has been his lifelong passion.  He has played in several bands and groups.  I think he said six.  He is enjoying pursuing song writing in his ‘retirement.’

Bob’s main request was that he didn’t want anything cheesy, staring down the camera, or too smiley.  But other than that he was really quite flexible.

Going to a photographer can be like going to the hair dresser.  You want to come out looking your best, and it takes a while to trust a new hair dresser.

I approached it just like when I am photographing family. We chatted. I asked him a few things about his life,  grandkids, jobs, musical influences, all the time clicking away and waiting for him to just be totally relaxed and himself.

I liked the backdrop of the cane and it was a slightly cloudy day which gave us some interesting textures to work with.  We had to wait for a bit of shadow though as it was mid morning and quite hot and we had to make sure we took care of Bob’s beloved guitar.  Guitar’s don’t like to be overheated.  Bob loves his guitars so I really wanted a few shots of him with his guitar.

At one stage I was super pleased to photograph Bob with a twinkle in his eye.  I could see the young man enthusiasm for life in him as well.  I truly like the character in his face.

Bob, and his song writing co-partner,  Michelle Walker, recently received a highly commended in a Tamworth Songwriting competition.  It is never too late to pursue your dreams.

Bob left the portrait morning after spending some time chatting about guitars, music and social issues with my son.   He gave us some produce from home – eggs, tomatoes, lemons, oranges and passionfruit.

I am looking forward to more portrait work and continuing to branch out from portraits of family to interesting local artists, musicians, country people, and songwriters.

Bob Elliston – By June Perkins


Discovering Youth Art

Last night a Youth Arts Exhibition opened at Mission Beach community Arts Centre.

These are just a few photographic highlights.

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Hayley, Sonya and Sheridan
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Young Singers – Buskers doing a gig
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Some of the crowd

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A wonderful night was had by the over 50 people who attended.
As well as supporting young local artists, the evening gave families of the artists a chance to mingle and meet others from throughout the Cassowary Coast. Visitors from from as far as Townsville came to support the artists and the night, and artists and their families came from Feluga, Mission Beach, Murray Upper and Tully.
The biggest eye capturing piece was a street art sign saying Mission Beach Arts Rocks. This, along with some individual pieces displayed beside it, were made possible through money provided by the Cassowary Coastal council for a street arts workshop. This had a tropical twist to it, through featuring butterflies around the letters.
It did present a challenge to hang, but thankfully this was resolved, and at the conclusion of the exhibition will grace the outside of the gallery to add colour and youthful vitality.
Hayley Gillespie’s workshop resulted in a Discovering Me wall, full of vibrant pieces of portraits, butterflies, ying and yang and a colourful still life.  Hayley came to the opening and selected pieces for encouragement awards.  She commented on how much she enjoyed working with the young artists from the area.
Another school holidays workshop with Sally Moroney led to the inclusion of a wire sculpture of a giraffe made by Matilda, a six year old artist, who recently moved from Victoria to the area with her family.  Sally holds regular workshops for budding artists of the area and encourages them with their work.  She held a preliminary meeting to encourage their participation in the project.  They then put the word out to their friends as well.
A few students from Tully High school put in work, with Sonya, Caitlin and Sheridan all receiving encouragement awards.  Sonya, Judge’s Choice, Caitlin, composition, and wall display, Sheridan.  Each high school artist featured a dragon in her art and all are good friends.
Sonya had striking social commentary in some of her pieces, and a note about how she had obtained bones from animals to construct one.  Caitlin created delightful bird paintings on feathers amongst her three contributions. Sheridan’s mixed media wall had several digital art pieces, as well as a collage and some canvas work.


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Other award winners where Shinji for his use of colour, and Georgia for her open and moving artists’ statements.  Vouchers for further art supplies were a welcome reward to the emerging artists.

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Matilda and her creation

There are many other noteworthy art pieces including an almost murder mystery trio of pieces.  You’ll need to go have a look at the exhibition to see what they were.  It is open until the 23rd of July.

Young musicians came and shared their instrumental and singing talents whilst attendees feasted on cheese, crackers and a sausage sizzle.  Sally made a discovery a young group of buskers who she invited along to participate in the night.
Ben, an up and coming guitarist, gave his guitar a brilliant and sustained workout; playing, blues, popular and classical to set a beautiful tone for the afternoon/evening.
Sonya gave a heartfelt thank you to Sally for all she does for local artists when arising to accept her award.  Many  parents also thanked her for providing this opportunity for young people from the area.  Hayley Gillespie was thanked for inspiring them as well, and some of the children and youth requested photographs with her.


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Young Artist and Hayley

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Chris and daughter, and Sally


Mapping the Heart: Tapping Multi-Arts – Tropical Writer’s Festival Part 2

mapping the heart signA Program

There was a lot to take in, as the sign above indicates. But it was not just a poet spouting the words on the page and seeking only the treasury of words and metaphor.  She chose to enlist others talents and add dimensions of dance, song, photographic imagery.

Of the performance I remember of the photography backdrops an image of aerial landscape and river groove, a bunch of hearts. There was much more but I didn’t always remember to look – perhaps with a larger  screen I would have taken in more of the photographs, but the space offered some limitations as well as benefits to the performers.  The benefits being ‘pull in the audience from the shops and mesmerize them with art. ‘ Take art to the people.

Of the words I remember that the poet’s persona or is it the poet Helen Ramoutsaki ‘doesn’t do domestic’ but she does a lot of dancing, and a lot about a mirror of being.

DSC_0571Helen Ramoutsaki ‘not doing domestic’

DSC_0610 ‘Mirror’ performed by Marilyn Davidson

I am laughing because in a cow girl country western song, a woman finds a man she once desired when he was with a wife is no longer so desirable when he has left her.  She realises he is not what she really wants.

DSC_0556Karen White – ‘One of Those Days’

I see the girl in the green dress dancing with something that mimics the flow of sand and wind.  She is mapping the heart in the air?  I don’t remember words or images when she was on stage because she has created an audience entrancement.

mapping space2bAnna Whiting performing during, Stumbled’

mapping space.......

The actor with his undertaker/sorry marriage suit is centre stage a few times.  For later he is mesmerising when he with a basket, full of loveheart lollipops, selling us on the desirability of food.

mapping the heart song4Karen White & Shaun Cramm perform ‘One of Those Days’

The staging was varied, with actors/singers taking on solo roles as well as group performances. Some even more traditional reading of poetry (but with four voices instead of one).

DSC_0614The singing ranged from lyrical, celtic kind of feel to country and Western to soft rock. The whole performance ended with a chorus backing Omid in his song setting of a poem by Ramoutsaki . Omid is a musician /song writer in Port Douglas who has a number of records, for this performance he performed two songs written by the poet but with his music, ‘Anywhere on this Earth’ and ‘Daintree Dancing.’

mapping the heart performanceFrank Frikker, Upsana ? & Co Performing Song in Mapping the Heart

still to lable this one checking with cast (:

DSC_0635Frank Frikker and Omid Master performing ‘Anywhere on This Earth’

Also photographed, Shaun Cramm, Helen Ramoutsaki, Anna Whiting

My overall impression of the piece was that is was very attractive compared to a straight reading of poetry and was indeed a piece of theatre.  The only minor things I think were that the screens of the photographs were not small enough (limitation of the space) and that occasionally too much was going on stage- that is the dancers could have been without words or images without poets (just a couple of times).  occasionally there was clapping between pieces which meant the pieces prerecorded and playing on the loudspeakers I couldn’t hear because of the applause, they perhaps needed a bigger gap so that we wouldn’t lose these precious words.

I think in another staging I’d like a short intermission mid-point so I could concentrate really well, as I really wanted to take it all in.

The collaboration to make this piece cohesive with the acting, photography, singing, words, were wonderful and there were children leaving the pinball parlour to come and see.

I think a DVD of the work would go down well so you can pause parts and relisten if you don’t get it all on the first sitting.  This could be sorted into chapters so you can pause.  Sometimes I knew I had missed something precious or just wanted to go a little bit more slowly.  It was however a triumph for writer and director and these are minor constructive suggestions.

(c) Words and Images, June Perkins

{please note still labelling and adding the photographs on this post, it was a large cast}