Saturday, March 18, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
I don't believe that Michael Mucci is out to win the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales with his portrait of Scott Cam titled Working Class Man. I think his goal was specifically to win the Packing Room Prize. Painting Scott Cam, good or bad, would have had to be a shoe-in with the blokes in the Packing Room. But it is a wonderful painting which should have been irresistible to the packers. The packers (these are small 'p' packers - not capital 'P' Packers), who receive the portraits and install them in the gallery, vote for their choice of winner. Although the prize is said to be awarded by the staff, the gallery's storeman, Steve Peters, is the real power in the Packing Room Prize. Since 1991, when the first Packing room prize was given, Steve has held 51% of the vote. My guess is that in 2006, the vote would have been unanimous.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Anna Meares, and her sister Kerry - from Queensland - won gold and bronze respectively.
Your victories are all the better for the charm of your sibling rivalry.
Stephanie Rice and the joy of winning
The Women's 200m Individual Medley Final has got the Land of Oz off to an exciting start in the swimming events. 1-2-3, Gold, Silver, Bronze to Australia. But it is not the quantity that was so exciting - it was how Stephanie Rice won. Stephanie, of the three girls - the other two were Brooke Hanson and Lara Carroll - was the newby, the inexperienced one. But, Stephanie, Miss Eagle thinks you are a determined minx. You went for it. You were determined to make the most of your opportunity. You took the lead early with everyone thinking: just wait for it. That Brooke will break through. But that didn't happen. You faded and came again. You had what it took - to break in the beginning and break through when it was really needed. And in a Games record of 2.12.90! What an example to us all! What a metaphor - work hard, train hard, be determined and make the most of your opportunities.
Miss Eagle is disappointed. You see she is a Grant Hackett fan from way back. She thinks he's beyootiful! Then when Thorpie wasn't in contention for the Commonwealth Games (but get better quick Thorpie) nasty thoughts came into Miss Eagle's head. Now is Grant's chance - the beautiful boy can come into his own without all the Thorpe limelight. But no. It's not going to happen. Grant's gone out in sympathy, it seems. But I was delighted to see this ad yesterday in the Degraves Street tunnel.
In Melbourne, it is possible just to walk into the heart of the city and let things happen to you. Yesterday Miss Eagle bounced up the stairs out of the Degraves Street Tunnel to meet a group of people holding up boards in a context that could only be described as roving graffiti. What fun, Miss Eagle thought and here it is for you to enjoy.
Miss Eagle discovered something wonderful yesterday - a wonderful display of children's creativity under the title, The Golden Tapestry. You can find some of it at The City Library and more at the CAE Gallery, 96 Flinders Street facing Federation Square.
The Golden Tapestry has so far involved over 700 primary and special schools across the whole Commonwealth. Each school has made a metre square of textural embroidery contributing to a story covering a year in the life of the Commonwealth. The artworks describe what different aspects of their lives the children would most like to show Her Majesty the Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, if she were to visit them. The briefs the children work on all reflect the principles that unite the Commonwealth, global citizenship and civic values, and conservation and the protection of the environment. The project is designed to help foster understanding and friendship between people and communities in all parts of the world and to reinforce social cohesion. This exhibition will include up to 360 tapestries with schools from every state and territory in Australia and every region of the Commonwealth represented.
Miss Eagle hasn't photographed 360 tapestries but over the next few days will publish a few just to whet your appetite. There are a wide variety of techniques including the use of 3D people involved. There's the cute, the pretty, the stunning, the boastful in a wonderful exuberance. Miss Eagle felt that as a citizen of the Commonwealth she belonged to all of this and it was a wonderful feeling to experience when juxtaposed to the increasing Americanization of Australian culture. This is the special thing that the Commonwealth of nations has to bring to us. A host, a web of special international relationships. There is diversity but a basic commonality. This for the next eleven days is being celebrated in Melbourne with the Commonwealth Games.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The excitement was evident this afternoon as people gathered to catch the train and head for the city. The Commonwealth Games were about to get underway in Melbourne, arguably Australia's most sports mad city.
The people above are set to go with their flags and the green and gold socks.
An old "W" type tram with wings flew into the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) to begin the opening ceremony.
The MCG was the site of the 1956 Olympic Games - the first held in Australia.
The main events were about a young boy and a duck - and the boy's fantasy.
This was based on Michael Leunig's ubiquitous duck and Michael recited his duck poem
A Little Duck
by Michael Leunig
With a bit of luck
Will come into your life.
When you are at the peak
Of your great powers,
And your achievement towers
Like a smoking chimney stack,
There'll be a quack
And right there at your feet
A little duck will stand;
She will take you by the hand
And lead you
Like a child with no defence;
She will lead you
Into wisdom, joy and innocence.
The little duck.
I wish you luck.
The Queen alights from her Rolls Royce for the opening.
Cathy Freeman brought the Queen's Baton into the MCG and passed it to Ron Clarke.
Ron passed the Baton to Marjorie Jackson, the Governor of South Australia
I was getting excited then. I knew there was one more runner to come.
With Freeman, Clarke, and Jackson on the track it was clear who the fourth person had to be.
My eyes were brimming with tears. Such history!
And yes it was - the wonderful John Landy who has just retired as Governor of Victoria.
Delta Goodrem sang the theme song.
HAVE FUN EVERYONE AND DO YOUR PERSONAL BEST
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
When I lived in the middle of the Northern Territory, trips to Adelaide would include a trip to a proper bookshop. And it was Imprints in Hindley Street. Now I never ever did get to the back wall of Imprints. I'd get about six feet in the door and would be well over budget. Talk about smack for addicts! Now Imprints sell new books. I'm only slightly better in among used books. So here is one of my favourite second hand book shops. It is in Flinders Street up from Degraves Street.
Over in the Degraves Street tunnel from Flinders St Station, the owner of this bookshop died.
Outside the window, people have posted messages of appreciation.
For those of you who love your retail therapy and head for the shopping mall, Myer has been sold. Of interest to those in the USA and UK, Myer - one of two large department store retailers in Australia - has been bought by the same people who bought out Neiman Marcus in May 2005 and Debenhams in 2003. Miss Eagle has something to say about this but you can pop over to The Eagle's Nest if you are interested.