Monday, 31 January 2011

Yabun (1)

Last week Julie at Sydney Eye introduced us to the spirituality of the Australia Day Woggan-ma-gule ceremony. I also wanted to attend something other than colourful but overhyped, overcrowded and jingoistic Australia Day events.
This year I spent a couple of hours at Yabun, the contemporary celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.  

Yabun (music with a beat) grew out of the Survival/Invasion Day concerts and celebrates the ongoing survival of ATSI cultures; advocates for community engagement with the arts and ATSI culture; and presents and promotes established and emerging ATSI artists and performers.

It is the largest single day Indigenous festival drawing an audience of between 10,000 and 15,000 and is one of the most important Indigenous music events in the country reflecting the huge wealth of Indigenous creative talent.


It is political by its nature and history but relaxed, friendly and welcoming with a mixed crowd, predominantly Indigenous Australians but also white fellas, Asians, Indians and the odd student/backpacker.
It was an extremely humid day so I was there for a short time only (and missed the opening dancers). I will try and go again in better weather and spend more time.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Monochrome Weekend

Henry Lawson's hand

Henry Lawson (1867-1922) was one of Australia's best known short story writers and poets. His first published work, "A Song of the Republic" appeared in The Bulletin in 1887 and, during a career spanning over 30 years, he also tried his hand at journalism writing pieces for the Republican, Boomerang and Worker.

The Mitchell Library holds a rich collection of Lawson's manuscripts and memorabilia, including this gilded plaster cast of Lawson's right hand. The cast, which had once been in the possession of journalist and poet Muir Holburn, is attributed to Sydney sculptor Nelson Illingworth. It is believed to have been made from a mould, taken from Lawson after his death, for the bust of Lawson which is now in the National Gallery of Victoria's collection.

Here's some Lawson for you:

On the Wallaby
Now the tent poles are rotting, the camp fires are dead,
And the possums may gambol in trees overhead;
I am humping my bluey far out on the land,
And the prints of my bluchers sink deep in the sand:
I am out on the wallaby humping my drum,
And I came by the tracks where the sundowners come.

It is nor'-west and west o'er the ranges and far
To the plains where the cattle and sheep stations are,
With the sky for my roof and the grass for my bunk,
And a calico bag for my damper and junk;
And scarcely a comrade my memory reveals,
Save the spiritless dingo in tow of my heels.

But I think of the honest old light of my home
When the stars hang in clusters like lamps from the dome,
And I think of the hearth where the dark shadows fall,
When my camp fire is built on the widest of all;
But I'm following Fate, for I know she knows best,
I follow, she leads, and it's nor'-west by west.

When my tent is all torn and my blankets are damp,
And the rising flood waters flow fast by the camp,
When the cold water rises in jets from the floor,
I lie in my bunk and I list to the roar,
And I think how to-morrow my footsteps will lag
When I tramp 'neath the weight of a rain-sodden swag.

Though the way of the swagman is mostly up-hill,
There are joys to be found on the wallaby still.
When the day has gone by with its tramp or its toil,
And your camp-fire you light, and your billy you boil,
There is comfort and peace in the bowl of your clay
Or the yarn of a mate who is tramping that way.

But beware of the town -- there is poison for years
In the pleasure you find in the depths of long beers;
For the bushman gets bushed in the streets of a town,
Where he loses his friends when his cheque is knocked down;
He is right till his pockets are empty, and then --
He can hump his old bluey up country again.

For more monochrome madness, visit Dragonstar's Weekend in Black and White. 

Friday, 28 January 2011

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Australia Day

When I did my posts for this week I forgot that today was Australia Day. Here's a late offering. Instead of fighting my way through the main celebrations, this year I went to Yabun which is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Indigenous cultures and grew out of the Survival Day concerts. I'll show you more of Yabun next week. Here is Australia day - indigenous and nonindigenous.

State Library (3)


Mitchell Library, Reading Room

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

State Library (2)

These decoration surround a marble mosaic of the Tasman Map on the floor of the vestibule of the Mitchell wing.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Weekend Reflections

To my eyes there's something a bit Gaudi about this. Any guesses what this is, Sydneysiders?
For more reflections visit James' Newtown Area Photo.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Weekend Reflections

The harbour reflected in the windows of the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre, Garden Island.
 
For more reflections visit James' Newtown Area Photo.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Sky Watch Friday

Looking over Garden Island naval base from the highest point on the island.

For more Sky Watch from around the world, drop in to the home of Sky Watch Friday.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Sky Watch Friday

New Year's eve from the front verandah. 
For more Sky Watch from around the world, drop in to the home of Sky Watch Friday.