Anarchy, Rock and Ink at the Fremantle Art Centre

27 Jul

Perth has a reputation of going on hiatus when winter hits. But who can blame us? After all, we are a people accustomed to autumn days of 30 degrees and 350 days of sunshine a year. So when that wet stuff starts to fall from the sky it’s understandable that we run for cover. However, July is no longer the dark days of winter with countless events taking place to get us out of the house.

One of which is the brilliant Anarchy, Rock and Ink exhibition being held at the wonderful Fremantle Arts Centre. The exhibition had its opening last night and despite the threat of gale force winds and torrential rain a large crowd was present.

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In a sense this event is three separate exhibitions united by their choice of media. And the centre has expertly matched the unique style and feel of each with the rooms it has assigned to showcase them.

Anarchy (political posters from NYC group Black Cat from the 1970s and beyond) is located in one of the internal rooms, one door and no windows. The walls are covered with the subversive and poignant posters up to the upper reaches of the high ceilings. Given the current political climate in Australia, this exhibition is a wonderful lesson in how to intelligent challenge the status quo.

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Rock  encompasses the very striking and highly stylised promotional concert posters from design studio Beyond the Pale. The company has created posters for a wide range of artists, from The Rolling Stones to The Black Keys and The Foo Fighters. This part is housed in a large, airy and white walled room, and corridor, in which the framed posters are presented in a traditional gallery style.

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Finally, Riley (the Cow) by Perth artist Rachel Salmon-Lomas represents the ‘Ink’ of the title. It is housed in one of the smaller internal rooms and lighting is cleverly used to showcase the black and white sketches.

The Anarchy, Rock and Ink exhibition runs from July 26th until September 15th and shouldn’t be missed.

Robots vs. Art

26 May

No we are not reviewing the new Daft Punk album, although it must be said that art came off second best in that battle. No, this review is for the play Robots vs. Art which is currently showing at The Blue Room theatre in Northbridge. Since we have previously written about the Blue Room theatre itself, and because no one likes a sycophant, we’ll skip straight to the review of the production.

Robots vs. Art is a new play by ex-Perthian Travis Cotton. It stars some well known figures in our arts scene, namely Damon Lockwood who seems to have a finger in many different pies at the moment, including being a member of  the literary enterprise Regime Books and guest presenting on RTRfm.

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Lockwood plays the lead, Giles, who along with all other humans has been enslaved by robots and forced to work and live  in deep underground mines under the constant threat of being beaten to death by ‘the chain’. A theatre director prior to the robot revolution, Giles is one day given a reprieve by Master Bot (played by Sean Walsh) who fancies himself a bit of a playwright and gives Giles the task of turning his script into a stage production for the robot masses. What ensues is a fast paced and comical exploration of art and humanity. It could also be read as a satire of the current state of the arts, especially in Perth where the State Government seems to put little value in supporting artists and art venues. Surely it can’t be a coincidence that the only use for humans in this dystopian future is in mining?

Robots vs Art is a very witty and highly entertaining production. A character and dialogue driven comedy it is dependent on the actors to make it a success. And they certainly do Cotton’s script justice with Lockwood and Ben Mortley (who plays Claw Bot) particularly good in their roles; their comedic timing perfect at many points during the night.

The play runs until June 1st and is well worth seeing. Tickets available here.

Winter (Arts Season) is coming!

26 May

Ok ok, that was a cheap allusion to Game of Thrones but we figured everyone else is doing it so why can’t we? And you have to admit that GoT’s catch cry is an apt description of Perth’s general attitudes to winter as young and old batten down the hatches, swap thongs for Ugg Boots, white wine for red and generally despair at the passing of summer. But don’t get too cozy in your hibernation cave because the annual City of Perth Winter Arts Season is almost upon us.

The Winter Arts season runs from the 1st of June to the end of August with the official (and FREE) launch happening next Friday (31st of May) in Forrest Place from 4-8pm. All the usual arts suspects make up the program: theatre, dance, cabaret, comedy, music, film and literature.

Some likely highlights include the State of the Art Music Festival (with the likes of Abbe May and Karnivool performing), An Evening with Joan Baez at the Perth Concert Hall for the baby boomers, The Burlesque Festival which runs for 4 days at various venues, the West Australian Ballet’s performance of La Sylphide, Hedda (a new adaption of Ibsen’s famous Hedda Gabler) and Circus Oz…just to name a few. Check out the full program here where you can also find information about bookings.

Here’s some new music courtesy of Abbe May to listen to while perusing the program.

 

Miracle Man in the Miracle Month

17 Feb

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Followers of goodperthhunting would be aware that February is our favourite month of year, and this year is no exception. We have the weather, the beaches, PICA, music festivals and, vying for top of our list, we have the Fringe Festival.

Heading out into Perth’s Cultural Centre on a balmy evening – any night of the week – you can’t help but get caught up in the positive vibes that are circulating amongst the crowds … And there are crowds too – which is great! Theatre shows, music, bars, film, comedy, markets, street art, food vendors and even mermaids thrown in, to coin an oft used phrase, ‘there really is something for everyone.’
On Friday evening we headed out to see a show called ‘Miracle Man’ at The Blue Room. A bite to eat and a wine before the show had us sitting amongst the happy throng of fringe-goers, soaking up the atmosphere. Northbridge has really come a long way in terms of what it offers for dinner and drinks. A few conveniently placed small bars and the array of popular burger bars and Asian eateries provide a choice that was missing not that many years ago. Refreshed and replenished on Friday, we went off in search of the Miracle Man.

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The Blue Room is a stalwart of the Perth theatre scene. It supports and encourages independent companies, writers, directors and performers and ensures that the majority of revenue generated goes back to the major players in each show. Miracle Man was written and performed by Pier Carthew and Nicola Gunn, both from the Sans Hotel group in Melbourne. It is – almost – a monologue spoken by Pier, with Nicola assisting through audio visual aids and the odd one-liner thrown in to good effect (Nicola also came in handy to offer the occasional prompt when Pier lost himself). It was a perfect show for the intimate space that the The Blue Room’s theatres offer.

The show revolves around the main character, Derek, and his devotion to and following of a Indian guru called Sai Baba. Derek believes that Sai Baba is god and heads to India to be ‘enlightened’. Derek gets more than he bargained for and his ‘god’ – resplendent in Nike shoes and an amazing Afro – makes requests that Derek isn’t quite expecting. The requests start with Derek taking his pants off, the rest we leave to your imagination. It was a fast-paced, witty and intellectual journey. The use of simple audio visuals also added clarity and comedy to what was a well- written piece.

Picking up on many of the stereotypes associated with religion, travel to India and the followers of gurus such as Sai Baba – who is, by the way, a real person with a rather dubious reputation – the pair managed to incorporate many theatrical tricks. With many one-liners, some insightful singing and chanting and the obligatory audience participation as Derek cooked Dahl and rice, the change of style and pace kept the audience on track and involved. The show was received really well and people were laughing and joking as they walked out – always a good sign after a comedy!

We decided on a post show drink at the fringe world bar, which was packed, with people enjoying an amazing evening right in the heart of our beautiful city. As we sat back and engaged in one of favourite activities – people watching- we couldn’t help but watch a girl (about 25) pleading emphatically with her rather drunken mother to drink water and try to walk in a straighter line. Around them everyone was going about their business of enjoying the festival and it simpy reminded us that the festival is for everyone and everyone can enjoy it in their own way.

The Blue Room’s ‘Summer Nights’ series, which is part of the Fringe Festival, runs until the 23rd of February. Details for shows and ticketing are easily found on their website. (In case you missed the link above, here it is again…don’t worry, we’re lazy too).

And the living is easy

7 Jan

As they say, if you can’t stand the heat get out to the beach. Hold on, that doesn’t sound quite right. Regardless, Perth is in the midst of another gloriously hot summer. Luckily for most Perth suburban dwellers, a gorgeous beach is never too far away.

Our local beach is City Beach where the following photos were taken. Not only will you find miles of white, white sand and stunning water but there’s a Clancy’s Fish Pub establishment that offers a restaurant, a kiosk and a cafe. And all through summer the cafe is putting on tapas and live music nights on Wednesdays.

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Love Thy Neighbour

26 Dec

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Just in case you got here by googling the Ten Commandments, let’s be clear that this post has nothing to do with spontaneously combusting bushes, inexplicable writing appearing on stones or men with long beards. Instead it has everything to do with one of the best things to happen to Northbridge in 2012 (and a lot of cool stuff has happened to Northbridge this year).

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Love Thy Neighbour is situated next to Ezra Pound (and shares the same owners) at the end of a small arcade off William St. It has been opened for a few months now so it’s running pretty smoothly. We’ve been there several times, on different days and times and have always walked away happy. Due to its opening hours it mainly caters for coffee, breakfast and lunch.

Firstly, the menu. Quite simply, it’s great. For a small cafe they have a variety of traditional, such as jaffles ($5 each, score!) and original, such as the very delicious wild mushroom on rye, dishes. They also have a bit of a love affair with bagels…but that’s good in anybody’s language.

And onto the coffee. LTN offers beans by Single Origin Roasters, supposedly one of the best roasters in Sydney. And although we’ve had a couple of average cups of coffee here overall it is good! Sometimes very good.

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The final comment of this review must go to the staff who are all brilliant! They’re welcoming, friendly and actually know what customer service is all about. They are definitely a key reason why we keep returning.

At the moment, Love Thy Neighbour is doing everything right. This is one commandment we’re happy to adhere to.

Love Thy Neighbour on Urbanspoon

Breakfast at Voyage Kitchen

16 Jul

Last night on one of Australia’s most reputable food programs they had the editor of said show’s ‘food’ magazine describing the qualities that ensured a dish would grace the magazine’s front cover. Needless to say, it’s not rocket science people but we are talking about MasterChef (to which I just admitted watching…almost religiously). The key factor, of course, is that the dish must look appealing, it must make the casual shopper desire that dish.

And so I thought I’d start my review of the very popular Northern beaches eatery, Voyage Kitchen, with this:

Granted, I’m not world’s best photographer by any stretch and I may be a little too instagram-happy but you want to eat it, right? And you should! This is just one of the many gorgeous and delicious options on Voyage’s breakfast menu. What your eyes are feasting on at the moment is Normas Salsa: truss tomatoes, marinated fetta, avocado, poached eggs, wilted spinach served on ciabatta toast ($18.50).

I had the Normas Salsa on my first (long overdue) visit to Voyage a few weeks back, and although it was hard to go by this cracker of a dish (too many hours of watching MasterChef are showing), on this visit I wanted to try something different. The choice wasn’t easy, you can see the menu for yourself here, but I finally settled on the Pea and Potato Croquette.

Like Normas Salsa, the thing that first struck me was the freshness of the dish and the wonderful combination of colours. The food just looks so damn good! This dish consists of the aforementioned croquette, poached eggs, parmesan harissa red pepper sauce and Swiss chard. The eggs were poached perfectly and there was a lovely mix of flavours and texture but, for me, the croquette is actually a bit too big. I prefer small croquettes but the very generous size of this one will make many customers happy I’m sure.

And finally to the coffee, which is a vital element in any good breakfast experience. Voyage Kitchen uses Five Senses beans and at breakfast have three baristas behind the machine. And like everything else, the staff and owners work hard to ensure they serve good coffee to match the quality of the food.

Voyage Kitchen just recently re-opened its doors after a serious renovation. It has almost doubled in size but, even on a week day morning, all the tables were taken indicating the popularity of this establishment. Of course, popularity isn’t always a good thing but for Voyage it’s well deserved. Basically they serve healthy, fresh and delicious food and the service is excellent. And great care is taken with presentation, even on breakfast items. The new look is modern and although they have a large floor space with many tables, it feels spacious and welcoming.

So, it took me three years of persuading from a friend to try Voyage Kitchen; it was the long and arduous trip 20 minute trip up the coast that kept putting me off. However, since my first visit I have not only returned and recommended it to several people, I’m currently planning who I can invite to join me for breakfast there on Friday morning because I just need to try their banana bread with home made nutella.

Voyage Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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