There is an ongoing debate amongst Sydneysiders and Melbourians. May I say that I have a completely subjective view, since none of these cities meant anything to me until recently. We first visited Melbourne on our first trip to oz, about 5 years ago. I remember feeling that the people were really friendly. Subsequently moved to Newcastle, 1,5hrs from Sydney. We spend a lot of time in Sydney, since it's near to us and Newcastle is pretty boring.
Recently, I had an exhibition in Melbourne again and managed to be there for longer. I feel that I have the right to have an opinion about these 2 great cities now. Here is my opinion;
Sydney is a more beautiful city. I recon its the fact that it's quite hilly that helps. It's perhaps a bit more lush. NSW is overall a bit warmer than Vic, so that may be the reason for that. Melbourne CBD, road systems and general layout makes much more sense than Sydney. Sydney seems to have happened as independent little villages (hence called City of Villages?) but Melbourne was planned and therefore works pretty well. To give you an example, it took me 5 to 6 hours on foot to have a good grasp of the CBD of Melbourne. After being in Sydney for perhaps 20 visits this year, I still don't understand it very well. Make no mistake, Sydney is big, but like a maze.
Weather in Melbourne is known to suck, and I agree. The beaches arent very nice either. You can't compare NSW beaches to those in Melbourne. I don't surf so I can't comment on that, but I got a feeling that Sydney will win hands down in this category. Scenery, I recon Sydney has the upper hand as well, but I might add that I stil need to see more of Melbourne to truely comment on this.
So why do people love Melbourne then? Melbourne has culture, European culture. People are friendly and sincere. It is said that Sydney has an American culture. It's a business culture in Sydney. This is not so much my opinion but a majority verdict by everyone I spoke to. I did talk to many people about this, because it matters greatly to me. Some people are quite insulting about certian aspects of either city. Fact remains, both cities has great attributes and they are both great to live in, I'm sure. Let me give you this analagy; I was born in South Africa. There we have Johannesburg and Cape town. People from Johannesburg thinks that Joburg is just the best place ever, Gansters paradise, business mecca and financial hub. Then there is Capetown, and that just tops up everything that you could dream of in Joburg. Capetown aren't for everyone. Some people like the concrete jungle of Joburg, but others love the beaches, the cozy European nature of Capetown. Perhaps this isn't the best example, but I'm sure you get what I'm saying. Both places are cool, just depends on what you like. Wherever you live, you can make a difference and that is what matters most.
It's time for new life, new beginnings and hope. Mostly, for me it's Landscaping season and I'm having a bit less time for art than in the Winter.
I have something bothering me. The fact that the world is turning more anti-governmental. Now I know that there has been problems for long periods of times, and mind you, I'm no Historian either. But it seems obvious that Politicians arent making choices based on the good of the people. They aren't stewards of a Nation or town anymore. Politicians or Councilors are making decisions based 98% based on votes, and votes alone. if they happen to be helping to get a road built, and it happens to help someone, then they should be voting for them, and that is the basis of decision making in our modern politics. I think that there was a time when working as a public servant was done with pride, and it was a respectable job. But if at this point in time in Newcastle, Australia, you tell someone that you work for council, you will be almost hated. Everyone feels that our money is being wasted. Everyone knows that is't an absolutely cushy job for lazy people and that your career will stagnate from there onwards. It's common knowledge that it's the most unproductive sector of our society at present. Yet, with the biggest responsibility. The government and councils are running a country, organising life almost, yet with such apathy.
I believe that Australians are born with a feeling of anti-establishment because of the convict heritage. You can hear most Australians calling the police 'Pigs' openly and for no apparent reason. That made me wonder until someone explained it to me.
Governments and councils are run as businesses. Perhaps not always very well, but they are. The government obviously knows how much money we have, where is our limits and how far can they push us. This is all due to our technological world where statistics and facts will be avaliable to governments at the tip of their fingers. Banks are pushing us as well, grabing as much profit as they can. New on the scene is Electricity companies. Next is supermarkets, Coles and Woolies having an absolute monopoly in deciding how much profit they want to make.
I fear that this is just the beginning. Nobody seems to be on our side, other than for the odd journalist who dares to speak up. the media is now just a puppet used by corporations to spread their propaganda. So who can you trust? We can't even trust ourselves now can we. We can trust God. God never changed, and His word is true. Why build up treasures here on earth where the moths and rats can eat it? Build up treasures in heaven. I wasn't planing on writing about God, but ultimately, everything else seems rather bleak really. I do believe that if our leaders feared God, that things would have been different. Australia is sadly not a christian country and I pray that God will change the hearts of leaders, not only in Australia, but all over the world, to not be selfish and power hungry. I pray that in South Africa the groups instigating violence will realise that there is a better way. I pray that America will stop to bully everyone else as they have been doing for more than 30 years now, and that Australia will stop to help them in doing so. I pray that you have a good day and that we can look beyond all these problems and see the sun rise every day, and hear the birds sing, and know that we can make a difference.
July is being an amazing month. We are having the 5 Lands walk event on at Terrigal and I'm doing a Plein Air Artwork tmrw with 21 other stablished artists from the region. It will be my first Plein Air artwork. I often work outside but I don't paint or draw what I see. I find it hard to be unconstrained in what I see.
I have been thinking about my cultural background, being South African with our Apartheid past. So also Australians have a very similar past with the Aboriginal people. But somehow they stil need recognition. Just as our cultures have made mistakes in the past, I hope we have learnt from it. Racism is just not necisary as we all live on one planet, breath the same air and dream of a better future. Who was here first? Well we all know that the Aboriginal people have been here for very long, but then why would people discriminate people who's parents werent born here, when their own grandparents werent born here? Is it first come owns the right to discriminate? I dont think that should be the way. I have been inducted into the Darkinjang tribe of Aboriginals last Saturday together with a group of about 20 people. This was as a result of a period of personal discovery in relation to the Aboriginal culture. We found that we have much in common with a love and respect for nature. It's a real honour and I will forever be proud to be part of a people in Australia that embrace nature and live with it, not against it.
There is a few exhibitions on this month if you are interested. We are building my studio downstairs so I don't have much time to produce new works, but I have done some A4 drawings, about 15. If you are in Sydney, please do pop in at Kaleidoscope gallery in Danks street. Next will be 'At the vanishing point' in Newtown on the 28th, thursday. I will have 20 artworks up there and it's gona be sick! hows that for Ozie lingo, mate! thanks for reading. God bless you, and God bless me and the whole of this gorgeous country and all of it's wonderful people.
It's going to be an amazing weekend. Working on the artwork for the Skillion with Gavi Duncan and Elio has been a very enriching experience. Can't wait to build it! Learning about the Aboriginal culture has been a interesting. Nevertheless, as with every culture, there are strengths that can be of benefits to to other cultures. So is it with the English Ozie culture as well. There is good in all of us and all cultures. All cultures can work together, and co-incide, not just some. It's up to us to make it work and this 5 lands walk is just a great place to start! come on and join in!
I feel that I have recently been a bit harsh on Ozies in my blog on a few occasions, and I want to give some gratitude and apologise. Perhaps I am wanting things to be the way I am used to it, and feel that people has to be more like me, and African. I think I expected Australia to be very similar to South Africa, but it's quite different in most regards. There are many really good things about Australians. Ozies are very friendly. I think that South Africans lost their compassion to a certain extent due to the rampant crime. People there keep to themselves and have become much more suspicious. We have been so warmly welcomed into the neighbourhoods here, and even know everybody by name in our whole street. In Malaysia, that would never happen, unless you stay in a very small village. The Australian culture might not be very obvious and striking, but there is qualities that one can distinguish. I think the most obvious one for me is the openness of people once you know them. I'm trying to force myself to think of more things, but I am still exploring and learning about the Ozie culture. What I can say with certainty, is that Australia and Australian are great, and we are honoured and privileged to be part of this huge continent. Thanks to everyone here for being nice to me, and please excuse my sometimes abrupt comments. I am adjusting. Perhaps you would have felt the same if you moved to South Africa or Malaysia... I do believe that being able to look at a culture, being 'seperate' from it is an artistic advantage and I will try to use it positively.
We had the Awakening Camp on Friday and Saturday. What an amazing experience! This is a Collaboration between the Local Afican Community and Aboriginal Community, in order to produce Landart on the Skillion, at Terrigal. I am the Artist on behalf of the African community. What an honour to be working alongside Gavi Duncan and all those involved in shaping the backbone. The aim to is to connect our cultures to Australian culture and bridge the differences between Western and 'Others' if I may call it that. The Aboriginal culture is so rich in spiritual wisdom, underlines with environmental life. It was an absolutely amazing experience. We shared, sung songs, danced and ate lovely food. But the personal experiences and knowledge that was shared is just so valuable. This week I have been booming with new ideas and it is clearly having an impact on my artistic approach.
i produce a lot of artworks. The reason is that my work is driven my philosophy and everyday experiences and perceptions, not emotions. I used to be more inclined to produce work based on my emotions, but that is just too unstable, and you would only be productive during either an emotional high, or low. My life is much more stable now, since I don't use drugs any more, and believe in God, whom is my foundation. I can't produce art in times that I feel sad or down anymore. They are usually not good, and my best work is done when I am very positive and cheerful. It's Easter and I am getting more and more cheerful as we approach the weekend! Life's influences is just greatly amazing and I thank God for all the opportunities that he gives me and my lovely wife. Jen.