Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the tomato

Sydney sightings

Birchgrove bins 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sydney 1932

Macquarie Street Sydney 1932

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vale Ian Campbell, 10 June 1933 – 24 November 2012

Ian Campbell, who has died from cancer aged 79, was a leading singer in the British folk revival of the 1960s, and one of only a few folk artists to have had a song in the singles charts. His group's recording of The Times They Are a-Changin' reached no 42 in 1965. Campbell was recognised at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk awards for his outstanding contribution to traditional music. With the award in his hand, he launched unscheduled into a short, unaccompanied, traditional song, Rattlin' Roarin' Willie.
 Ian Campbell Folk Group - L-R Brian Clark, Lorna Campbell, John Dunkerley, Ian Campbell and Dave Swarbrick, posed group portrait (Photo by Brian Shuel/Redferns) Photograph: Brian Shuel/Redferns (2001)
Campbell was born in Aberdeen. His parents, Betty and Dave, were singers who specialised in the songs of north-east Scotland. In 1946, the family moved to Birmingham for work and, when Campbell left school, he became an apprentice in the city's jewellery quarter, where he subsequently worked for many years as an engraver. He married Pat in 1952 and they had four boys in the space of six years.

He was also a noted songwriter. Several numbers on the band's 1970 album The Sun Is Burning were picked up by other singers. These included two strong antiwar songs, The Old Man's Tale and the title track, which gained great popularity within CND and outside. In his sleeve notes, Campbell wrote: "The demonstrators marched to the strains of [John Brunner's song] The H-Bomb's Thunder, but when circumstances called for something less rousing and more introspective, this … was the song that … often met the need."

For several years, the Campbell family ran one of the country's most successful folk clubs, the Jug o' Punch, , presenting most of Britain's leading performers in the genre to packed houses, usually in the large rear room of Digbeth's civic hall in Birmingham. Having the country's most popular folk group as the resident band certainly helped.

After the Ian Campbell Folk Group split in 1978, Campbell did a degree in theatre studies at Warwick University, after which he worked as a television producer and presenter; he was one of the team that worked at TV-am. He returned to full-time singing after a few years.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Katoomba: bunch of flowers

Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl on PBS

Ken Burns' new documentary “The Dust Bowl” arrives on Sunday on PBS in the middle of a spate of quickly produced programs about Hurricane Sandy and climate change. The parallels for today, are striking. An artificial phenomenon — in this case the rapid uprooting of millions of acres of prairie grass for the cultivation of wheat — contributes to a series of huge storms that eventually drives out 25 percent of the population of the affected area in the southern Great Plains.

“The Dust Bowl” runs for four hours over two nights (Sunday and Monday) and there’s more than enough material, from land rush to Depression, drought, mass migration and New Deal agricultural policies, to fill the time.

Burns makes use of the copious supply of photographs and film of the dust storms themselves, awesome and apocalyptic images he can put on screen whenever we need a visual jolt.

Then there is his cast of living witnesses, white-haired survivors who in the 1930s were children growing up in the Oklahoma panhandle or southern Kansas and Colorado. Their first-person accounts of how they and their parents handled the double catastrophes, physical and financial, of the dust storms and the Depression give the film a human element.

Arthur Rothstein’s 1936 photo of a farmer and his sons in Oklahoma

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

Blake Prize 2012

Fabian Astore - The Threshold
In January, Sydney artist Fabian Astore was out sightseeing in Istanbul when the cold weather became too much. He popped inside the nearby Suleiman mosque. Prayers had just begun, and Astore took a seat at the back of the room.

The sounds were striking: he turned on his video camera and began recording the scene in front of him. "Quite coincidentally,'' he says, "a little girl started running through this vast, beautiful space.''

"Here was a young girl expressing her innocence and youthfulness, and yet she would get to a point in the threshold of her life where she would no longer be allowed in that space,'' he says.

The Threshold from Fabian Astore on Vimeo.

Astore's work was yesterday named the joint winner of the Blake Prize for religious art. He shared the prize with Eveline Kotai, from Fremantle, who entered a triptych called Writing on Air - Mantra.

Saturday, November 03, 2012