There is a lonely chair here.
Sitting in the corner.
Observing the simple pleasures.
The light that shines through window.
Now fallen upon her.
She is a her.
She is a grandmother chair.
Soaking in the warmth.
She is frayed and slightly beaten.
Thumb tack pins that still hold her together and I wonder what pins shall be holding this skin together in the years to come.
When the sun has faded my face.
When I am worn and beaten and bruised.
Will I sit lonely in a corner.
Yet still. Yet silent. Yet observing the soft pleasures of the day.
The pigeons that coo and fly and rustle their wings outside.
Too often I am like them.
Too much flight.
Not enough stillness.
Not enough like this grandmother.
Wooden legs held to carpet.
Thread come loose.
Old and decayed. Yet so content.
That was has been has always been.
That what shall come shall not be a bother.
This chair is, holds herself.
Like she always has.
Like I wish that I could.
October 3 2019
Award winning Australian writer and performance poet Joel Mckerrow wrote '...a grandmother chair' during a poetry workshop 'The Foreboding Emptiness of an Empty Page' at NEA on October 3, 2019. Created during the workshop to show others 'how to push past creative blocks and begin to create with a renewed sense of freedom'., it is wonderful example of the creative process meeting self-reflection and in its confluence coming beautiful artistry.
BogARTS is a group of Strathbogie residents wanting to practice and promote the imagination in all her wonderful guises.
This year BogARTS have taken on the running of the Strathbogie Art Show, part of a week long art festival being staged by BogArts from the 1st to the 9th of November 2019. The Festival kicks off with a grand opening on Fri 1st then public exhibition on the 2nd and 3rd . From Saturday 2nd to Sunday 10th there will be an outdoor sculpture walk . The week caps off with spoken word, singing workshop and a Gypsy Punk Masquerade Party with Hello Tut Tut – all on Sat 9th.
There is a link to the BogARTS Entry form below. Please note - entries close at 4pm on Friday October 4th!
More information is available at https://bogartsfestival.org/ or contact
0439 818 366
Join award winning Australian writer and performance poet Joel Mckerrow as he helps you to push past the creative blocks you have been stuck in and so to begin to create with a renewed sense of freedom. This is where Creative Process meets self-reflection and in its confluence comes beautiful artistry.
For those of you who might be wondering, Joel McKerrow is an award winning writer, speaker, educator, creativity specialist and, having performed for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, is one of Australia’s most successful, internationally touring, performance poets.
Based out of Melbourne, Australia he is the Artist Ambassador for the aid and development organisation ‘TEAR Australia’ and was the co-founder of community arts organisation, 'The Centre for Poetics and Justice' (2010-2013).
Joel was the third ever Australian representative at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships in the USA (2012), is a TEDx speaker/performer, a successful play-wright and is a co-founder/host of the The Deep Place: On Creativity and Spirituality Podcast.
Thursday October 3, 1 to 3 pm
North East Artisans, 122 Bridge Street East Benalla
$30 (pay at NEA)
Joel's Website - https://www.joelmckerrow.com/about
'The Power of Story' - Ted X University of Melbourne, 2014
Maggie Hollins, a member of NEA's poetry mailing list and secretary of Goulburn and North East Artisans Association (GANEAA) thinks extremely highly of poet Joel McKerrow. Maggie would like to share news of the poetry workshop Joel will be conducting on Friday May 3 during GANEAA's biennial 'Across the Arts Forum' 2019.
The Workshop title/brief - 'The Poetic Workshop' - 'Pithy poetry writing with the potential for performance. Learn techniques to help free up the writing process with Joel McKerrow leading the way. Be inspired.' The venue - GOTAFE Wangaratta. Date for your diary - Friday May 3rd from 10 to 3.30 pm. Budget considerations - $70 or $55 Concession. Bookings - https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=486353&
Find out more about Joel McKerrow and the workshop:
Book in to Joel's workshop through Try Booking:
Check out the program as a whole
To our poets,
We are writing to let you know that 'life getting in the way' has meant that our plans for Poetry events at NEA in 2019 have been put on hold.
The sessions we held to celebrate Winter, Spring and Summer seasonal changes in 2018 will always have a special place in our memories, and we hope in yours.
We would be delighted if at some point the poetry sessions could be revived - if we can get around to it, we will do so, but we are actually looking for volunteers to put their hands up! Perhaps it could be an annual event and the winter solstice could be a suitable time.
Please keep writing poetry, there are many other opportunities in the North East for you to share your art.
Maggie Hollins 'The Turtle' (multi media with poem) was exhibited in the Bainz Gallery, Wangaratta, as part of Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance group exhibition 'It's in the Bag' in 2018. Maggie read 'The Turtle' at the Summer Solstice Poetry Reading at NEA in December 2018. Our Autumn Equinox Poetry Reading is on Friday 22 March from 7 to 9 pm in Gallery 2. $5 donation.
Now that Ned is home again,
Engraved amongst his own again,
His final wish atoned again
He'll never be alone.
No stake hold in this mortal coil
no further battles to embroil
forever laid in Greta soil
Now that Ned is home.
Perhaps it's time to compromise,
To look at things with different eyes,
Not heroise nor demonise,
Not worship nor despise
And in return it's time to mark
a day so savage wild and dark
(T'was murder down at Stringybark)
Now that Ned is home
Out there beyond that Great Divide
Where all must surely now reside
where earthly sins are cast aside
And grievance satisfied.
Perhaps eight men would meet again
In circumstances less mundane
And seek to salve all mortal pain
Now that Ned is home.
To find in common, bushman's ways
Much more than you or I today
And yarn by campfire; boil the tay
And share the bowl of clay
Now that both outlaws and police
From earthly conflict find release
May all together rest in peace
Now that Ned is home
NEA's proximity to the area in which Ned Kelly lived, roamed, was imprisoned and appeared in court; the still rustling to and fro between descendants of the Kelly family and the police officers; the periodic launching of new books and plays about Ned's life; the recent opening of the memorial to the police officers at Stringybark, inspire conversations about the life of Ned Kelly at NEA. Kelly saga related literature brought by customers to the Red Road Cafe to read over coffee (as happened just yesterday), typically generates discussions about Ned's life, his mother Ellen, the police officers involved; his court case and more,
NEA's 'resident poet', studio holder, instrument maker and whittler, Seamus Foley, has taken a lively interest in the Kelly story since living in Greta a few years ago. Seamus's poems 'Now that Ned is home again' (2014) (above) and 'The Kellys' are Riding Tonight' (2017) are incredibly evocative - it always feels such a privilege to hear Seamus perform these poems. Seamus describes being inspired to write 'Now that Ned is home again' in the period after Ned's remains were buried in the Greta cemetery.
An occasional BLog.
On an 'end of week' night close to equinox and solstice events (or thereabouts), Gallery 2 at NEA, 122 Bridge St East, Benalla becomes the venue for a poetry performance. We are coming up to the summer solstice and are having a poetry session at NEA on Thursday 20th December from 7 to 9 pm! Whether you are an experienced reciter, a beginner or would like to give it a go, come along, bring your own work or poems that you love and get involved. Tea and coffee will be provided, and perhaps you would like to bring a plate of home baked goodies to share. Also a gold coin or pinkie to cover heating and power would be welcome. The session will begin at 7 pm and run to 9 pm.
(Please note - this event was originally advertised for Friday 21 December but clashed with a local music event so was altered to Thursday 20December.)
Seamus Foley reading at the Winter Solstice session at NEA in June this year
‘Armchair Poets’ – monthly sessions on the 4th Sunday in non - equinox and solstice months
A drop in 'Armchair Poets' session for poets and poetry lovers is held at NEA on the 4th Sunday of non equinox/solstice months from 2 to 4 pm. This is not a performance poetry session, but a chance to sit around with other poets and poetry lovers to share, workshop or just talk about poetry.
Betty Milligan and Seamus Foley, 'Armchair Poets', August 2018
Calendar of Dates - December 2018 – February 2019
December – Summer Solstice Event – Thursday 20th December 7 to 9 pm (note - change from previously advertised date of Friday 21st December)
January – Armchair Poets – Sunday 27th January 2 to 4 pm
February – Armchair Poets – Sunday 24th February 2 to 4 pm
Due to the popular response of the
Winter Solstice Premiere Tea and Poetry night
we'd like to invite you to our next
SPRING POETRY CELEBRATION
Friday, September 28th 7pm - 9pm
All ages and all levels of experience welcome!
We kindly ask for a gold coin/pinkie donation
to cover the costs of heating, lights etc.
As always we hope to provide a welcoming, inclusive, creative and comfortable atmosphere!
Hope to see you there. there.
'Armchair Poets' - a drop in session for poets and poetry lovers is held at NEA on the 4th Sunday in the months between the solstice/equinox events. This is not a performance poetry session, but a chance to sit around with other poets and poetry lovers to share, workshop or just talk about poetry. 2 to 4pm in Gallery 2.
Come upstairs and visit our little Library in the first room on the left where you can peruse a range of books that have been donated to us - books on writing, science, poetry, art, music, fiction and non-fiction.
Broken River Writers' Library came into being due to the generous donation of poet Tricia Veale's family after she passed away.
We'd also like to acknowledge Leading Edge Bookshop for their generous gift of a box of books.
A desk has also been donated and sits in one corner, soon to be outfitted with a supply of notepads and pens. It promises to be a cozy little nook in which to read and write.
We're looking for bean bags & floor cushions for this space. If you know of any that need a new home, contact Carla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broken River Writers - Writers' Corner,
Last Wednesday of the month at the Benalla Library.
Next session: Wednesday 26th.of September
Source: NEA's September Newsletter 2018
'Winter Retrospective' - Jamie Ferguson & Michaela Alexander - July 2018
The beginning of winter saw Jamie and Michaela conceiving the stunning 'What's On' notice board on the stairwell wall in the foyer entrance which is full of NEA happenings.
The winter solstice poetry evening inspired and organised by Seamus is now a treasured memory of those who attended, Follow up sessions for practicing poets are now planned on the last Sunday of the month between 2 and 4pm . Poetry evenings to celebrate the solstices, perhaps even an equinox or two, will provide a further chance for poets to read and perform their work..
Seamus has continued facilitate sessions with Irish music playing friends in the NEA foyer throughout the winter. He has also introduced sessions in wood carving and whittling to the obvious enjoyment of woodworking friends and keen woodworkers with ties to NEA.
Janet Douglas and the U3A Recorder Group began meeting fortnightly in Gallery 2 on Wednesday mornings in June. Some of the group always stay behind for a warming drink in the Red Road Cafe! .
NEA's committee of management continues to work to master systems and can often be found problem solving about matters of governance and administration. The MYOB system is now in place with Joan from 'A Balancing Act' providing highly valued bookkeeping services and consultancy.. With space finally in the volunteer artisans calendars to schedule Point of Sale training, training in the Point of Sale system, purchased with a grant, has been provided to responsible committee members. Training is now rolling out to volunteers in the gallery/shop and will soon be fully operative.
With Winter a wonderful time to knit and crochet, throughout the winter months activities including the International Sit and Knit day celebrated by Annie and friends in Gallery 2.; preparations for Benalla's winter yarn bomb event 'Benalla Rugged Up'; baskets with wool and pieces being collected for the yarn bomb and our own come and try knitting needles and wool were the order of the day.
NEA's Gallery Shop began opening 7 days a week in June as did the Red Road Cafe. Operating something like a cooperative within a cooperative, Tim B, Ruth M, Sam and Lauren are sharing the daily operation of the cafe. As a general rule, Tim puts on his barrista hat on Saturday mornings, Ruth is barrista on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays (Ruth's hot and spicy pumpkin soup with toast is popular on a cold wintry day), while Lauren and Sam are 'mine hosts' from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday...
Felting workshops somehow have a good 'fit' in' winter - Annie has presented a number of felting workshops in June. Sally's Introduction to Jewellery making workshop continues to meet regularly, with Seamus and other NEA volunteers often found in the class learning new skills to introduce into their work..
There have been some wonderful Gallery Gigs, with NEA volunteers supporting Michaela as she applies her musical knowledge and instincts, passion and energy to providing opportunities for singer/songwriters to perform in an intimate and appreciative setting in Gallery 2 on a regular basis.
It was also Plastic Free July - a self portrait by NEA' artist Janet Leith 'A Sense of a Special Place'' featured on our home page throughout July. Janet's painting was displayed as part of GANEAA's 'Plastic Free July' inspired exhibition 'It's In the Bag' 3 to 31 July at Bainz Gallery in the foyer of the Wangaratta Library.
During Plastic Free July we shared a captivating video by Wangaratta's Luke Davies and his Recycled String Band 'Recycle and Reuse' on Facebook. Luke featured on blues harp and vocals in a set or two with Scott Cooke and Corin Raymond in a Gallery Gig in April. Thanks for writing this great song, Luke!
There is likely to be more to report on than this, particularly as there's another month to go, but hopefully you'll catch up with this in the Newsletter, Instagram or Facebook!
An occasional BLog.
Due to the popular response of the recent Premiere Tea and Poetry night, we'd like to announce regular Poetry Get-Togethers, commencing this Sunday 29th of July at 2 pm and then every fourth Sunday of the month (same time, same place...subject to change depending on other events and workshops). All ages and all levels of experience welcome! We kindly ask for a gold coin donation to cover the costs of heating, lights etc. As always, we aim to provide a welcoming, inclusive, creative and comfortable atmosphere! Hope to see you there : )
Contact person at NEA - Seamus Foley
Check out the photos from the Winter Solstice Poetry Reading!
Come and be a part of the PREMIERE poetry event at North East Artisans in Benalla to mark the Winter solstice.
Bring along your own poetic creations or the work of your favourite poets.
The focus of the night is to provide a forum where people can let loose their creativity and perform/recite in a supportive friendly environment.
There will be an opportunity to write a Limerick or Haiku on the night.
Admission by gold coin (or pinkie) donation, (to cover heating and lighting).
Tea, chai and hot chocolate will be served.
If you can, please bring a small plate of bikkies or home baking to share.
Enquiries - Seamus 0418 540 156
Our featured artist for October, Julie Burdis, has expressed her breast cancer journey through both painting and poetry.
‘Drowning in a sea of cliches’
Radio National knew. They told me.
If the lump is hard, does not move or disappear between menses,
5 years riding a roller coaster ensued.
4 G.P.’s, 2 surgeons , 6 mammograms, one ultrasound conspired to dismiss my concerns. Then I must be insane. They couldn’t all be wrong. Could they?
My brain fumbled in a fog of diminishing vocabulary, as the now concerned doctor, pronounced his verdict using a language,
Not of my knowing.
My blood went cold.
Invasive ductal carcinoma, mastectomy, lumpectomy,
Oncologist, pet scan, cat scan. I could nor form a 4 letter word.
And yet the clichés kept coming.
My legs turned to jelly.
Tossed off the ship of life, left in it’s wake, dark clouds on the horizon,
Storm clouds ahead. The earth moved – and so did my bowels.
Had I so early, entered –
The sunset of my life?
Dreams manifested water, troubled and still, I was up the creek without a paddle
And drowning in self pity.
A sinking feeling engulfed me.
Dejected, rejected, found wanting – of no further use. A specimen, in a glass jar.
through which I could neither touch, nor be touched.
An unwelcome stranger loomed.
Let down, yet perceiving judgements and blame for having clasped in my bosom,
this foul, sneaky, skulking disease. My head spun, my world crumbled,
though night kept following day.
I was stopped in my tracks.
From the depths of these negative ablutions, laden with guilt and self flagellation,
My subconscious funnelled through to the light at the end.
You are pissed of, - it screamed.
And, I saw the light.
Use the energy of your anger as a fuel to nurture your mortality,
urged this voice of dissent. Always look the Tiger in the eye, buy some chooks and never say die.
And I did, I do, I did, I don’t and so, I am.
N.B. - and totally cliché free.
An Occasional Blog published during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2017
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Benalla Camera Club
Broken River Potters
Broken River Painters
Broken River Writers
Wots4Me Benalla Youth
Art Gallery on Ovens
Bush Gatherings -Violet Town
GANEAA (Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance)