Saturday, February 15, 2014


A stimulating afternoon at Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC), Canberra. Swarms of people at the celebration of The Grass Castle (Allen & Unwin) by author and veterinarian Karen Viggers. Intelligent and pithy speeches (made me buy the book). Met ABC Radio presenter Alex Sloan at last (I’m a fan).

Not so many familiar faces from the writing networks but pleased to catch up with poet John Stokes very briefly. I am looking forward so much to reading with him at Poetry at the Gods on March 11.

The exhibition by Helen S Tiernan in the main BAC gallery is a must see, but tomorrow (February 16) is the last day. Farming without Fences – How Aborigines madeAustralia is a collection of powerful landscapes featuring iconic images, fire mappings and a mosaic of views from both the First Australians and the ‘new comers’. Background pages displayed with the works are very informative.

The themes of the new book – eg the Brindabellas, families forced off the land, kangaroo culling, histories – overlap with the themes of the exhibition. Whether deliberate or otherwise, the integration of the visual art and literary themes was a perfect knit for me. What is it about art spaces? This coming home …

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