Sunday 23 December 2012

Santa's workshop - Blokes in sheds making stuff.

Turkeys hung out to dry
You may remember my fascination with creating a weather vane using the much loathed Brush Turkey as my inspiration. Well, I've gone from fascinated to obsessed. This is partly due to the positive response I've had from friends and mates. I've even had a few orders (one willing to pay). So I decided that these would make good presents. I'm up to number 7. All of which happily spin and follow the breeze beautifully. Some of which only a mother (or inventor-bloke) could love.

Now it occurs to me that there are blokes (and possible blokettes) out there doing some amazing things with scraps of timber and lengths of left over pipe and, in my case, wooden spoons and spatulas, held together by string and wire, staples and a spot of glue. Blokes (and b'ettes) in their backyards inventing every manner of useful and useless thing, sometimes to solve a problem, sometimes just for the hell of it. Why, people build whole beach shacks using this technique.

A stampede of feather brained weather vanes
In my case it's clearly not just a whim, but practical. I now have a pretty good indication of the direction of the wind at any time of day simply by looking out my back door (at night I have to revert to using my own senses or turning on the floodlights which is pretty annoying for the neighbours - I'm working on a glow in the dark version! Kidding).

Doesn't everyone need to know where the wind is coming from? My cat certainly has an instinct for shade and breeze and cool spots. It's the same for me. I feel cooler when I can see there's a breeze.

Mother and child
I am interested in any one else who dabbles in the dark arts of creativity in the secrecy of their shed, or under the house, because I reckon it would make a great blog site or, better still, an exhibition at some prestigious social history museum like the one we have here in Brisbane (MOB - Museum of Brisbane).

Send me some photos and I'll post them. I'll also be pitching this idea to the director of MOB. I'll let you know the response.

PS For Christmas my son has offered to get the 'Turkey Brained Weather Vane' registered. I'm not sure what that means and I'm not sure that was the spirit in which the project was initiated but its another bit of fun. And a kind of interesting present. Life is.....

Sunday 16 December 2012

Summer backyard

 Ginger Ginger Ginger Tomato Poinciana.

The heat drips off me like a waterfall.
My keyboard sweats.
The house behaves like a sauna,
It captures the sun
Converting it to a steam bath.

Memories of Vanuatu.
It's ginger lined streets
It's verdant backyards
It's cool sea breezes
tease me.
                   I swelter in the presence of
                    ginger ginger ginger

                    Summer is a two timing season
                    It promises clear skies
                    Beach scenes.
                    Productive gardens
                    Never ending days of light.

                    Delivers a human hell
                    Burns us up
                    Ignoring our protestations of innocence
                    Causes us to wish away
                    Our precious days.

                   Love and hate
                   Beauty and beastliness
                                                                                   Ginger tomatoes poinciana.
                                                                                   Hot colours
                                                                                   Cool nights

Found object man-made

Where flotsam and jetsam meets the eye of the artist. Where intervention makes meaning of rubbish. This assemblage is stuff Tony Rice, kitemaker and artist, has collected from the beaches of North Stradbroke Island. His work is about the damage we do to the environment by our carelessness.