Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Visiting the Sunshine Coast: Mooloolaba

During the last school holiday we went to Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, a beautiful place where to go during the summer and pass some wonderful days on the beach!! 

During the winter season it is nice to go outside Brisbane and spend  a different day!! and so we did...on the way we stopped so the children could have a snack and I saw this little bird and I liked it!!

Then we stopped to do a photo of the Ettamogah pub and...

...of the children and Scott next to the pub

and then we continued to drive to reach our final destination: Mooloolaba

No complains to be a winter day on the beach!!

...and then the children enjoyed the work by Mandy Shadfort, an artist in residence in 2006.

.....and after more play we came back to Brisbane...

Still New Farm in Brisbane

I like New Farm. This is the perfect place for who likes to live very close to town and likes to walk and go for shopping and meet people and see happy and friendly faces everyday... and see interesting things while walking to the this one...

the interchange for the rail track

a piece of history

the footpath around the shops 

the church of Holy Spirit

and the shops

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Living locally in New Farm

New Farm is really close to the CBD and is a nice place where to live. Easy to move around and with a wonderful park and market and easy access to the City Cat.

The market offers fresh fruits and vegetables, the shops are various and the coffee is not bad. 

the fruit shop

The playground and the park of New Farm are very big, they provide extensive recreations for children and adults.

Especially now that the playground has been all refurnished with new stuff for the children!!

The immense park is perfect for jogging or for children to play soccer...

or for relax like my daughter!!!

If you walk around New Farm that what you can probably see on the way to school when I go to pick up my children.

a nice stop if you get tired especially during summer when it is so hot

the house of my Italian friends

and the lovely!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Have you been to Mount Coot-tha?

Not far from the CBD is possible to have a wonderful view of the city of Brisbane. Take a drive to Mt. Coot-tha  and you will understand what I am talking about. 

Take a break from the city and come and enjoy some green with a walk or a coffee.

View from the top

I went there with my dad when he came to visit us and recently with my mother in law....and the weather was wonderful and so the view.

Me and my dad

Me and Sally

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Casa Italia: a place for Italians in New Farm

Brisbane as many other cities of Australia is really cosmopolitan....even here there is a big Italian community, nevertheless New Farm is still considered the Little Italy, confirmed by the people I meet everyday and speak to me in there is a place called Casa Italia, that unfortunately has closed last year and was the subject of my speech for the following events:


Dante Alighieri Society
23 Foster Street Newmarket, Brisbane
Saturday, 17 October, 2009
Symposium co-convenors
Catherine Dewhirst, Lecturer in History, University of Southern Queensland
Claire Kennedy, Cassamarca Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies, Griffith University
Francesco Ricatti, Cassamarca Lecturer in Italian Studies, University of the Sunshine Coast
8.30am – 9.00am            Arrival; coffee/tea available
9.00am – 9.10am            Introductory greeting
9.10am – 9.25am          Dante Alighieri Society Welcome: Don Dignan
9.25am-9.30am               Housekeeping
9.30am – 11.00am
Session 1: Historiography and Legacies of Migration
Chair: Jonathan Richards
Catherine Dewhirst: ‘Reflections on the Historiography of Italians in Queensland’
Ian Bonaccorso: ‘Stanthorpe Italian Pioneers: Their impact on Queensland history’
11.00am – 11.30am         Morning Tea
11.30am – 1.00pm
Session 2: Wartime Conflicts and Ideologies
Chair: Francesco Ricatti
Karen Agutter: ‘The Italians in Queensland during World War One’
Ilma Martinuzzi O’Brien: ‘Italians in Ingham and Innisfail in WWII: selective and not mass internment?’
David Brown: ‘The Case of the Brisbane Fascio: The Transnational Politics of the Italian Fascist Party’
1.00pm – 1.45pm            Lunch
1.45pm – 3.15pm
Session 3: Community building
Chair: Karen Agutter
Simona Albanese: ‘Casa Italia: a place for Italians in New Farm’
Stefano Girola: ‘The role of the Catholic Church in the migration experience of an Italian association in Queensland: the Italian Catholic Federation
Silvia Polo and Claire Kennedy: ‘The Trilingualism of Friulians in Brisbane’
3.15pm – 3.30pm            Afternoon Tea
3.30pm – 5.00pm          Session 4: Voices from Lived Experience and the Records
Chair: Claire Kennedy
Franco Arcidiacono: ‘Italians on the Granite Belt – Some Recent Research Findings’
Francesco Ricatti: ‘Hope and fear: oral (hi)stories of Italians in South-East Queensland’
Jonathan Richards: ‘True Italian Crime’
5.00pm – 6.00pm            Closing Drinks

a plaque outside the entrance

a plaque with the name of all the members

Who knows?...probably they will reopen.....

Gallery of Modern Art or GoMA in Brisbane

During the school holiday I had the chance to bring my children different times at the Gallery of Modern Art. I can tell you that they enjoyed the experience, especially when, after the exhibition of Ron Mueck, had the opportunity to go in the Children's Art Centre and enjoy the exhibition for children "Ghost World" by leading artist Callum Morton.

We are waiting to enter in the gallery...children are is not still 10 o'clock!!



and then inside the gallery...yeah!!!!

before we enter...

why I can't get in????

in pose for mum....

and then ....what a strange sensation!!!

The experience was good and the children enjoyed...we will go back another day!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Something about Brisbane: discovering the city

Someone enjoying the beautiful weather along the Brisbane river

I have been living in Brisbane for just over a year.  Since I have been here I have discovered amazing places to visit .....especially for me interested in history and culture....this is only a small list...I am sure there are many other places I will find to be added to the list below:

  • Abbey Museum - Public museum of art and archaeology, featuring antiquities and fine arts from around the world.
  • Brisbane City Hall public tours are available to see the beautifully restored reception rooms and offices.
  • Christ Church Community Precinct Milton includes the Christ Church Milton, the Old Rectory building, the Brisbane City Council Christ Church Reserve, and the Paddington Cemetery Memorial Reserve.
  • MacArthur Museum Brisbane dedicated to the Australian-American alliance and the role that Brisbane played during World War Two.
  • Newstead House experience Brisbane's gracious past. Evidence of the original 1846 cottage survives with the upper floor furnished in the style of the 1860-1890s period.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jan Nigro: a New Zealand artist

Jan Nigro is a New Zealand artist with an Italian surname, because her husband Gerry Nigro had an Italian background. She is a wonderful artist and she still likes to paint at the age of 90!!! I met her when I went to New Zealand for the first time more than 10 years ago and since then we like to spend time with her whenever it is possible and she is not too busy. 

this is Jan at Easter 2010

 my son drawing with Jan's colors on her table while she is signing one of her works

and Jan with my daughter and some of her works on the background

Some of Jan's artworks in her studio/apartment

A long time ago I have published a small article on her and her artworks on the NZ Art Monthly. This is a copy of the article:
A passion for life, art and artworks: Jan Nigro

November 2008
I met Jan for the first time about ten years ago when I came to New Zealand for a visit; unaware that this country was going to be my home one day.
Her passion, touch, work/life experience has always fascinated me. From the first time I visited her modern apartment in Takapuna - where she used a room as her studio to paint - I have been impressed by her approach to art; to the way she paints and the passion she puts into her representations, through the use of colour and images.

Jan has produced a huge amount of artworks during her lifetime. All of them are singular and touch different themes, but more than anything I believe she has a message to convey.
Probably because she is one of the first female New Zealand artists to break the rules and the role of women in the society of the time I thought it was important to express my acknowledgement to a person like her. Jan's experiments and passions have pushed other artists to try something new for themselves. Her life is so full of colour, her painting full of honesty and with such a large body of work devoted to the naked form - it is through this theme of her career that I have been able to recognise her as one of the most extraordinary New Zealand woman artists.

The human figure has been, and most probably continues to be, the greatest and the most important source of inspiration for Jan due to the fact she has revolutionized the way to look at a nude work as a theme to study and from which to learn.

In the late 1940s Jane moved to Australia with her husband Gerry, from whom she got the surname, Nigro, which is obviously of Italian origin. They spent a period of time in Melbourne, where she had her first solo woman exhibition.

The works of the late 1940s showed something new and brave for a provincial New Zealand mindset, which wasn't yet ready to accept female nudity and the consequences of such a subject choice. At that time New Zealand was a still a 'closed' country where perhaps some the sensual influences of European art hadn't yet arrived.

A new world was emerging for Jan as she developed her skills and displayed these early productions. Painting was her passion and probably the only job that could make her happy - even if she had to work through some difficult periods.

La Toilette was painted in 1949, and together with other works of hers are in the collection of international art galleries today, such as the National Gallery of Victoria and the Auckland Art Gallery. I don't know who this nameless woman in La Toilette was. The inspiration probably came from one of her models as happened in many other artworks during her lifetime. The woman represented looks to me like a confident woman caught in a moment of intimacy, pensive as she prepares for bathing.

And this was only the beginning of this type of theme, which has recurred through her career. She created many artworks related to the theme of the Bathers, including an exhibition of the late 1980s, which included Lovers and Bathers painted in 1986. It represents a stunning new example of painting, because here Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet are warmly showing their love in the foreground; in the middle ground two hot pink nude females embrace while behind them a group of people watch from afar while continuing on with their lives. Here is clearly stated the passion for the human form, their human condition and what love can be, without discrimination or critique. And what else can be said? The images speak for themselves - love can be shown in various ways.

In Jan's career the Friday Drawing Group became an important routine in her life: some of her models were Suzy, Veronica and Yani, who Jan depicted in 1989. In comparison to all of the other models this one seems more reserved, yet wants to model. In Yani there is vitality and audacity, sitting there posing for them, the group who draw on Fridays. Jan sees in her another strong woman, independently minded and naked but with no intention of showing off her attributes, these are secrets - kept only for the right person.

Obviously Jan has produced an extended selection of artworks during her career. Nevertheless in my personal opinion she has to be acknowledged and acclaimed for being a pioneer and an example to many other New Zealand women artists. Jan is someone who has always worked hard to demonstrate her abilities, beliefs and capacity to the prevaling society which has become increasingly won over to her viewpoint as her career has progressed.

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