New Gallery 1855 exhibition

Contested Landscapes: natural and built environments undergoing change  is a new painting exhibition featuring the works of Robert Habel, which opens 2pm Sunday 21 September, at Gallery 1855.

Robert Habel, Palmer Landscape 3, 2011, oil on canvas, 140 x 127cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Robert Habel, Palmer Landscape 3, 2011, oil on canvas, 140 x 127cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Visual artist Robert Habel has been painting landscapes for over thirty years but not in the traditional sense.

His practice doesn’t acquiesce to the traditions, rules and nostalgic affirmations of the past.

Instead, his landscapes deal with issues of ecological and cultural sustainability.

To Robert, the depiction of land undergoing change or suffering abuse is as relevant in art today as idealistic landscape painting was in the past.

For more information about Robert’s creative practice please visit his website

Come along to Robert’s floor talk on Saturday 25 October from 2pm.

Want to know more about what we are doing in the Gallery and Studio? Visit our website

The further adventures of our travelling staff

In the past couple of weeks we’ve reported on some of the exploits of our well-travelled staff.  Sonya & Chris talked about overseas adventures in the US and Africa, and Kathy outlined one of her recent inland Australia treks.

This time we turn to Japan, a favourite of Penny and Helen.

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Mt Fuji from the famous Chureito pagoda

Penny first visited Tokyo as a 17-year-old exchange student, and dreamt of returning some time to live and work.  Ten years later she realised this;
At 27, I quit my job, to live in the Land of the Rising Sun becoming an English teacher in primary schools. I lived in the regional city of Takatsuki, located halfway between Osaka and Kyoto, making it the perfect base for exploring and domestic travel. I travelled to Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima several times, which are all amazing places but some of the most interesting places I visited are much less-known. 

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Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Pumpkin’ scultpure viewable from the shore of Naoshima

One of these was the island of  Naoshima, which is located off the coast of Okayama. Naoshima is dotted with contemporary art galleries, built into the hills to soak up ocean and island views. One of the main galleries, Benesse House, consists of four buildings all designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It’s filled with works from artists all over the world, including Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Yayoi Kusama. One of the main pleasures of  the island is encountering the large sculptures and artworks outside, whilst taking in the views of Japan’s Inland Sea region. For those who like their art near the sea, I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

Shigaraki ceramics

Shigaraki ceramics

Another highlight for me was Shigaraki, a small town world famous for pottery located in the central Shiga Prefecture. Artisans have been making pottery here since ancient times and the area is rich with locally mined clay. The entire main street was lined with stores selling ceramics and in each store I visited, you could see ceramic artists working on their new designs. I bought 3 well-priced, hand-crafted ceramic teapots and they always remind me of Shigaraki whenever I drink my favourite hot beverage green tea.

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Shinkansen – commonly know in the western world as ‘The Bullet Train’

Helen adds for prospective Japan tourists;  A visit to a cat cafe or a maid cafe is always a highlight! For transport gunzels, travelling by Shinkansen up and the country is a fabulous experience. Ensure you pick-up food from the supermarket before you jump aboard…. And if you are unable to identify it there is no doubt it will be fabulous!

Even though it’s 8000km due north, Japan shares the same timezone as us, so it’s generally jetlag free!

Over on our Facebook we talked about some new Japan resources that had recently come in. If you’ve been to Japan head over to that post and add what you recommend to see. Also, if you’re planning a trip, we have the most recent Lonely Planet and Eyewitness guides as well as a huge range of other Japan highlights books.

Oh the Joys of Toys!

Lauren Hunt, runs a blog called Teacher Types, a blog ‘where teachers and parents of young children can be inspired‘ and is a regular user of the Tea Tree Gully Toy Library, situated within the regular Library space. She recently wrote a great post about the Toy Library, we thought we’d share some of it here.

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Toy Library space – photo by teacher types

‘All year our family have been members of the Tea Tree Gully Toy Library and it’s become one of my favourite places to visit. We probably go once every 3-4 weeks for a play and a borrow (I love that littlies are encouraged to stay and play). The Toy Library is run by a wonderful group of volunteers and is a not for profit community organisation.

Fun Facts!

  • The Toy Library is located within the City of Tea Tree Gully Library (571 Montague Road Modbury SA)
  • There are more than 3000 items in the Toy Library to choose from.
  • There are 600+ families who borrow those toys.
  • There are 17 friendly volunteers who make the Toy Library run smoothly.
  • It only costs $30 a year to be a member.
  • You can borrow two toys and one puzzle per visit.
  • Their website is here
  • You can pop in to borrow Tuesday & Thursday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and Wednesday 2:00 pm – 7:30 pm
  • If you go on a Thursday be sure to also check out Baby Bounce & Rhyme for under 2s from 10:30 – 11am or Toddler Time (2-4s) at 11:30 am in the children’s library area
  • They also lend out the bigger items for party hire – bouncy castle, cars, ball pit, bubble machine, play gym, slide, roller coaster…and much more!
  • Most importantly – young children learn through play, so a community resource like the Toy Library is a way to always have new toys in your home to engage your little one in valuable learning experiences.
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A very popular choice! Cars available for party hire. – photo by teacher types

And they even have costumes you can borrow! Keep this in mind for Book Week next year.

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Some of the costumes to borrow – photo by teacher types

Oooohhh and I nearly forgot to mention, there is even a cafe in the main Library foyer! So you can stop for coffee, lunch or morning/afternoon tea when you borrow your toys and/or books. Very child friendly atmosphere with highchairs, couches and comfy arm chairs.

Thank you TTG Toy Library for helping the littlest members of your community bring the joy of play into their homes. If you live in the area, please consider joining up and supporting a wonderful local organisation.’

Thanks Lauren for such a great user perspective of the Toy Library. It’s awesome to hear how much it is appreciated.

Outback adventures with Kathy

Following on from the globetrotting journeys of Sonya and Chris as reported last week, staff member Kathy shows us some of her equally stunning exploits a little closer to home.

A quiet falt campsite a little way from the dustbowl the main camping ground became

A quiet flat campsite a little way from the dustbowl the main camping ground would become.

An avid 4WD adventurer, Kathy and her family recently returned from far west Queensland where they attended the Big Red Bash, an outback concert on the largest sand dune in the Simpson Desert. Not for the faint-hearted, a trip to Big Red requires some hefty 4 wheel drive work after a less-than-leisurely 1500km trek north from Adelaide to Birdsville.

As they say, the journey is half the fun with stop-overs in remote and character filled locales like Leigh Creek, Maree, Clayton Station and Mungerannie Pub along the way.

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It’s a steady slog up Big Red

After finding the perfect campsite at Big Red, a 4WD adventure isn’t complete without actually driving up the dunes! After some Pajero practice out in the desert, Kathy’s daughter Stacey tackled the big one with a successful ascent on her first attempt!

 

Starting just after dinner, the outback concert carried on over two nights featuring classic Aussie rockers, Darryl Braithwaite,  James Reyne and Ross Wilson.

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The concert with Big Red as the glorious backdrop

It’s not a 4WD adventure without the obligatory breakage of something, this time a starter motor problem ensured Kathy and family had a legitimate excuse to stay in the bush for a couple of extra days!

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Who wouldn’t want to stay an extra day or so with this on your doorstep?

The Library  has an extensive  range of 4WD and Australian adventure resources, so come see us (and Kathy!) if you’re planning an outback Australia  journey.

Stay tuned for further adventures of our travelling staff!

Upcoming WiFi and public computer outages in the Library

There will be no access to the Public Library Wireless Network from 5pm Friday 12 September to 9am Monday 15 September, due to an infrastructure relocation by our wireless network provider.

There will be no public computer access on Wednesday 17 September from 10am until approximately 2pm due to a scheduled server upgrade. Wireless internet access will be unaffected at this time.

Photocopying services will be continue to be available during both the WiFi and the public computer outages.

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we make improvements to these services.

Travellers abound at Tea Tree Gully

With Winter now really behind us, it’s been interesting to hear some of the travel stories from our staff who choose to escape the cold for a few weeks for warmer climates.

Hp-Theme-Park-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-13691411-600-450Sonya, no rookie when it comes to overseas travel, has visited six of the seven continents on this planet. On a recent US visit she visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, open now for four years. She says: I just went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  It’s at Universal Studios, Orlando Florida.  There’s a miniature sized snow topped Hogsmeade Village with all the favourite Harry Potter characters. The centrepiece is Hogwarts Castle and inside is a great simulator ride that has you on a roller coaster adventure with Harry, Ron and Hermione.  As you roam the village you can have lunch, (a hearty English fare) at the 3 Broomsticks,  and tuck in to some yummy butterbeer!  Actors roam the streets in robes and perform small skits for visitors. 

We have loads of travel books on the US, and also some of the states including Florida. And of course we carry the entire Harry Potter saga by JK Rowling.

From the first world to the third, Chris talks about his unscheduled, yet life changing stop in the African village of Mpumba.

mpumba kidsSitting beside me on the old rickety mini bus late at night was a young local girl and her friend. Eventually I spoke up, and introduced myself. We discussed the usual – of where I had been and where I was going.  I could see they were not sure of my ability to continue alone, and so Pamela, the one sitting closest to me asked if I would prefer to stay at their house for the night, and make my way to the hostel in town tomorrow during daylight. Chris took the offer and followed them back through their village to their house. He was introduced to the family, who were tobacco farmers. He continues: After an hour, Pamela returned, she brought out an impressive dinner. She has spent the last hour over a fire cooking away to feed us all. We sat in a circle, sharing this food, and I could not help but smile. I was invited into a home, fed, given a bed and treated as a life long friend and I had only just met them a few hours before on a bus in the middle of Africa. My friendship grew with this family and I stayed and worked with them for many days. Whether it was fetching water, working to the tobacco farms, helping to cook, I was treated as a true brother. They truly shared the pure kindness of a human being.

You can read the full story of Chris’ African family here. Check out our full range of travel books and DVDs on the catalogue, you may find ideas for your next adventure!

Stay tuned for further adventures of our travelling staff.

 

 

Environmental Care Show

One of the many school holiday activities this spring is the Environmental Care Show. Of course here at City of Tea Tree Gully we encourage everyone to recycle, reuse and be sustainable, but this show will present the messages in a fun and entertaining way to the youngest generation.

The show is put on by COOL 4 KIDS, an innovative children’s entertainment service developed by teacher and musician Tony Genovese and will feature Bella Butterfly and Digger Dog characters. Suitable for kids up to 12 years, the show will be interactive and tailored to the audience on the day.

The show is free to attend, but you will need to book a spot for each family member attending as places are limited. It all happens on Wednesday 8 October at 10.30-11.15am. Bookings open on Monday 15 September for this and all our Home Grown theme school holiday activites so click here on the 15th!