Nadine Kessler likes typography which is fortunate as she
works with it daily as a typographer and designer, with a focus on publication
design. She arrived in the studio armed with some very attractive books and was
a fabulous guest to feature on episode 1 series 2, The Book Show on Edge Radio. You can listen to the full interview here.
Nadine talks about the beginning of books and the mass
production that began after Gutenberg invented the letter press with moveable
type and she talks about the days when scribes had to copy books by hand. We
discuss the benefits of taking a knife to the spine of a book as well as the
best ways to handle the object without cracking its spine or participating,
unawares in other book torture.
Talking about the design of the recent Mona catalogue ‘Beam
in Thine Own Eye,' the art work from which was really the result of work created
in the viewer’s own mind, stimulated by the external “I found this really
beautiful paper which is reflective, it is the play with whatever you
in your mind.”
At the time of the interview Nadine was working on a
new catalogue for Mona’s most recent exhibition.
For further information and too see Nadine’s work, check out her website.
P S a Big Thank You to Artifact in Swansea for sharing their wifi with me.
Trevlyn McCallum, the candidate in Denison for Family First is a reader. You can listen to the full interview with him here.
Family First have developed 15 core policy areas but they
have no specific policy about arts and culture. They do have, however a high regards for
arts, literature and culture.
Literature and art comes out of a healthy culture and that
society drives that.
They are there to give families and small businesses the
opportunity to express themselves in a way that is wholesome and good for our
culture and our society. “One of the key driving factors behind our cultural
expressions in art and literature primarily sits elsewhere,
"Having the ability
and resources to do poetry and to write literature, we need those
"One of the first things Family First would be looking
at would be tax complexity and tax rates across the Australia. We are looking at
reducing tax making it easier to do business, be it a NFP art studio or any
other small business across Australia we are looking to reduce the tax rate to
20% which will increase the resources to put into arts and culture and
"I think a healthy community will produce good wholesome,
healthy art and the other way around too, good wholesome art and cul;ture and
literature helps a society to grow and be more mature as a culture, as a
"Family First is a family values driven party and the
primary driver for policies is what is in the best interests of ‘the family’
and children in our society.
"We certainly don’t want to have art that’s out in the public eye that is not for their (children's) eyes, so good wholesome art needs to
consider the audience and who it is being presented to.
"We can get into it;
what ‘good and wholesome’ is, I think there is objectivity to art and
objectivity to culture and to literature as well and it gets down to the debate
about what is good and what is not good.
As a Family First candidate, personally, I am a Christian I can take an
objective stand and say something is right or wrong based on my world view and
Trevlyn loves to read, though his time is squished, but he is
‘audio reading’ in the car on the way to work. His family is a one of
readers and they encourage their children to read a lot of books across a lot
of genres. His son read over 250 books last year!
He enjoys historical fiction and can’t go pastPG Wodehouse.
Debra Thurley thinks the area encompassing arts and culture area is one where "Tasmania
can really shine from a tourism perspective and that the value and arts and culture in a community can sometimes
be understated. Listen to the full interview with her here.
At the time this interview was conducted, Debra Thurley, the candidate for the House of Reps in Denison for the newly formed Palmer Untied Party hadn't had a chance to discuss arts and culture but they were heading into a discussion
that weekend where it was hoped it would be put on the table.
Debra feels that
art and culture is “vital” and it one of those glue factors that unite a
community, "Denison is so exciting with such a tremendous mix of people. We are
destined for being the place to be. "The times ahead are extremely exciting
because I am sure this election, no matter who wins will bring about some positive
"We are very fortunate here in Denison to have the Mona
"I would absolutely like to see more support for the arts. As
I said before, I am a sports fan but I think the two absolutely run parallel
with keeping people involved.
"It does stimulate the mood
of a community so it is really really vital.
Debra would, if elected, seek to remedy the loss of funding for the Tasmanian Theatre Company. (who have finally been recognised again by the State government, with some funds for 2014).
Debra agrees that the connection with art and health is vital. "Art is such a
wonderful way of expressing what can be an internal emotion so there can be a
massive connection between that area as we focus on health and preventative measures
and proactive measures."
When it comes to reading at the pointy end of a campaing, "I don’t have any time to read I am also a student through Griffith
University studying workplace relations so I do have a very busy schedule."
She does really like Irish female
writers and always tries to have some
fiction on the go "but the trouble is by the time I get to bed I am asleep but I
just adore reading.
"Of course I read newspapers
front to back including some of the papers from the mainland and of course I am
supportive of some Tasmanian literature as well. I have always been on the
verge of enrolling myself in one of the writing clubs.
"If someone asked me what would be the ideal thing I would do
in the years ahead I would like to go back to uni and do English lit. I am not
writing anything at the moment but I do have this aim, they do say there’s a
book in all of us and I go to start it and I realise it takes a lot of
time and you do need to be free of all distractions. That, to me is one of my
goals in later life."
She doesn’t have a favourite Tasmanian writer, but Rachael Treasure was a guest at one of their business meetings. “I bought
three of her books and I must admit they are still sitting on the shelf as I haven’t
got to read them yet. It was amazing to think she could incorporate her unique
lifestyle into her books. I enjoyed her because she is an effervescent girl and
she was a very interesting person and I enjoyed meeting her."
Andrew Wilkie is the member for Denison in the House of
Representatives. At this stage it looks like he will still be there after this
election this Saturday, September 7th. You can listen to this interview
on arts and culture in Denison in its entirety here.
“At this time of an election campaign you will find every
candidate talking up up the wonderful arts and culture scene we have in
Tasmania but it is at risk of sounding like a whole collection of clichés. “Of
course we have a rich scene and of course we are all in support of it but you
have to contrast what people say about it with what people do with it.
“Regrettably, the arts and culture scene has, for many years
been neglected. I don’t know whether David
Walsh is proud or sad of the fact that he has had no public assistance and in
any case there is too much attention on Mona when there is a whole lot more
going on out there which seems to be swamped by the Mona phenomenon.
“As a member of parliament my involvement inevitably is to
do with money and I was proud to secure $4 million to build a new Moonah Arts
Centre and very proud to get $1.65 million to save the old South Hobart primary
school and turn that into a community and cultural hub but it is a fraction of
what needs to be done.
“The state and federal governments need to look for clever
ways to invest in arts and culture nationally including in Tasmania to
genuinely promote it.
“I am attracted to the idea the Greens have to pay a living
wage to artists. It seems to be a sensible way to go if you really want to encourage
art at the grass roots level and that is the sort of innovative approach we need
“I can see a real arts trail, it might start in Salamanca,
and ideally on a light rail. You could get off at Moonah and wander to the new
arts centre, get off at GASP when it is completed, back on the light rail, up to Mona.
“It could become one of the nation’s premier destinations for art and culture
tourism, we’re on the cusp of cracking it.”
“Regrettably too many politicians and too many governments
just think of art as just a painting or an installation. I don’t know that any government in this country;
certainly not in Tasmania, there doesn’t seem to be any understanding of the
importance of art and culture in the community and the way it enriches and
makes for a healthier community.
Andrew's favourite book is A Fortunate Life by AB Facey, but when it comes to Tasmanian books
“I like to read Tasmanian history and James Boyce is a
toweringfigure in that space. His
acclaimed book Van Diemen’s Land brings history to life. Another local author I
like reading is Richard Flanagan. He is another author that can bring history
to life and in a book like Gould’s Book of Fish it becomes a weird mishmash of fact and fiction; you don’t
know where one ends and another starts and I find that quite fun.
When asked what he will do if reelected, he is clear:
“Two things: I will continue my efforts to secure investment
in art in Tasmania and I think I have a good track record in that regard but I
will also work harder to promote the arts as something that genuinely does enrich
the community and make it happier and
healthier and look for ways to find money for that.”
Graeme Devlin from
Rise Up Australia Party has six daughters and has always had ballet, drama and music in the household. He sees art and culture as "lubrication for our society" and while Rise Up Australia support freedom of speech, he believes a line needs to be drawn somewhere and "art is art and smut is smut". Listen to the full interview here.
Graeme notes that ‘arts and culture’ is a very wide spectrum
that can even involve agriculture but he presumes that it means the ways
of living transmitted from generation to generation. "The Australian culture is
one we want to preserve. I like it and most of us live it happily. Over the
years of course our culture has been modified a lot, some of our ethnic
editions with people who have joined us. I see this as a lubrication of our
society, it gives colour. Without it, it would be pretty black and white."The word
comes to me; 'jackboots' but we don’t really want that. I personally don’t find
it as a major item because we know that employment and things must come first,
it gives us colour in our lives and makes us interesting people."
At the time of the interview, Rise Up Australia had not had any round table discussions regarding arts
Graeme expounds freedom of speech. "Our leader has had ia time when he was taken
before the racial vilification court in Victoria for exposing some of the words
in the Koran. "We want to see truth as truth and opinion as opinion and
maintaining freedom of speech."While Rise Up would like to see freedom of speech, censorship
is a different matter. They would like to avoid gratuitous violence and
socially degenerating themes. "Truth is truth, of course, but smut it smut. "When I was young, you couldn’t imagine Spencer Tracey saying thle
The Christian scriptures are the basic guideline for Rise Up Australia. "A
lot of people may not like to hear that, I think our society has turned away
from basic Christian principles. Henry Parkes, one of our founding fathers said
that we were preeminately a Christian nation when they were foundingthe nation and designing the constitution,
but we have come a long way and we should start to turn back, it is time.
Graeme was not prepared for the question about community
health and he finds arts and culture as a lubricant within society. "Our plan is to provide good roots
for the nation and everybody gets a fair go and business wi'l just spring up
naturally, we won’t have to force jobs." While Graeme Is not familiar
with Tasmanian authors, he is currently reading the constutuion to “find
out what we’re on about.”
"Most of my reading is information reading, ifI have a
problem I look up how to fix it. Arts in my life is not one of the prominent
areas though I don’t disregard it. Being a slow reader I have to wisely choose
what I read because it takes so much time, but as you can imagine I read the
holy scriptures a fair bit.
Here, he discusses the DLP’s approach to arts and arts funding,
his mentor the poet James McAuley and former Island editor Cassandra Pybus’ book about McAuley and where
the DLP would take arts in Denison.
“I think you consider a nation great if it has achieved a
high level of culture,
“The artistic can be squeezed out of us through the pressures of time and
"If you look back through history, countries are less remembered for their
military conquests than for their art. Flourishing civilisations are always
those that have achieved a high level of culture.
“Art in its many forms may encourage joy, sadness, aesthetic appreciation
through the beautiful and it may be through one line of verse that the soul finds
consolation and courage to keep striving when perhaps faced with impossible odds.”
“The other thing is that we are handed God given talents
that we should use to the best of our abilities. Our computer driven age and
the pragmatic desire to consider what is useful in commercial terms often
disadvantages the development of the arts. "The problem with most political parties is that they consider
arts very much down the scale, especially if budgets are hard pressed. Certain sacred
cows that the government are reluctant to cut; unfortunately the arts is not
one of them.
The DLP proposes a tax
deductionand incentives by government
for the arts. They would also encourage greater regional development in the
arts, promoting and encouraging art in local communities. They also oppose the
selling of indigenous art overseas, “what is ours ought to not go over
there, I just don’t think it should go.”
While the DLP approves of an
increase in funding for the arts they are also critical of some of the spending
that has been done in the arts field. Wayne feels that one of the classic
mistakes made in arts funding in recent years resulted in the book The Devil and
James McAuley by former Island editor, Cassandra Pybus.
“This was a book that was
subsidised by $84 000 from the Australian Research Council and I do not know by
how much by the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board and by a visiting fellowship from
LaTrobe University and the Australia Council also chipped in.
“What jumps immediately to the eye as you flick through is the slap dash
research” Wayne goes on to elaborate on these mistakes.
It seems a strange book to
generate a discussion around arts funding from, but McAuley was a mentor to Wayne and “I am fairly
criitical that a very large amount of money, nearly $100 000 was given to
Cassandra to produce this work and it could have been more prudently done." James
McAuley is Wayne’s favourite Tasmanian author – and he was also a good friend
of his. He got him involved with the DLP by throwing him into a debate at the
Hobart Town Hall when he was 21.
“I think the arts have to be very
careful that they use the money wisely and in the public eye they are perceived
that things are done well."
In terms of arts and health “If
you look in the areas of mental health particularly, it is obviously an
assistance issue but with pyschological counselling and with expressing themselves, the arts has always been a great contributor to mental health."
Wayne tends to read a lot of the
political journals and tries to keep up to date with those things.He also does a lot of spiritual reading. Listen to the full interview here.