Art from trash

Two years ago I was lucky enough to go with Kramstable’s class on an excursion to, among other things, the Art from Trash Exhibition.

20170601 Art from Trash 01

It’s an annual event run by the Resource Work Cooperative at the Long Gallery in the Salamanca Arts Centre, which “encourages the reuse of discarded materials in the production of amazing visual art”. I didn’t go last year, but found out about this year’s exhibition in time to make sure I set aside a lunch hour to go and check it out.

20170601 Art from Trash 12 - Toolbox by Stcott Fletcher

Toolbox by Scott Fletcher, made from recycled tools

It was fascinating to see what people can turn stuff that might normally be thrown away into.

20170601 Art from Trash 02B - 20th Century Dolls by Pirjo Juhola

21st Century Dolls by Pirjo Juhola,made from rusted wire, electrical wire, rock and other discarded materials

20170601 Art from Trash 03 - Tennis Racket Ukulele 2 by Mark Lleonart

Tennis Racket Ukulele 2 by Mark Lleonart, made from wooden tennis rackets and Huon pine scraps

20170601 Art from Trash 04 - Three Bags Full by Irena Harrison, Liz Toohey, Bec Williams The Three Weavers

Three Bags Full by Irena Harrison, Liz Toohey and Bec Williams, made from single use plastic such as pet food and coffee bags, and remnant leather

I really loved these bags (there were three of them) and the way The Junk Weavers have used old scarves on the handles of this one.

There was a separate section for schools and some wonderful artwork by primary school students.

20170601 Art from Trash 10A - More Than A Rooster by Grade 2 Albuera Street Primary

More Than Just a Rooster by Grade 2 Albuera Street Primary School

This piece recognises 2017 as Year of the Rooster and was the result of the students integrating their studies of Chinese, sustainability, art, science, maths and visible wellbeing through the inquiry questions “what happens to our rubbish?”, “how can we reduce, reuse, recycle, or rethink our daily actions?” and “what materials make up our rubbish?” They asked further questions on the disposal and decomposition time of plastic and decided to collect their plastic waste and create a rooster.

20170601 Art from Trash 06 - Our School by Grade 5-6 Lenah Valley Primary

Our School, by Grade 5 and 6s, Lenah Valley Primary School, made from coloured pencils

20170601 Art from Trash 05A - Bitsabot by Grade 5-6B Albuera St Primary School

Bitsabot, the class robot of 5-6B at Albuera Street Primary school, made from bits and pieces from electronic devices and appliances. 

This is the most creative use of a vacuum cleaner brush I have ever seen!

20170601 Art from Trash 07C - All That We Share by Young Migrant Education Students Tas TAFE

All That We Share, by the Young Migrant Education Program TasTAFE students, made from recycled paper bags and other assorted recycled materials

20170601 Art from Trash 08D - Mirror of Maleficent by A TAste of Togetherness Mosaic Support Services

Mirror of Maleficent by A Taste of Togetherness Mosaic Support Services, made from a mirror and old toys (Creepy!)

20170601 Art from Trash 09 - Necklace by Jeka Kaat

Necklace by Jeka Kaat, made from washers, jumprings and clasps

Ever wonder what do do with old Christmas cards you feel bad about throwing out? Wonder no more.

20170601 Art from Trash 11 - Ghosts of Christmases Past by Jen Duhig

Ghosts of Christamases Past collage by Jen Duhig

If you get a chance to call into the Long Gallery before the exhibition closes on Sunday, it’s definitely worth a visit. There’s lots of very cool and interesting art on display, and creative re-use of materials that were probably destined for the rubbish heap.




Challenge 8 – Crosswords Day 15

I’m now half way through the crosswords challenge and have started puzzle 22 today. I completed three puzzles this week, one of them I cried out for help on Twitter because there was a clue I just couldn’t get:

“American runners from Alaksa wearing cruel smiles (8)”.

I got that there would be AK (Alaska) in there somewhere but couldn’t put the rest of it together. The answer is “sneakers” – AK in cruel smiles (sneers) = American runners. I was thinking of runners in the sense of athletes, not in the sense of shoes.

Thank you Annie!

I have a long way to go. But I’m enjoying it. I’m especially enjoying wrestling with a clue and then going back to it a couple of days later and immediately seeing the answer.

I’m finding it a lot easier to pull out the crossword book when I have a spare moment or two than I do to pull out the sketch book and try to draw something. So I’m going to give my morning “learning” time back to drawing and use spare moments that crop up during the day to work on my crosswords.

What I learned this week:

  • I need to get back into my evening routine and 10.00 bedtime.
  • I read a fascinating book called Untrain Your Brain by Mike Weeks. One line that stood out for me in the book was: “Even when we seemingly lose all choice over what life presents it’s crucial to remember that our internal response is and always will be ours to choose.”
  • Adélie is a species of penguin
  • If I sleep in and miss my morning routine yoga/meditate/walk/draw/me-time, my day doesn’t go as smoothly as normal.
  • When I’m cutting bread with a sharp knife, I shouldn’t take my eyes off what I’m doing (ouch).

And to round everything off, here’s my progress against my goals for this week:

Get a new yoga mat

  • I looked but I’m not sure exactly what I want, so this is on hold for now.

Get as far as I can on at least 6 more crossword puzzles

  • I’ve started four new puzzles and completed three (two of which I had already started).
Draw two faces
  • I drew one face and several eyes.
Complete steps 5-7 of Living With Intent
  • Completed and I did step 8 and started step 9.
Write a blog post on where I’m up to with the “clarity” challenge
  • It’s all in my head.
Write a blog post on what I learned this week
  • You’re reading it.

Goals for this week:

  1. Listen to the Asian Efficiency Podcast on creating a manifesto and start to write these 5 documents.
  2. Make a start on the last three “easy peasy” crosswords in my crossword book.
  3. Write a blog post on where I’m up to with the “clarity” challenge (i.e. actually do it this week).
  4. Write a blog post on what I learned this week.

Challenge 7 – 30 days of yoga

I started this challenge on Thursday with 15 minutes of yoga following my daily 10 minutes of meditation instead of going for a walk. It feels really weird to be doing yoga by myself, without the direction of a teacher or a DVD. To guide what I was doing, I used a handout that my lovely teacher Fran of Derwent Valley Yoga had given us last holidays to practise with, which I used exactly zero times in the three weeks we had off.

I felt bad because Fran had taken the trouble to sketch out the postures, so I hope that using them now will make up for that.

15 minutes seems like enough time to work through most of the poses Fran has suggested and a few others that I’ve always liked to do, plus end up with a couple of minutes resting in corpse pose (savasana) at the end. I’m avoiding twists at the moment because my back is giving me grief but I’m no having trouble with any of the others.

Unfortunately i didn’t have 15 minutes on Day 2, because I fell back to sleep after my alarm went off, but I managed to reshuffle things so I got in 10 minutes of practice.

Day 3 was Saturday and I had enough time to do 15 minutes and go for a walk, so I was pleased with that. Day 4 (today) was the same, but I think I might have over-extended my back trying the locust pose (salabhasana), so I might give that one a miss for a few days. It wasn’t on the list anyway.

In other news, I am continuing with my drawing lessons that I started as part of my Growth Mindset challenge in June. I’m now up to Lesson 23 of Mark Kistler’s You Can Draw in 30 Days course.

This is one of Lesson 23’s bonus lessons. It took me three days, but I’m pretty happy with it.


30 days of growth mindset: day 23

I’ve lost count of the days since my reset. I think I’m up to day 23. That will do anyway.

I’ve been wondering what I can do to explore the growth mindset further before the end of the month. There are a couple of exercises in Carol Dweck’s book I had planned on doing but haven’t got around to yet, but I still have a whole week!

I’ve also been continuing learning a new skill apart from a few (um, most) days I missed when I was on holiday.

I might as well tell you what I’ve been doing, and that’s to learn a skill I have always believed I never had and never had any chance of developing. I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I was never the arty one; that was the domain of Lil Sis. My maternal grandmother used to produce beautiful pictures of flowers and my father was a technical drafter in the military, and we have some of his drawings, which are really good.


Lil Sis and I took Dad’s drawing of Pevensey Castle in Sussex back to the original location

I gave up art after Grade 7. Looking back I remember it being difficult and me being no good at it, so I had no desire to pursue it. I could be mistaken because I recently found my school reports and my Grade 7 art teacher had given me the equivalent of an A and written:

“Straightlinesgirl is a talented student who has an instinctive sense of proportion and perspective. She has the ability to retain a clear visual image and is able to draw from memory.”

I was reading that thinking that whoever she was writing about there, it wasn’t me. Or else she wrote this about everyone.

I have started the exercises in the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain at least twice, and given up fairly early on each time. When I was thinking of things to do for this challenge I stumbled on a book I’d downloaded several years ago and never looked at. It’s called You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler.

20160722 Draw

30 days huh? Well that’s the length of my challenge. Try anything for 30 days right?

So I started. I’m now up to lesson 9, rather than lesson 23 because I wanted to spend enough time on each lesson to do it justice, rather than rush through each one in the 15-20 minutes I had to do it every morning.

It’s been an interesting process.

I’ve observed two things. First, drawing isn’t the big scary unknown thing I thought it was. Second I have seen myself want to give up on an exercise when it’s got a bit tricky. And I have battled myself on the lines that (1) I won’t learn if I don’t do it and (2) much as I want it to be perfect, it won’t be. I’ve been doing this for 23 days or thereabouts. My pictures won’t look like the ones in the book because I’m a beginner. I’m not Mr Kistler, so my pictures will have my nuances, not his.

So there you have it. Even if I don’t explore the concept of growth mindset any further, I’m applying it practically, which is, perhaps, a more valuable activity than getting stuck in my head would be.

Channeling – Day 2 (11 July 2015)

After our yummy dinner the night before, we all slept in this morning. The cottage was so very dark and quiet.

Breafast was included with our deal. We could choose from cereal, fresh home made bread with jam, and eggs, as well as plunger coffee. Slabs set to work making coffee and breakfast while Juniordwarf and I read our books. I could get used to this.

The advantage of a weekend break is that we could spend a whole day in the area without having to rush home or rush through everything we wanted to do so we didn’t miss anything.

After breakfast we headed south, and our first stop was Grandvewe Cheeses in Birchs Bay.

Grandvewe Cheesery

Grandvewe Cheesery

It’s the only sheep milk cheesery in Tasmania and I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. We arrived at the wrong time of year to see the sheep milking demonstrations as the ewes are still pregnant, and due to lamb in a few weeks. This means we get to go back later in the year!

We were able to taste some of the cheeses, and I surprised myself by really liking the Sapphire Blue, as I’m not a blue cheese fan. Perhaps I could be converted.

Sheep. Grandvewe Cheeses

Sheep. Grandvewe Cheeses

We decided to come back later in the day to get some cheese to take home rather than drive round with cheese in the car.

Not too far away we found the Art Farm Birchs Bay Sculpture Trail,  It’s an annual sculpture trail set in the bushland at Five Bob Farm, running from April to July. There were 34 sculptures on display as part of the exhibit, plus several sculptures that are permanently located on the trail.

Sculpture Trail Entrance

Sculpture Trail Entrance

There was a great variety of sculptures along the trail using media as diverse as sandstone, steel, wood, and many recycled objects. Some of the works reminded me of Juniordwarf’s class trip to the Art from Trash exhibition.



Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

One of particular interest was the series called Spiralling Down, by Jen Newton, which was a series of four pods that you could sit in to “experience the space and contrast natural materials with man-made ones”. One pod was made of plastic trash that would never break down, one from natural things like pelts, bones, hemp and flax that would eventually decompose, one from old blankets for warmth and protection and the final, moving, one from barbed wire in recognition of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers sent to detention camps.

Spiralling Down

Spiralling Down

It took us about an hour and a half to walk around the trail, and it was a nice way to spend the morning. We hadn’t realised it, but today was the winter bonfire night at the Art Farm, where the awards were presented and everyone was getting ready for that while we were there. We already had plans so we didn’t go, but it looked like it would have been a fun night.

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

We continued south through Flowerpot, Middleton and Gordon, and stopped at Nine Pin Point for a photo opportunity. We decided to keep going and do a lap instead of turning around and going back to Woodbridge.

Nine Pin Point

Nine Pin Point

We followed the Channel Highway around until we got to the turn off to Woodbridge and took the very scenic, windy road back. We had lunch at Peppermint Bay, which had also been on the to-do list.

Lunch at Peppermint Bay

Lunch at Peppermint Bay

Juniordwarf saw sardines on the menu and had to have them. He’d never had sardines before. He’s recently become interested in obsessed with the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which is based in a town which gets stuck with an oversupply of sardines when the sardine demand plummets. So he’s been fascinated by sardines.

He was so very excited to be having sardines! It was almost like it was Christmas. I wish I’d filmed his reaction. He was absolutely over the moon. His favourite word to describe something he likes is “delicious”. “I love them!” he said. It was one of those priceless moments where he was completely overjoyed about something that I’d take for granted. A moment to remember for the pure joy and exhilaration.

I might have had a similar reaction* to the Moo Brew Stout that was on tap. Apparently it’s a seasonal stout known as ‘The Velvet Sledgehammer’. The staff member taking our order warned me that it was 8.5% alcohol. Hey, I’m not driving, it’s cool. It was very very good.

Peppermint Bay

Peppermint Bay

We had intended to go back to Grandvewe, but we’d seen the turn off to Hartzview Vineyard on our way back to Woodbridge, so we decided a wine tasting was in order. Hartzview is set in a beautiful spot with a tantalising glimpse of the very recognisable Hartz peak (which we had also got lovely views of on our morning drive). I think I’d like to go there one day.

Hartzview Vineyard

Hartzview Vineyard

Wine tasted and purchased, we made a quick stop at the local gemstone store in Woodbridge and then headed back to the cottage. Juniordwarf and I went for a walk up the road. We spotted some herons on the way, which is where the vineyard got its name, as well as a couple of other interesting things that caught our eye. (The herons didn’t like having their photo taken and wouldn’t stay still.)

Single early cherry blossom

Single early cherry blossom

The things you see along the side of the road

The things you see along the side of the road

The evening’s entertainment began with the game of Cluedo, in which I made up for the disappointment of my defeat in Qwirkle last night. Juniordwarf and I played a couple of games of Snap and I was victorious again. I tried to help him refine his technique to put him in a better position. Slabs also taught him to play Patience and a sneaky little card trick.

Gerry brought us our dinner at about 7 pm. Tonight it was pork in a fig sauce with mash, purple cabbage and carrots, with apple/berry crumble for dessert. It was really good, and I’m going to try and find a similar recipe for the pork dish so I can make it myself.

Dinner Day 2

Dinner Day 2

I’d told Juniordwarf I didn’t want to go home. I really didn’t. Everything was so peaceful and relaxing, I think I could stay for a week and potter around reading, writing, walking and taking photos. And not cooking for myself. Wouldn’t that be great?

* That is probably an exaggeration. Probably.

12 of 12 June 2015

Friday 12 June started out cold at home, but warmed up very nicely during the day to about 13 degrees.

Yesterday had been intense, and I was feeling all sorts of things all at once. I stayed up way too late last night and looked and felt like it this morning.

1 of 12 – Coffee. I needed many of these. This is my fabulous Kalgoorlie-inspired cup by the wonderful Kim, aka frogpondsrock.  I got this last month at Kim’s Mud & Ink exhibition with the cartoonist Jon Kudelka at the Long Gallery in Salamanca.

20150612-01 Coffee cup2 of 12 – The moon looked very pretty when I went out to let the chooks out. At 6.45 am.

20150612-02A Moon

3 of 12 – The chooks were still in bed at 6.45 am, like I wished I could have been. The two older ones came out at the sound of their food bin opening, but the young ones took a bit longer to get moving. I don’t blame them. In the meantime these two hooked in.

20150612-03B Chooks

4 of 12 – This person needs more coffee right now.

20150612-04B Walk to work selfie

5 of 12 – Nice to see these posters popping up around Hobart. They are part of Peter Drew’s “Real Australians Say Welcome” project.

20150612-05 Welcome6 of 12 – Some sort of restoration work at the GPO. (As you can see, I pay a lot of attention to what’s going on.)

20150612-06 GPO restoration

7 of 12 – It’s always exciting when “other mail” is waiting for me in the PO Box. The excitement is usually followed by disappointment when it’s not for me.

20150612-07 Other mail

8 of 12 – The bus mall coming out of the GPO is a dark and scary place. And look! I managed to get the person in the red top in my photo. Because in every photo you take of a tourist spot, building or landmark, there is always That Person In Red.

20150612-08B Bus mall

9 of 12 – Inbox Zero is one of my goals each week. I’m slowly making progress with my organisational systems. It’s one step forward two steps back some days, but I’m feeling a lot more in control than I had been.

20150612-09 Inbox zero10 of 12 – Well that’s a bit blurry. A planning application notice near Franklin Square. Unsure what it’s for. Not that you could read it anyway.

20150612-11 Planning application notice

11 of 12 – Fountain at Franklin Square on my way to the bus.

20150612-12 Fountain in Franklin Square

12 of 12 – The GPO at night and Dark Mofo’s light tower to show us what a real actual tower would look like. Apparently.  Art ‘n’ stuff.

20150612-10B A light

a day out with kids, trash and plastic

On Wednesday I went with Juniordwarf’s class on an excursion all about rubbish.

The other parents who had volunteered for this task joined the class and one of the older classes in the morning for a walk to Salamanca. Moving 50+ kids in a walking train is no easy feat, especially when you have to get them across major roads safely. It is, however, considerably easier than moving a group of 5 and 6 year olds. Trust me, I’ve done this too.

The classes split up when we got to Salamanca, and after a quick fruit break, we headed into the Art from Trash exhibition in the Long Gallery.

This was the last day of the exhibition, which I hadn’t realised or I’d have gone to have a look last week. Run by the Resource Work Cooperative, Art From Trash is “an annual community event that encourages the reuse of discarded materials in the production of visual art”. The Resource Work Cooperative, among other things, run the South Hobart Tip Shop.

The exhibition has been held each year since 1995 and its aim is to promote reuse and to get people thinking about the amount of stuff they throw away.


There were some fascinating exhibits. I was particularly drawn to the dress that included osso bucco bones. I love the fact that someone could look at bones and say, “hey that looks like lace,” and work out a way to use them as lace. I later found out that the artist, Diana Eaton, is a local Derwent Valley artist.

Fashion from Food

Fashion from Food

There were some really cool things in the exhibit. I loved the repurposed shoes. Juniordwarf wondered if they were like Cinderella’s glass slippers. I think they probably were.

Shoes and Vegetables

Shoes and Vegetables

The kids were given a task to draw something. Juniordwarf decided to draw the vegetable garden that one of the Hobart primary schools had created.

A couple of the kids chose to draw this piece called “A Waterless Garden” by Alan Culph, which I quite liked too, so I tried to draw it as well. I didn’t have much time, and I think they did a better job than I did. (In my defence, I was standing up when I did it and I didn’t have anything to rest my notebook on!)

A Waterless Garden by Alan Culph

A Waterless Garden by Alan Culph

After we’d finished at Art from Trash, we wandered over to the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, to have a look at the Vanishing Point exhibition.

This exhibition is “an arts/science collaboration to raise awareness about the issues surrounding plastics pollution in the oceans and its ecological, biological and social impact”.

We met Dr Heidi Auman, who talked about the impact of plastic in the ocean and on the birds and animals that ingest it, and how it’s working its way up the food chain, as the larger animals eat the smaller animals that have eaten small plastic fragments. It’s heartbreaking to hear about how mother albatross will eat plastic items that look like the food they normally eat, feed it to their chicks who then fill up on plastic and die because they aren’t hungry and don’t eat.

And a lot of this plastic is single-use plastic that something’s packaged in and thrown away as soon as we open the packet. It doesn’t decompose, just breaks down (eventually) into smaller pieces of plastic so smaller animals will eat it.

The exhibition came about because there’s a lot of science on the effects of plastic, but it’s often hard to present a scientific message to the public that isn’t too overwhelming or complicated. The concept was to present the ideas through art that would get people’s attention. “By combining this skill of the artist with the knowledge of the scientist, it’s possible to engage viewers through visual beauty and simplicity, then lead them through a deeper story to raise awareness of the issue at hand.”

Plastic not fantastic

Plastic not fantastic

According to the exhibition website,  8 million items of litter enter the marine environment every day – and around 7 billion tonnes of plastic gets into the ocean every year. 7 billion tonnes! My mind can’t even begin to imagine that much stuff. It’s just too big a number. It is estimated that 3 times as much rubbish is dumped into the world’s oceans annually as the weight of fish caught. Horrific.

Heidi has  written a book, “Garbage Guts”, to help children to understand some of the issues and to encourage them to think about their use of plastic and the effects that it can have on our marine life. The class asked some interesting questions afterwards, ranging from how long it took her to write the book (about a year) to how long have plastics been a problem (it all started in the 1950s but has increased exponentially since then).

The exhibition is running at the Institute until mid-July.

I was talking about it later, and one of my school mum friends mentioned the Plastic-free July challenge,  where you attempt to eliminate your use of single-use plastic during July. Another challenge I found online was an ongoing challenge called the Plastic Trash Challenge, where you begin by behaving normally for the first week so that you become aware of how much plastic you actually buy, and then work on reducing that.

I think this is a fantastic idea, and I’m going to do it. I’ll enlist Juniordwarf to help as well. The first week will be interesting.

The final part of the excursion was an A-Z treasure hunt around Salamanca Square. I was assigned to be a bouncer on one of the laneways to make sure none of the kids escaped. According to the role call at the end of the morning, I was successful.

All in all it was a very rewarding day that I’m glad to have been able to be a part of.