Support for bushfire appeal at January’s WOL

January Words Out Loud posterWords Out Loud will be giving all entry donations from January’s edition to the state bushfire appeal.

There is a number of appeals and a growing list of events supporting the fire fight and recovery efforts, with hot months ahead, so if you can spare some cash, please find the right fit for you to contribute.

Here are the details of the event:

Date: Thursday January 23

Time: doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

Venue: the Printers Room, in the basement of Sebastiaans at the corner of Mair and Lydiard streets, Ballarat. Enter from Mair.

Performances: Sign up on the night – a maximum of 5 minutes each.

Eat and drink: The full menu is available, as well as a $20 two-course meal deal, with bar service.

Cost: Free, with a gold coin donation appreciated.

End-of-year break

Rachel O'Neill at Words Out Loud in 2018

Rachel O’Neill at Words Out Loud in 2018

There is no event in December, but we return on January 23 (NOTE: a week later than the usual 3rd Thursday) at the wonderful Printers Room for more spoken word bonhomie.

November’s edition was a tad quieter than usual, but we’re happy to announce that Rachel O’Neill was named ‘most prolific themester’ for the year in a tight field. If you’d like to hit the ground running for the new year, the non-compulsory theme for January is “great southern land”.

2019 was a huge year at Words Out Loud, with several special events adding to the excitement of some action-packed nights at the regular evenings. We’re looking forward to the “They Are Us” collaboration with Soldiers Hill Artist Collective in the new year.

Unfortunately, we’ve had some wobbles with a new sound system that has meant we haven’t been able to post audio from the last couple of editions. We’ll be giving that some thought over the break.

Our gratitude goes to Nigel and his crew at the Printers Room, and everyone who has helped spread the word, taken part and come along to support Ballarat’s spoken word scene. Here’s to a safe and happy summer holiday season.

Closure

 Weathering the Future has ended its run at Backspace Gallery.

More than 300 people visited during that time, and some bought art, which was very gratifying!

Thanks to everyone who was able to visit, added to the “Precipice” piece, and left a comment on the wall.

Thanks too to the staff at both galleries who looked after us so well, and to the media and Facebook communities who helped spread the word.

A big thank you to the creative people who contributed to this project, whose energy and enthusiasm were truly inspirational.

This website will continue for some months yet, until digital nature takes its course and it too will weather away. Thank you for visiting!

The future is what we make it. Let’s not stop now.

The end is nigh, so here’s a bonus poem

Greg by Abigail Robertson

‘Greg’ by Abigail Robertson, the inspiration for poems by Rachel O’Neill

Weathering the Future is entering its last days, so please pop into the Backspace gallery to survey this collaborative discussion of what awaits around the corner.

The gallery is open Thursday 20 December until Sunday 23 December, noon-4pm, and if you’re still looking for a Christmas present (for yourself even!), well, much of the art is for sale. Also, there are handsome magazine-style catalogues that collect all the art and text in one handy volume, selling for $20.

Twenty-two writers used artwork as inspiration for flash fiction and poetry, which in turn inspired new art, in what is a fairly uncommon collaboration for an art exhibition. Two of our writers got so inspired, they submitted two poems, but only one each could be used.

To mark the final run of the exhibition at Backspace, here is the poem from Rachel O’Neill that didn’t get used in Weathering the Future, responding to Abigail Robertson’s painting ‘Greg’. [click here to read, or hear, Rachel’s other poem alongside the art it was inspired by and which it in turn inspired.] Enjoy:

Poised for contemplation,
Considering the past,
Weathering the future
How long will this life last?

Lyrically thinking,
This world exists in rhyme,
And those who live for reason
Are simply wasting time.

Smile a little wider,
Hide your weary tears,
Thoughts that are too tedious
Can snatch away your years.

The exhibition has two ways for visitors to contribute: ‘Precipice’ asks visitors to write on, or simply fold, a chatterbox to be added to this work in progress, while messages in prose or verse can be added to the comment wall, and may appear on this blog. We’d love to read your contributions!

A mystery here

Poem by Rhonda Cotsell, in response to a work in the Weathering the Future exhibition.

Poem by Rhonda Cotsell, in response to a work in the Weathering the Future exhibition.

It’s great to see some visitors to the exhibition taking the time to add chatterboxes to the hanging Precipice work, and also leave thoughts on the comment wall.

We were struck by this example from Rhonda Cotsell:

There is a mystery here
I recognise the skill
of weaving
It is the craftswoman in
the contrast of soft
white, pink tinged
Is it something on which
I have a right
to comment?
I don’t understand
what it is saying
but it suggests
death or maybe
food gathering?
I need to listen
if I am to use what words
I have
at my disposal,
within
my cultural
DNA.

The exhibition is open today, Saturday 15 December, and tomorrow, Sunday 16 December, noon till 4pm, and again from Thursday 20 December to Sunday 23 December, noon till 4pm.

Bonus poem as exhibition resumes on Thursday

Unbearable...so you think I can eat plastic by Ken Makings

Unbearable…so you think I can eat plastic by Ken Makings. Picture: Ian Kemp

Backspace gallery is open Thursday 13 December until Sunday 16 December, noon-4pm, and again the following Thursday-Sunday. Please pop in and check out the art, much of which is for sale (there’s a Christimas hint for you!).

Two of our writers got so inspired, they submitted two poems, but only one each could be used in the exhibition.

To mark the reopening of Backspace tomorrow, here is the poem from Rhonda Poholke that didn’t get used in Weathering the Future, responding to Ken Making’s “Unbearable…”. [click here to read, or hear, Rhonda’s other poem.] Enjoy:

A Helpless Animal Cries to the Earth

Because there is a crack running through
the chill white dawn, and the sky is melting
into the blood-thick horizon,
and I
feel every ache and weight pressing
against your heartbeat.
I’d mention the fish too – but there are
none to speak of anymore,
so I listen
for an echoing syllable of hope
and I cry
and starve and die for you.

On Sunday 16 December, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is having a gala launch of its summer program from 2pm till 5pm. It’s a perfect opportunity to pop into Backspace, too!

And we have launched!

Audience at Weathering the Future launch, Saturday 8 December 2018.

Audience at Weathering the Future launch, Saturday 8 December 2018.

Audience at Weathering the Future launch, Saturday 8 December 2018.


Weathering the Future has been officially launched!

Ballarat City councillor Belinda Coates

Ballarat City councillor Belinda Coates

We were very pleased to be joined by Ballarat City councillor Belinda Coates, who gave a short address at the launch ceremony, which was introduced by the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s Peter Freund. The exhibition is run under the council’s community arts program through Backspace Gallery.

Jessica Wilkinson, Fraser Mackay and Kirstyn McDermott read their works from the exhibition, with an introduction by Weathering the Future curator Jason Nahrung, before Art Gallery of Ballarat director Louise Tegart officially launched the exhibition.

Art Gallery of Ballarat director Louise Tegart

Art Gallery of Ballarat director Louise Tegart

The icing on the cake came with Reuben Morgan playing his piano piece “Mother Earth”, written for the exhibition.

A rough count put the audience at more than 140, and two sales were recorded, which was especially gratifying.

Our thanks to everyone who was able to come, those who helped run the event — including the catering staff! — and all those who helped spread the word, including some wonderfully helpful Facebook pages.

Above all, people came, people saw, people enjoyed. Job well done, everyone!

The exhibition continues Thursdays to Sundays, noon-4pm, until and including December 23.

Jessica Wilkinson reads during the Weathering the Future launch, Saturday 8 December 2018.

Jessica Wilkinson reads during the launch.

Fraser Mackay reads during the launch of Weathering the Future.

Fraser Mackay reads during the launch.

Kirstyn McDermott reads during the launch of Weathering the Future.

Kirstyn McDermott reads during the launch.

Reuben Morgan plays his composition "Mother Earth" during the Weathering the Future launch.

Reuben Morgan plays his composition “Mother Earth” during the Weathering the Future launch.