Red Sofa shortlisted

Photograph: Red Sofa by 'Pong

’Pong’s photograph Red Sofa (right) has been shortlisted for the Marrickville Contemporary Art Prize 2007.

The Award Presentation and Launch is tonight at At The Vanishing Point gallery, 565 King Street, Newtown from 6pm to 9pm.

However the exhibition is spread across two galleries, with the rest the works on display at the Don’t Look Experimental Art Gallery, 419 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill. That half is launched tomorrow night from 6pm.

Sadly ’Pong won’t be able to make the award presentation tonight, though I’ll try to be there. However we’ll both be at tomorrow’s launch in Dulwich Hill. Join us?

The exhibition runs at both galleries until 23 September.

Silly Newtown Kiddie-Socialists

Yesterday the Snarky Platypus and I passed the usual gaggle of socialists set up outside the Dendy Cinema on King Street, Newtown. “Sign the petition. Release Dr Haneef,” they cried.

Oh dear. Silly, silly people…

Now you must understand that I’m not playing that right-wing commentators’ game of always prefacing “left” or “socialist” with “loony” or “silly”. That’s just name-calling and a very old propaganda technique indeed. That’s why I think Christian Kerr should grow up and stop using it in Crikey — calling his publication’s commentors shrubhuggers and Stalinists really is childish. After all, would we take a left-wing commentator seriously if they always referred to people anywhere to the right of themselves as Nazis or Fascists?

No, I’m calling these people “silly” because collecting signatures on a petition to release Dr Haneef is politically stupid and a waste of time.

  • What happens to petitions to Parliament? Nothing, really. A functionary announces that a petition on [insert title] has been received with [insert number] of signatures. And then it’s filed away. In nearly every case, that’s the end of the story.
  • The next sitting of federal parliament doesn’t even start until 7 August. It’ll be at least 10 days until your petition is tabled. If you really cared about Dr Haneef being in a cell, how about trying something quicker?
  • The government really doesn’t care what people in Newtown think, because it’s the left-wing heartland. “Good heavens,” John Howard quakes, “folks in Newtown don’t like what we’re doing! We’d better change tack immediately!” Erm, no. Now if you collected signatures in Penrith or Ryde or Parramatta or some other marginal Liberal electorate then maybe they’d care — but I’m guessing that doesn’t have the same appeal as spending a sunny afternoon with your mates on King Street, eh?

But my fourth point is the crunch…

  • Dr Haneef had already been released the previous night, charges dropped! While the Newtown socialists were collecting signatures calling for his release, Dr Haneef was already at home watching TV with family and friends.

Gawd, people! If you’re going to play politics, at least try to stay in touch. Perhaps even use that Internet thing!

Pub plant at dusk

Photograph of palm at Coopers Hotel, King Street, Newtown

As I sat drinking red wine and discussing politics with the Snarky Platypus yesterday, the lighting on this plant at the Coopers Hotel, King Street, Newtown, caught my eye. Anyone know what it’s called?

Suwannakorn at Europe Grill


’Pong says:

For the first time, my works are exposed in Australia. It is Walking the Street 06, an annual community event organised by Inner West Cultural Service. I am one of the selected artists who have their artworks installed in shop fronts along King Street South, which is from Newtown Station to Sydney Park. King Street, Newtown is one of the coolest shopping streets in Australia. In the event, the street is even more colourful with artworks from diverse artists. And it’s free!

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