All the time, and not enough money.

There is an a conflict in the adult world that no one seems to warn you of before you decide to grow up and become one of these contributing members of society. That is; you need a job so you have money to buy food, clothes, travel and other fun things (as well as the not so fun things like bills and rent, but your adult job will sort that right out.)

The problem then is; where do you find the time? Surely I can’t be pouring this much of my golden years into ensuring I have the means to live when I only have the few hours after work or one day a weekend to do it Continue reading

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Egyptian City Lights

Do you want to see the real Egypt? he asked. Meet me back here tonight and I will show you…

I’d seen enough movies to know that wasn’t a good idea. I knew we were just two young women in a strange city, in a foreign country. We didn’t know the culture, we didn’t know where was safe or who to trust. Continue reading

Rice Mag Issue 5: Salsa y Queso

Issue 5: Salsa y Queso

Sometimes I just dont tell peole what is going on in our country, on the streets we grew up on and to the people we know,” she says, eyes forward, no hint of pain in her voice.

“We have already cried so much and experienced such devestation and fear, but as the government controlls most of the news, we feel as if most of the world just doesn’t know the full story.”

I had asked her of her family living in Venezuela, where civil unrest has seen citizens shot at point blank while they protest for change.

“I can’t tell you of the violence, because I can’t bear to watch the videos sent to me by my friends and family still there, but I can tell you of the terror.”

 

Continue reading

Rice Mag Issue 3: Get Naked

Issue 3: Get Naked

It doesn’t have to be right now, it can be later, when you are at home alone or in your office with the door closed, maybe the bathroom at the gym- anywhere you feel comfortable and preferably won’t get arrested. There, in your very own space, with your very own lovely company, take a moment to slip into your birthday suit.

Feels good doesn’t it? I wonder if you recognise the person in the mirror? (That is given that you aren’t just staring at a total stranger while in the gym bathroom, come on now, let’s not be creepy.) No, I mean your own reflection.

The truth is, we take such pains to conceal our naked truths, hiding under a carefully constructed suit of self creation to morph into who we tell ourselves we are, and who we
want to be seen as.

Continue reading

Abandoned Spaces Re-birthed

“I’m not about defacing property,” he said, “I’d never paste or sticker a school or hospital or anything, you know. But if it’s a run down, derelict or abandoned place then to me it just feels like a blank canvas, and we are giving it a new purpose, a new lease on life. It’s all about rebirth.”

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These empty halls are waiting. Breath baited, like my own. Broken glass crunches beneath my shoes and echoes through the empty concrete shell that once bustled with life. We stop and listen, of course the walls still have ears. But now green fingers reach from the garden beds to caress the walls and windows and the halls are lined with a different kind of life. Echoes and stories left by the skilled hands of artists, rarely seen in the moment of creation but forever inked to the mortar they cover.

“To me, it’s about finding new spaces and interpreting them. The space finds me.”

I am trailing Brisbane street artist Skullcapper as he scopes out new spaces for his work to reside. As he told me, it’s not about defacing public property… it’s the opposite. It’s about expression and bringing a life and spirit to an area that was left to the wolves.

“I like to use non-traditional spaces, I guess that’s one of the reasons street art appeals to me,”he says, bucket and backpack in hand.

“For most of the bigger works, it’s the location, size and features will determine the scope and design of the piece itself.”

IMG_1744 copy2 copyWe stare at the walls, already laced with works and images of artists who have seen the promise of the abandoned place as a blank canvas. Enormous works of art, detailed and engaging, coat the walls both inside and out. A kaleidoscope of design and creation covers nearly every inch of the space, arguably one of the city’s most extensive art collections standing free for all to enjoy.

But why here?

“I’d rather create a really great paste up or design and put it up on a wall somewhere that hundreds of people will see each day, than confine my work to the walls of a gallery,” Skullcap says, as he heads upstairs, engulfed by a collage of paint, stickers and paset-ups.

“You clearly respect the work of other street artists, do you collaborate often?” I ask, watching as he prepares the bucket of gluey mixture.

“I try not to, there are a lot of politics involved in Street Art, it’s like highschool. There’s a lot of egotistical bullshit.”

“I mean nothing is really original anymore, we are all just creating used ideas in a fresh way, it’s bound to overlap here and there.”

I suppose. We all have something to say, sometimes it’s the same thing, but that doesn’t mean it is less important. That’s it really. It’s about acceptance, diversity, creativity and making your own in this life and city that we call home. Without these people and their words, ideas, actions and opinions this would be nothing but a concrete shell. We the people are the paint and creativity that brings this city to life, as these artists breathe life into this abandoned places.

Each person adds another layer, another voice and spice to this place, the life of this city. Street art is an art for everyone, a relationship with the structures that house our days. A mark of respect, objection, love, fun or just to say I was Here.

 

“This is what I see myself doing for the rest of my life,” he says to me with a smile,

“it’s what gets me out of bed.”
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**Full album here.

No Longer a Place to Call Home

“Sometimes I just don’t tell people what is going on in our country, on the streets we grew up on and to the people we know,” she says, eyes forward with no hint of pain in her voice. “We have already cried so much and experienced such devastation and fear, but as the government controls most of the news, we feel as if most of the world just doesn’t know the full story.” Ok then, let’s hear it. Continue reading

Culture, Tradition & Traffic Jams

There he sits on the crumbling steps of a temple, its tiered roof offering shade from the midday sun. With arms folded across his lap, he watches the traffic racing by, stirring a cloud of dust around his shoulders.

The crinkles around his eyes deepen as he squints through the dust and sunlight, as his eyes meet mine his face cracks into a wide smile and his hands raise to make Namaste. Returning the gesture, I follow his gaze to the square opposite, where make shift tents, colourful flags and decorations have been erected to border the river of people weaving their way through. Continue reading

Holy men

Nepalese Holy Men abide within the walls of Pashuputinath Temple in Kathmandu. They ask for money for food and tobacco. He has devoted his life to the quest for spiritual enlightenment, forgoing a career, home, education… a ‘normal life’ to seek enlightenment so that we do not have to.

That is what I’m told. Continue reading

The Merchants of Thamel

I’m tripping through the streets of Thamel, doe eyed and foggy, with the sights and sounds of Nepal’s capital closing in. At least we are moving, that’s important right now. We need to keep moving because the ground feels like it’s getting away on us.

I’m surrounded by lights poking holes in the thick dust that chokes the streets. The dust creeps in through your mouth and fills you up, sliding beneath your skin.

Bump. Marijuana?… Continue reading

Kicking Up Dust

After the first performance, we couldn’t get them to stop! If they were moving, they were dancing. The campsites would fill with dust as the children practised their ‘shake a leg’, dodging smacks and yells from the adults who were opposed to having dust in their tents and cooking. At night our tent cities would come alive with campfires, fluro lights and the smell of food cooking.

“This is how we do it,” Aunty Nandy would tell me, teaching me to make island scones or cook enough rice and yam for a horde of hungry dancers. Continue reading