Daisy Chains

If you're friends with me on facebook, you would have seen me sharing quite a bit of stuff about why the Sydney Lockout Laws are pretty darn terrible for the city. On the outside the laws say "We're making a safe space for the community" but the reality of the situation is much more complex. 

 If you don't already know, the laws stop bars/clubs/venues from letting people in after 1:30am, and stop bars/clubs/venues serving spirits after 12am and alcohol after 3am in the Sydney CBD area in an aim to curb "alcohol fueled violence". The laws were hastily thrown together after the 2012 murder of Thomas Kelly and the 2013 murder of Daniel Christie. These deaths were avoidable and tragic, but happened well before "Lockout" in their prospective years. 

Now, I would be lying if I said that the Lockout Laws haven't achieved their goal. Violence is down by about 40 percent in the CBD. But at what cost? Foot traffic is down 80 percent  (Now, I'm pretty terrible at math and can't do the equation, but that means proportionally violence has increased) Countless Bars, Pubs and Clubs are shutting down (Not even Kabab shops are safe), taking with it hundreds of jobs for both bar staff and musicians. More than this, the violence that was in the CBD has now spread to other areas in Sydney. As well as "getting rid of the violence" the lockout laws are killing the city. 

I personally am not really sure about the argument that Australians have a uniquely violent relationship with alcohol. I've read some very compelling well sourced articles either way, but lets say we do have a problem. There are other ways to fix rather than saying "no you've been bad, now nobody can have it". For instance, increased public transport with more police and more/better education at a high school level (I remember my classes about alcohol were "it's bad for you, so don't drink. Think the alcoholic equivalent of abstinence only education). The installation of a night mayor (like Amsterdam and Paris) to be responsible for making the nightlife vibrant AND safe. 

"Why are people complaining about not being able to get drunk at 4 in the morning when there are more important issues" you may ask. The answer to this very valid question is that it's not actually about getting drunk and partying. The lockout laws signalled the last straw between Gen x/y and the Baby Boomer generation. 

This article says it best, but here's a summary: the Baby Boomers who are in power have locked younger generations out of great educations, home ownership, pensions, fair welfare, and stability, but now on top of this, they have made it abundantly clear that we are not "mature" "responsible" and "moral" enough for recreation. The protests about lockout are more a reaction to our rights to being adults and using public space being chipped away until we're left with a conservative totalitarian government that rule every aspect of our lives in the name of "morality" and "safety". When we were growing up, they talked about us being "cotton wool kids". Now that we're adults, the generation is insisting of keeping this same "cotton wool attitude" for "our own good".  

As well as keeping us safe "for our own good" these laws are laced with political agenda. Did you know that in the whole "lockout area" there's a rather large space exempt from the laws. This space is in the location, and shape of the Star City Casino  as shown in that handy dandy map to your right. Other venues that have exemptions from lockout are only allowed to stay open as long as they stop selling alcohol and the only form of entertainment are poker machines. (I don't know about you, but this seems more than a little fishy, especially considering the Star City Casino has a reputation as one of the mostly violent venues

I'll finish by saying this: The politics behind lockout are extraordinarily complicated, and there's a lot of information and miss information to be had. Make sure you question your views and do your research, because the reality, and what the government wants you to think is reality are two very different kettles of fish. 

 

EDIT: If you want to join in the action to keep sydney from becoming the suburbs you can do so Here (Reclaim The Streets) and Here (Keep Sydney Open)

Comfort Greens

(As per usual) life has been a tad hectic lately. I had gigs with the Button Collective in Sydney/Canberra Thursday and Friday, then spent 6 hours on a bus to/from my rehearsal with Shapes. Sunday was a bit quieter as I went landscape painting with Dad (But, for anyone that's not done landscape painting, it requires a lot of concentration/brain power) Here's an ok photo of what I ended up painting

I've actually been doing a boat load of painting recently (particularly over the last few days - I may have been bombarding my instagram with my work :s) 

It's really odd (in a good way) to be able to fully realise the images I can see in my head. I can remember being 5 and having the ideas, but not the fine motor skills to be able to fully realise my ideas. Even throughout highschool my work was pretty hit and miss. Looking back on it, it was a combination of not using the right medium for me, not understanding the medium I was using, and not practicing enough because of the crazy amount of flute I was doing. 

I took an elective in my last year at uni which was called "introduction to 2D studies". It was a pretty non course, but provided me with a valuable epiphany. We were doing a still life on canvas using acrylics, and I kept watering mine down until they were basically behaving like watercolours. Unless it's a 3D project, I pretty much exclusively work in watercolour. 

I love the way watercolour is predictably unpredictable. You don't just put down pigment and have that be the end. You can alter block colours by adding water/pigment to make the colours run. You can revive colours that have already been applied/dried and change their drying pattern. When creating a wash, applying the pigment or the water first creates a ginormous difference. 

I've got two pallets and a couple of tubes that I use for doing the thing. The first good quality watercolours I purchased were the Windsor and Newton Cotman watercolours. Eckersleys was having a sale, and the set was dramatically reduced and came with a whole bunch of "basic" colours. The other pallet I have is full of half pans I've purchased individually (mostly Windsor and Newton, just because that's what my local art supply store stocks). I've also got 2 tubes of wet watercolour and 1 tube of Gouache. I've got a tube of Prussian blue (because it's the colour I use most) and a tube of Daniel Smith Extra fine Interference green (Because it's a sparkly semi transparent duochrome and makes highlight pop). The tube of Gouache I have is white. I use this for details, as it's opaque (white watercolour doesn't yield the same results as Gouache).

Seeing as I've been really happy with the quality of my work, I've made a society 6. I've got a few pieces there already, and have a bunch more I need to digitise/upload. If you want to see my paintings as they're produced, my instagram is where the magic happens! 

Jumper: Thrifted, Shirt: Cotton On Belt: Alannah Hill, Skort: Home Made, Socks: Gifted, Shoes: Dr Martens. 

Jumper: Thrifted, Shirt: Cotton On Belt: Alannah Hill, Skort: Home Made, Socks: Gifted, Shoes: Dr Martens. 

Hey Ho, the wicked witch is dead.

All day I've been feeling like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. It's these shoes - They're so red and shiny (and perfect) with small clicky heels. The shape, colour and height remind me of the pair from the movie. Coupled with my stockings, I could totally be the wicked witch of the east.  

I'm sure I've said this multiple times - I associate "strong independent woman" with the sound of high heels. It takes a certain amount of confidence to wear a loud shoe. You can't sneak around when your shoes make noise. Everyone knows you're coming (because they can hear you). 

As far as heel go, this pair are on the quieter side. You can definitely hear me before you see me, but the noise isn't distracting or obnoxious.  

Hand in da hair .jpg

The shirt I wore today is a new find from the thrift shop. The bodice shares the ombre of the sleeves, but is covered by my skirt here.

Little green monsters.

Success is a very messy concept. 

There are so many different types, and different levels. There's your own idea of your success, and other peoples idea of what your success should be. 

Then there's the comparisons. How is your success the same/different compared to those other people? Why are they more/less successful than you? Should you be doing things differently to reach their success. Do you even want to? 

As someone who works in a creative field, I tend to think about success a lot (because creative success usually entails getting paid a living wage of some description). I really want to be a performer, so I spend a lot of time doing things to perfect my craft. I also have a lot of creative hobbies. While I love being creative, and thinking about how I can get my art seen/ music heard, I have to be really careful to not fall down the "I'm just as good, so why is (Insert whoever here) getting more attention/getting paid properly to do what they love" rabbit hole. 

Social media makes not comparing creative success really hard. You can literally measure someone's success in numbers. What's more, you can keep rigorous track of your own numbers. Take my instagram feed for example. I'm ashamed to say, at one point I knew exactly how many followers I'd gained/lost at any particular time, and depending on which had happened, I'd either feel content or a bit sad.

I've been working recently on not comparing myself to other people, particularly creatively. It's a recipe for disaster, and usually ends up destroying my own creative output. Instead, I've been focusing on the small successes - Like having a billion gigs, and getting that new technique down.   

I've also been thinking about what I expect of myself vs what others expect of me. I know what I love to do, and it's started to defer a little from the original plan, but will (in theory) end up in the same place. 

TLDR - Comparing your level of success can be bad. TLDR 2 - Rambly blog post is rambly and disjointed. 

Rainbow Squirrels

I forgot to photograph my shoes yesterday! This is the first time in forever that I've forgotten (makes me sad yo). I probably forgot because I was distracted by trying to get my shots in focus. (I was having a lot of difficulty with that when taking these, but when I edited them, they were all in focus. Let this be a lesson. The camera viewfinder/lcd lies.) 

I've actually been having quite a bit of trouble with my eye sight recently. Everything has been ever so slightly out of focus. Not enough to make things like driving/reading/editing photo's difficult, but enough to serve as a slight annoyance, and to cause teeny tiny eyestrain headaches. 

Cardigan: Don't remember, Dress: Lady Petrova, Belt: Home Made, Socks: Old, Shoes; Dr Martens. 

Cardigan: Don't remember, Dress: Lady Petrova, Belt: Home Made, Socks: Old, Shoes; Dr Martens. 

One thing that has become increasingly difficult as my eyesight changes is focusing my camera lens. I can never get autofocus to focus properly when I'm taking outfit photos, so I focus all of my shots manually (Usually by putting my handbag where I want to stand, focusing on that, then standing it its place). Bad eyesight+manual focus makes for a frustrating time when shooting outfits. 

This is actually what I wore yesterday to my rehearsal with Shapes. After many months of none of us being in the same place at the same time, we're finally in the same place at the same time. I wore this dress because 1) it's pretty comfortable and 2) I had to drive up because I failed at alarm clocks, and I like wearing comfy dresses when I drive.

We actually had a pretty great rehearsal. We're writing some new tunes, and perfecting the older new tunes we wrote last year, as well as reviving our older pieces (which tend to end badly in a fit of giggles whilst we try to remember all the bits we forgot). 

This dress is one of the few items of clothing I bought new last year (I've not talked about it much, but I've been actively partaking in ethical fashion.) The dress was designed by Melbourne based designer Lady Petrova (who is probably my favourite Australian designer). 

It's made from the strangest material: A metallic lime green faux leather. The design of the dress itself is like origami. The top of the dress has been folded cleverly from a single piece of fabric, as has the bottom. 

Sorry if today's post has been a bit rambly. I've had a pretty full on day (I had a gig with the Button Collective, and kind of died on the train trip home). Till next time! :)