Australia Day On The Beach

Today, 26th January 2015, is Australia Day. For those who don’t know much about this historic and controversial day, read Wikipedia’a entry about it here.

For most Australians, this day means taking the family on a picnic, or firing up the BBQ by the pool at home and inviting friends and family over. It’s perhaps a little unfortunate that this day always falls during the school holidays, so there are no school excursions to historical monuments or patriotic events to commemorate the event.

Today also sees the making of thousands of new Australian citizens, at ceremonies in state capitals across the country. You can of course become a citizen at other times during the year, but many new citizens like the idea of becoming Australians on Australia Day itself.

While it’s all and good that most Aussies are taking advantage of the day (especially this year, when it falls on a Monday, and therefore makes a long weekend) by revelry, drinking and general merrymaking, we need to remember also that today is also considered by many to be a Day of Mourning.

The Indigenous People of Australia call this day “Invasion Day”, as, give or take a few weeks’ discrepancy in dates, this is the day in 1788 that the British first landed on their Aboriginal homeland and, without so much as a “Do you mind?”, invaded and took over their country in the name of the King.

Much has been written about the English invasion of Australia, which bears great similarities to what they did to the Native Americans of America. Today, some Australians are acutely aware of the injustice dealt to the original inhabitants of Australia, and the Government even has a specific term for their policy to make amends. It’s called “The Reconciliation”. You can read more about it here.

Today, The Kid and I cycled down to the Rockingham foreshore to see how the Australia Day revelry was going. The Kid wanted to go on the bumper cars ride, and I needed doughnuts ahem! photos for this blog.

So, here are said photos.

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image(Troll’d pony LOL)

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image (It was so warm, even the seagulls were out swimming)

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imageET was an Australian for the day.

Art Abandonment : Rockingham Part II

So, yesterday The Kid and I went to the Rockingham foreshore and surreptitiously left some book and card packages around for people to find.

What we hadn’t counted on was that this was the long weekend of Australia Day (26th January), and, it being Summer, the foreshore would be FULL of people. It’s a popular destination for families, there are free BBQ stations dotted around the grassy park, and toilet facilities, cafés, bistros, fast food outlets, ice cream parlours, souvenir shops etc.

It was hard trying to blend into the crowd and not call attention to ourselves, pushing our bicycles through the park and leaving packages in the crooks of trees, on park benches and under public sculptures. But we did it, and celebrated afterwards with an ice cream (a Coke float or “Spider” for me) at Baskin Robbins.

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These Maori guys found the one we left on the bench behind where they were picnicking. It’s great to see people’s faces lighting up when they find out they’ve just found a free gift. Makes MY day! Actually, I think this is one with a deck of Lenormand cards attached, so they’d have had 2 pressies for their wife/girlfriend for Australia Day.

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Here’s one we left under a dolphin sculpture at the entrance of the foreshore.

I didn’t get to photograph all the drop-offs. Although most people were oblivious to our activities, there were others who looked at us curiously. (It’s very hard to be inconspicuous when you’re pushing 2 bicycles through a park and trying to avoid running over people on the grass!). The Kid said to me a couple of times “Just Drop and Run, Mum!” And so we did. Can’t help being shy!

I was glad I was able to tweak those Lenormand cards with the uneven borders. There was no way I could’ve sold them the way they were, or even after my “borderectomy” on them. So, by giving them away instead, I hope someone else gets to enjoy them for free. Hmmm…I think I’ll get some large sized cards printed next, with inspirational sayings on them, and maybe do an Easter Art Abandonment on the Rockingham Foreshore. Yes!

Art Abandonment : Rockingham Part I

Okay, this is not strictly the abandonment of Art. My 2 printers are currently in hibernation…oh alright, they’re both being perfectly beastly and won’t print true colours but rather just reds and blues. And there’s nothing wrong with the ink cartridges or nozzles, I’ve checked. I was going to print off some of my artwork, to abandon on our foreshore, but I can’t now, as I really don’t specialise in just reds and blues.

So, instead, I’ve decided to recycle some inspirational books that I’d previously bought from our local thrift stores. Someone else can benefit from reading them now. And who knows, it just might brighten up someone’s day, to find a nice little gift on a park bench.

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I just decided to wrap each book up in brown paper, stick on an Art Abandonment label, tie it up with some twine, and Bob’s your uncle. Yes, alright, I ran out of twine halfway. ;)

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I posted about this on Facebook’s Art Abandonment page. Got quite a lot of interest and encouraging comments too. Then, as is usually the case, someone, a Mod from the Group, I think, pointed out that if I wasn’t Abandoning Art but rather books, my post would have to be removed from their wall.

I didn’t reply to that comment, as it was past midnight by then and I needed my beauty sleep. But just before I drifted off, it occurred to me that I could add some of my Lenormand cards to the packages, and that would count as Art, for the sake of conforming to the group’s requirements. I have a couple of decks where the printer’s cutter did not align properly and left uneven borders. I would perform a “borderectomy” on those cards first thing in the morning, and include them with the books.

That would then be Art Abandonment AND Random Acts of Kindness.

However, when I woke up this morning, my post had already been removed by the Mod of the group. Without even waiting for my response grrr. Maybe they’re in America and didn’t realise the vast time difference between Australia and their country?

No worries, I’ll just do the borderectomy, include the cards with my packages, take more photos, then re-post to the Art Abandonment group page.

Commencing Borderectomy…

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Ready to rock-n-roll! Tomorrow The Kid and I will cycle down to the Rockingham foreshore and leave these babies here and there, for people to find.

A new creative project: Steampunk Art

This just came in the post today, yippee!

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It’s Dover’s Steampunk Sourcebook, which I bought from The Book Depository (a great online bookseller, especially if you live in far flung places, as all their items come with Free Delivery as standard). This book comes with a CD-ROM, so I can load all the images therein onto my computer, for future reference. I’m already a fan of Dover Pictura, the division of Dover that specialises in selling royalty-free images for online download.

I’ve already amassed a collection of copyright free Steampunk images from the British Library’s archives. Add this to my arsenal, and a few other images from my collection of scrapbooking papers, and I should have the makings of a Steampunk Lenormand cards deck. Or even a Steampunk Oracle cards deck. Hmmm, I might even create some t-shirt designs or canvas art using these images. How exciting!

Here are a few photos showing the contents of the book, to whet your appetite.

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Westmoore Fine Gifts & Homewares Part I

Today’s post is about one of my favourite shops in Rockingham, Western Australia. It’s called Westmoore, and it’s on the Rockingham foreshore, nestled amongst some boutiques, a real estate agent and a Baskin Robbins ice cream parlour.

Westmoore does not have a website presence, unfortunately, however you can find them on Facebook. And here’s some information about their opening hours, location, phone number etc.

http://infoplaces.net/info/Westmoore-Fine-Gifts-and-Homeware-in-Rockingham

I like to cycle to the foreshore with The Kid. For the exercise, of course…but more for a jaunt to Westmoore to treat my eyes with visions of their fabulous wares. And for ice cream, but of course ;).

So, without further ado, here’s that eye candy I promised you all. This is window shopping at its finest. (You may wonder why I don’t just buy some of these delectable items for my own home. The reason is I don’t have much money, and also, I figure why spend money on just 1 or 2 pretty things, for them to clutter up my house and gather dust, when I could have them ALL sitting pretty at Westmoore, for me and others to enjoy any time we want. For free. Clever, huh ;)).

(Okay, I’m doing this in 2 parts as there are soooo many delicious photos I want to share with you all, and it takes ages to upload them!)

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My Brush with Fame (or rather, Infamy)!

Every kid and kidult loves Lego, right? Me too. Until I discovered just how litigious they are as a company.

Nearly 5 years ago, when I first started out in my mobile photography art career, I put up my images for sale on Print On Demand sites such as Zazzle, RedBubble, Fine Art America, Society 6 and deviantArt. Over the years, many of those sites fell by the wayside, and today I’m only active on Society 6, and even that has slowed to a trickle as I explore other areas to showcase my creative output.

With RedBubble, I had not posted up anything new for over 3 years now. Imagine my surprise today when out of the blue, I received this email from them:

We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus
As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:

the relevant content is specifically named;

the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and

they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by the content owner, its agent or the law.

If you believe that removal of the above content is the result of a mistake (for example, that you have authorization to use the relevant content from the content owner) or misidentification, you can send us a counter notice. Such counter notice must provide the following information:

an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the relevant matter;

a description of the content which we have removed, including the URL on which the content was located on the Redbubble site;

your address, telephone number, and email address;

a statement by you that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court, San Francisco County, California, United States and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification described above or an agent of such person;

a statement by you that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;

If you would like to send a counter notice please email the required information above to dmca@redbubble.com.

Please note that in some circumstances, if the work does not comply with our User Agreement and/or IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we may not be able to send your counter notice on to the complainant, rather we may inform you at the time of receipt that we cannot reinstate the work. We may also request further information from you in order to determine whether the work can be reinstated.

However, you should be aware that in most circumstances we will inform the complainant that you have provided a counter notice, as well as provide the complainant with a copy of your counter notice, which will include your personal contact information. The complainant will have 14 days to bring legal action against you in the United States. After 14 days, if they do not bring legal action and you would like your content restored to the Redbubble site, you may contact us to request that we reinstate your work. Redbubble may restore the content at that time if it otherwise complies with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Further information regarding Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy and User Agreement can be found here:

https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195

http://www.redbubble.com/agreement

Regards,

Redbubble Content Team

Because the image “Lego the Octopus” had been posted to RedBubble such a long while ago, at first I scratched my head trying to figure out WHY indeed I had named my artwork “Lego the Octopus”. I certainly would not have called it that to mislead anyone, or to gain any pecuniary advantage. I couldn’t just click on the link RedBubble had sent, as they had already removed the image from their site.

Then I remembered a family outing to Bunbury Dolphin Centre in 2011, and I also remembered their aquarium displays of fish, seahorses, starfish. And their fortune-telling octopus. WHO WAS NAMED “LEGO”. The Centre claimed that their Lego The Octopus could predict sports and talent competition outcomes as accurately as the famous Paul The Octopus with FIFA matches.

So, here is my response to RedBubble by email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to your email informing me that my image “Lego the Octopus” has been removed from RedBubble as a consequence of Lego the Company making a complaint.

Excerpt follows, for your own ease of reference:

“We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus

My response:

While I fully understand Lego the Company’s rights and desire to defend the use of its name, in my own defense, the image is of an octopus actually named “Lego”, and said octopus resides in Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre, Western Australia.

So, if Lego the Company wish to take this further, they should really be speaking to the good folks at Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre. As all I did was photograph their octopus that they had named “Lego”, and call it exactly what it is, “Lego the Octopus”. There was no malice or ill intent on my part, or any attempt to deceive or gain monetary benefit from it.

Here’s a link to where you and Lego the Company can find the real life “Lego the Octopus”. (I don’t know if that octopus is still alive and predicting soccer results, it’s been 4 years since I was at Bunbury).

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/lego-octopus-predict-australia%E2%80%99s-got-talent-winner-radio-west

I anticipate your response in due course.

Sincerely,

AlyZen Moonshadow
Mobile Photography Artist

Then I sat back and waited for a response. I received a standard acknowledgement from RedBubble within 15 minutes of sending my email.

An hour later, I received this email response from RedBubble:

Redbubble Content Team (Redbubble)
Jan 19, 16:51

Thank-you for contacting Redbubble.

As you have been made aware, Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our [IP/Publicity Rights Policy[(https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195-Redbubble-IP-Publicity-Rights-Policy), as it was specifically named in a valid Notice and Takedown report received from Lego System A/S.

We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe intellectual property or publicity rights, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

Unfortunately, we are not always privy to the reasons that complainants’ submit notice and takedown reports or the specific reasons that they find each of the specified works a violation of their rights, nor can we presume to speak on their behalf. Please understand that Redbubble is not making any judgement on the work and as we are sure you are aware, this is why the counter notice provision exists in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy. Filing a counter notice is the most effective way to contact a complainant regarding their notice and takedown report.

You can do so by following the instructions in our initial email to you, or in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Regards,
Redbubble Content Team

I’ve fired my shot. I’ve told them where I got the inspiration for the title “Lego the Octopus” from. And you know what?

I don’t care if the image has been removed from RedBubble permanently. I’m not wasting my time or energy going up against a multi-billion dollar company, for the sake of getting one image put back on a site that I don’t even frequent anymore. I won’t be filing that Counter Notice RedBubble so helpfully keeps suggesting to me. Life’s too short, and I could be spending my time better making more Art, so I will.

Some battles are won by simply not engaging in them.

Here is my last email to RedBubble:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your standard reply. I shall not be filing a Counter Notice, because I have better things to do with my time than waste it going up against the brutal might of a multi-billion dollar corporation, only to win back the right to have an image of mine on your site. Especially when I no longer frequent your site as I used to 3-4 years ago.

That is not to say that RedBubble is not a good Print On Demand site, or to question the integrity of your policies. I simply mean that I have found other sites that better suit the requirements of my creative output, and that is where I am concentrating my efforts on. Should RedBubble offer items that are not found on competing sites, I will of course use your services again.

Yours sincerely,
AlyZen Moonshadow

Meanwhile, here are 2 more images of my (in)famous “Lego The Octopus”, that I managed to find online. These are from Fine Art America, another site that I don’t use anymore. Notice the artwork isn’t even entitled “Lego the Octopus”, but if I remember correctly, the tags would’ve contained those words. I wonder how long it will be before the mighty LEGO Corporation come after those images too…

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Atelophobia

Here’s something new I learnt today…the word “Atelophobia”.

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Most, if not all of us, have at some point or other, suffered from the feeling of inadequacy. Why? Because some people like to put others down. And why do they do that? Because deep down, they hate their lives and think that by putting others down, they can feel better about themselves. That may be generalising things a little, obviously there are other underlying psychological factors behind the reasons why people make others feel inadequate, and some are affected more than others.

Well, guess what? Whatever the reason, whatever your personal story is, today is the day you stop letting them do that to you.

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, JUST AS YOU ARE.

But don’t let me be the one to tell you that. There are many others out there who, like you and me, have discovered or are discovering this secret for themselves. And have picked themselves up from off the floor, dusted themselves off, and now stand up stronger and taller than ever.

I’m not a doctor, or a scientist, or a Nobel Peace prizewinner, I am not “gainfully employed” in the traditional sense, I’m not a size zero, I’m not a Pulitzer prize winning writer, I’m not rich or famous. We can’t be all that, it’s just not possible. But guess what, that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m okay with that. I’m good enough for me.

Here are some motivational posters I’ve curated from Google Images, to reinforce this Life Lesson:

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Teacups and China

I have a fascination for colourful teacups and china. I don’t quite know why, but today I’m going to try to sum it up.

(The following photos are curated from my Pinterest board “Teacups & China”).

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Here’s why I think a stack of teacups, especially vintage ones, is so appealing:

1) it’s the mix of patterns and colours
2) it’s the shapes and their juxtaposition against each other
3) it’s eye candy and appealing on a childish, nostalgic level
4) I especially love teacups with curly, ornate handles
5) if they have gilded handles, all the more sex appeal!
6) gilt around the edges of teacups imparts a sense of luxury
7) the photography has to be just right, and capture the light and ambience
8) a tower of teacups says “Yes, let’s live dangerously and take risks, for once!”
9) they don’t even have to be stacked, to look gorgeous
10) cracked or chipped china imparts character, saying “I’m a survivor”
11) a medley of teacups from different makers and eras is like a time capsule
12) they liven up any setting and provide a topic of conversation
13) mix-n-match teacups and saucers looks bohemian and arty
14) it’s not sacrilegious in the least to place expensive, vintage teacups with cheap, funky modern ones, china isn’t picky
15) everyone should have beauty in their lives, and for me it’s wonderful to be able to choose a cup and sip from it. I’m irreverent and use mine to drink coffee from, not tea.

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I don’t stop at just teacups. I love teapots, plates, platters, soup tureens, bowls, spoons, modern, traditional, kitschy, novelty, blue and white etc. The more higgledy piggledy the arrangement, the more insouciant and exhilarating it is.

Why can’t people be like this? All different, yet complementing each other.

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Australian Aboriginal Artists : Tarisse and Sarrita King

Tarisse and Sarrita King are sisters, Tarisse was born in 1986, Sarrita in 1988. Their father was a prominent Aboriginal artist himself, William King Jungala(1966-2007).

On Tarisse King: (from Kate Owen‘s Gallery site):

Tarisse is a daughter of well-known artist, William King Jungala. An urban Aboriginal artist, she was born on September 4th 1986 in Adelaide. She moved to Darwin to live with her mother at the age of nine, but returned to Adelaide in 2003 to pursue a career in hospitality. However, living with her father she was exposed to art and her engagement with it grew. She began painting her father’s stories including his five elements, earth images and other designs, which she learned and inherited from William, and as her involvement grew she began experimenting with her own techniques and designs.

Following her father’s passing in 2007, she continues to spend much of her time in the studio, alongside her sister Sarrita, who is also an emerging artist carrying their father’s legacy.

I found Sarrita King’s Facebook page, where she provides details about her life, what inspires her to create Aboriginal Art, and a list of exhibitions. Here’s an excerpt from her profile page:

Sarrita King was born in Adelaide, South Australia on the 5th March 1988. She is the younger sister to fellow artist, Tarisse King and daughter to the late highly regarded artist, William King Jungala (1966 – 2007).

Sarrita inherits her Australian Aboriginality from her father who was part of the Gurindji tribe from the Northern Territory. The Gurindji tribe came to public attention during the 1960s and 1970s when members employed by the Wave Hill cattle station led a landmark case which became the first successful land rights claim in Australia. It is this same strong sense of self and pride that Sarrita embodies and it fuels her drive to paint her totemic landscape.

Sarrita spent most of her youth growing up in Darwin in the Northern Territory. Not far from where her ancestors inhabited, it is here that her connection to her Aboriginality and subsequently the land was able to grow. Her exposure to the imperious weather and extreme landscape has provided the theme for her works of art, since she began painting at age 16. Rolling sand hills, cracking lightning and thunderstorms, torrential rain, fire, desert and tangled bush are all scathing environmental factors that shaped her forefather’s lives and also her own. Depicting these elements in her paintings, Sarrita provides a visual articulation of the earth’s language.

Stylistically, Sarrita utilises traditional Aboriginal techniques such as ‘dotting’ but also incorporates unorthodox techniques inherited from her late father, as well as self-developed practices. Her art is a fusion of the past, present and future and represents the next generation of artists who have been influenced by both their indigenous history, and current Western upbringing. Sarrita creates frenetic energy on the canvas with her Lightning series and searing heat with her Fire series. Her aesthetic has a universal appeal and provides an entry point for people to experience the power and uniqueness of the Australian landscape and its harsh climate. On a world scale, her depictions couldn’t be more seasonable and well-timed.

Sarrita now paints in Adelaide in a shared studio with her sister. She has been included in over 20 exhibitions, is represented in galleries in every Australian state, included in many high profile Australian and international art collections and been auctioned several times successfully through Paris’ Art Curial Auction house.
Sarrita is currently taking a hiatus from her Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia to pursue her interest in digital media, specifically documentary making and focus on her art. Only at the age of 22, Sarrita King has many personal achievements but it is her desire to visually communicate her inspiration, the land, which keeps her ancestral narrative alive and provides a new way of looking back while looking forward.

I believe the information on both sisters may be out of date. Tarisse’s Facebook page indicates she is currently living in New Zealand. Whatever the case may be, the King sisters continue to collaborate on projects, as well as painting in their own distinctive styles.

Here are some examples of Tarisse King’s work: (Google Images)

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Here are some examples of Sarrita King’s work: (Google Images)

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