Author Archives: Kerrie Pacholli


By Roberto Chuter

Its was in October 2014, I recall, at band promoter Dolores San Miguel’s book launch upstairs in Melbourne’s Athenaeum Library on Collins Street when I noticed a male figure completely clad in all black. He was grasping a beautiful wooden and brass-headed walking stick. Perched on a chair at the end of some stacked library shelves with his friend the artist Emily Humphries who was sitting on the arm of the chair close to him. It was almost a romantic, period image bathed in a golden haze.  Their position looked like something out of a Regency masterpiece. I was enamoured with a splash of curiosity. This was my first introduction to the founding member of the Australian punk rock band JAB and pioneer of synthpop. In the late seventies and the start of the 80s, Wednesday eagerly produced a host of highly creative and affecting music. The famous writing technique of the Beat novelist/drug addict William S. Burroughs’ “cut up technique” inspired Wednesday who played around with tape manipulation and synthesiser experimentation.

Flashback to Adelaide in 1976 Wednesday met the UK born former punk rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, Bohdan Roman Kubiakowski better known as Bodhan X busking in an Adelaide mall. Wednesday enquired about what he was doing with the music. “I’m going to be a superstar. People are just like sheep, they will follow.,” Bodham replied. Wednesday was most impressed and suggested forming some sort of band together.

So, in August, the both of them and Janis Friedenfelds also known as Johnny Crash (later of post punk band “Sacred Cowboys” fame) as drummer and vocalist, they relocated to Melbourne renaming themselves “JAB” formed out of their first initials Apparently, their first show was at St. Kilda’s legendary Seaview Ballroom (Crystal Ballroom) – the first ever gig played at the venue. With Bodham left, the band morphed into the short lived rock band ‘Models’ with singer, guitarist and songwriter Sean Kelly joining the lineup.

Wednesday, was a respected musician who became famous for his distinct versions of Uriah Heap’s “July Morning” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Over the intervening years, he continued to experiment with music and live performance, releasing occasional singles and then spending 1992 in Germany playing with the flamboyant actress/singer best known for her theatrical vocals – Nina Hagen. Wednesday also pre-produced and programmed her 1995 album, “Bee Happy”.

1997 saw Wednesday included as a touring member, completing several worldwide tours with avant-garde/experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten and on many other recordings from their 2004 “Perpetuum Mobile” Tour”. He returned to Australia in 2013, settling in Melbourne continuing his working with many other bands.

In 2013 he was to perform his brilliant solo performance “The Ash Wednesday Effect”, a spontaneously performed audio-visual experience, in which improvised soundscapes triggered entrancing visualisation, which were in turn projected onto the physical form of Wednesday himself. The performances at North Melbourne’s Club Voltaire were continuous three hour compositions, throughout which audiences were free to come and leave as they wished.

This year, after battling a debilitating illness, Wednesday returned with a performance entitled “AfterMATH” which was three new striking and unique works combining electronics with the famous Melbourne Town Hall Organ. The audiences responses ranged from “spooky” to “evocative”, from “majestic” to “spectacular”.

I have managed to catch up with Wednesday numerous times over recent years – sometimes at a soiree, or a launch or the impromptu visit to him. Recently, I was curious about Wednesday’s life and himself, and so I fed my curiosity eagerly and asked:

What did you do before you became a composer/musician?

Listened to a great deal of music. Radio and records. I grew up with the British beat of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Small Faces, etc. I fell asleep with a transistor radio under my pillow. A little later I discovered the white man blues, the electric sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Bluesbreakers for example. I was able to trace this thread to Delta and Chicago blues and discovered the essence of contemporary American music in the process.

How did you become a composer/musician?

It was inevitable that I was going to play. Bass guitar looked easy because it only had 4 strings (lol). I had a few lessons which were awkward and unproductive. Learning to read music bored me. I wanted to play not study. An ‘undergroundʼ tutor showed me how to play a 12 bar blues and I was in! I could work out everything from there. I played a lot to records and then with longhaired friends. Practiced scales for countless hours. Became dexterous with the instrument. Taught myself what I needed to know AS I needed to know it. Oh yeah, I had dropped out of school by this time. The stage was set… I later dislodged convention further when I ‘gave upʼ being a musician as such and began experimenting with a reel to reel tape recorder and whatever stage sounds I could conjure up, through whatever means. An analog synthesizer was in the pipeline.

Why do you do the work that you do?

Because Iʼm being true to myself. I have lived in a timeframe where I could find a way around convention. A luxury of sorts. Retrospectively one that I was obliged to pursue.

Which people or what inspires you to work in music?

Some of the people that I have worked with have been an inspiration to me. Initially my dear and departed friend Johnny Crash (the J in the ‘punkʼ group JAB). Apart from being a tremendous drummer, he possessed a synthesiser before I did. He would delight in turning it up really LOUD and creating the wildest sounds youʼve ever heard while laughing his head off. We had so much fun together. Hours and hours of it.

On another tack completely, the individual members of Einstuerzende Neubauten are intriguing characters. The sum of the components (the group) is greater than that of the individual constituents of course. Just being in a rehearsal room with those guys was a privileged experience. Not all of the time, but some of the time an artist or particularly a group of artists are able to produce a form of unique, reciprocal magic with an audience. One which is uplifting for all concerned. This is why we do it I believe, having experienced this ‘entrainmentʼ from both sides.

You have suffered a number of personal setbacks. Do you think these are explored subconsciously in your work?

Not so much. I have enjoyed playing an improvised solo or two with my left hand rather than my right. Naivety in motion.

What do you think have been some of the negatives in your work?

Hmmm…. Models breakup. Apart from that maybe chopping and changing too much for people to follow.

Whatʼs been some of the positives in your work do you think?

Both of the above! Oh no really I would say staying true to ‘a path with a heartʼ. I have always possessed instinctive, unquestionable self-belief.

Whatʼs been your favourite achievements up to this point?

1991: Commercial radio being forced to play Crashlandʼs Boom Boom, a demonic reworking of a John Lee Hooker standard. Released on Regular Records, it was recorded at Sing Sing studio for a sum total of $100 and was way outside standardised quality control for ‘thoseʼ sorts of radio stations. The kids just loved it and voted into the ʼTop Eight at Eightʼ. Kiss No. 1 Crashland No. 2 Aerosmith No.3 ha! 2004: Playing a concert in the former headquarters of the GDR in Berlin with Neubauten. By that stage it was a huge cavernous structure. Two floors of concrete and iron with a 10 second reverb time. Best to listen outside as the building itself became the instrument that we were playing

What are you currently working on?

Having fun with a diminished sense of responsibility.

If you couldnʼt do this anymore, what career path do you think you would have followed Ash?

Thatʼs hard to say. It is only retrospectively that I see a career path. I didnʼt think in those terms.Okay getting back to Boom Boom in 1991. I awoke in a pitch-black room. Through no fault of my own it happened to be my birthday. All I could hear was the radio.The announcer on 3RRR was phone interviewing John Lee Hooker – the man himself. He must have been close on 90 years old. At one point in the interview the announcer proclaimed something like “local band Crashland have been high on our playlist for the past year or so with their reworking of one of your tunes, Boom Boom.” And then she naively asked: “Have you heard it?” JLH of course had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about…. more than a few moments silence… and then he stumbled on the sentence: “‘Err… I wish them all the best!” So… I had awoken from a dream into the real world, where before I had a chance to think the legend was wishing me all the best on my birthday. Ha!

Ash Wednesday is still wonderfully creative and prolific. A ground-breaking pioneer, an icon of Aussie music and an accomplished musician that is as inspirational as ever. We are most lucky to enjoy his unique talents.


BIG Sculpture @ Veg Out opening

2nd November – 2 December

by Open Media

There was a whole lot a BIG smiles and BIG love flowing at the official opening of the inaugural BIG Sculpture @ Veg Out competition on the 10 November 2019.

Co-curators’ Adrian Spurr, Mariella Del Conte and Rob Taylor and their team of volunteers have worked for the last eight months scrupulously tending to every detail and polishing every leaf at the magnificent Veg Out gardens in the lead up to this most presitigious art happening.

Curator Adrian Spurr © Pation Pics_1554

Co-curator and MC Adrian Spurr

Co-curators Rob Taylor and Mariella Del Conte © Pation Pics_1491

Co-curators’ Rob Taylor and Mariella Del Conte

There were 40 entrants bidding for a position with 19 of Melbourne’s finest sculptors’ works selected, currently on display and available for purchase.

Local dignitaries in the Honorable Martin Foley Minister for Creative Industries, Judith Jackson (Aunty Jacko), Port Phillip Mayor Dick Gross, Counsellor Andrew Bond along with the three Judges in Max Delany Artistic director and CEO of Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Cameron Macindoe from Fundere Fine Art Foundry and the Espy’s Matt Mullins joined forces to select, announce and present the prize pool to the winners.

Judith Jackson 'Aunty Jacko' © Pation Pics_1524

Judith Jackson ‘Aunty Jacko’ with Welcome to Country.

The Grand ‘BIG Sculpture @ Veg Out’ prize of $5,000 was awarded to Mark Stoner for his 2019 stone piece ‘Geolife-1’ .

Mark Stoner & Martin Foley © Pation Pics_1621

Grand BIG Sculpture winner Mark Stoner & Martin Foley

Grand BIG Sculpture winner Mark Stoner with Martin Foley & Max Delany © Pation Pics_1625

Grand BIG Sculpture winner Mark Stoner with Martin Foley & Max Delany

The Fundere Fine Art Foundry award of $2,500 went to Salvatori Lolicato for his 2019 ceramic piece ‘Metamorphosis’.

Cameron Macindoe & Salvatori Lolicato © Pation Pics_1638

Cameron Macindoe awarding Salvatori Lolicato.

The Espy prize of $2,000 was awarded to Craig MacDonald for his 2017 piece ‘She Spins’.

Matt Mullins & Helen Addison-Smith © Pation Pics_1660

Matt Mullins and Helen Addison-Smith accepting on behalf of Craig MacDonald.

Coming Through – Irinushka at the Butterfly Club

Review by Marian Webb

Irina Kuzminsky is a phenomenon, extraordinarily gifted in dance, music and language.  Coming Through, her one-woman performance, is a synthesis of those gifts and a continues the unfoldment of a favoured theme, the Dark Goddess.  Poetry, song and elements of classical ballet combine to form multi-dimensional hymns.

Irina – or Irinushka as she is known on stage – as a classical artist in the sense that she has perfected classical forms that come to us from the nineteenth century and beyond, to the likes of Leonora Orsini (1560-1634).  So many riches build a highly stylized drama, that at times relaxes into a refreshing naturalism, as when Irinushka puts on her pointe shoes, taking time to tie the glossy ribbons.  Performer participates in the narrative, the plot of which is to give fresh form to centuries-old traditions of vocal, physical and literary expression.

Coming Through is out-of-the-ordinary performance art and runs until Saturday 26 October at the Butterfly Club.

BIG Sculpture at Veg Out

Promotion produced by Open Media

The inaugural BIG Sculpture at Veg Out competition will be kicking off on the 2 November and running till the 1 December.

To be opened by Minister Martin Foley and Judged by Max Delany Artistic Director and CEO of ACCA.

19 BIG Sculptures on show: 2nd Nov – 1st Dec open 7 days a week. Open Day Sun 24th Nov. curated by Mariella Del Conte, Adrian Spurr and Rob Taylor OAM .


A Normal Child at Darebin Arts Speakeasy, Northcote Town Hall

Images & text by Kerrie Pacholli and Simon Barnett

A Normal Child, presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy, is a multi-layered and at times darkly comedic play within a play, within a play. 

This extraordinary collaborative script has been workshopped over a four year period by the Disability Slapstick Plan, an ensemble of four Melbourne artists with different physical disabilities. along with co creators and Artistic Directors of Ridiculusmus, David Woods andJonathan Haynes. 

The finely tuned dynamics and shifting senerios within the play are captivating, hard hitting, confronting and awaken resonating awareness of how our differences set us apart yet join us together at the same time. 

A Normal Child is a captivating and epic narrative of vast and imperfect comedic proportions that navigates the intricacies of disability representation in a daring, funny, and complex work where there is a new normal.

Anton Rivette, Jonathan Haynes, Trevor Dunn and Betty Bobbitt

Cast member Eva Sifis

Eva Sifis

“Once upon a time I was a dancer working across Australia and performing cabaret shows in Japan,” said Eva Sifis. “When I sustained a serious Acquired Brain Injury in 1999 due to being hit by a car, that life ended.” After being in a coma, Eva’s new life began with learning to walk and talk again. She also had to relate with the world and most importantly, deal with a new Eva.

Eva applied herself to recovery; physically, mentally and spiritually with great dedication through a very difficult period. “My physical needs were attended to very effectively within the system, however, I experienced a gap when it came to re-joining society.”

Eva’s journey since then wasn’t easy because in 2009, she had to battle advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which was a huge challenge but it didn’t hold her back. It gave her a chance to re-evaluate her life.

Lately Eva’s focus has shifted to that of advocacy and she has taken on a role at Arts Access Victoria coordinating their Scholarship programs. After gaining a training role with Women with Disabilities Victoria, she educates sector workers on the issue of violence against women with disabilities.

Living in St Kilda, Eva enjoys acting in community theatre, “I enjoyed a solo return to the stage at Carlton’s La Mama Theatre. My autobiographical story was developed using movement theatre. ‘Embryonic Zombie Butterfly’ played to packed houses.”

After Eva gained the Ethel Temby Scholarship, she developed “By Accident™” which is a training business. “Multiple tools have been used to assist my progression and, having interviewed many others with an Acquired Brain Injury, their stories contributed to its formation.”

– David Woods, Jonathan Haynes, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans, Trevor Dunn, Eva Sifis, Betty Bobbitt, Jax Jacki Brown
Performed by – Anton Rivette, Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Brian Lipson, David Woods, Jonathan Haynes, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans, Trevor Dunn, Eva Sifis, and Betty Bobbitt
Facilitated by – David Woods and Jonathan Haynes (Ridiculusmus)
Dramaturg – Anton Rivette
Assistant facilitator – Kerith Manderson-Galvin
Sound Design – Marco Cher-Gibard
Lighting Design – Richard Vabre
Set and Costume Design – Matilda Woodroofe
Dresser – Wendy Woo
Production Manager – Kirsty Baird
Producer – Erin Milne, Bureau of Works
Development collaborators – Kate Hood and Loki Rickus

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, the Besen Family Foundation and City of Darebin. Developed with the support of the City of Yarra, Malthouse Theatre, Playwriting Australia and Arts Access Victoria.

A sophisticated and uniquely inspiring experience not to be missed.


Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, Main Hall

189 High St, Northcote


Approx 75min, no interval


Preview $25

Full $34

Concession $28 (Must hold a valid Student or Health Care Card)


Tuesday, 22 October – Saturday, 2 November

No shows Monday and Thursday

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 8pm

Sunday 6pm

Tuesday, 22 October – Preview

Wednesday, 23 October – Opening

Friday, 25 October – Auslan Interpreted Performance 

Wednesday, 30 October – Relaxed Performance 

Friday, 1 November – Audio Description

Psychic medium John Edward Podcast interview with Open Media

A never before published exclusive, intimate and very insightful interview with psychic medium John Edward produced by Open Media as a prelude to his 2019 appearances at the Alex Theatre on 25, 26 & 27 October, 25 & 30 November and 1 December.

The Evening will begin with Q & A, John will then connect with the other side delivering messages to the audience from loved ones who have crossed over.

VIP ticket holders get seats closest to the stage, they stay for a special Q & A and then meet and greet with a photo of them and John. In addition to that, they will receive a one-year membership to Evolve. (No welcome package is included)

To find out more about John Edwards visit

Produced by Open Media
Interview by Lucy Gale
Sound by Alexander Stuart Black
Original music ‘Psychic Kiss’ by David Morris
Special thanks to John Edward and Dianna O’Neill Publicity

Bookings by Ticketek

Coming Through: a one woman show at The Butterfly Club


Coming Throughis a journey, a journey through loss and grief – and of coming through – into the light –

A one woman poetry and dance fusion show written and choreographed by Irina Kuzminsky (aka Irinushka) to her own original musical settings of her poetry, this is a piece of classical performance art, integrating dance movement and sung and spoken word.

Coming Through builds on her first one woman show, Dancing with Dark Goddesses, itself triggered by the publication of Irina’s first poetry collection by Awen in the UK, and seen in the UK, NY, Germany and here in Melbourne.

Drawing on all her skills and training Irina is continuing in a very real way the work begun in her doctoral thesis at Oxford on the ‘language of women’, as she embodies the space that poetic language open up and allows the words to dance. The ‘language of women’ has increasingly become her life’s work – from rediscovering the women of the past and giving them a new voice, to writing and creating her own art as a woman seeking her voice.

Much of her artistic expression has also become fully entangled with a developing sense of women’s spirituality and of the sacred feminine. Her current work, bringing words, voice, music and dance together, is part of that, creating a sense of feminine ritual and sacred space through a woman’s telling of her experience of life and of the sacred.

Irinushka is Irina Kuzminsky, a multi-talented artist who combines classical music and dance training with an academic background with degrees from Melbourne and a scholarship to Oxford. Her performances in Australia and overseas run the gamut from recitals and multidisciplinary work to dance and dance theatre. She has had several poetry collections published (most recently Artists and Lovers by Coventry Press 2018), and had her work included in two international anthologies, alongside articles, reviews and poems in publications such as the Esoteric Quarterly, Dance Australia, Acumen and others. She has written recently on Kali the Dark Goddess and on Mary Magdalene, both subjects she is passionate about.

Irinushka’s work with performing her poetry has led to the release of three albums of her poems set to music, with Roads Travelled attracting favourable reviews and reaching #46 on the Zone Music Reporter charts for New Age music.

Irina is excited and grateful to be able to present this next step in the development of her work in a world premiere of Coming Through at The Butterfly Club. The journey of the work has become her own journey. Her hope is to weave darkness and light together, as she weaves words, song, dance and music into one to lead both performer and audience through, and into the light.

Coming Through opens on October 21 and runs for 5 performances.

Bookings are recommended.

“Irina is absolutely a voice for our time, a voice in which the feminine is exquisitely and burningly present in rage, depth, eroticism and tenderness.”– Jay Ramsay, poet, editor, founder of Angels of Fire Collective in London

“A performance of complete commitment, passion and technical brilliance”– Bard on a Bike

“Irina Kuzminsky brought drama and lyricism together … proving yet again how much her gift has to offer.”– Zweibrücker Rundschau

“vibrant, mesmerizing and emotive”

Show Details: Coming Through

Dates: October 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26

Time: 7pm

Cost: $25-32

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne


Ludovico Einaudi at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, 25 January 2020

Acclaimed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi will perform his extraordinary new work, Seven Days Walking, at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 25 January, 2020 as part of a national tour. This will be Einaudi’s first ever outdoor performance in Australia and in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl’s 60th anniversary year.

Seven Days Walking is a collection of seven albums released across seven months in 2019, all inspired by Einaudi’s winter walks through the Alps. The Italian maestro, joined by Redi Hasa on cello and Federico Mecozzi on violin and viola, takes audiences on a stroll with him and focuses on several main themes, which then recur in different forms on the albums – seven variations following the same imaginary itinerary. Or the same itinerary, retraced at seven different times.

“I remember that in January 2018 I often went for long walks in the mountains, always following more or less the same trail. It snowed heavily, and my thoughts roamed free inside the storm, where all shapes, stripped bare by the cold, lost their contours and colours. Perhaps that feeling of extreme essence was the origin of this album,’’ says Einaudi.

He said the idea for the Seven Days Walking project structure came to him as he was listening to the recordings of the first sessions.

“Each version seemed to me to have its own personality, with subtleties so distinct from one another that I was unable to choose which I preferred. I associated everything with walking, with the experience of following the same routes over and over, discovering new details each time,’’ says Einaudi.  

“And so in the end I decided to thread them all together in a sort of musical labyrinth, a little like stepping inside the twists and turns of the creative process, to understand how a musical idea can develop in multiple directions, and changing once again at the moment in which it is heard.”  

Einaudi, famed for his cinematic music and immersive experiences,  returns to Australia following sell-out seasons in the UK and Europe, with a live show and repertoire regarded as “a grandiose hymn to nature and to the creative wandering of the mind which it facilitates” (The Upcoming UK) and “lovely, languorous and mesmeric” (The Telegraph).

An artist never shy to break new ground, in 2013 Ludovico Einaudi became the first classical artist to sell more digital downloads than physical copies in the UK and in 2015 he became the first classical composer to have reached the top 15 in the UK album charts in over 23 years.

One of his many career highlights came in 2016, when partnering with Greenpeace to raise awareness around the Arctic crisis, Einaudi performed on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean, against the backdrop of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier (in Svalbard, Norway). The video of the performance has been viewed more than 11 million times.

He has regularly performed to audiences in extraordinary outdoor arenas including the 22,000 seat Waldbuhne Berlin, the 14,000 seat Verona Arena and the Roman Caracalla Baths.

Arts Centre Melbourne and Arts Projects Australia presents
Ludovico Einaudi
Seven Days Walking

25 January, 2020
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Arts Centre Melbourne
Bookings at or 1300 182 183

Bill Callahan at Hamer Hall, 4 March 2020.

Singer-songwriter and former Smog frontman Bill Callahan and his four-piece band return to Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on 4 March, 2020 with songs from his profound new album Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest.

Recording under the names Smog and Bill Callahan, he has produced 16 albums with Chicago indie label Drag City and garnered an impressive cult following. His 2013 release Dream River was critically acclaimed, cementing his already solid reputation as a brilliant songwriter and singer.

Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest, his first record since 2013, continues his accomplished music career with 20 songs that trace different life lines. Major life changes including marriage and the birth of his child have informed the shape of this new album as well as the experience of suddenly finding it harder to find the place that his songs came from.

His songs have always been elusive, landing lightly between character study and autobiography. Characterised by his rich baritone voice, deadpan delivery, and dry observations, Callahan’s music is beautifully intense, understated and profound. But this was more than that. While sorting it all out, he worked on songs every day – which meant that for a while, there were lots of days simply confronting the void, as he measured this new life against the one he’d previously known.

Moving gradually from reflections upon the old days in ‘Ballad of The Hulk’ and ‘Young Icarus’ to the immediacy of the present moment in ‘Watching Me Get Married’ and ‘Son of the Sea’, Callahan traces the different life lines, casually unwinding knotty contradictions and ambiguities with an arresting stillness.

Callahan was last in Australia in 2017 with his guitarist Matt Kinsey for Vivid Festival and an exclusive residency at Melbourne venue, Howler. These intimate shows were a stark contrast to the grandeur of his 2015 visit with Australian performances at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall and Sydney Opera House’s Concert Hall.

Callahan will be supported by special guest Xylouris White, with Georgios Xylouris on Cretan laouto and vocals and Jim White on drum kit. Xylouris has been playing professionally since he was 12-years-old. White is an Australian drummer known for his music in the Dirty Three, Venom P Stinger and now Xylouris White. For the last four years the two men have been performing as Xylouris White, the culmination of 25 years of friendship forged through music and place.

Arts Centre Melbourne presents 
Bill Callahan
Special guest Xylouris White 
4 March, 2020
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
Bookings at or 1300 182 183

The Art & Soul of it

Painting by Richard Morrison

Painting by Richard Morrison with Jim Lee

Text & images by Kerrie Pacholli

St Kilda, considered the jewel of Port Phillip, has always been synonymous with multi-layered cultures, music, theatre, art and artists.

However, along the way St Kilda lost its ability to attract and nurture its rising creatives.

St Kilda was cleaned up. Became gentrified.  The toilet block at the well known indigenous meeting place ‘Koori Park’ was torn down and the the tribe was forced to scatter. Property prices skyrocketed and financial and property investors reigned supreme.  The local council became one of the richest in Melbourne and the well-to-do believed they held the key to St Kilda’s rising prosperity and glory.

Today when one takes a stroll down the sunset side of Fitzroy Street you got to wonder WTF happened?  Bucket loads of taxpayer’s money has been spent on road infrastructure to accommodate the projected masses flooding into St Kilda as a result of the clean up and  gentrification and yes parking, car manoeuvrability  and business has been severely impeded.

Regardless of its unique and beautiful seascape, St Kilda has became known as a bi-law trap, whether on the roads or in the venues where noise is policed to what many consider unreasonable and unrealistic proportions.  Without doubt many performing artists and the businesses that accommodated them have little reason to feel confident in being facilitated to reach full potential.

Singer / songwriter Lisa Wood

Singer / songwriter Lisa Wood part of “Tribute to Women” at St Luja 

A number of years ago local creatives with countercultural persuasions, living and working in St Kilda, started to look at ways to do their bit to save St Kilda’s diverse cultural expression and keep the streets alive and pumping. These guys were not property owners, nor did they have ties to local council or government. They battled along with their personal desires, inspirations and imaginations.  Eventually a move was made to activate their collective visions and The St Kilda Arts Community was formed.

Espy 2017 St Kilda Comedy Club was reborn

Espy and the St Kilda Comedy Club was reborn. Cj Fortuna, Andrew Goodone, Brad Oakes & Dave O’Neil.

Its founding members were remaining creatives working in isolated pockets throughout St Kilda who came together for the greater good. A new collective movement was ignited and the first St Kilda Art Crawl  happened, followed by two more.

The Victorian Minister for the Arts was approached by representatives of this newly formed Arts Community and unquestioningly acknowledged the need and potential on offer and gave his official thumbs up. Local council also followed suit with some practical and moral support.  The Alex Theatre and the not yet refurbished Espy opened its doors and rallied with moral and practical support, Slowly the local business owners, who were somewhat fiscally strained, started to take note although at first non-committal and wary. Many local artists and galleries on the other hand were given renewed enthusiasm, sensing the energy shift and the potential that comes with it.

Simon Barnett, Martin Foley & Mick Pacholli

Simon Barnett, Martin Foley & Mick Pacholli 

A collective vibe throughout the arts community started to rise and ‘art happenings’ in the lesser known art hubs in St Kilda started to be acknowledged and illuminated by the Arts Community for their efforts.

The thing is, artists are workers who deserve a decent income. Their creative and artistic enterprises deserve to be held in high esteem and celebrated.  History shows this is what nourishes community.

Robert Mate Mate performing Theatreworks 1992

Robert Mate Mate performing at Theatreworks 1992 image by Russell Cooper.

To quote Robert Mate Mate, a much loved friend who passed on many years ago…

“Politics breeds combat ability whereas art and culture breeds compatibility.”

The choice is ours.