Just the right amount of wobble with Lady Fox

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Lady Fox describes her voice as “smooth, rich and warm with just the right amount of wobble”. This Mornington Peninsula resident, mother of three and just-shy-of-40 vocalist is bringing the best of jazz swooning and crooning to the Glamorlicious lunch at the Ranelagh Club in Mount Eliza on Thursday, October 3, with her rendition of Marilyn Monroe’s Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, and you’re in for a real oozy auditory sweet treat. But more about that later . . . 

Lady Fox has been entertaining audiences since she was a teenager and is currently managing herself as the sultry solo performer of her Lady Fox Performs brand. She’s also the booking agent, publicist, secretary and general dog’s body who gets everything that needs to be done, done! Sounds like motherhood, anyone? For the past three years she has been working especially hard at fine-tuning her craft and ensuring that her passion for the golden era of jazz — think Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, cigar smoke and sequins — is spread far and wide. From jazz to soul, lounge to swing, blues, acoustic and rockabilly, this self-taught singer and cabaret performer has her sights set on the big picture. 

Lady Fox explains: “I’ve performed at festivals, weddings, corporate functions, in variety and theatrical shows and at charity events. I learnt to sing by listening to the best of them —artists like Ella and Billie. I’m an auditory learner. I perform solo but also do cabaret shows with musician Diddy Reyes, who helps me with most things because it can get tricky when you’re the one doing all the behind-the-scenes stuff and you’re on stage as well, but I love it. Diddy and I perform jazz and blues cabaret, including songs by greats such as Bessie Smith, Dorothy Daindridge and Etta James too. The next few months before and after the Glamorlicious lunch are looking very busy. I’m off to Magnetic Island and Townsville, Queenscliff, Adelaide and am performing at Cape Schanck at the end of the year too. You can log on to my website for details, to hire me for a show or to get tickets for an upcoming event.”

With three kids at home supporting her creative ventures, Lady Fox is first-class crooning all the way to the jazz-infused moon and back. Frocked up, hair styled, and simply glamorous, she performs at least once a week around town and is set to take The Manhattan in Mornington by storm soon too. She continues: “I love getting up on stage and connecting with an audience. Whether it’s singing covers or original songs at a burlesque show, a festival or a charity event, it’s all about bringing the authenticity of an era to life. One of the best things about my performing life is working with other women in the entertainment industry. We support each other and have each other’s backs. I really like that.”

Check out her social media handles below to ‘like’ Lady Fox Performs, and don’t forget to book for the ladies’ lunch of the season this October. It’s time to get Glamorlicious, raise money for Peninsula charities and experience just the right amount of wobble with the Fox. What a lady! 

LIZ ROGERS

LADY FOX PERFORMS

W: www.ladyfoxperforms.com

FB: LadyFoxPerforms

INSTA: shadesofmarilyn

TWITTER: LadyFoxPerforms

Lions, wings and wild-weather antics

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Looking for a rollicking good read full of romance, catastrophe, aviation escapades and madcap courage? Frankston South resident Di Websdale-Morrissey (not to be confused with Australian novelist Di Morrissey) has written a ripper of a non-fiction tale about an aviation race that took flight on October 20, 1934, from the Royal Air Force Station in Mildenhall, England, and ended two days and 23 hours later (for the winner) in Melbourne. 

Never heard about it? Well, you’re about to because On a Wing and a Prayer: The Race that Stopped the World will hit the bookshops on September 3. So strap yourself in and pull down your oxygen masks because the word ‘turbulence’ is about to take on a whole new meaning. Things are going to get bumpy!

Di explains: “I first heard about the race when I was listening to Radio National in 2015. I remember my hair standing up on end and wondering why I had never heard about it before. There were 20 planes involved, some of them big and some of them tiny. One was so small that the engineer had to curl up in a ball for the whole flight. Over 60,000 people gathered to see the planes take off from Mildenhall in England. The social set arrived in furs and silk slippers and had to walk overland to reach the airport because of the traffic gridlock. There were 40,000 people who came to see the planes arrive in Flemington. People were piled on slippery rooftops to catch a glimpse of these aerial adventurers. 

“There had been a couple of books written about the race previously — the first is now out of print and the second was for a general audience but with an aviation bent. I wanted to write about the race from a human viewpoint. There were so many amazing characters who participated in this race fraught with challenges, and their human stories were worth telling. My favourite character was a former lion-training American named Roscoe Turner. He was a great self-promoter and was constantly trying to get money to support his endeavours. He bought a lion cub and named it Gilmore after the American company Gilmore Oil. That cub sat in the plane with Roscoe wearing a parachute! And then of course there was the rescue of the winning plane caught in a fierce thunderstorm by the people of Albury.” 

But you’ll have to read the book to find out more.

Di had written three chapters of the book when she signed her contract with Text Publishing and it took a further nine months of writing from 8am until 4pm every day to complete the task. This is the fifth book for an author who grew up and got married in the Diamond Valley and moved to the Mornington Peninsula 10 years ago after her husband passed away. She continues: “My husband and I had made a day trip to Mount Eliza and we turned to each other and said: ‘We are going to live here one day’. And now I do! My house is big enough for all the kids and grandchildren to stay.”

Pull up your chair with On a Wing and a Prayer: The Race that Stopped the World this spring to explore a wonderful and wild story packed full of aviation adventure and the human spirit. 

Enjoy.

Di Websdale-Morrissey will be in conversation at Farrell’s Bookshop in Mornington at 7pm on Tuesday September 17.

LIZ ROGERS

Seaside memories to last a lifetime

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Nothing evokes memories of summers by the beach quite like one of Miffy Pittaway’s gorgeous one-off shell and driftwood creations. This Mount Martha coastal artist has been collecting the empty shells of non-threatened and non-critically endangered sea creatures on South Gippsland beaches since she was four, and she lovingly incorporates them into her limited-edition artworks.

Veraison Restaurant, at 1889 Point Nepean Rd, Tootgarook, is where you’ll find the limited edition Driftwood Lobster, pictured, among Miffy’s other uniquely Australian handcrafted pieces. Each is meticulously created with love from the seaside. 

If you're interested in purchasing any of Miffy’s striking seaside-inspired works, just drop into Mark and Cherie Poulter's delightful restaurant to view or purchase one of these dramatic style-statement pieces.

SHE SHELL ART BY MIFFY

M: 0400 178 635 

E: [email protected]

W: sheshellartbymiffy.godaddysites.com

FB: facebook.com/Miffyshells

INSTA: sheshellartbymiffy

Global exhibition lands in Mornington

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Like moths to a flame, art-lovers will be drawn to Oak Hill Gallery this month when The Moth Migration Project alights on our shores. Founded by New York artist Hilary Lorenz in 2016, the project is a crowd-sourced exhibition of more than 20,000 hand-printed, drawn and cut-paper moths from artists in 26 countries.  

According to the project’s website: “Through social media and personal relationships, the moths became a symbol of community as the project exploded with thousands of submissions, satellite exhibitions, printmaking workshops, school art projects and family and community gatherings. The MMP creates a spirit more significant than any single community by fostering authentic connections and engaging public participation through a synergy of shared experience and embracing mutual respect for personal uniqueness and creativity.”

The exhibition will be launched on Sunday, September 1, between 2-4pm and continues until October 3. The gallery is open daily from 11am-4pm. For more information, phone the gallery on 5973 4299 or email [email protected], and find out more about the project at www.mothmigrationproject.net

OAK HILL GALLERY

A: 100 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Mornington 

T: 5973 4299

W: www.oakhillgallery.com.au

FB: OakHillGallery

INSTA: oakhillgallery

Festival returns with fun for all ages

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The Mornington Main Street Festival is back for its 24th year on Sunday, October 20, from 11am-5pm, bringing a huge range of food, wine, performing arts and everything the Peninsula has to offer. With seven performance areas as well as stages, roving entertainment and children’s activities, it is a fun day out for all ages. 

Spend the day or just a couple of hours enjoying treats from across the Peninsula and beyond. There will be so many of the old favourites and local businesses getting involved, with the Grand Hotel, Assagini, Bronx, Doc and Casa De Playa all planning something special for the day along with more than 70 other food and market stalls.

Some of the Peninsula’s top wine, cider and gin makers — including Bittern Estate, Chirping Bird Wines, Dromana Estate, Elan Vineyard & Winery, Rebello Wines, Stumpy Gully Vineyard, T'Gallant Winemakers and Underground Winemakers — will showcase their vintages, which you’ll be able to taste, buy by the glass or take home.

This not-for-profit community event is only able to take place due to the support of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and generous sponsors such as The Grand Mornington, EastLink, Mornington Peninsula Magazine, Mornington Racing Club, Lions International and so many others that all help either financially or in kind to make the festival such a success. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor to help support the festival, and for further details about the festival itself, visit mainstreetfestival.com.au

Stunning showcase of art and design

Artist Kirsten Jackson is one of the feature exhibitors at next month’s Mount Eliza Art & Design Show.

Artist Kirsten Jackson is one of the feature exhibitors at next month’s Mount Eliza Art & Design Show.

Artists, designers, sculptors and jewellers from the Peninsula and beyond will be exhibiting at the Mount Eliza Art & Design Show at Mount Eliza North Primary School next month. Feature exhibitors are artist Kirsten Jackson, photographer Lisa Atkinson, jeweller Starshine Design and master potter Ted Secombe.

The gala opening night on Friday, October 25, from 7.30-10pm will feature art, music, auctions, Edible Art Co canapes, Foxeys Hangout wine and Jetty Road beer. Over the weekend Café D’art will serve refreshments and light lunches, with a barbecue too. There will be kids’ activities in the café and a playground right outside. 

Tickets for the opening night are available now at www.trybooking.com/BEUGB, and weekend family tickets will be available at the door on October 26 from 10am-5pm and October 27 from 10am-4pm. Go to www.mtelizaart.com for further details. 


For the love of singing

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What brings this happy group of women out every Sunday evening whatever the weather?  Singing, of course. These are all members of the Mornington Peninsula Welsh Ladies Choir, which formed in May 2018 and is busy developing a repertoire for women’s voices. 

So what makes a ‘Welsh’ choir?  It isn’t about having Welsh ancestry, or just singing in that language.  It describes a style of singing in four-part harmony, with a very strong connection to community.  Welsh choirs are filled with enthusiastic amateurs who simply love to sing. 

Come along to a rehearsal at the Uniting Church in High St, Frankston, from 7pm on any Sunday and get a ‘feel’ for the choir.  You’ll be made very welcome.  For more information, email [email protected] or phone President Trudi Mackenzie on 0406 678 261.


Stories of inheritance and the season of renewal at Everywhen

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A new exhibition called ReGeneration: established and emerging talents of Aboriginal art features at Everywhen Artspace this spring. Special highlights are paintings and ceramics by artists of Australia’s oldest community art centre, Ernabella Arts in the APY Lands, and paintings from Papunya Tjupi at Papunya —  the inheritors of the famous western desert painting tradition. 

With more than 40 works from these and other Aboriginal-owned community centres around Australia, the exhibition focuses on the importance of stories being passed down through generations as well as a celebration of spring. 

“ReGeneration implies both the significance of the older generations passing on stories to new and emerging artists and also a celebration of the renewal of the land in springtime,” says co-curator Susan McCulloch.  “It’s a very uplifting and joyous time of year in many parts of the interior, especially throughout Central Australia, the southern desert areas of the APY Lands and the Pilbara as wildflowers burst into bloom, birds and bees flock to nectar-bearing blooms and animals emerge from their winter hibernation.” 

This annual renewal is reflected strongly in art, especially in paintings and weavings, which are often characterised by a sense of freshness and brilliant colouration. 

As well as featuring newer works, Susan says the exhibition demonstrates the importance of heritage and family groupings in Aboriginal art with strong links seen between works by some of the more famous established artists, such as the Kimberley’s Patrick Mung Mung, Papunya artist Doris Bush Nungurrayi and Utopia artist Minnie Pwerle, and those of their younger relatives. 

“The exhibition includes works by three generations of artists that show both great continuity of tradition and innovation within that tradition.” 

ReGeneration opens with a curator’s floor talk on Sunday, September 29, at 2pm and runs until November 25. 

EVERYWHEN ARTSPACE 

A: 1/39 Cook St, Flinders 

Open daily 10.30am-4pm 

T: 5989 0496

W: www.mccullochandmcculloch.com.au

E: [email protected]

Llewelyn’s art of glass

Llewelyn Ash has always been connected with his surroundings. Growing up in the Adelaide Hills enriched his experience of natural flora and fauna. Art began in the home for him with artists as parents — Glen Ash, known for his oil painting, and Janet Ayliffe, a celebrated watercolour painter and printmaker. 

From a young age, Llewelyn started drawing the animals he was surrounded by — chooks, ducks, dogs and donkeys. Surfing then became a major part of Llewelyn’s journey, moving down the South Australian coastline along every peninsula.  It was only fitting that he filled his drawing books with images of the ocean, its sea life, and the natural beach landscapes.

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Llewelyn primarily worked in watercolours, photopolymer etchings and oil paints in his earlier works. Studying at the University of South Australia exposed him to new techniques and provided fresh challenges.  Ultimately this is where he was introduced to his passion — glass. Guided and mentored by Gabriella Bisetto and tutored by Tim Shaw, Llewelyn created his own distinctive style.

Llewelyn’s glass is now being shown in art galleries Australia-wide and he has had exhibitions in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne over the past two years. His distinctive works have brought him numerous accolades, including the Design Institute of Australia Award and the Waterhouse Youth Art Prize; he was also a finalist in the Australian National Glass Museum Student Award, was selected as a Jam Factory Associate, and won the Jam Factory Pilchuck Scholarship in Seattle. 

Now you have the chance to see this celebrated artist’s work for yourself. Llewelyn Ash’s Connected exhibition, which he is holding in conjunction with his mother, Janet Ayliffe, opens on September 28 at Manyung Gallery Flinders, 37 Cook St. Phone 9787 2953 or visit www.manyunggallery.com.au

A Dog’s Journey Showing at HOYTS, Wells St, Frankston

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You’ve got everything in this sequel to A Dog’s Purpose (2017). A Dog’s Journey (2019) delights audiences once again with teary moments, sweet scenes, a little bit of action, adorable puppies, emotional storylines and plenty of feel-good moments — much like its prequel. 

It goes without saying that most sequels are never as good as the first. This one is an exception to that generalisation. It’s great, if not better than the first film. Once again, we follow Bailey the dog, voiced by Josh Gad, as he is reincarnated as different breeds belonging to various owners, all the while focusing on Ethan’s happiness. 

In the sequel, we see Ethan talk to Bailey about making sure his step-granddaughter CJ, played by Kathryn Prescott, is OK. So that becomes Bailey’s new purpose, and in turn helps him unravel the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets. He’s there when CJ needs him most, and helps lead CJ’s life in the right direction again and again. Much like Bailey did with Ethan, Bailey tries to show CJ he’s the puppy from her childhood, just in a different reincarnation. 

“I had a lot of lives, all different,” said Bailey. “Sometimes I was big, and sometimes I was small.” 

Bailey is an extremely caring soul who, throughout the course of several lifetimes and owners, always shows gratitude and appreciation to them, yet wonders where Ethan is and if he’s OK. Whether he comes back as a girl dog or a boy dog, a small dog or a big dog, he always remembers his purpose to look after Ethan (and later CJ) who rescued him in 1962. The audience watches as fate intersects during Bailey’s journey to discover his purpose of life. 

KATE SEARS


Salient message in artist’s exhibition

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Mornington Peninsula artist and science explorer Gee Ryan (Gerald) is holding a major showing of his paintings. Gee’s Love One Another and Care For Our Planet exhibition runs from Saturday, September 14, to Sunday, September 22.

The exhibition includes paintings from Gee’s Love One Another Basin series, one of which has been acquired by the world-renowned Luciano Benetton Collection in Milan, Italy. The Australian contemporary art portion of the collection, including Gee’s painting, is travelling to the world’s major art centres, showcasing the works of 210 established and emerging Australian painters.

“I focus on the use of colour to celebrate the mysteries that surround us,” Gee said. “And my art reflects my view that, in order for humanity to achieve a peaceful and lasting future, each of us needs to live our life in accordance with two principles: love one another, and care for our planet.”

RIDGECREST PRIVATE GALLERY

A: 333 Barkers Rd, Main Ridge

Exhibition from Saturday, September 14 (formal opening at noon) to Sunday, September 22. Gallery open daily 10am to 5pm. All welcome

Fundraising concert for dementia 

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The onset of dementia is life-changing not only for the patient but also for family members and friends. The Frankston Ladies Choir is fortunate to be able to sing at many nursing homes and this month it wants to give back to the community with its special dementia concert, You’re the Voice. All proceeds raised will be donated to Dementia Australia.

The choir warmly welcomes and encourages everyone to attend this concert for an afternoon of entertainment with special guests while helping Dementia Australia.

It’s on Sunday, September 22, at 2pm at George Jenkins Theatre in Frankston. Tickets are available now by calling the box office on 9905 1111 or via the website at www.monash.edu/mapa

I Will Remember

One day I will remember 

Just who on earth I am

And who that man who follows is

And gently takes my hand

He really is so kind to me

But who on earth is he?

I really must ask him and thank him politely.

(for my Mum and Dad)


Kids Fest a fun feast

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Frankston Arts Centre is hosting the first ever Kids Fest in the September school holidays. Featuring live shows and workshops, it promises to be lots of fun.

The little ones can take part in the Grand Pawtrait Competition by entering an artwork of their best pet-friend and have it hung at Cube 37 Gallery. Entries close on Saturday, September 7, so ensure that you collect the entry pack, which includes the frame, before that.

First up is FoRT, a show for cubby creators and den dwellers. If you have ever built a fort, you should see this. The show is full of ridiculous clowning and spectacular acrobatics. The performers will also host a workshop to introduce circus to pre-schoolers and their adults.

Next up is Weaving Workshop with the Slow Art Collective, where you will learn installation craft and co-create an evolving large-scale loom installation in the Glass Cube.

This will be followed by Children are Stinky, an award-winning children’s show that has been garnering rave reviews worldwide. Expect daredevil stunts, incredible acrobatics, lightning-fast hula hoops, and loads of laughs. There is also a Circus All Stars workshop a day before the show where you can learn to razzle dazzle, hula hoop and balance on your friend!

Picasso and his Dog, the inspiration for the Grand Pawtrait Competition, will finish off Kids Fest on a delightful note. Inspired by Picasso’s true story, this beautiful show celebrates the animals with whom we share our lives while exploring what it is to be creative and to create.

For program details, dates and ticket prices, visit www.thefac.com.au or call the box office on 9784 1060.

FRANKSTON ARTS CENTRE

A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston

T: 9784 1060

W: www.thefac.com.au

FB: FrankstonArtsCentre

INSTA: the_fac

Get ready for a palooza

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An inclusive, family-friendly festival celebrating the best independent producers of beer, cider, wine and spirits on the Mornington Peninsula is coming this October. Peninsula Palooza is a celebration of independent music, artisanal food and craft breweries, distilleries and wineries showcasing the best of the bayside coastal bounty. Prepare for a sensational time from noon-8pm on Saturday, October 5, at Mornington Racecourse.

There’ll be food trucks, kids’ entertainment, brewers’ and distillers’ masterclasses and more, including the opportunity to ‘dunk the brewer’. As well as getting up close and personal with the producers of more than 200 craft beers, ciders and spirits, Peninsula Palooza creates an all-inclusive atmosphere with a low and slow barbecue demonstration and a landmark line-up of eclectic artists that is sure to ignite good vibes and good times for young and old on the grassy knoll. Headliners include Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Ben Smith Band, Rob Papp & Brothers In Blues, The Distance, Matt Katsis, Alex Hughes and the Shipfaced Pirates. 

Expect live music from 1pm until the close, with roaming entertainers, a live radio broadcast, door prizes, raffles and more. Feast on a grazing platter from an assortment of producers of cheese, cured meats and breads and wash it down with a tasting paddle. 

PENINSULA PALOOZA

W: www.peninsulapalooza.com.au

Sunset sustainability spectacular

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A Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by a Boon Wurrung Foundation representative will mark the start of next month’s Balnarring Community Sustainability Fair. Held in the leafy grounds of Balnarring Primary School and the surrounding Balbirooroo Wetlands, the fair will run as a twilight event on Saturday, October 12, from 4-7pm. 

This innovative community event will offer entertaining, informative and inspiring experiences to help us move collectively towards a more sustainable future. Workshops and stalls will explore everything from backyard chickens to growing your own mushrooms and keeping bees. Each year level at the school will provide sustainable offerings from their stalls — herb seedlings, bush animal sculptures, reusable Christmas trees and more. 

There’ll also be a repair cafe, a recycled department store, a place to grab locally-saved seeds — you can even make your own pedal-powered smoothie — before kicking back and taking in the sounds of some of the Peninsula’s most talented musicians. 

All proceeds will go towards the school’s literacy program and the care and maintenance of the wetlands. For more information, stall inquiries and sponsorship applications, visit www.balnarringsusfair.com.au or phone Balnarring Primary School on 5931 4444.


Old-school art from the heart

Photo by Billy Nye

Photo by Billy Nye

Gillian Haig is old-school. From her sheep-farming origins in East Gippsland, where she spent hours as a child sketching and lying in the long grass watching the clouds move and morph above her, painting and making has been part of her DNA ever since she can remember. Growing up in what she calls “ideal circumstances” with her four siblings and parents who understood the importance of physical and mental space, Gill knew she wanted to give her two children, Georgina and Julian, the same free-ranging experience. She and her then husband Russell moved to Red Hill in 1990 and the memories made were special. 

Gill explains: “I went to the ‘kindergarten of the air’ as a child, which was kinder on the radio. Mum would set up the paints on the veranda, then draw a truck or something else and we painted it in. When Russell and I moved to Red Hill, I painted every day. The kids went off to Red Hill Consolidated and I went to my studio or headed out along the dirt tracks looking for inspiration. I used to drive to Flinders and sit in the car behind the wheel just drawing and painting if the weather was too bad. Watercolours are pretty portable, you see. Then I’d go home and finish off the work in my studio. We’d head off to Shoreham Beach with other families with Eskys after school and meet other local families. The kids would play in the water until nightfall and we’d put the car headlights on the water to call the kids in.”

Gill spent her early years as a painter in a vast studio in West Melbourne as a contemporary of the Roar Studios painters while completing her RMIT Fine Art degree. She used to lay everything out on a huge sheet of plastic on the floor and ‘build’ abstract landscapes layer by layer. She continues: “I experimented and played with building works on the floor without a formal canvas, using and layering other materials that resulted in abstract landscapes. This work was influenced at the time by artists such as Rosalie Gascoigne and Elizabeth Gower, who were bringing a new and very female quality to the Australian landscape.” This was the work that won her a five-month travelling scholarship to Europe in her fourth year at RMIT. “Winning the scholarship was exciting as I’d never been anywhere before,” Gill continues. “I saw all the great European masters like Matisse and Van Gogh, who I was greatly influenced by. My response to intuitive painting was due to the power of the great American mid-century artists such as Willem de Kooning.”

With art show awards under her paint-spattered smock, including best painting in the Flinders Art Show, and multiple group shows in Melbourne, including the Canterbury Art Exhibition, plus a 14-year stint in business with her Red Hill Cool Stores and Gallery, where her love of Mornington Peninsula wine and produce merged with art, this artist paints because she must. That’s just the way she views the world. Through the lens of a visual voyeur. Most recently you’ll find her subtly mesmerising and delicate still life vegetable watercolours, which look like they’ve just been pulled from the earth, being created. She concludes: “I’ve grown up with the landscape. When the kids were at home there were so many beautiful things that popped up out of the earth, and still life became very interesting to me. I really enjoyed illustrating the first Seasonal Produce Diary in 1995 for Allan Campion and Michele Curtis. I find the land and what comes out of it fascinating and beautiful.”

And so is her technique-laden art, grown from the heart.

LIZ ROGERS

Something to get you from A to ‘Whee!’

Ferrari’s 488 Pista is fitted with the most powerful V8 engine in the company’s history.

Ferrari’s 488 Pista is fitted with the most powerful V8 engine in the company’s history.

If that old clunker of yours is on its last legs and you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, you could always trawl through the used-car yards or jump online and try to find a tidy little runabout to get you to the shops and back. You might even consider splashing out on a new model, fresh off the showroom floor and still exuding that delicious new-car aroma.

Or then again, you might want to cast your eyes over this — Elite Traveler’s top 14 premium cars of 2019. The US lifestyle magazine’s motoring writer, Alexandra Cheney, has compiled a list of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous hypercars and luxury sedans that are guaranteed to get your motor well and truly running — and give your bank manager serious heart palpitations at the same time. As the magazine points out: “With an average price tag of $434,000, only those with the deepest pockets can buy one.”

The selection totals more than $US6 million, with the $US3.2 million Aston Martin Valkyrie commanding the lion’s share. A hybrid hypercar powered by a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 hybrid engine producing 1160hp, the Valkyrie requires buyers to undergo a total 3D body scan for the custom-yet-fixed driver’s seat. 

No.1 on Alexandra’s list is McLaren’s 720S Spider, priced from $US315,000 — “easily one of the most exceptional vehicles the company has ever put into production”. As well as an M840T twin-turbo V8 engine, the Spider comes with an optional electrochromic glass roof that “turns from clear to a deep cerulean in order to offset glare and reduce UV exposure”. Just what you need on a blindingly bright Peninsula summer’s day.

It’s followed by the Valkyrie, then the Maserati Levante Trofeo, from $US170,000; the Ferrari 488 Pista (from $US349,050); and the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet (from $US133,400). British manufacturers dominate the list with seven cars, but Lamborghini, BMW and Mercedes also feature.

“Each vehicle in this list provides perspicacity into its respective automaker, from naturally aspirated, rumbling swan songs to visionary electrifications,” Alexandra writes. “But cars do more than merely shuttle us from one place to another; they move us. (These) automobiles also seduce, dazzle and inspire — and could potentially even transport those searching for new wheels.”

Check out the complete list, the specs and the price tags at www.elitetraveler.com/luxury-transport/automotive/the-best-luxury-cars-of-2019, and start dreaming.


Mississippi blues land on Bellarine Peninsula

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The Queenscliff Music Festival takes off on November 22-24 and it’s set to be a ripper. This mecca for all things instrumental and vocally brilliant began in 1997 and showcases the cream of the blues, jazz and smooth crooning. This year Clare Bowditch, Missy Higgins, The Cat Empire, The Waifs, Tim Finn and others will be joined by Mississippi-born Kent Burnside, who’s bringing his distinct gravelly down south blues guitar and vocals to the Bellarine Peninsula. As the grandson of legendary blues man R.L. Burnside, Kent was born into the shoes of one of the best blues masters around and has toured Europe and the US. Liz Rogers got a chance to ask him some questions before he set sail for our great southern land. Enjoy.

So, what do you know about Australia?

Nothing. All I know is you got kangaroos.

What’s the best thing about playing the Queenscliff Music Festival?

They get to hear what I do.  You know what I’m saying? They open the doors for me to spread my music to Australia so I can get more gigs and keep coming back.

Tell us a bit about growing up in such a renowned musical family and what your childhood looked like.

It was pretty crazy. I was very poor, actually. We worked on a farm and ate what we grew. At the beginning R.L. was very poor. He always worked and played music but only came up near the end of his life. He would have parties at the farm on the weekends and play music, and I made and sold sandwiches to help out. It was $2 to get in . . . sometimes $1 if it was a slow night. I was about 15 when he became very successful. He always stayed humble, though.

What do the blues mean to you? 

Man, the blues, man. It’s an outlet for me, a release for whatever I have going on. It helps relax my soul. Their problems can help you with your problems. They tell me that the blues ain’t nothin but a good man feelin’ bad.

When did you begin playing guitar and singing?

Since I was nine. I started trying to sing at 14.

Where do your lyrics come from?

From the heart. I’ve experienced so much I’m amazed I’m still alive. It was crazy coming up. It wasn’t all good. We struggled a lot until R.L. came up. There were lots of days I didn’t eat as a kid.

What’s life on the road of a touring blues man look like?

It’s amazing. When I’m home I’m Dad, but when I’m on the road I’m young again. 

How many gigs do you do per year on average?

Around 100 a year.

And finally, anything you must do when you come Down Under?

Just to enjoy every moment I’m there. I wanna see some kangaroos.

A musical evening with Trinity College Choir

The Peninsula Music Society hosts the Trinity College Choir on Saturday, September 14, for a celestial evening of music at the accessible Peninsula Community Theatre, Wilsons Rd, Mornington, at 7.30pm.

Christopher Wilson will direct and lead the choir, a vocal ensemble with music to embalm the spectator for the compositions featuring mainly Australian contemporary themes.

The internationally acclaimed Trinity College Choir travels widely and has collaborated with various orchestras, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Buy tickets online at www.pmsmusic.asn.au; at Farrell’s Bookshop in Mornington and Robinsons Bookshop in Frankston; by phone on 9789 8392; or at the door one hour before the concert.

CATHERINE GODONY


You can make our festival even better

For the past 23 years, Mornington’s annual Main Street Festival has celebrated the incredible diversity of wine, arts, music, food and culture we are blessed with on the Mornington Peninsula. Applications have closed for food, wine and music for this year’s festival on Sunday, October 20, but there are still many other opportunities for you to get involved to help make the 24th festival the best yet.

If you love to entertain, roving, street and children’s performers of all types and ages are needed. If you can put on activities for big and little kids, organisers would love to hear from you too.

Art and funky installations that can be displayed safely in the street always help brighten up the festival, while school, community or dance groups are invited to show festival-goers what they have on the community stage and performance spaces in the street.

Volunteers who are willing to help out in the lead-up to the festival and on the day are always appreciated, as are sponsors. The festival is a not-for-profit, free community event and relies completely on sponsorship and stall fees to keep it running. If you’re interested in getting your business brand out there while supporting a magnificent local event, get in touch with the organisers for information on festival sponsorship packs. There are options to fit every budget, and with more than 30,000 patrons attending each year it can be a great way to give your business exposure.

The festival is forever growing and changing, and this year will see many of your favourites return as well as a lot of new additions, but the main focus is always on bringing the community together and enjoying what it has to offer. To get involved, visit www.mainstreetfestival.com.au for applications and contact details.


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