Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006


A couple of people have asked about Confest. Well, it rained really bad all the way up, then stopped just before we arrived. So pretty much veryone who set up their tents before us got flooded out, but we didn't, and we walked in the mud the next day. The weather was a lot cooler than it is supposed to be usually, so there were hardly any naked people, which was a relief. It was really really cold at night. Eco forgot the canes for his tent (apparently his sister's fault) and reckoned he was just going to wrap himself in his tent and sleep on the ground, but he ended up sleeping in Nomes' car and eating Russian elephant garlic to keep warm.
Oh yeah, EcoPaul ended up coming, which hadn't been certain when I blogged the day before we left. We met some of Nomes' friends up there, and camped with them, so we had a pretty big camp, tweleve people.
I was amazed at how much stuff Don brought. He had a little landcruisery thing full of stuff. He had a fridge and a freezer with ice cream in it. He brought more food than me, Ray, Karen and Nomes brought between us. He had a stove and he cooked pizzas.
Didn't actually end up going to many worshops, just one of Christian meditation which wasn't very good and one of spiritual vegetarianism. The guy who was running the mediatation workshop kept getting all defensive whenever someone disagreed with him on something, and he seemed to think that it was more important for men to respond to God than it was for women, and that women could only be connected to God through men. And I wasn't real sure what to do with much of the stuff he actually talked about because most of the discussion didn't end up being about meditation.
Saturday night, when me and Nomes and Ray were trying to find the fire circle, these people aksed if we'd play drums for them. Was fun. They're in a band called Stoked. Can't find their website. Nomes has one of their CDs, so that might have it. Afterwards we found the fire circle and watched the firetwirlers. One of them was a guy who did Production at the Arts Academy in Ballarat whose name I can never remember, but I don't think he can ever remember mine iether, so it's okay.
There was a group of Christians from around Sydney who were running a kids tent, whith games and music and stories and toys and stuff, and they also ran a Jesus gathering for easter Sunday, which we went along to. Lots of music and a sermon on the topic of Why You Have To Become A Christian and a hand washing ceremony.
Sunday night there was a concert, which anyone could take part in, which was opened by Wendy Rule. We went to watch Wendy Rule because one of our friends from Credo likes her music, and it was pretty interesting, and some of it was pretty freaky.
It was really nice being away from the city for the weekend, and that people were so friendly. We had a few of the people who were camping near us over for tea, whereas normally when you go camping it's not surprising for people to be annoyed at having other camping nearby.
Monday morning we almost left without Eco because we'd told him we wanted to leave by 11, and it was 12 and no-one had seen him all morning. (Last time he went to Confest he stalled for five hours because he didn't want to go home.) But he turned up just as we were about to leave without him. And we told him that he couldn't open his 'yoghurt' in the car. On the way home he read the Melways to us. Hurrah. That's enough.

Friday, April 21, 2006

An Easter egg in the laneway

Last night, not long after I went to bed, some people came into the laneway making a lot of noise, which isn't very unusual. And then there was the sound of smashing glass, which isn't very unusual either. There was also lots of swearing and smashing around. And then there was the sound of a car horn, and straight away I'm thinking, Oh excrement*, they've gotten into Ray's car, because she had it parked in the laneway.
So I was getting dressed and putting my boots on and Ray was knocking on my door saying they'd gotten into her car, and Nomes was looking for her eyes, and Nathan was probably doing something wonderful too and we went got in the elevator and went downstairs.
And we went outside and there was an Easter egg smashed on the ground and these two guys were next to Ray's car rummaging through a heap of stuff (papers, casette tapes, plastic razors) spread on the concrete, so we asked if they were okay, and one said he was looking for his birth certificate, so we asked if we could help them and they asked if we had a spare ciggy. So I asked Ray if she had any smokes and she did, so she gave them one, and then they ran off, but one of them dropped the cigarette and then came back to get it again. And at some point one of them asked if we had any freshies (clean syringes), but it was all a bit confusing so I can't remember the order now.
Nate's wonderful take on the adventure is here.
And I just cleaned up the laneway this morning and the bin was full of casettes and bottles of medication.

*Just making sure this blog stays family friendly.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Off to Confest

This afternoon, after the Credo Good Friday gathering, I'm heading up to Confest, near Deniliquin, with Ray, Naomi, Karen (one of the Urban Seed residents from last year) and Don (one of Nathan's friends). It's sort of a hippie/Pagan/alternative spirituality festival. Sounds a bit like Burning Man, if you've heard of that.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pain in the Arts

During March we worked did some silk screening onto t-shirts, for Where The Heart Is Community Festival. I can't find the t-shirt I did for myself at the moment, because my room is a mess, so I can't put a photo up. I did one print on paper as well, but the ink bled a bit:

Where The Heart Is will be at the Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy North, between 11am and 4pm, on Friday 21st of April. There will be free food (including a barbeque), drinks, live music, haircuts, art workshops, kids activities and sports.

Yesterday I went for a walk during Pain In The Arts, to take some photos of stuff to draw. Found these air conditioners in Masons Lane:

This is what I've ended up with so far:

I think I'll probably end up doing some more with it next week.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Find the blocks

This guy has done an installation where he's handpainted a whole heap of wooden blocks and hidden them all around some city (it doesn't seem to say what city though), and posted pictures of them on Flickr so that people can find them.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Journey to the margins - part 3

Call to Follow
From the roof we go back down to earth, to street level, to the basement: Credo Cafe.

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
(Mark 1:16-20)

Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax-collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
(Mark 2:13-17)
Credo was started because one of the first people that lived here was a chef, and he used to invite people he met on the street upstairs for meals. The word spread that if you knew this guy you'd get invited over for great meals, and soon there wasn't enough room in the apartment for everyone who was turning up, so the basement was cleaned up, and became Credo Cafe.
Ned, a guy who's been around Credo for a long time, said to me a couple of months ago, 'The reason I love Credo is that the worst of enemies can sit down across the table from each other and eat together.' This is kind of similar to what is going on in the scripture. The tax collectors were quite powerful people, but very unpopular because they worked for the Romans, who were occupying Israel at the time, and the sinners were people who were outcast from society because they didn't meet the religious peoples' standard of holiness, and here they are eating together. In our society lawyers have a lot of power, but aren't very popular because of the kind of work they do. Often in Credo we have lawyers and corporates from the companies that fund Urban Seed, eating alongside people who are outcast in our society because they live on the street or are addicted to drugs. Credo is a place where the powerless and the powerful can begin to be reconciled over lunch.

Journey to the margins - part 2


Next we go up onto the roof, to read from Matthew's gospel about Jesus' temptation:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
(Matthew 4:1-11)
At one point this was one of the tallest buildings in Melbourne, but now we're surrounded by much taller buildings, belonging to powerful companies like Westpac, ANZ, Optus, Commonwealth Bank and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (our wonderful sponsors). From up here it's pretty difficult to see what's going on down at street level.
In the scripture, Jesus is taken to the highest point of his capital city, where he is offered great power, but he isn't interested.

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Journey to the margins - part 1

Tomorrow night I'm taking a church group on a city walk for the first time, looking at Jesus' journey to the margins, in the first eight chapters of Mark's gospel, and how these scriptures connect with what's going on in in the city.

This walk usually starts on the front steps of the church, in Collins Street, one of the most expensive streets in Melbourne. We start off by talking about stuff like

what we see, hear, feel, smell, taste in the city.
what we like about the place and what we don't like about it.
why people come to the city.
what is life giving in the city, and what denies life.
where God might be in the city.

We move into the church sanctuary to read Mark's prologue, which is about John the Baptist:
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
(Mark 1:1-11)
We look at this scripture in the church sanctuary because it's a Baptist church, and John is called a baptist, so it sounds a bit like the sort of place you might find John. But Mark tells us that John was found in a pretty different place. Rather than being found in a clean, safe, important place like Collins Street, people had to travel out into the desert to find John. When they did find him he wasn't dressed in a nice suit, but a coat made of camel's hair.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Went into court with someone this morning. This time it was really wierd, because the magistrate was quite brutal during the hearing, gave the lawyer a good dressing down, but then she let my friend off all charges. He'd originally been worried he'd have to go to gaol for over a month. It was almost like the magistrate was trying to make the hearing so painful that it would be punishment enough, or like she was just playing a game.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Pro Hart's death

Last week I started getting heaps of people ending up here looking for stuff about Pro Hart, and it wasn't until Friday or Saturday that I found out he'd died, and it seems he was buried today.
When we were in Broken Hill last year I mentioned our visit to his gallery, and when we got back I wrote a little bit about his Search for God painting.
And here are a few articles that have been published since his death:

'Pro Hart: hang the lot of them' (Sydney Morning Herald)
'Pro Hart farewelled' (SBS World News)
'Oh, Mr Hart ...' (Sydney Morning Herald)
'Pro Hart: loved by the people, not "art mafia"' (The Age)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Recent photos

Here's some recent photos that I haven't posted here: