Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

Statue to draw more deviants to Perth

Posted by occidentprone on June 24, 2008

Taxpayers will pay for the perverse and deviant to get their jollies when the City of Perth forks out $23,000 to display a rudie statue.

The disgraceful bronze “artwork” will make a mockery of the clean living image Perth has spent decades cultivating: Sensible drinking hours, a foreshore devoid of sinful temptations, no shopping on the Lord’s day, holding the tide against daylight saving and so much more.

News Corp’s Perth Now is outraged. You can tell because they lead with how much it costs taxpayers.

THE sculpture of a nude nine-year-old girl will be displayed on a Perth city street and ratepayers will cough up thousands of dollars to cast it.

Perth City Council had been recommended to approve casting Judith Anketell in bronze for public display at a cost of about $23,000.

Tonight, councillors voted unanimously to do so.

The sculpture will be displayed outside the building at 18 Howard Street, Perth, where it was created, provided it is approved by the Heritage Council.

And the blatantly debauched signal it sends to the world is denied by the lithesome model – now an 80-year-old.

The proposal had coincided with a controversial display of photographs of nude children at a Sydney art gallery. 

Amid the Sydney controversy, Ms Anketell denied the Perth statue of her as a child bordered on on p***nogr*phy. 

“Nobody has said anything in the 70-odd years that mine (the sculpture) has been made about it being improper or indecent,” she said 

“It was very tastefully done. 

“It was a beautiful reproduction of my body.” 

Perth Now doesn’t use the P-word, it (almost) lets the victim, Ms Anketell, do it. 

The West takes a more subdued approach on its website but there’s still time for the issue to take hold in the letters pages.

Posted in Diversions, Media, Perth | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Building a western bohemia

Posted by occidentprone on May 7, 2008

Here at Occident Prone we’ve become mired in party politics. It was never our intention and we’d hate to end up with an American-style political arena where affairs and other hanky-panky overshadow the nitty gritty of policy and substance. So let’s take a breather from the hot and heavy and talk arts.

Alan Carpenter’s government seems well aware of its awesome responsibility of state building. All those mining royalties rolling in – let’s do something big, they’re saying, let’s do something grand. And for that they should be commended. Alannah McTiernan is at the forefront, pick in hand turning the sods to give us the Mandurah railway. Next stop Perth city waterfront, a grand plan for a world famous deadspot.

Perthwaterfront.com.au   Perthwaterfront.com.au

While the designer’s mental picture of what should happen on the foreshore is up for debate – and let’s have lots of it – at least someone somewhere is saying this is something worth fixing up. 

Let’s stop loving the big country town image and embrace all the sophistication and cosmopolitanism that comes with wealth and migrants. From these things grow ideas, culture, a collective self-confidence and an inner wealth as well as outer gads of cash.

The so-called creative underclass might not be the ones swanning about the restaurants and fancy bits on the foreshore but they will be tapping into any pathology that lurks beneath. And any city worth its salty air needs writers, painters, songwriters winding stories and fables and images from its streets and sordid past. (Not to mention our sordid present – there’s fodder enough for a three-book deal right there.)

The state government is also to be lauded loudly for its commitment to an international literary award.

Mr Carpenter said the inaugural Western Australian Premier’s Australia-Asia Literary Award, worth $110,000, had the power to excite and expand the State’s cultural horizons.

Culture and Arts Minister Sheila McHale said the award was part of the Carpenter Government’s exciting $73million ‘Ignite!’ package, the biggest single State Government arts funding injection designed to transform literature, dance, theatre, music and visual arts.

The award is open to any book-length work of literary fiction published in print or electronically – something recognising the increasing predominance of electronic media, such as online and mobile phone formats.

The judging panel will consist of three renowned authors and literary experts drawn from some of the nominating countries. They include Pakistani born and multi-award winning author, Kamila Shamsie, author of ‘Kartography’ and ‘Broken Verses’ and Sri Lankan born, Hong Kong based columnist and founder of the ‘Asia Literary Review’, Nury Vittachi.

“This award is a fabulous vote of confidence which I know will kick-start a writing revolution,” Mr Vittachi said.

The $110,000 prize makes the award the richest in the nation. Where the winning entry has been translated into English, the author will receive $88,000 and the translator $22,000.

The award is open to works written by an author resident in Australia or Asia, or which are primarily set in Australia or an Asian country. Works must have been either written in, or translated into English and published in the preceding year.

Entries for the award are now open and will close on May 31, 2008. Forms can be downloaded from the Department of Culture and the Arts website: http://www.dca.wa.gov.au

The award follows a government unveiling in December of a $73 million package of arts and culture “initiatives to transform dance, theatre, music and visual arts, as well as change the shape of WA’s cultural landscape”.

Perth is literally on the path to nowhere. It’s an endpoint, a terminal. This, along with its isolation, has forged a visage, complete with shimmering haze, of a mythic land across the Nullarbor full of cowboys and gold-diggers. But for some of us Bohemia is more alluring than El Dorado and that kind of spontaneity needs a little planning.


Posted in Diversions, Perth, West Australian politics | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »