#1707 Art as therapy

“He said to me once, ‘just as I’m getting good they’re going to kill me’.”

How do art teachers adapt to working in prisons? Can standing in a room full of artists, completely naked, change how you see your own body? These are the questions we tackle this week, as we explore the true powers of art as therapy.

‘Pop Art’ by Pip Leason

In the vast public dialogue about body positivity, issues of men’s body image rarely make their way to the surface. In an effort to fulfil an ill-advised new years’ resolution, Pip Leason embarks on his second challenge for 2017: to stand naked in a room full of strangers for an extended period of time. Grappling with weight gain and body image, he finds himself nude modelling for a life drawing class, to test if people seeing him might change the way he sees himself.

Pip Drawing

‘Pop Art’ is part of an ongoing radio project for 2017 called ‘It Wasn’t My Idea’, a series of monthly challenge based personal documentaries.

Music: ‘Sunday Morning (instrumental)’ by The Velvet Underground, ‘Baby Elephant Walk’ by Henry Mancini, ‘Femme Fatale’ by The Velvet Underground, ‘The Murder Mystery’ by The Velvet Underground, ‘Venus in Furs’ by The Velvet Underground, ‘Ride into the Sun’ by The Velvet Underground, ‘These Days’ by Nico

Supervising producer: Selena Shannon

‘The freedom of art’ by Philippe Perez

In 2015 Myuran Sukumaran was executed with Andrew Chan in Indonesia for their part in the Bali 9 drug smuggling ring. In the last few years of his life, Myuran lead a blossoming life as a painter within his prison cell. But how much does teaching art to someone who faces such an impossible future affect both art teacher and student?

Philippe Perez talked to a range of art educators from prisons across Australia to find out what it’s like to teach art on the inside.

Myuran Sukumaran’s exhibition “Another Day In Paradise” is on display until 26 March. To find out more go to the Campbelltown Arts Centre website: http://c-a-c.com.au/

Music: ‘Planet D’ by Lee Rosevere, ‘Planet F’ by Lee Rosevere

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Executive Producer: Selena Shannon

Vic state coordinator: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

SYN production manager: Beth Gibson

Community Coordinator: Chloe Gillespie

Host: Jessica Hamilton

Episode Compiler: Tegan Nicholls

Image provided by Pip Leason

#1439 West Writers Group

West Writers Group is a collective of writers from diverse backgrounds who currently live, work or have other established links to Melbourne’s West. It is a collective that will amplify the stories and voices of Melbourne’s West.

For the past few months All the Best producers have teamed up with some of the West Writers Group to bring you the stories in this week’s episode.

Emotions bubble to the surface, for better and for worse. Two characters swap anonymous notes, and another dwells on some terrible news. And there’s a toaster, but it’ll only communicate with Simon.

 

Control Your Emotions

People always say ‘you must control your emotions’. Why?

Written and performed by Latifa Elmrini
Produced by Harriet Conron
Music Credits: ‘Urban Tropic (Pt. ii)’ by Cosmic Analog Ensemble

 

Against Progress

The invention of the smartphone fundamentally changed the dynamics of Western society. The summer of 2000 can be easily seen as the last time we were truly alone. The last decade has made us open up like a shell, we suffer from emotional spillage, fast-food intelligence -we’re glued to the device that’s fundamentally changing our fabric of life.

Inspired by an encounter with a guy who missed his train at Parliament Station one night because he was on his phone, this poem voices the concerns we all have with this age but can’t seem the shake off because this is the future we have made for ourselves.

We love it but hate it because of the changes its creating in our lives too.

To add to the hypocrisy, the entire piece is written on an iPHONE too. So it’s completely mobile written – an on-the-go poem.

Written and performed by Ennis Cehic
Produced by Leona Hameed
Music Credits: Seekae – Void

 

Ninian, an excerpt from The Whitlow

This is an excerpt from Bob Carey-Grieve’s novel in progress called The Whitlow. The novel’s conceit is that the characters are all drawn loosely on Catholic Saints. Bob takes details from the recorded history of their lives, their nationality, patronage etcetera, and reimagines them in the contemporary setting of a Gippsland lawn bowling community. When a prized meat tray is stolen, the community has to come to terms with some of it’s darker secrets. The excerpt presented here introduces the central character of Ninian, and how his journey begins.

Written and performed by Bob Carey-Grieve
Produced by Philippe Perez
Music Credits:

 

Hidden Drawer

14 years ago, Imbi Neeme was having coffee in a London cafe when she found a hidden drawer in the table she sitting at that was filled with anonymous notes. She wrote her own note and put it inside – and has wondered ever since if anyone read it and what they thought.

From this experience, an idea for a story grew. Imbi is currently writing a novel in which two complete strangers each discover a hidden drawer in a West Footscray cafe and slowly get to know each other – and themselves – through the notes they leave for each other. This soundscape contains some of the notes they exchange.

Written and performed by Imbi Neeme
Production and Sound Design by Derek McCormack
Performed by Jane Rawson and Tim Stitz

 

The Toaster

Where do you find meaning? Everyone has to find it somewhere.

In this sharehouse, meaning is found in the messages that comes from the Toaster. The lives of the housemates and dynamics of the household revolve around what can be divined from white bread.

James say’s that people have thought this story is about everything from technology to cults but the only thing we’re certain of is that it’s not about toast. Or is it?
Written and performed by James Robertson Hirst
Produced by Michael Brydon

 

Presenter: Michael Brydon & Pip Rasmussen

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

 

Image Credit: Nour Abouzeid

#1427 Open House

This week on All the Best we’re getting involved and doing some exploring, heading into some of the unseen and forgotten parts of Melbourne with Open House. For one day a year, people are invited to become tourists in their own city and buildings that are usually just part of the landscape, something you pass on the way to work, become open and interesting.
There are stories hidden in every building, and we’re visiting as many of them as we can, exploring the Hawthorn Tram Depot, old buildings in Stonnington, and Substation J, deep under Spencer St.
You can hear more stories from Open House Melbourne here, as Bec Fary takes a walk around Melbourne’s CBD with Joy Villalino.
Hawthorn Tram Depot
First up we’re heading out east of Melbourne to the suburb of Hawthorn where Bec met up with Paul Nicholson. He’s a former tram driver, who now volunteers at the Tram Museum at The Hawthorn Tram Depot.
Produced by Bec Fary
Substation J

Jeff McIntosh started work at CitiPower/PowerCor in Melbourne’s CBD in 1959, when he was 15 years old. and continued working for them for the next 54 years. He retired last year, and has been guiding tours around Melbourne’s power stations for the past five Open House Melbourne events.

If someone were to start work now, and spend as long working as Jeff did, they wouldn’t retired until 2068

Produced by Bec Fary
Stonnington
Philippe Perez met up with Steve Stephanopoulous to talk about the architectural heritage of Stonnington.
Produced by Philippe Perez
Supervising Producer: Bec Fary
Music credit: ‘I’m Not Here’ by Johnny Ripper

Presenters: Michael Brydon and Michaela Morgan 

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: Bec Fary

#1423 Fire

Is there anything better than huddling around a fire in winter? Holding the palms of your hands just far enough away from a flickering flame that it doesn’t ignite? Fires have comforted, protected, scared and destroyed for thousands of years.  We suspect they’ve inspired stories for just as long, including the tales we’re telling on this episode of All the Best – stories of sitting by the fire, of fiery red hair, of spinning and eating fire, and learning to live through it’s destruction.

Fire Twirlers

“It’s a medium that can easily get out of control…anybody who’s been through a house fire, a bush fire, anything like that can tell you exactly how ominous it is and how it can strike fear into you straight away. It’s about safety and respect for the flame, and what it can do.”

Philippe Perez met some people who don’t run scared from fire – they respect it and tame it.

Produced by Philippe Perez

Music Credits: ‘Plying With Fire’ by the Rolling Stones, ‘U Don’t Know’ by Jay Z

 

City Fire

Michael and Jess talk about how nice it is to have a fire in the middle of the city of Melbourne, if only for a month. Jess talks to the fire’s designer, Rob Bundle. The fire was part of Federation Square’s festival The Light in Winter.

 

The Girl with Flame-Coloured Hair

Bec’s immediate association with ‘fire’ is her flame-coloured hair. Although she doesn’t have the stereotypical ‘fiery personality’, her hair colour is her most vibrant characteristic, so she spoke to her mother, her best friend and her brother about whether or not hair colour, or physical appearance, really reflects on who we are, and whether the heat of the hair colour radiates.

Produced by Bec Fary

Music Credits: ‘Driftwood’ by Podington Bear, ‘Afterglow’ by Podington Bear

 

Music Credits: ‘The World (Is Going Up In Flames)’ by Charles Bradley

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

 Image Credit: Percitta