‘Intolerant censorship’: Bernardi lashes musicians’ criticism of alternative Hottest 100 list

Updated January 18, 2018 10:47:39

Cory Bernardi has told Australian artists asking to be removed from his party’s “alternative to the Hottest 100” playlist that they should be thankful for the royalties, after one band included in the list told him to “f*** off”.

The senator’s Australian Conservatives party announced the #AC100 yesterday, saying the move was prompted by triple j’s decision to move its annual Hottest 100 countdown away from Australia Day this year.

The party released a Spotify playlist of tracks from Australian artists and invited people to vote for their favourites.

But some artists, including Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes and hip-hop group Hilltop Hoods, are demanding to be taken off the list.

Senator Bernardi said the reaction amounted to “intolerant censorship” and said all Australians should be entitled to enjoy music regardless of whether their political views aligned with the artists’.

“Suddenly artists are saying, ‘You’re not allowed to add my songs to your playlist … because I don’t agree with your political views’,” he told RN Breakfast.

“This is absurd, it’s outrageous.”

The senator denied claims he was politicising the playlist by sharing it on his party website and Twitter account.

“I want people to listen to great Australian music and I’ve made it easy for them to do so,” he said.

“[Artists] can beat it up and complain, they can threaten me with legal action … the simple answer is: take your songs off the streaming service if you don’t want people to play them and support them.”

Responding to the request from Hayes to remove Savage Garden’s To The Moon And Back, which is at number 61 on the alternative list, Senator Bernardi suggested the artist should be grateful for the royalties.

“[Darren Hayes] gets a royalty for every time it’s played, he should be thanking us.”

The complaint from Hilltop Hoods employed more colourful language, with the band simply tweeting at Senator Bernardi to “f*** off”.

“I actually do enjoy their [Hilltop Hoods’] music, but I don’t have to like their politics,” Senator Bernardi said.

“I don’t have to enjoy their political or social activism to say, ‘Hey, they’re talented, they’re Australian, and they’ve got some boppy little songs that I kind of enjoy’.”

Men At Work’s Down Under tops Senator Bernardi’s list, with Cold Chisel’s Khe Sanh and John Farnham’s You’re the Voice rounding out the top three.

Topics: human-interest, minor-parties, government-and-politics, music, australia

First posted January 18, 2018 10:18:58

What the history of Hobart tells us about the area known as Wapping

Posted January 16, 2018 09:30:53

Lewd women, grisly murders, sailors drinking themselves to death and typhoid. Sounds like your typical 19th century port.

Early Hobart’s Wapping district was known as a sewer-ridden slum, but was that really the case? Who else lived there and why did it disappear?

Former Hobartian Jane Orbell-Smith, who now lives in Brisbane, wanted to know more about the slum she’d heard about when growing up in the 1970s.

So she posed the question to the ABC’s Curious Hobart team: “What is the history of the Hobart area known as Wapping?”

“When I was growing up no-one lived there. It had a reputation of being a bad slum area with dreadful crime, poverty and disease,” she said.

Curious Hobart is amonthly ABC project which invites you to have a say in the stories we cover such as the history of Hobart’s trams and whether there are secret tunnels under the city.

Where was Wapping?

The settlement sprang up around Hobart’s early wharf at Hunter Street and endured until it was almost obliterated by industrial and commercial pressures of the mid-20th century.

While it saw many phases, the profile remained one of poverty and prostitutes, housing Hobart’s poorest of the poor.

The name originated from the Wapping area in London which had a similar profile. At one time, both were the site of executions.

It was bordered by Liverpool, Campbell and Macquarie Streets and on the eastern side, Park Street, now the Brooker Highway.

The streetscapes are gone or bear little resemblance to the former layout, except for the back alleys around the Theatre Royal.

Amongst the pubs and workers’ cottages, the Theatre Royal opened in 1837 and remains Australia’s oldest working theatre.

The original building had a tavern beneath the auditorium which hosted cockfights among the mayhem of drunken revelry and prostitutes plying their trade.

Who lived there?

The people of Wapping were working class employed by the nearby factories — jam, tanneries, ice, soap, gasworks and a slaughter house among them — which were established near the Hunter Street wharf.

Robyn Everist, who has been taking tourists around Wapping since 2010, points out that while the district was poor, local services met many of their needs; milliners, a butcher, a school and even a barrister.

Wapping had its own Ragged School, a Hobart version of the free education which charities ran in Victorian England.

“The organisation which set up the school wanted to differentiate between the schools being provided for the fine elite folk of society and those recipients of charity, to put you in your place to make sure you knew you were lower class. You were able to be educated, but your future serving higher classes was controlled,” Mrs Everist said.

She believes former convict Ikey Solomon is also likely to have been a Wapping resident.

It’s said Solomon was one of the characters from London’s Wapping on whom Charles Dicken based his Oliver Twist character, Fagin.

Solomon’s shady reputation as a trainer of pickpockets and receiver of stolen goods preceded his arrival in the 1820s in Hobart where he set up as a tobacconist and made a successful attempt to reunite with his wife.

Was it really a disease-ridden slum?

Mrs Everist and others say not at all.

“For it to be a slum it had to have non-permanent housing. This had permanent housing, this area had houses built of stone and brick and only a small portion of them were made of timber,” she said.

Michael Sprod, co-author of Down Wapping published in 1988, said disease was certainly evident because the rivulet was used upstream to dump household waste, and it regularly flooded.

“There was cholera and typhoid outbreaks in Hobart not just down there as a result of poor sanitation, particularly around the rivulet, right up until the mid-19th century until the council got its act together.”

Mrs Everist said Wapping got a bad rap because it was full of people who “liked a rowdy life, who drank far too much and weren’t part of fine society”.

“It got this bad reputation of being somewhere you don’t want to go, a slightly dangerous place to go.

“But the people who lived here saw it completely differently. They saw themselves as a nice close-knit community, able to help your neighbours and look after your own.”

But there is no escaping the seedy side and its reputation of being on-the-nose was accurate, given the nearby industries and the fact it was at the end of the Hobart rivulet — the city’s early sewer.

The reputation for crime and vice was not surprising given the proliferation of pubs and prostitutes; 15 on one corner alone recorded in one early statistic.

In the early days drinking holes for seafarers, British troops and the navy dotted the area, with 13 pubs in just a few blocks.

“There certainly were lot of pubs downs there but there were also a lot in the city — they were smaller .. neighbourhood bars like we are going back to now almost,” Mr Sprod said.

“Hobart was a very busy whaling port and seamen of that type came off the boats with lots of money and wanting a bit of entertainment and recreation.”

Was it as bad as people thought?

Much of the area’s early social history is garnered from newspaper reports recording crimes ranging from publicans taking out orders to stop wives from drinking to some truly grisly murders.

In one particularly nasty crime in the 1820s, John Leech brutally stabbed his wife to death with a stick. He left her with horrific injures but despite crying out for help for 30 minutes, no-one came to her aid.

Leech went to the gallows for his actions which he believed were fully justified because of her “unfeminine behaviour.”

There are also accounts of seamen drinking themselves to death.

“There was a high influx of sailors and whalers who would be living away for many months and then they get off their ships and some drank themselves to death,” she said.

Mr Sprod said the demographic was mixed and while prostitutes were heavily linked with the area, some of them came from outside Wapping.

“Although it was quite poor down there, they were poor but honest and, in fact, the district was probably really dominated by people who worked in the local industries,” he said.

“It was a mixture of both, clearly the waterfront area had a lot of colourful life but the Wapping district was quite closely packed with housing and plenty of people who were decent upstanding citizens.”

Mrs Everist said the residents protected their own.

“People who grew up here felt they were quite safe, you don’t pick on your own. You might mug an interloper, mug a whaler who has got lots of money because he wasn’t a local.”

Does anything of old Wapping remain?

Above ground, the Theatre Royal and a church used by the Mission to Seafarers in Campbell Street are the major structures remaining, as well as the gasworks’ chimney and remnants of brick walls.

Below ground, excavations for buildings such as the $90 million cultural perform arts centre, have revealed glimpses of former Wapping life.

Under the Menzies Centre on Liverpool Street, just on the outskirts, are examples of drains and cobble stones of yesteryear now encased in glass showcases.

None of the watering holes survive but the remnants of one — the Red Lion — still exist in the venue which was a favourite live music haunt of locals in the 1970s and 80s.

A fire place and part of an exterior wall remain from the pub which had four name changes and is now absorbed into a hotel apartment complex on Macquarie Street.

“It [Wapping] has been built over and been forgotten,” Ms Everist said.

“It’s really hard to remember an entire community once all of the buildings have been bulldozed.”

But despite this, she encourages visitors and residents alike to “get digging” and learn more about early Wapping.

“I’ve met people with older relatives who have memories of this area and that’s where we get these stories from people who say ‘no, it was a nice, tight-knit community’,” she said.

Gone but not forgotten

Mrs Everist said Wapping disappeared through neglect and lack of forethought.

The sanitation was not fixed until the people were moved out to make way for industry and transport needs.

“The council was required to take care of the unsanitary conditions and back in the late 1890s they had grand plans for reinvigorating, but it all came to nothing,” she said.

“It was much easier to condemn all of those little homes and move the people out to the suburbs and put in light industry.

“That’s when the council put in better sewerage and plumbing and redirected the rivulet underground and further back at Macquarie Point.

In the 1990s the Hobart City Council tried to reinvigorate the area with affordable apartment living.

The Sullivan’s Cove planning document stated:

The Wapping area should provide a high quality and stimulating residential environment and enjoyable, secure, safe and convenient routes for cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

The area should develop as a lively “people place” centred on Collins Street and sheltered or buffered on the high traffic edges.

But the new locals tend to disappear into the apartments which are worth upwards of $500,000, and a far cry from the original dwellings.

An attempt to reinstate the name was also part of the plan, but many Hobartians would struggle to tell you the location of the modern-day Wapping.

About our Curious Hobart questioner:

Jane Orbell-Smith grew up in Hobart and now lives in Redcliffe, Queensland.

“As a kid growing up in Hobart, whenever we passed through the Wapping area, my parents and grandparents would talk about old stories from Wapping and how tough life was for the people that lived there,” she said.

“With the development in the area, I thought it would be interesting to know more about it’s history.”

Do you have a question about Hobart?

You can suggest something for us to investigate by filling out the information below.

Go on, be Curious!

Topics: history, community-and-society, arts-and-entertainment, human-interest, hobart-7000, north-hobart-7000, south-hobart-7004, west-hobart-7000, tas

Queen Elizabeth’s bra fitter loses contract

Updated January 12, 2018 09:48:20

The company which supplied lingerie to Queen Elizabeth II has lost its contract with Buckingham Palace after the owner published a book making references to the Royal family.

Key points

  • Rigby & Peller loses its contract with the Royal family
  • It followed the company’s former owner writing a book which referenced the family
  • June Kenton says she was “completely and utterly heartbroken”

June Kenton said Rigby & Peller had lost the right to display the Royal coat of arms last year after she mentioned them in her book, Storm in a D-cup.

Who is June Kenton?

Mrs Kenton bought Rigby & Peller with her husband in 1982 for 20,000 British pounds, and later sold a majority stake to Belgian luxury lingerie maker Van de Velde for 8 million pounds in 2011.

According to her publisher, the 82-year-old transformed the store into one of the leading lingerie retailers in the world.

Trained at the Berlie Corsetry School, she has more than 60 years in the lingerie industry, and holds a lifetime achievement award from the UK industry.

What did she say?

The former owner of the firm told Associated Press she regretted her book had caused the business to lose its “Royal warrant” and meant no offence to the monarch or her family.

“There’s nothing in there that makes you think, ‘Oh! That’s naughty’,” Mrs Kenton said.

“It’s very sad to have ended like this.

“I am completely and utterly heartbroken. I apologise for anything I might have done or said in the book. It was totally unintentional.

“I just think the world of them.”

What is a Royal warrant?

Rigby & Peller had held what’s called a Royal warrant as corsetiere to the Queen since 1960.

There are about 800 royal warrant holders, including individuals, small businesses and global companies.

It is a mark of recognition for those who supply specific goods or services to the Royal household.

Just one example is Fortnum & Mason, which has a warrant as “grocer & provision merchant” to the monarch.

What did Mrs Kenton write about?

In the book she made several references to interactions with the Royal family, unaware of the rules governing the release of information on private meetings with them.

She discussed the Queen Mother:

“Shall I tell you what I do?” she was quoted as saying.

“I pretend to listen to Margaret and then, once she has gone, I order what I want.”

She made reference to Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry:

“I never met Diana’s boys, but I used to give her lingerie and swimwear posters for them to put up in their studies at Eton,” Mrs Kenton wrote.

She discusses her first meeting with the Queen, but fell short of giving any detail about the actual fitting:

“We never, ever have discussions of what we see in the fitting room,” she said.

“That’s between you and the customer.”

She insists her autobiography not a tell-all book, and said she even sent a copy to Buckingham Palace when the book was published last year.

What has Buckingham Palace said?

The Palace declined to comment on Thursday.

“In respect of Royal warrants, we never comment on individual companies,” the statement said.

But Rigby & Peller confirmed the loss of the Royal warrant.

“Rigby & Peller is deeply saddened by this decision and is not able to elaborate further on the cancellation out of respect for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Warrant Holders Association,” the company said in statement.

“However, the company will continue to provide an exemplary and discreet service to its clients.”

It’s not the first time the Royal’s have had their private lives detailed

In 2003, Paul Burrell — a former servant to the Royal household — released his memoir, A Royal Duty.

It became a best seller.

The book detailed his time as a butler to Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire and his move to Diana’s staff after their divorce.

Sarah Goodall — who worked for Prince Charles for 12 years — also released The Palace Diaries: Twelve Years with HRH Prince Charles in 2006.

Meghan Markle’s estranged half-sister Samantha Grant is set to release a book spilling family secrets titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

AP

Topics: royal-and-imperial-matters, human-interest, books-literature, united-kingdom

First posted January 12, 2018 09:45:41

Ex-Biggest Loser contestant finds strength to lift herself out of depression

Posted January 11, 2018 11:52:40

Lydia Hantke knows what it means to push her body to the limit and then keep going.

But she also knows what it feels like to come undone.

The Tasmanian changed her life forever (for the first time) in 2012 when she competed in the reality TV program The Biggest Loser.

“I discovered that I was really good at something and I discovered that I really enjoyed training,” she told Helen Shield on ABC Radio.

“And that training for me was something I was going to need to do for the rest of my life, as much psychologically as physically.”

When Ms Hantke returned to regular life after the television show she started working as a personal trainer.

It is a job she still loves.

“I’ve been a personal trainer since 2012 … I have never ever struggled to have work,” she said.

Then, a decision to have a baby two years ago changed Ms Hantke’s life once again.

She kept training and working hard while pregnant; she even competed in strongman competitions.

“When I was 17 weeks pregnant I took part in my first strongman competition.

“The second one that I won I was maybe 32 weeks pregnant. I had to get a medical clearance to compete.”

But despite her desire to keep active and strong pre and post baby, the reality of having a tiny human enter her world hit Ms Hantke harder than she expected.

“I wasn’t prepared for the loss of independence.

“I wasn’t prepared for how much my life changed for having a child and that’s where the wheels fell off a bit.

“I became very housebound, I didn’t want to leave the house.

“I was so self-conscious of the fact that as time went on I wasn’t losing the [baby] weight. I felt like a failure.”

Ms Hantke said she experienced feelings of anxiety and depression

“It’s very easy to find excuses, it’s very hard to keep going.”

Needing something to aim for, Ms Hantke began training again in the hope of one day competing in weightlifting.

“I wanted to be a really strong and a really fit individual.

“I like being really strong. I’m really addicted to it.

“The biggest bit of advice I can give to people is when you train, whether it’s for physical or psychological reasons or both, you’ve got to have goals.”

Lifting for competition involves three key moves — squats, bench press and deadlift.

Ms Hantke said at the beginning it was very hard.

“There were days I just wanted to cry.

“I’ve got severe osteoarthritis in my knees. We really pushed my knees.”

Then last month she entered the powerlifting competition at the Festival of Strength, and she surprised herself by winning her first deadlift competition.

“I hadn’t really thought about winning … I just wanted to lift all the heavy things.”

Ms Hantke pulled a whopping 170 kilograms in her third lift to take out the competition.

She said her fitness, both physically and mentally, was now firmly back on track.

“I felt like the strongest person in the room.

“I wasn’t, but I felt like it.”

Topics: exercise-and-fitness, mental-health, human-interest, person, television, people, hobart-7000

The bizarre history of the hair dryer

Updated January 11, 2018 10:28:39

There was a time when washing your hair was seen as a perfectly acceptable excuse to decline an invitation out.

It wasn’t so much the washing that was taking up your time, but the drying.

Naturally, the French, with their impeccable sense of style, were the first to come up with a solution.

In 1888 hairdresser Alexandre Godefroy proposed covering the damp head with a cap that was linked by a tube to the hot air outlet of a gas stove.

It wasn’t exactly portable, but it did dry the hair, even if it needed a valve to let out the steam as the hair dried or else your head would get gently cooked.

It was a major step forward from previous hair-drying contraptions, which amounted to little more than earthenware jars filled with hot water that were placed on the head.

Mr Godefroy’s invention set into motion a number of variations around the world and by the 1920s there were electrical, handheld dryers which incorporated a heating element and a fan.

Made from metal, they tended to be immensely heavy, and their often wonky electrical connections and use in bathrooms sparked a number of deaths.

But the ability to dry one’s hair at home inspired new, simpler hairstyles, such as the bob, where the hairdryer gave a smooth sheen that had previously been only attainable in a salon.

It sparked a new focus on hair hygiene, with people washing their hair more regularly, which led to a boon for shampoo manufacturers.

Hair dryers were also seen as good for killing headlice.

The new invention was popularised thanks to the growing reach of women’s magazines and an army of door-to-door salesmen.

By the 1950s, thanks to new lightweight plastics, it was a rare household that didn’t possess one.

Hair salons still relied on the helmet-type dryer, usually set in a row so that customers could browse magazines or shout to each other above the noise of the fan while their perms were baked to perfection.

The late 1960s liberated hair styles, and the sense of natural bounce was aided by smaller, cheaper hairdryers that were designed to fit in a handbag, usually in a jaunty youthful colour.

Actress Farah Fawcett and even Princess Diana did much to promote the natural flick, which of course was anything but.

Essentially, the dryer is little changed from those early models of a hundred years ago, even though companies continue to strive for the perfect hairdryer, promising better technology to give precise temperature and fan settings so hair doesn’t scorch.

Faster, more efficient and certainly less lethal, there’s now no excuse to refuse an invitation as you tend to your crowning glory.

Topics: industrial-design, human-interest, australia

First posted January 11, 2018 10:12:19

Musician hit with copyright claims over 10 hours of white noise

Updated January 10, 2018 11:26:24

White noise. Static. The wash of ocean waves breaking. They are the soothing sounds you might use to aid sleep or distraction-free work.

But can you copyright them?

It’s a bizarre question that’s emerged in response to the recent experience of an Adelaide musician.

In 2015, Sebastian Tomczak, a sound technologist who teaches at the University of Adelaide, became interested in continuous sound — looping bits of noise that humans could listen to for hours on end.

Around that time, he uploaded some videos to YouTube, one of them a 10-hour track of pure white noise he created on a basic computer program.

“I uploaded it back then, and then forgot about it,” Dr Tomczak told the ABC. “It’s only had about 1,000 views.

“And then on Friday morning, two-and-a-half years later, I noticed that I had a copyright message from YouTube.”

Turns out, YouTube’s algorithm had finally got around to scanning Dr Tomczak’s work, and noticed it sounded pretty similar to videos of white noise — and there are heaps of them — uploaded to YouTube by other users.

With so many videos being uploaded to the Google-owned platform every day, YouTube’s Content ID automated system is how it stays on top of copyright infringement, a problem for which it’s been criticised in the past by the music industry.

There were five claims of copyright infringement related to Dr Tomczak’s 10-hour track.

Two appeared to be experimental musical compositions that included white noise; the other three seemed to be purely the kind of white noise you might use to help you sleep.

All were seeking any ad revenue generated from Dr Tomczak’s track.

“It’s an automated system, and so if someone lays a claim against someone else, then that means that the ad revenue is then diverted to the person that’s making the claim, without any human intervention or proof needed,” Dr Tomczak said.

“Which you can imagine is a pretty weird system.”

Can that sort of sound really be copyrighted?

“It’s actually a bit of a grey area,” said Dr Kylie Pappalardo, a lecturer in intellectual property law at QUT.

“Copyright protects expressions that are recorded in material form, but the expressions have to be original.

“What the law means by original is that it has to originate from somebody.

“There’s a chance that [white noise is] not actually original enough to be copyrighted, and if it is original enough, then the protection would be quite a low-level protection.”

Dr Pappalardo likens it to a series of cases involving the yellow and white pages (which, if you’ve never used them, were like an iPhone contact list but for everyone in the country).

Courts were asked to determine whether Telstra could copyright what was essentially just a list of names and phone numbers arranged alphabetically.

“I think a very similar kind of assessment would take place with white noise.”

Dr Pappalardo said YouTube’s automated copyright infringement actually worked really well, and represented Google’s attempt to deal with the internet-era scourge of intellectual property theft.

But there are some issues.

She said there was a particular concern for house or hip-hop musicians who sample, or create collages, or use long stretches of fairly common pieces of sound — e.g. white noise — amid much larger, very original compositions.

In those cases, Dr Pappalardo said, the procedure for allowing the musician to dispute the copyright infringement claim lacked transparency.

These kinds of strange claims are very rare

Google is working to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen in the future, because white noise is too indistinct to claim as your own.

As YouTube’s website notes, you can’t upload “sound effects, sound beds or production loops” and hope to generate ad revenue.

“We rely on copyright holders to only claim the content they truly own,” the company said in a statement.

“The accuracy of our matching systems can only ever be as good as the accuracy of what copyright holders submit.”

Google said it did have review teams that worked to catch and prevent inaccurate claims and take action against mischievous copyright holders, and called its dispute process “robust”.

Dr Tomczak was not intending to generate any ad revenue when he uploaded his 10 hours of white noise.

If he were, dealing with the infringement notices would have been more frustrating, he said.

After he tweeted about his experience, YouTube stepped in and dismissed the claims.

Ironically, amid the controversy, a two-year-old video that started off with 1,000 views now has nearly 50 times that — almost enough for him to cash in on his copyright.

Topics: music, arts-and-entertainment, copyright, information-and-communication, internet-culture, internet-technology, human-interest, adelaide-5000, australia

First posted January 10, 2018 11:17:18

Return of ice fish to Sydney Harbour honours Aboriginal fisherwomen

Updated January 10, 2018 09:41:56

The story of the Aboriginal fisherwomen of Sydney Harbour and their defiance against British colonists, who once excessively hauled 4,000 fish in one day, is the inspiration for a new public artwork at Barangaroo.

Lifelong Sydney resident Emily McDaniel is a descendant of the Kalari clan from the Wiradjuri nation in central west New South Wales.

When Ms McDaniel was invited to curate the new artwork, titled Four Thousand Fish, she ultimately wanted to commemorate the influential Cammeraygal fisherwoman after whom the harbour location was named.

“Sydney thinks of Barangaroo as a location first and foremost,” Ms McDaniel said.

“I want to reverse that, for people to know that she was a woman and she very strongly opposed her husband Bennelong’s interaction with the British.”

According to accounts written in 1804 by Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins, British colonists hauled in 4,000 fish from the waters of Sydney Cove during one day in 1790.

It was an excessive act that greatly affected the Eora fisherwomen of the area who practiced more sustainable methods of fishing by hand.

“When this happened it completely eliminated women from their position in the community,” Ms McDaniel said.

“[The colonists] gifted about 40 fish down the river to Bennelong — that was men giving fish to men, so women, again, out of the picture.”

Ms McDaniel said this event provided an understanding into why Barangaroo was recorded as a “difficult” character throughout history.

“When Bennelong first went to Sydney to meet the governor, she broke his fishing spears in anger and protest,” she said.

“But what we’re saying here is there’s a context for her actions, there was a reason.

“She wasn’t just angry, she was an environmentalist and she was standing up for women’s rights as well.”

While it is estimated there were around 1,700 colonists at Port Jackson at the time, Ms McDaniel said their fishing activities were excessive for that population.

“I think it was just [the colonists] reaping the country of its benefits because they didn’t connect to the land yet.”

For the artwork, Ms McDaniel brought together the talents of four Indigenous artists who created visual, audio and sculptural elements responding to the story of the fisherwomen.

Visitors to the site at Nawi Cove have been invited to scoop water from the harbour and create fish-shaped ice sculptures using cast moulds.

Once frozen, the ice fish are then placed on a large canoe moored at the end of a pontoon.

The warmth of a flame and the setting sun melts them, symbolising their return to the waters of Warrane (Sydney Harbour).

At the opening of the installation, Ms McDaniel said she was deeply moved by the participants’ actions throughout the ceremony.

“The reverence, care and precision as they placed those fish was quite beautiful to watch, they stacked them up perfectly,” she said.

“I really hadn’t prepared myself for that and I am quite moved by that.”

Ms McDaniel said she wanted visitors to be reminded of the environmental impact that current and future populations would make on the harbour’s delicate marine ecosystem.

“This isn’t a story of the past, it’s a story that has defined our future.

“These actions, from when the British first came to Australia, have really influenced the way we respond to our natural environment.

“I hope this is a project that makes Sydneysiders take responsibility for the history we’ve inherited.”

Topics: visual-art, indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, indigenous-culture, history, human-interest, community-and-society, sydney-2000

First posted January 10, 2018 09:00:00