Run for your lives

If you live for the return of The Walking Dead, next month’s Zombie Aporcalypse will really get your blood pumping. 

Zombie Aporcalypse is the brainchild of Ray Hutchinson, who held the first one last year at the Peninsula Obstacle Racing Course he built two and a half years ago on 22ha at Moorooduc.  It was a screaming success.

“There had been a zombie fun run in Queensland and the Zombie Shuffle in Melbourne, but nobody had tried a themed obstacle race before,” Ray says. “We had 250 runners and 50 zombies on the day and a great time was had by all.”

This year the minimum age limit has been reduced from 14 to 12 years and the number of obstacles increased from about 50 to more than 60, but the premise remains pretty much the same: a zombie virus is sweeping the land and the only vaccines are in the PORC wastelands, which are controlled by the zombie hordes.  Runners wear lifebelts with three coloured ribbons – or life flags – and must negotiate a 7km obstacle course to find the vaccine and make it back to the safe zone while being hunted by the zombies.  If the zombies snatch all three life flags, the runner’s off to “body processing” to join the ranks of the undead.

And while it might seem an easy task to outsprint a shuffling zombie, those 60-plus obstacles will slow you to a crawl … and that makes you easy meat.

Those taking part can sign up as zombies or runners, and there are also plenty of volunteer positions. The zombie role is a non-speaking part (although they will be required to moan and groan a lot).  All zombies undergo a professional makeover at the ZTC (zombie transformation centre) before being unleashed on the runners. They also take home an

“I Died at the Aporcalypse” T-shirt . The runners get an“I Survived” or “I Died” T-shirt (depending on how well they managed to evade the hordes) as well as a great zombie photo opportunity.  And volunteers get an “I Survived the Aporcalypse” T-shirt and head scarf as well as refreshments throughout the day.

The Zombie Aporcalypse is at the Peninsula Obstacle Racing Course, 480 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Moorooduc, on Saturday, September 17.  Sign up at zombieaporcalypse.com.au

Marching to the beat of a different drum

Every week in Carrum, the night air resonates to the rhythms of Africa as Renee and Amadou Kalissa put a group of enthusiastic students through their paces at DunDunKan African Drumming.

Renee and Amadou met in Guinea, West Africa, six years ago when Renee was on a drum and dance intensive; Amadou was one of her music teachers.  They married in 2012 and their daughter was born a year later.

“DunDunKan African Drumming was a dream of mine, with the main focus on promotion and education of West African music and culture,” Amadou says.  “It is vitally important to keep the traditions alive for the coming generations, and coming from a musician’s family this is my obligation and my children’s obligation.”

Amadou’s father was a master of the kora (African harp) and travelled the world for more than 20 years with Les Ballets Africains, the Guinean national music ensemble.  Amadou grew up surrounded by percussion and strings and has toured Europe several times with his seven-piece percussion group.

DunDunKan (it’s pronounced “doon doon khan”, which means “the sound of the dun dun”, or bass drum) has been based in Seaford for two years, with beginners’ and intermediate classes held in Carrum on Tuesday nights.  Amadou teaches the djembe (hand drum) with Renee accompanying him on dun duns. 

“Amadou teaches classes in the traditional method, which is from repetition and memory and no sign of sheet music,” says Renee.  “This is how music has been taught for generations in West Africa with the focus on feeling the music and allowing your body to remember the grooves.  Drumming classes are great for busting stress in an informal, fun and physical way.  It’s also a memory builder and a great way to socialise.”

Once or twice a year they hold student drumming nights where students showcase what they learnt that semester to their friends and family.  “We also invite our students to drum with us at various festivals around Victoria.”  They also hold school workshops and perform at weddings, gallery openings, aged care and disability centres “and everything in between”. 

Amadou will be performing at Frankston Library on Sunday, August 21, at 1.30pm.

DUNDUNKAN AFRICAN DRUMMING
M: 0424 424 212
E: [email protected]
W: www.dundunkan.com
FB: facebook.com/Dundunkan-African-Drumming-621266171318047/

Celebration of a sensational city

Frankston, frock up and get ready to celebrate 50 years of cityhood.

The Frankston Business Network is holding a gala dinner on Saturday, August 27, to mark the anniversary of the declaration of Frankston as a city on August 24, 1966, and is inviting the community to come together for a night of celebration, entertainment, food and great company.

It’s being held from 7-11pm in the Panorama Room at the Best Western Frankston International, 389 Nepean Highway.  Tickets are $79 per person, which includes a three-course meal and drinks and entertainment from The Medley Boys Band. The dress code is cocktail, and accommodation is available for guests at special function rates (phone 9781 3444).

Numbers are limited, so get in quick.  Book at frankstonbusinessnetwork.com.au before Monday, August 22.

Suicide Squad

Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston
In Suicide Squad, Will Smith finds the opportunity to remind us how he became a star, delivering his most charismatic performance in years.  This latest film offering in the DC Extended Universe centres around a team of incarcerated villains recruited by Machiavellian government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to run black-ops in exchange for reduced sentences.  Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn leaves a lasting impression: every time her character is having fun on screen, so too are we as an audience. Like Batman v Superman, however, the studio struggles to nail the tone, leading to a less than cohesive final edit. Where its marketing campaign mirrored rival studio Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy yet purported to go darker, DC’s Dirty (Half) Dozen are never given carte blanche to one-up that studio’s hugely successful Deadpool. 
SCOTT JACKSON Two and a half stars
We have 5 double passes to give away.  Go to www.franklyfrankston.com.au and become a member to be in this draw and every draw we have!

Emerging artist exhibits Poise

Paul Waycott is an exciting new artist having his first exhibition with Manyung Gallery Mt Eliza.  Paul has adopted a distinctive technique combining single colours with varying tonality, together with a confident use of negative space.  His subjects are sensually portrayed women, usually presented in a state of contemplation.

Poise, his new exhibition, is a contemporary take on the classic nude form. Paul describes his approach as working in an organic, free and flowing style to capture natural movement and mood.  He hopes this combination of form and colour will evoke an authentic emotional response in the viewer.

Poise opens at Manyung Gallery Mt Eliza (now located at 60 Mt Eliza Way) at noon on Saturday, August 27. All welcome.

High-jinx on the high seas

The hilarious comedy Simon’s Final Sound sails into Frankston Arts Centre on Tuesday, September 13. From the pen of multi-award-winning playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, it’s an Aussie play about four ordinary people on a cruise who try, fail, try again and fail better.

Simon’s a bit of a no-hoper, and he is going deaf. He goes in search of a magical – but possibly mythical – island where he thinks he will find some consolation. To make the journey, Simon teams up with Michael, a dull banker with a duller life, and Michael’s wife, Ginny, who is about to leave him. Also along for the ride is Claude, a blisteringly annoying blockhead with zero social skills.

For your chance to win a double pass to Simon’s Final Sound, send your funny cruise story to [email protected] using the subject line “Don’t Miss the Boat” Competition by September 5. See Simon’s Final Sound at Frankston Arts Centre on September 13 at 8pm. Tickets: $46 to $52. Bookings: thefac.com.au or phone 9784 1060.

GRID 2016

Efforts to build a supportive, non-competitive community of independent musicians could set the Peninsula’s indie music scene alight.

GRID (Grass Roots Indie Development) is inviting emerging artists and bands from the outer southeastern, Frankston and Peninsula region to take part in its 2016 series of mentoring workshops, live performances and recording sessions.

Melbourne-based producer Ariel Blum established GRID with Ayesha Mehta, the co-founder of Taiwan’s Red Room, after it became apparent that many of the artists he was working with were eager to get as much information as possible on how to manage and grow their careers.

“I'd found that these artists were super hungry for new opportunities and I wanted to create a space where they had access to this information in a personalised fashion,” Ariel says. “Ayesha and I wanted to create a non-competitive space where artists are encouraged to build a community among themselves and grow together.

“When you look at the way music scenes have come to be, it has so often been numerous bands coming up together. We want to see GRID do the same thing. We want to enable artists to have the confidence and knowledge to go into the world with their record and give themselves the best shot at making an impact locally.”

Artists who live in the region and perform their own material are invited to apply before July 24, after which eight will receive one fully produced track from El Perro Productions, two paid gigs at Frankston’s Pelly Bar and The Village Green in Mulgrave, and a weekend of one-on-one mentoring with music industry professionals from Music Victoria.

“We'd like to see the eight selected artists who join the series to flourish and build new and exciting opportunities for themselves, and we encourage all the artists who apply to be involved to come to the shows, make new connections and build on the scene within their region. The shows are all happening locally and this gives the artists the best chance to involve their own community.

“There is amazing talent in this region. We want to give these artists the same opportunity and access that their peers in the inner city have.

“We'd like to also invite musicians whose first language may not be English to be involved. We've just launched a broad poster campaign in the region in English, Chinese, Hindi, Sudanese Arabic and Dari. Provided an artist writes and performs their own material, we'd love them to be involved in the series by applying to be a performer.”

Success stories have already emerged from previous GRID series. The Fabric, a nine-piece band “doing really amazing things in Melbourne”, had a song from GRID 2014 picked up by

Qantas inflight radio and went on to play the St Kilda Festival. Natalia Hayden (AKA Straythread) had one of her songs nominated for the Independent Music Awards. 

“Outside of these more public outcomes, the response from all the artists involved was really positive,” Ariel says. “The environment gave them a chance to really focus on the particulars of their project with mentors who were totally committed to helping them get to where they wanted to go.”

For more details and to apply for GRID 2016, go to http://www.gridseries.com.au

GRID 2016
W: www.gridseries.com.au
FB: facebook.com/gridseriesmelbourne/
instagram: grid_series
twitter: @gridseries

Manyung on the move

Manyung Gallery Mt Eliza, one of Victoria’s better-known art spaces, has just moved from the historic castle on Nepean Highway to a contemporary space at 60 Mount Eliza Way in Mt Eliza Village.

The Tuscan-inspired castle was a great setting for the gallery, but directors David and Sharyn Wemyss-Smith are keen to create a brighter, fresher space that’s inviting to both artists and visitors.

The Manyung Gallery Group has built a reputation as one of Melbourne’s largest and longest running contemporary art organisations with galleries in Mt Eliza, Sorrento, and Malvern. The new boutique gallery will stock the same artists and artwork Manyung is known for, as well as introducing new contemporary painters and sculptors.

To support the new gallery, Manyung has developed an art warehouse in Progress St, Mornington, where larger artworks will be housed and displayed.

“We’ve found more and more that people want a hero piece in their home accompanied by smaller complementary artworks. This space allows us to showcase artwork across a range of scales,” Sharyn says.

Manyung has experienced significant growth in the past 12 months, with the Sorrento and Malvern galleries both increasing in size. The group also has a mobile art service that delivers artwork for on-site assessment at clients’ homes and offices throughout Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

“For us it’s about creating an experience for our visitors,” Sharyn says. “We aren’t selling a piece of artwork; we are providing joy and emotion through art. It’s really important that our clients are confident knowing that they can source the perfect artwork through us.”

ECUME GALLERY

One of Boe Sapun’s favourite quotes comes from Picasso: “I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.”

“This is precisely how I paint,” says the owner and director of Aspendale’s Écume Gallery. “I create tranquil paintings that evoke a feeling of floating or drifting into the realms of deep inner peace with an element of escapism.”

Boe is an abstract expression artist with a background in visual merchandising.  She began painting only a few years ago after being encouraged by an artist friend; when he took her painting to a gallery and it quickly sold, she knew she could pursue an art career. She held her first successful exhibition, Hydromancy, in 2014 and followed that with Pareidolia last year.

Écume itself is a small, intimate gallery that was created from the studio of Bruce Earles, the artist widely acknowledged as having made a significant contribution to the contemporary Australian art movement. “It proudly retains the bespoke nature in its well-worn floors and subtle evidence of inspiration and creativity from paint-splattered walls,” Boe says.

Its location on the beach side of the Nepean Highway gives it “incredible exposure to continuous traffic”, making it ideal to showcase the work of new and emerging artists as well as established contemporary art.

Two of those emerging artists, Clare Rab Lynch and DB White, are collaborating for the first time for the exhibition Imperfect Harmony, from July 23-August 6. Lynch evokes whimsical and visual storytelling through anthropomorphic dancers, while White draws her inspiration from her environment, emulating shrouded skies, seascape and lucid dreams.

“The artists represent their art in their own unique way,” Boe says.

ÉCUME GALLERY
A: 106 Nepean Highway, Aspendale 3195
M: 0435 873 118
W: www.ecumegallery.com.au
Insta: @ecume_gallery
www.facebook.com/ÉCUME-GALLERY-749414318514301/

Art as therapy

Sandy Eliadis is a firm believer in the therapeutic value of art. She was so amazed at how it helped her that she decided to invite others to experience it.

Sandy began by offering resin painting workshops from her Om Creative Cave in Carrum Downs, an “amazing” space where anyone can come and enjoy the non-judgemental company of like-minded people in a safe, relaxed and nurturing environment.

“I have had a lot of wonderful teachers who have been an absolute inspiration and blessing to me, and I want to inspire others to have a go. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

Sandy’s resin workshops are intimate affairs. She works with only one or two people at a time, or a maximum of six if smaller pieces are involved, so each person is assured of individual attention. Occasionally a guest artist will be on hand to demonstrate his or her techniques.

“They are lessons but I want them to be fun. I want it to be about the journey rather than the destination.”

The “destination” is not just your own piece of stunning art but the feeling of accomplishment, of emotions released and purpose found.

There are more wonderful classes on the way, including air-brushing, mixed media, intuitive painting, spirit guide drawing, vision boards, beginners’ workshops and monthly craft classes. Sandy is also keen to offer workshops for children and is looking at setting up meditation classes, where people can come along and enjoy a meditation session before they paint. And she wants to devote one day a week to a “fun day, where you can paint with other people, crank up the music and just have fun”.

Everything, even morning tea and lunch, is supplied at the workshops – “just bring your inspiration and an apron” – and Sandy’s daughter, Zoe – “my right-hand woman” – takes bookings, organises the workshops, and helps set up and clean up.

So take a break from life’s pressures, enter the Om Creative Cave and nurture your creative soul. You’ll be glad you did.

OM CREATIVE CAVE
A: Factory 3/40 Access Way, Carrum Downs
M: 0409 776 948