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This weeks feature is Olive & the Volcano!

1. Who are you and what do you do? Olive & The Volcano is a multidisciplinary letterpress & print studio. We handcraft letterpress paper-goods and accessories with the help of a band of vintage presses and machinery and other local artisans. We also print custom letterpress projects for other artists, businesses and the public.

2. How do you choose your materials? Our wholesale range of paper-goods is inspired by gestural mark-making and nature. The work is influenced by the poetic, the romantic, the contemporary and the beautiful. We often work with imagery that is rich with personal and universal stories and what it is to be human.

3. What is your creative process like? There are two of us in the studio and our creative processes are quite different. Jo is very hands on and mark making focused, she works in the early morning and writing is an integral part of her creative process. Andy is more illustration based and loves a brief to work to. He is a late creator and prefers working by hand first and then manipulates his images via the computer.

4. What's the best piece of advice that you've been given? Saying no to one thing, is saying yes to another. Best advice ever received!

5. What couldn't you live without? Art supplies and beautiful paper. Making and creating is an essential part of who we are, we are much happier people and better parents when we have the freedom to create and express who we are via story, imagery and process.

You can find Olive & the Volcano's products at the NRCG shop.

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Ballina Shire Council invites suitability experienced artists to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for public artwork concepts for two new Ballina CBD traffic roundabout sites.

Two sites have been identified for this exciting public art opportunity. Site 1 is the traffic roundabout at the intersection of Cherry and Tamar Streets. Site 2 is the traffic roundabout on Fawcett and Moon Streets. Artists are invited to submit concepts for one or both of the identified sites.

Concepts are sought for artworks that consider the cultural, site specific and thematic considerations of the Ballina Township and its community. This EOI is the first stage of a three stage process. A shortlist of artists from Stage 1 will be invited to progress to Stage 2. At this stage only preliminary concept proposals are required and no fees will be paid to artists for submitting an expression of interest.

For more information please click here for the artist brief and EOI or go to Ballina Shire Council’s website.

Deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is COB Monday 2 May 2016.

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Trip Blog 5 (by Duke Albada)

Ngunnhu : fish traps at Brewarrina

These days, as in immemorial times, people tend to flock to places where food is a plenty. Such one place is the Ngunnhu (fish traps) at Brewarrina. A stretch of 500m various dry stone wall ponds showcases knowledge of river hydrology and fish ecology. Though in the Ngemba nation, this location has always been a very important gathering site for many language groups. And still the spirit of this place is strong

Hence I stay a little longer at the Barwon River and explore the regions diverse cultivation, wildlife and historic significance. Moving between the "renowned for fishing" bush campsite alongside the river to the historic fish traps, canola farmland, the plains and the township. This was one of the few places where the wider landscape features as much in my footage as close up details.

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Trip Blog 4 (by Duke Albada)


My connection to country concentrates on the land; the nature and environment but all these are influenced and sometimes completely appropriated by people. During my travels I meet with traditional custodians, speak with contemporary keepers such as park rangers, encounter cowboys and farmers but also catch up with council staff, youth workers, a radio presenter, a kangaroo hunter and corner pub/restaurant owners and families. Their lives, their stories are part of the landscape.

In general each person places certain demands on the land, and looks after it in a way that suits those demands. This has resulted in a huge alteration of the landscape ensuing in a loss of the possibility of traditional living.

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Trip Blog 1 (by Duke Albada)

1. Commencement

Isla Gorge National Park

Is it crazy to set off on a 5000km roundtrip not knowing exactly where it will take me or what specifically I will be filming for my upcoming video installation at Ballina Airport? I don't think so, as I trust that as my journey unfolds so will my insights regarding the content as well as the 'look and feel' of the imagery. My goal on the other hand is very clear; to investigate my connection to country in detail, and to keep a visual diary of this exploration. 

At the first campout in Isla National Park I admire the vast views over the gorge, but it is the combination of the flaming red sunset licking the burned tree stump that enthrals me and makes me grab my camera for the first time. A slow close-up fly-over reveals the pores, lumps and bumps of the bark telling the history of this piece of dead, but not useless wood. 

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Minnie Downs (Tambo)

Road-trip notes; a scale of sentimental values

Sandy tracks meander into shrubbery bush,
we head to mysterious destinations unknown.
A tree trunk rigidly salutes.

The sun-paled sky crowns iconic yellow grass fields,
beside lush green evidence of intense irrigation,
alternated by weary not-so-virgin stretches of ploughed red earth.
Worn tree speckled plateaus lie alongside smoking coal copies.

Parked cattle trucks shake,
sounding low "moos" and heavy hooves,
perfuming the air.

Red dusted car and lizzy blooded tires.
Mass fly suicides on my exoskeleton.
Crosses, rubber and roo corpses line the roads.
King wings soar above a murder feasting.

Sloth paced refuelling
10min parking spaces urge otherwise.
I zoom in and on

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