Out in The Lineup

Film-maker Thomas Castets has just had a very big weekend.

His groundbreaking surf film, Out In The Lineup, has just won both the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival, and the Best Surf Film Award at the Byron Bay International Film Festival.

Out In the Lineup is a challenging examination of surfing’€™s attitudes to homosexuality ‘€“ showing us both the pain and damage that are wrought by ignorance, and also the life-affirming solace to be found in the ocean. The interviews, and archival and water footage, are world class: and the issue could not be more important. As the surfers in this film remind us, the process of coming out – and the reactions of others – are literally a matter of life and death for many.

Check out a trailer above: the DVD drops soon. And Thomas’€™s film screens this weekend at the Queer Film Festival at ACMI in Melbourne: get along, enjoy a great film and learn something vital.

What: Out In the Lineup

When: Sunday 16 March at 3pm

Where: ACMI Theatre 2, Federation Square Melbourne.

Tickets: HERE

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/313404535451232

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Celebration at Framlingham

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Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve occupies a unique and important place in Victorian history, a locus of remembrance for Koori people from far and wide, and a home to prominent activists, artists and identities.

Fram these days is a modern community – celebrating its heritage and looking forward to a strong and united future. Yet for many Victorians, the place remains an enigma.

But that’€™s all about to change: in celebration of the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Framlingham’€™s founding, the families of Fram are throwing open the doors and inviting everyone to come and enjoy Koori culture, learn some history and enjoy world-class performances by Archie Roach, Kutcha Edwards, the Yung Warriors and Shane Howard among many more.

The celebration, starting at 10am on Saturday 12 April 2014, is a drug and alcohol free event and great way to introduce your family to Framlingham’€™s rich and varied history.

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First Light – The Art of Ray Collins

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When Great Ocean Quarterly first opened its doors, we relied on a handful of artists to trust us and understand the concept of the journal, sight unseen, from the beginning. Among the most enthusiastic of these was Ray Collins. He sat down at his new desk after introducing himself to all our staff, and proceeded to make visual magic for us of a rare kind.

Ray’€™s trademark images of backlit, empty waves; his attention to the minutiae of breathing air over water, are becoming an integral part of GOQ‘€™s look and feel. This is reinforced in no small part by the image Nikon have used for their back cover advertisement ‘€“ the luminous emerald crest of a peaking slab wave on a dark ocean.

This beautiful short film offers an insight into Ray’€™s methods and his single-minded determination. Shots like those we featured in Mick Sowry’€™s photo-essay The Fall, and those which illustrated Karen Morrow’€™s story My Father’€™s Footprints, do not come about by hopeful snapping ‘€“ they’€™re the product of artistic instinct and relentless dedication.

It’€™s great to have you aboard, Ray.

SeaStills – Ray Collins from chris duczynski on Vimeo.

Submersible Subway

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Imagine a train carriage ‘€“ one of those really Hill Street Blues-looking steel ones that always feature in subway chase scenes on American TV, and then fill it with fish: lobsters, crabs, starfish, cod, mackerel and even a shark and an octopus or two. A recent US recycling project made this vision a reality, dumping outmoded subway carriages at sea to form artificial reefs that build up habitat. This intriguing little piece comes to us courtesy of the New York Times.

Image: Stephen Mallon/Works Artists/Frontroom Gallery

Goodbye Astrid

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The brig Astrid was a 100ft sailing vessel built in the Netherlands nearly 100 years ago. Her life was an eventful one, such that an end of the spectacular kind depicted above was perhaps inevitable.

Originally named WUTA, Astrid was sold to a Swede named Jeppson in 1937 and re-named. Her rigging was taken down and she operated for many years by diesel power alone, trading across the North and Baltic Seas. Later, sailing under a Lebanese flag, the brig is rumoured to have been involved in drug smuggling, and was in fact under chase by the English customs authorities when she caught fire.

Little is known of the vessel after that incident, until she was rediscovered by a sailor named Graham Neilson, abandoned and burnt out off the coast of England in the early 1980s. A trust was established to pay for the vessel’€™s restoration, and under British ownership she sailed in full regalia at public events and competed in Tall Ships races. Operating as a sail training vessel, she made multiple crossings of the Atlantic.

In her latter years, Astrid was sold by the trust and converted again, this time into a luxury cruising vessel, based out of historic Weymouth Harbour in Dorset. She featured in a series of Finnish postage stamps in 1997, dedicated to famous tall ships.

Astrid struck a shallow reef while entering harbour past Ballymacus Point in County Cork, southern Ireland, in broad daylight on 24 July last year. She was talking part in a fifty-vessel regatta organised by Ireland at the time of the mishap. The thirty people on board were rescued by lifeboat and another tall ship, and over subsequent months efforts were made to salvage her, to no avail. Her insurers declared her a total loss: she is destined to be cut up for scrap.

The shot we have used of the Astrid was taken by Irish photographer Ger Kelliher, who also produced the wonderful high speed shot of seafoam we recently posted on our GOQ Facebook page.

Watch Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017) English Full Episode Online

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29 March 2014, The Briars, Mount Martha, Mornington Peninsula

*Archie Roach to perform at The Mornington Peninsula’€™s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and cultural festival*

The Inaugural Baany to Warrna Ngargee is a groundbreaking Indigenous music and cultural festival in the Mornington Peninsula.  The festival is a non-profit endeavor designed to promote cross-cultural awareness, bringing Indigenous and non’€Indigenous people together in a vibrant, family-friendly outdoor event where Indigenous music, art, dance and culture will be showcased.

Baany to Warrna, gets its name from the local Boon Wurrung word meaning water and an Indigenous language group from the West Coast of South Australia, where festival Artistic Director, Ben McKeown hails from. Maintaining language is important to identity and culture and the expression ‘€˜water to water’€™ represents unity, sharing and collaborations.

Many people are unaware of the significant Indigenous population living on the Mornington Peninsula (approx. 1000). The festival will provide a welcoming environment for all people to share and celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of Australia’€™s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and engage with the local Indigenous population and others from all walks of life. The festival program will run from 2pm to 10pm and will include both traditional and contemporary musicians and dancers, bush tucker, boomerang painting, arts and crafts and Indigenous storytelling. Headlining the concert program is renowned Victorian singer and songwriter, Archie Roach. Mornington Peninsula musician and artist, Nola Lauch, will also perform, along with lyrical storyteller, Mau Power, from the Torres Strait, Yirrmal and the Yolngu Boys and many more.

Children’€™s activities include didgeridoo classes, Indigenous arts and crafts, face-painting and circus activities.

Food will be a combination of traditional and contemporary fare.

As part of a broader program, the festival will conduct lead-in events such as workshops and cultural activities in the build up to the main festival day. Indigenous dance and art workshops will run through schools and local community groups. Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kevin Bell, will deliver an oration and participate in a Q&A session on constitutional recognition at the Briars Historic Homestead at 2pm, prior to the commencement of the music program. This will be a unique opportunity to discuss contemporary human rights issues directly with Justice Bell, Indigenous elders and the other esteemed members of the panel.

www.facebook.com/watertowaterfestival

Media Contact: Julie Buxton; Tel: 0403 461 244

If you would like to download a copy of the Festival flyer you can do so HERE

 

An ocean of stars – bioluminescence in the Maldives

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While vacationing on the Maldives Islands, Taiwanese photographer Will Ho encountered a stretch of beach covered in millions of bioluminescent phytoplankton. These tiny organisms glow similarly to fireflies and tend to emit light when stressed, such as when waves crash or when they are otherwise agitated. While the phenomenon and its chemical mechanisms have been known for some time (particularly to sailors ploughing through a darkened sea), biologists have only recently began to understand the reasons behind it.

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Beaches across southern California have recently experienced eerie, glowing waves, brought about by a similar phenomenon: in that case caused by a red tide, or algae bloom, of bioluminescent phytoplankton, Lingulodinium polyedrum. A surfboard slashing across a wave face, or a kayaker’s paddle dipping the water, is enough to emit pulses of heavenly light.

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The algal blooms give the water a soupy red coloration by day, which is why they’re often referred to as a red tide. But unlike some forms of red tide that can be toxic to people and marine life, the glowing blooms that occurred in San Diego waters were reportedly harmless.

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For surfers who don’t mind catching a wave in water teeming with a sludge of microorganisms, the glowing ocean offers the chance of a lifetime. Night swimmers also often delight in the opportunity to lounge in a bioluminescent sea. The organisms can also be present in wet beach sand, so that beach walkers can leave a trail of glowing footsteps.

 

 

Treasure Beneath the Cliffs: Sydney’s Ocean Pools

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In our current issue of GOQ, you’ll find a beautiful short story by Karen Morrow called My Father’s Footprints.

Karen’s tale reminded us that Sydney’s urban coast (okay, and Newcastle’s and Wollongong’s) draws so much of its identity from these iconic structures. In their understated way they’re as synonymous with Sydney as the Opera House and the Bridge. Photographer Bob Weeks has built a lifetime of imagery around the coastal communities of Australia’s east coast, and especially Sydney. We thought this image of Cronulla pool, which he shot in 1960 (but wouldn’t look any different if taken in 2014), was a perfect lead-in to Karen’s story. You can find the story, along with Ray Collins’s dramatic shots of the Sydney pools, in our current issue.

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Murdoch Uni research looks at human interactions with Hawaii’s Spinner Dolphins

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Researchers have completed the most extensive study of the Hawai’i Island spinner dolphin population to date, with the data to be used to inform the local management agency. Lead researcher Julian Tyne, from the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit, said there were concerns that human activities were having a negative impact on the dolphins.

“Hawai’i’s spinner dolphins have a rigid daily routine, foraging for food in the open ocean at night and returning to sheltered bays to rest and socialise during the day,” he said. “These bays have seen a significant increase in tourist activity over the past twenty years, with a surge in dolphin-watching boat tours and businesses offering the opportunity to interact with dolphins.

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“It has previously been suggested that the dolphins are spending less time in the sheltered bays and that their rest is being interrupted, which may impact their ability to forage efficiently and spot predators.”

The project is a collaboration between Murdoch University (Perth, Western Australia) and Duke University (Durham, North Carolina). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Marine Mammal Commission, Dolphin Quest and Murdoch University funded the research. Researchers spent over two and a half years on Hawai’i Island, using modern visual and acoustic technology to collect baseline data. “From the first year of our study, we estimated that there are 631 spinner dolphins among the Hawai’i Island associated stock, which is lower than any previous estimate, with a survival rate of 97 per cent,” Mr Tyne said. “These dolphins don’t tend to mix with dolphins from other islands, meaning they are genetically distinct.

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“When this is combined with their rigid daily routine and ease of human access to the dolphins in their preferred resting habitats, they may be more vulnerable to negative impacts.”

In 2006, the Government of Western Australia reduced the number of commercial boat tour licences operating in the Shark Bay / Monkey Mia region, following the results of a similar study into the region’s bottlenose dolphins. Mr Tyne said Hawaiian authorities were considering a number of strategies to help mitigate the impact of human interactions on the spinner dolphin population.

“Most people have good intentions and are excited at the idea of interacting with dolphins,” he said. “These interactions need to be managed to protect animals from harm, while ensuring the sustainability of wildlife tourism in Hawai’i.” The study has been published in open access journal PLOS ONE and is available at this link: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086132

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The Fall: Poetry, Chaos and Wipeouts

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In our new issue, available in-store today, a remarkable photo collection from three of the greats: Ted Grambeau, Jon Frank and Ray Collins, with words by Mick Sowry. The shot above, by the talented (but unrelated) Ben Sowry, is a little taste of how it feels to get too closely acquainted with the Tasman Sea.

Aloft over Pipeline

Great photography has an occult ability to render dangerous things in a deceptively beautiful light. Eric Sterman’€™s quadcopter footage of Pipeline is a revelation: we see the corrugated lava surface of the reef, the acceleration of the surfer through takeoff, bottom turn and barrel, the abstract plumes of spray’€¦ from an unfamiliar, gull’€™s eye perspective. And the notorious north shore crowds, spotted from above, then serenely absent during heats of the Pipeline Masters in December.

Pipeline Winter 2013 from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.

One Line Each Breath

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If you watched the footage we posted a month ago of freediver William Trubridge, you might’€™ve experienced the slowing of breath that comes subconsciously with watching someone enveloped in concentration.

Netherlands-based artist John Franzen creates textured drawings that call to mind contour maps of lost lands, or the surface of an ocean, by repeatedly, delicately, laying down parallel lines with black ink. Beginning by drawing a single vertical line on the far side of a canvas, Franzen then allows subsequent lines to amplify or distort the tiny imperfections in that line as he continues, line after line. The process, which might look maddening, actually appears to be a sort of meditative effort for Franzen, who works with almost robotic precision.

(Footage courtesy thisiscolossal.com)

Helen Rock: Graveyard of Ships?

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Deakin University together with ShipShapeSearchers (http://shipshapesearchers.org/) are undertaking a project to gather remotely-sensed data to help discover potential shipwrecks that may have resulted from collisions with an offshore pinnacle named Helen Rock, off Armstrong Bay, 1.5 km south of Tower Hill, in southwest Victoria.

The project team will explore how maritime cultural heritage can be observed using remotely-sensed data including information from their sonar system. There have been numerous eyewitness accounts of shipwrecks in the area, since the early nineteenth century. Helen Rock is a pinnacle less than 4m below the surface, with steep slopes down to 35 metres. The peak has been known to occasionally break the surface in big seas. Considering its distance offshore, there is potential for Helen Rock to act as a ‘ship trap’.

In the event of collision, a distressed sailing vessel would very likely make an attempt to make it to shallower water, or indeed attempt to enter the lagoon outflow to the north. There is high probability of wreck remains still being there, and these remains would include jettisoned materials, which may be detectable.Data gathered from this project will also assist in understanding of the submerged paleo- landscape. Results of this study will go towards a further understanding of how historic shipwreck material may be discovered using remote sensing techniques.

This in turn will also lead to the promotion of underwater cultural heritage for the local and wider community. You can find more of Deakin University’€™s remarkable undersea imaging in GOQ’€™s feature, ‘€œThe Unseen Land of Bass Strait’€ in Issue 1/2014, on sale 23 January.

Sola Nightsea Blue Fluorescent Video

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This video was filmed during a Backscatter expedition to Lembeh, Indonesia by Jeff Honda using Sola Nightsea Blue lights by Light & Motion. For more information about these lights, please visit: backscatter.com/sku/lmi-850-0213.lasso

This type of videography is possible using two elements – a blue light source to excite fluorescence from underwater organisms and a barrier filter to remove everything except the fluorescent light. Jeff Honda spent an entire week filming this, dedicating several hours each night meticulously setting up his tripod to capture these sequences. The amount of light being reflected back from the subjects is significantly less than what you would see using normal white light, so framing and exposures are significantly more challenging.

Sola Nightsea Blue Fluorescent Video by Jeff Honda from Backscatter on Vimeo.

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The Reef is a Performance in Film and Live Music performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Artistic Director and Lead Violin Richard Tognetti collaborated with Producer/Director (and GOQ’s Creative Director) Mick Sowry and Director Of Photography Jon Frank, to evoke an epic stretch of coastline in the north west of Western Australia.

Using a mythic day to symbolise our lives in all their trials and glory, it consists of twenty-one individual compositions, some original, some amongst the greatest works in the classical tradition. This preview features Vocalise by Rachmaninoff.

The Reef: Vocalise provides a very beautiful backdrop to GOQ’s forthcoming photographic feature, The Fall (in issue 1/2014, available 23 January), with its theme of heroic failure: a simple yet beautiful representation of the inescapable part of our lives where all does not go to plan, and the honour in trying, and trying again.

The Reef. Vocalise. from The Reef on Vimeo.

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Theo Jansen is a rakish looking character, somewhere between Christopher Lloyd and John Laws in a supper club jacket and jeans. He smiles a lot, not in the way that people like newsreaders or real estate agents smile, but in a way that says ‘€œI am thinking on an entirely different plane’€¦ and it’€™s quite good fun in here.’€

Jansen is Dutch, a physicist by training but an artist by temperament. He’€™s worked variously as an author and journalist, taught photography and made rockets. He gave a TED lecture in 2007, and once invented a ‘€œpainting machine’€ ‘€“ a light-sensitive spray gun which could automatically create a photographic image in which all perspective is vanished.

But perhaps his crowning achievement is his self-propelling beach animals. Stuck for a new toy down at Anglesea this summer? Torn between the boogie board, the beach cricket and the totem tennis? How about a giant, self-propelling kite-creature made of thousands of plastic tubes, complete with functioning stomach, muscles, bones, arms and legs?

Jansen’€™s blurred all the lines between life and art and engineering and kites and sails and animals’€¦ and in the process, we think he’€™s made the GOQ list of Most Fascinating Candidates for a Dinner Party.

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Former Essendon AFL star Nathan Lovett-Murray talks in this clip about his origins in Heywood, deep in southwest Victoria, and his plans for a music business and mentoring programs for indigenous people in music and sport.

Nathan is a Gunditjmara man through his mother’€™s family, the Lovetts. He lived in Heywood until he was nearly eighteen, and he told GOQ that despite his passion for footy, he was determined to stay put until he’€™d finished year twelve. ‘€œI always wanted to play AFL footy, but I understood that footy wouldn’€™t be there forever, and education mattered to me. Up to that point, there hadn’€™t been a lot of my family members go through to year twelve, and I had cousins at school with me at the time. I wanted to set an example.’€

During his hard years as a journeyman footballer, Nathan did a pre-season with Richmond, was drafted as a rookie by Collingwood then de-listed, ground out a couple of years in the VFL and was finally picked up by Essendon, where he spent a highly successful ten years. During all of that, he was teaching fitness at Parkville Juvenile Facility and at an indigenous high school in Melbourne’€™s northern suburbs. And now that he’€™s retired from the game, he wants to keep giving back.

‘€œI’€™m setting up mentoring programs in sport and music,’€ he told us. ‘€œThe sport side is through the AFL. And the music side, which is already well underway through Mushroom Marketing, is called The Bunjil Music Business Project. It teaches indigenous people between fifteen and thirty all about the music business. Bunjil was the Creator, an important part of Gunditjmara beliefs. He was associated with Deen Maar (Lady Julia Percy Island). ‘€œ

In between all those commitments, Nathan will be working on his own business, Payback Records, which publishes recorded music and does tours, music videos and more.

Nathan told us some of his happiest childhood memories were formed along the southwest coast, camping at Christmas time at Lake Condah, Narrawong beach and Cape Bridgewater with his extended family. Here’€™s hoping he finds a little bit of that time this Christmas, in between his considerable efforts for others.

Nathan Lovett-Murray Digital Story from gusto films on Vimeo.

Happy Girls Go Surfing Day!

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Laura Hill, styling at Kirra (above), is a singer/songwriter from South Australia who features in our next issue (due out on 23 January), singing her Otis Redding-inspired ballad, Blue Eyes in a tiny stone church, deep in the river country of Tyrendarra in southwest Victoria.

Once again, we’€™ll be offering a free download of the track, which is ‘€“ trust us ‘€“ spine tinglingly gorgeous.

But in the meantime girls, get out there and grab a wave!

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Once upon a time, surfing was a small community of mates who hung out at the beach having simple, pointless fun. No brands, no scene, no crowds.

Skimboarding seems to be an echo of those days ‘€“ equipment you could make in your backyard shed, and an infinite array of lines to be drawn on the water. Photography student Jason Naude has put together a great little beginners’€™ guide to the scene at Laguna Beach.

 

Ocean Acidification: The Grim Picture for Pacific Biodiversity

Researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) have published a paper today in the Royal Society’€™s prestigious journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, explaining the detrimental effects of increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) on the diversity of coral reef invertebrates. It’€™s a snapshot of the centuries to come for our coral reefs, which house hundreds of thousands of species, including: octopi, clams and crabs.

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Healthy reefs in Milne Bay province, a few hundred meters away from the CO2 seeps.

‘€œWe’€™ve shown how detrimental high CO2 can be for corals. When CO2 from the atmosphere mixes with water, it causes ocean acidification, lowering the pH of the water and changing its carbonate chemistry. This in turn makes it harder for a range of marine animals to form their shells and skeletons,’€ said AIMS coral reefs research scientist, Dr Katharina Fabricius.

Ocean acidification slowly selects boulder-like massive coral over structurally complex branching and foliose (leaf-like) corals, which are the home of many species like crabs, shrimps and sea stars. As a result, ocean acidification has a domino effect: as the habitat structure decreases, the animals that live and hide in their nooks and crannies find it far harder to survive, and to hide from predators.

Dr Fabricius’€™ team worked around three, shallow volcanic CO2 seeps (or vents) in eastern Papua New Guinea, one of the few known CO2 seep sites in tropical waters within coral reef ecosystems. Dr Fabricius told GOQ this morning that PNG is one of the very few places where you can study the effect of CO2 emissions in the field. ‘€œThese vents are volcanic,’€ she told us. ‘€œYou can only find these phenomena in the Pacific Ring of Fire.’€

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Loss of structurally complex corals and loss of habitat for reef associated organisms from elevated carbon dioxide concentrations, at the CO2 seeps in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.

The AIMS research project has given scientists valuable insights into what tropical coral reefs could look like if human-induced atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to rise at the present rate. The ecological effects of ocean acidification have been largely unstudied until now.

‘€œI was very much alarmed by what we found,’€ Dr Fabricius told GOQ. ‘€œThe reefs off PNG are a time machine for what will happen to the Great Barrier Reef in fifty or one hundred years’€™ time. It takes hundreds of years for seawater chemistry to recover, even if our CO2 emissions dropped right now. What we’€™re seeing here will have impacts in a thousand years’€™ time.’€

All photos by Katharina Fabricius, Australian Institute of Marine Science.

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Freediving must be among the purest forms of human interaction with the ocean. Here, diver William Trubridge has even dispensed with fins as he spears vertically into the deep. It’€™s graceful, serene and yet, as he says, unnerving. The black and white photography gives the whole thing a choreographed feel’€¦ try watching this without involuntarily holding your breath.

William Trubridge – Freediver from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

 

 

Lisa Roberts – Living Data

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To say that Lisa Roberts is an academic is to focus on a very small part of a much larger picture.

Her PhD thesis from 2010, ‘€œAntarctic Animation,’€ can be found online. These days she is, strictly speaking, a Creative Fellow in the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology, Sydney. ‘€œThey couldn’€™t find a box for me’€, she laughs.

Working in collaboration with scientists, artists and even dancers, Lisa has created a series of animations under the collective heading ‘€œLiving Data’€, each of which shares the common characteristic of finding aesthetic beauty in the patterns and random scatters of natural systems.

The animations, accompanied by words and music, provoke the viewer to think about natural systems ‘€“ feeding cycles, ocean currents and airflows for example, in a way that dances delicately between the analytical and the sensory.

Lisa and her work are perhaps a prototype of future academic roles ‘€“ breaking down the hard delineations between artists and scientists and scholars. Increasingly, it’€™s not enough for scientists to talk to each other. In a world beset by problems of climate and habitat, the need for engaging scientific communication with the general public is greater than it’€™s ever been.

‘€œI’€™m not an activist,’€ she hastens to point out. ‘€œThat’€™s not a useful word. I make visualisations, to engage people in scientific and sensory ways. I’€™m trying to reconnect ways of thinking that used to be connected in our cultures. In Ancient Greek culture, in indigenous culture, there was no distinction between analysis and the senses.

‘€œThere are so many scientists out there with great stories and images to talk about. I went to Antarctica in 2002 for six weeks, and I met a bunch of scientists there who were incredibly creative. Art has segregated itself, to its peril, from the sciences.’€

Lisa’€™s next challenge: walking from sea level to the top of Mt Kosciusko, the highest point in Australia, with a group of scientists. ‘€œMy job is to observe how I learn, and how the students accompanying us learn, as we travel. I’€™ll be drawing and doing some creative writing.’€

Oceanic Living Data (Iteration 04) from Living Data on Vimeo.

Lorne : Recall

Melbourne writer Dave Hart is working on something special for our next issue, something that’€™s almost too multi-dimensional to paraphrase. There’€™s fish, the Lorne Pier, the Greek Islands, poetry and reminiscences, George Johnson, Leonard Cohen’€¦ if you’€™re a local to that coast, you’€™re probably onto the scent. In the meantime, here’€™s a few wandering thoughts Dave sent in as he developed his ideas.

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Photo by and ©2002 Dustin M. Ramsey

 

I admit to harboring mixed childhood feelings about Lorne.

Lorne was the rich cousin who had everything. We were Wye River blow-ins. Summer hillbillies from around the bend, where the coastal road rises, unleashing
a series of deep and treacherous chicanes to finally ease, beyond the bridge, at the treated pine barriers of the beachside general store.

This is not a fair opinion, though. Lorne also meant: four flavours in a double wafer cone; racks of Okanuis; Big M girls cavorting on the 3XY fun bus; rainbow thongs; and shoeless backflips over the paint-faded, mesh cross of the foreshore trampolines. Lorne was a safe base station, but only ever a brief pit stop for the likes of us. We’€™d answer the call to pile back in the Commodore and prepare to tackle the high, winding mountain pass beyond. The next section of the Great Ocean Road, as beautiful as it is dramatic. A Big Sur, or a slice of the Amalfi. In those days, it was not to be taken lightly.

This stanza required an intense concerto of gear changes to remain safely adhered to the contours of the cliff face and away from the abyss. Nothing any driver should attempt with a milkshake wedged between the legs, or elbow steering to finish a hamburger (cheerio, Dad). This was a serious business: A sudden dip, a steep climb with another sweeping arc, repeat and stir. Past the bluestone lookout, and across the Cumberland. A feat of engineering (and an ironic reward for fealty), it was hewn by brave Diggers for Wayne Gardner, but not for me. With the burnt stench of brake fluid from the rear passenger window, and mono repeats from one of two Neils (Diamond or Sedaka), the asphalt mixed a cocktail shaker that inevitably forced further unplanned stops, even a change of clothes. Too much to keep it all in. It is unfair to associate Lorne with spew, but its Siren song always chided about the toughest leg to come.

The weather broke over the Otways between us. When we were rained out, Lorne was boogieboarding in sunshine. We had a fibro shack on stilts among Eucalypts, with marchflies, redbacks and blue-tongues. They had concrete driveways, carports and town water. We had seagrass tiles, which tattoo your hide in geometric reminders of an afternoon session of Cluedo. They had bright mansions, shag pile and a proper cinema. They also had a fish shop, with a restaurant on the pier.

Lorne didn’€™t make me sick. That’€™s not right. It simply had a bad habit of making us jealous.


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Launch Issue

A taste of selected images and pages from our launch issue, which will be updated regularly with published work and images from our already growing archives.

 

Hugo Muecke

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As our website should be a window into our world beyond print, it becomes a chance to share more from our contributors.

Hugo Muecke is a case in point. Artist in Residence at the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Reef project of mid 2012, his observations around a camp whose rhythms were dictated by the mayhem of the elements gave a voice in line to the spare, hard light of Australia’s North West coast.

These images are from his sketchbook, more of which can be found in a story called A Delicate Eye, in our Launch Issue of GOQ.

OUR SUBSCRIBER BENEFITS START NOW

If you subscribe to Great Ocean Quarterly the benefits start straight away, and particularly when you subscribe before GOQ hits the stands. If you do, you will receive a beautiful Jon Frank print featuring a spectacular image from our feature article, Storming The Rip.

The image is seen below, under the title page of our story on the entrance to Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay, affectionately known as The Rip. This stretch of water is regarded by the world’s most experience sailors as one of the most treacherous passages on earth.

Over a period of three months Jon braved The Rip in conditions from flat to near mighty, and whenever he and his boat captain, our very own Mark Willett, docked, it was always with a sigh of relief at returning safe from these most unwaterly waters.

Storming

 

ON OCTOBER 31 IT ALL BECOMES REAL

[caption id="attachment_65" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Great Ocean Quarterly Launch Issue Great Ocean Quarterly Launch Issue[/caption]

 

 

The ocean covers 71% of the earth’€™s surface. For many of us, perched on the remaining 29%, it’€™s a source of constant wonder, of emotional replenishment, of plain old fun.

 

The extraordinary range of human responses to the ocean has filled the libraries of the world since civilisation began. What’€™s been missing until now, as far as we can see, is a place to cram all those thoughts together in a journal format: to tell the tales of the artists, writers, ponderers, sailors, surfers, divers, fishermen, walkers, musicians, poets, scientists, photographers, explorers, romantics, pragmatists, agnostics and fanatics who draw their intellectual sustenance from the sea.

 

So that’€™s what Great Ocean Quarterly aims to become: a collection of the most interesting, stirring, informative and beautiful work from along our coasts. All of us know a beach somewhere, a story down the end of a road, a curling photograph that admits of no further explanation, because the sea, unlike any other entity on earth, is constantly erasing its own past, renewing itself and re-shaping the land with its inexhaustible energy.

 

Thanks for coming to say hi. We hope you’€™ll leave a comment, give us your thoughts about our project and (if we’€™ve impressed you as we think we will) take a subscription to Great Ocean Quarterly.  Four issues a year in glorious colour, delivered to your door at any point on the 29%.

First issue on sale 31 October 2013. Get on board!

 

The Great Ocean Team

 

PS If you’€™re reading this and you’€™ve already become a Founding Subscriber ‘€“ thank you!

Shane Howard: The Church on the Hill

This, then, is our first Church of the Open Sky session, a quiet musical interlude in old St Brigid’s Church, Port Fairy, Victoria, and how a community rescued it back from a fate it did not deserve.

In our launch issue is the story of St Brigid’s and the song sung there, with the invitation to listen to, and download if you like, this wonderful Shane Howard composition, The Church on the Hill. We hope you like it.