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Surf Festival : Program

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Byron Bay Surf Festival Poster

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Voyeur Fashion Show : Poster

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Sample Food Festival : 'The Menu'

I've just been reading the Spring issue of Sample magazine and it contains plenty of info on the 'Sample Food Festival' this weekend in Bangalow... in particular The Menu. Between 9am and 3pm the restaurant marquees will offer $5 & $10 tasting plates... I'm thinking;

  • Belgian waffle with berry compote, mascarpone & pistachio parline.
  • King prawn, pink ginger & kaffir lime won ton with wasabi mayonnaise.
  • Baby back marinated ribs.
  • And, I'm a sucker for fancy burgers; I see two on the menu Wagyu beef with tomato, mint, garlic & parsley sauce or Barcoo beef with salad & plum relish.

I'll be at the Bangalow Showgrounds on Saturday between 9am - 3pm.

For further info visit;

If you're looking for somewhere to stay over the Sample Food Festival weekend, checkout our Accommodation Available for Sample Food Festival guide.

Voyeur 2011 : Byron's premier Fashion Expose'

After the success of last year's sold out event, Voyeur 2011 is back on Friday 30 September.

Voyeur is a rare opportunity for designers of the Byron area to showcase their designs in a professionally produced runway show and network with others in the Industry. Awards will be presented on the night to Voyeur designer of the year, outfit of the night, and face of Voyeur.

For further information visit;

Standing Now : 26 August, Byron Theatre

Presented by the Creative Peoples Collective

Standing Now is an exciting theatre production fusing artforms such as contemporary dance, hip hop and aerial circus with the innovative use of music, digital media and film.

It explores the concept of self identity and how we define ourselves as the characters struggle to free the world from the clutches of an evil super villain who is controlling freedom of choice and independent thought through technology.

Danielle Stewart is a local Contemporary Dance choreographer/teacher and has been working on the show 'Standing Now' with the Creative People Collective. The show brings many art forms together to tell a story of finding our place in this world especially a creative voice. Danielle was commissioned to do workshops with kids in Coraki to give them a chance to try Contemporary Dance and be part of the performance. Workshops were held in the school holidays and then every Thursday afternoon until now, all of the children that attended had never done formal dance classes or contemporary dance before.

Danielle says it has been a wonderful experience connecting with these kids from a different community and giving them the opportunity to try a new art form, most of the kids have tried hip hop dance before and are great movers but Contemporary is very different and it took them a while to get used to all the floor work but after many moans and groans about bruises and sore backs they got really into it! The kids learnt about expressing meaning , ideas and story telling through dance and movement. "I hope I can work more with them in the future and as most of the kids are Indigenous use their traditions and storytelling to create dance"

The Creative Peoples Collective is run by sisters Zahra and Nadine Smith, they have sought funding to bring dance and theatre to kids in the Northern Rivers from Yamba, Evans Head, Mullumbimby, Coraki , Lismore and the wonderful experience of performing on stage in a professional theatre. The show also includes hip hop, aerial performance, theatre, song combined with film and digital media.

The show is on this Friday 26th August at the Byron Community Centre with a matinee at 11.30 am and evening show at 6pm, go to for tickets and more info.

Richard Branson Loves Byron Bay

When Richard visited Byron Bay he used us to organise his accommodation. He stayed at Watego's the first time and then we organised a bigger house for him and the family when he returned. We were pretty chuffed that he chose us and we know that he's being sincere when he says that he "loves Byron". We organised a beachfront villa at Belongil for his kids on another visit. It's pretty cool that someone like Richard Branson, who among other things owns his own Island, still manages to enjoy a surf trip to Byron.

Byron Bay Surf Festival

Byron Bay Surf Festival 'surf culture now' Oct 21-23 2011

The Byron Bay Surf Festival is about 'Surf Culture Now'. It's gonna be rad, it's gonna be diverse and fun, and like the blond kid with the dripping wet hair said, 'it's gonna be cool.' On the weekend of 21-23 of October 2011 history will be created when the town of Byron Bay hosts it's first ever, dedicated Surf Festival. The wholesome focus is on the creative culture within surfing, including live music, filmmaking, original art, photography, and the shaping and riding of handmade surfboards.

Opening the festival will be none other than international surfing icon, Byron Bay local Bob McTavish, presenting a live surfboard shaping demonstration whilst sharing an historic look at his first trip to Byron Bay. Events over the weekend include, Surf markets, Surf Swap Meet, 'freestyle&stoke' surf sessions, surf related clinics, Surf World Museum, live music by Dan Hannaford, Josh Hamilton, The Grains, and film collaboration/live music event by Andrew Kidman and The Windy Hills. Original art from James McMillan, Mark Sutherland (Sutho), Hanai Yusuke (Japan), Luke Taffe, Rusty Miller, Vanessa Janss (USA) and others, including photography from surf filmmaking legends George Greenough and Albe Falzon.

Just one of the inspiring events is 'stART me up', a new art exhibition and mentoring program for kids, developed by local artist James McMillan, in conjunction with Retrospect Galleries and the Byron Bay Surf Festival. The purpose of 'stART me up' is to give new and emerging young art kids (some very young!) a valuable and real opportunity to hang and expose their art, in a well known and established art gallery. There are prizes in each age category from 4-16 years with the winner of the 13-16yrs group receiving a 6-month artist mentorship program.

Another exciting event being held on the Sunday morning between 8am and 12 noon is the Surf Swap Meet, open to one and all, and the 'freestyle&stoke' surf sessions. The idea behind this Surf Swap Meet is quite basic, even old age, in that you can actually swap one thing for another and no money is exchanged. Although anyone is welcome to just browse or even buy. Shapers attending and showing boards on the day include, Tom Wegener, Sage and Paul Joske, Simon Jones, Gary Burden and Thomas Bexon, all well known and respected craftsmen who practice the art of hand-shaping surfboards. And the 'freestyle&stoke' surf sessions; an expression session format surf event from 10am-12noon with 4 categories of 10 registered surfers in each, for half hour per category; Log (incl old mal), Fish (incl stub, hull), Finless (incl alaia), and Vintage (pre1980). It's about fun as well as being a display of surfboard riding on these particularly chosen mix of surfcraft.

At a glance the purpose and intention of this event is about creating a sustainable surfbent event for the local community to build on, and at large it's for everyone that surfs. 'The simple motivation behind The Byron Bay Surf Festival is to have a killer weekend in Byron Bay immersed in Surf Culture as we know it right now.'

See website for all full program, locations and images. Enjoy most of the events for free, just like surfing is! See you there.

Kelly Sullivan - August Artist of the Month at Retrospect Gallery

Interview by Rachelle Slater,

Kelly's work is largely based on circumstances that surrounded her when she was young, as she was born to a family of great iconic imagery and pop culture of the 20th Century. Her work is fundamentally grounded in graphic pop culture.

Kelly has worked extensively in the Arts, Theatre & Music Industry for the last 20 years along the East Coast of Australia. She now resides in Byron Bay and when she isn't crafting and painting, she works seasonally on the Splendour In The Grass music and arts festival.

I popped in for a cuppa and a chat with Kelly to get the lowdown on her latest work.

How did the map thing come up?

The map thing just came up I guess because I'm into visual graphic stuff so I started just looking around at old books and Mr Google and just lucked onto all these cool old retro maps and then I became fascinated with them and I started collecting them in a folder. I've always been fascinated by the graphic nature of art and that's what drew me to the maps.

What do mean by graphic nature of art?

Well just really flat colour. Graphics is making a bit more of a comeback in art now, as opposed to realistic kind of painting. They're sort of like a visual diagram I guess of what's going on around here and in my head...

Your first map seemed like it was more about the physical environment, literally, the newer works, especially Friday on My Mind, are more internal? Is that like a step further?

I guess it is a step further, um; I'm interested in visualising ideas that don't necessarily have a geographical landscape basis to them, so they are bridging art and design and demented geography.

What does that mean?

Well I'm taking elements of art and I'm putting them together to make up this made up kind of world, like a demented geography. They are less social comment, more of a fictional state of mind thing. With the mind map one (Friday on My Mind) it's just about how many thoughts you can have in one day, how they just all link up. You know you could take any topic and do that with it, how it just sprouts out into something far beyond where you started.

They could be endless pieces of work, and they were hard to paint, they looked great on paper, but when I actually started to paint it I thought “what am I doing?" It was laborious, and difficult to know where to end it and where to fit it all in and trying to link it all up. But that's just the thing, you're always striving to make something, when you see it in your head it doesn't always come out exactly the same way when you paint it.

What about the painting Who are the People in Your Neighbourhood, is the text from things people have said to you or..?

That's from an obsession with personal ads. That I've collected in the local paper and off the internet. It does relate to a lot of stuff that is going on around here and there's lots of personal ads I guess. I guess I'm at the age where my friends are either getting vasectomies or divorces. They're all on e-harmony and their telling me about these experiences of putting in ads and funny quips about who answers them and I just find it fascinating I guess. Advertising love.

It s based around people around here, there's a comment in there about wanting a woman to make booby traps and skin rabbits. They're funny, you can get drawn into it, working out all the little codes DTE, GSOH, it's a different language altogether.

And it's almost like a secret code which I kind of like.

(Vinnie (Kelly's son): "What's your favourite colour mum?", "Red Darl..")

Thanks Vinnie.

I guess there's states of mind and states of places and identity as well, like that's all attached to them. People's identities are in those ads, and that's something that I'm drawn to, especially around here because it's such a melting pot of identities.

That's one way to get a whole picture from little parts, putting it all together.

Yes that's it, you've got the yoga practising vegetarian next door and on the other side you've got the crack head psychopath that drives a Ute at 100 miles an hour. And I don't think it's just relative to Byron I think it's um, pretty much any seaside town.

So it's your reaction to where you live?

Yeah I guess so. It's more of a collection of identities and how I see it too, and how they put themselves out there, like in the newspaper,

So it's not necessarily your personal opinion?

No, it's just a statement really.

Can we talk about the Wild West work, which are a little bit different, the maps seem very ordered in comparison, are they related at all?

Yeah I do see them as related; they're landscapes, chaotic landscapes. I know the other ones have more of a rigid structure to them but I do see them as related I guess. In the cowboy and Indian ones there's an element of us vs. them, again I think that nostalgia thing of playing cowboys and Indians and it was us vs. them and in a sense I still see a lot of that around the Byron shire, as well.

As a counter voice against some of the people that are around here, I guess that's on a more personal level of you know, if you don't go the farmers market and vote greens and do yoga and wear hemp clothing then you can be seen to be out on the fringe and out of the loop.


And as much as they espouse to be people that are inviting and ah, they can be very closed minded groups of people. I don't think they are accepting as they would like to think they are at all.

I think they're quite the opposite and I guess that those paintings are related to that, whether I'm the cowboy or the Indian, it's still the great division I guess with the gentrification of this shire, of people moving here from the city and you're never going to be seen as a local. As well you've also got the older people who have been here for generations, it can be a bit of a gated community.

So you feel like an outsider?

Yeah I do, very much so. I don't know what the old Byron is, they use to cut down timber here, and then they were a whaling station and a meatworks station and I don't know why people say they want the old Byron Bay, I think there's an element of being stuck in time, when it was a quiet little hippy town when everybody came and surfed and smoked heaps of pot. And I'm sure it was a beautiful, idyllic place then but you know, time moves on.

It's based on tourism and always has been.

Yes, my first job in Byron, when I was 14 (25 yrs ago) was selling t-shirts to tourists.

I think the sooner they get their head around it which I think is unfortunate, that it's taken this long. On one of my paintings it says, "if its tourist season, how come we can't shoot them?"

It's that gated community. You go into Byron now and there's shops closing everywhere and it's sad I mean I know it's the sign of the times but you know.

Do you have a particular piece that you feel especially connected to?

Probably the first one I ever sold which was the You Are Here one. I guess that was the start of it all really. A friend ended up buying that one so I get to see it. The maps are all interlinked but they are different, about different topics. I mean I don't want to be stuck painting maps for the rest of my life but I do feel like it's making a progression somewhere else and I am drawn to the graphic side of stuff. And I love type, I like words on paintings. Words can make a picture comical or serious.

Well that's what is so interesting about your work is its all text!

Yeah, a friend described my paintings as great for dinner parties like you could just sit there and there's all the elements. Hopefully they are pieces that you don't get bored of easily.

Are you happy painting with acrylics?

I love acrylics mainly because I'm a mum and its quick drying and there's so many different brands of acrylics now that look like oils anyway.

I really love gouache as well, it's great to do text with but you can't actually varnish it so um which is okay but I do like to varnish the paintings at some point.

And what of the future, what's coming up for you?

I'm doing a miniature show, which is 25 by 25(cm), of 9 paintings coming up at the end of the year. I'm thinking about some childhood maps. They are kind of going to be about revenge, as in you know walking past Mrs. Mc gillihunnies house and I picked off all the flowers on her bush, it's sort of like a path home from school, chased the red-headed kid up the rd and throw rocks at him.

Are these things you thought you would have liked to have done or things you actually did?

Oh yeah I probably did them all, throwing eggs, you know I was a bit naughty. And there's other things that other kids did that I would include in there as well, so it's just about um, growing up I guess. I would follow a certain map home from school every day and then change it, and then you'd have a fight with somebody so you wouldn't walk past their house, you'd have to cross the rd, or someone had germs. All that kind of stuff.

Where will that exhibition be?

Retrospect again, but maybe in the Gold Coast gallery at the end of the year.

Thanks so much Kelly!

Check out Kelly's paintings in person at the opening, this Friday, August 5 between 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Retrospect Gallery, 52 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. See you there!

Visit for further information.

Visit for further information on Kelly K Sullivan.

2010 Writers' Festival Re-Cap

The Byron Bay Writers' Festival is just days away, here's a re-cap of last years festival via David Young's images.

David Young has shot an enormous variety of photos, but is best known for his specialist work in architecture, interiors, food, products, people and stock. For further information visit;

The Byron Bay Writers' Festival is one of the major annual festival in Byron, the 2011 festival dates are 5-7 August. For further information visit;


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