Mon 23 Jul 2012
We’ve devoted this issue to a group of people who tell stories to our world in different ways, from blogs-turned-media empires, through survival stories to documentary and protest music, to paint carefully applied on a canvas. As we travel from the suburban fringes of Melbourne to New York, via Berlin and Liberia, with a stopoff on a perilous Tasmanian mountain, we meet our magazine’s five featured interviews—Rick Amor, Mia Freedman, Max Richter, Abigail Disney, and Warren Macdonald. The theme for the short section this month is “Art From Where You Are"—an exploration of ways to create beauty from the things around you. In here, you’ll meet The Pothole Gardener, Dawn Tan, Etsy’s CEO Chad Dickerson, and Dumbo favourite Pia Jane Bijkerk.
Dumbo Feather 32, out July 20. Order it now!
Abigail Disney is a Filmmaker Philanthropist
“I have always believed that people who accomplish great things, they’re not people who never feel fear, they feel fear, they just go forward into it, instead of away from it. And they learn how to live in fear, and function.”
Abigail Disney identifies as so much more than a member of the great Disney clan. She is a mother of four, holds a PhD in literature, and makes documentaries that are changing the world. Literally. Her documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell has acted as a tool to mobilise African women in peace building, and was instrumental in the Liberian leader, Leymah Gbowee, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Folded together, these ingredients usually make for one large head, but Abigail manages to remain humble and true to her herself, her family, and her craft.
Photo: Davi Russo
Warren Macdonald is an Adventurer
“Is this connected enough for you? Are you happy now? Is that what you were looking for, to die out in the middle of nowhere, like this?”
While hiking at Hinchinbrook Island off the coast of Queensland in ’97, Warren Macdonald was trapped beneath a fallen boulder for two days. This same man, now sans legs, still scales mountains, inspires people for a living, and favours the word ‘luck’ over most others in his vocabulary.
Photo: Cory White
Rick Amor is a Painter
“I think it is becoming of an artist to be honest about themselves.”
A resounding sense of desolution and impending danger permeates Rick Amor’s works – there is always an ill wind rising, an abandoned or burning car beneath an expressway, or a shadowy streak fleeing some invisible threat. The subject, if any, is usually faceless. Engulfed by the landscape, the grand scheme of things. And if self portraits serve as mirrors of sorts, Rick’s work will undoubtedly reflect the very brutality of honesty. Unforgiving, or even the opposite; unflinching, ultimately accepting. His extraordinary career has taken him to East Timor as the ‘Australia Official Artist’. As he recounts the atrocities he have witnessed in East Timor with restraint and in spite of this sense of foreboding in his works, Rick is, and has always been, more interested in the stillness of the aftermath.
Photo: Lauren Bamford
Mia Freedman is a Media Mogul
“You want to work online, you have to have a big bowl of cement for breakfast every morning.”
Mia Freedman is one of the most influential voices in Australian media. She is opinionated, she is honest, and she often causes uproar. But she is also brave, which lets her strive forth in spite of the negatively that nestles itself wherever it can fit. Mia has a deep understanding of what women want. From her cement-filled core, to her gumboot-clad toes, she gets it. She has created a media platform, MamaMia, that allows women to come together and discuss the sticky stuff; the stuff that one must not discuss on a train, on a plane, and certainly not in any form of automobile. Sounds dense, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But Mia’s hilarity and gusto makes you want to go there.
Photo: Toby Burrows
Max Richter is a Composer
“Everything everyone does is autobiography, you can’t really get away from that.”
The sound of a piano, in an empty room. Strange textures underneath. Then, somebody sits at a typewriter, and the keys begins to clack. A voice. Tilda Swinton’s voice, and Franz Kafka’s words. The piano, and the typewriter. All coming together to form the lurching sadness and pain of the new century. A snapshot of what it means to be human in the face of stark horror, Max Richter’s Blue Notebooks is one of the towering achievements in classical music of the last decade. His music pokes and prods at ideas of war and decay. He’ll call it protest music, but nobody will be singing those words around campfires any time soon.
Photo: Traianos Pakioufakis
Pothole Gardeners, Online Craft Markets, Maria Montessori and so much more
- Etsy.com – Chad Dickerson started an online craft movement
- An appetite for construction – Dawn Tan is obsessed with food
- Pothole gardening – Steve Wheen has lots of tiny gardens
- A few of our favourite things
- Our new community pinboard!