ALICE SPRINGS NEWS,
October 10, 2001.



BUFFEL GRASS: EVIL WEED, ALICE STYLE. Report by KIERAN FINNANE.

The Alice Springs Town Council has moved to invoke by-laws to enforce fire protection on rural blocks in the municipality. While four metre fire breaks around fence lines are mandatory under the Territory's Fire Service Act, the town council, under the Alice Springs Flammable Plants By-Laws, may order property owners to reduce the fuel load on their property or cut firebreaks. Council staff will be assessing properties and issuing notices to the occupants of those posing a fire danger, requiring them to take action. Penalties can be applied for non-compliance. The council itself has responsibility for fire protection in the Todd and Charles rivers reserves in town, the site of several recent fires. Basso Road resident Gerry Baddock says she called the fire brigade eight times one recent weekend, to fires burning along the river banks right up to the back fences of North Stuart Highway properties.Mrs Baddock claims the fires were all lit by itinerant campers, and asks why council by-laws offices are not preventing the illegal camping.Council's by-laws manager says the riverside is patrolled by officers during working hours, but "resources don't stretch to policing the areas after 9pm through to 6am", the hours during which camping is illegal. The council does maintain firebreaks along the Todd and Charles and has recently completed an eight-week program of slashing firebreaks along stormwater drains. The main offender in the fuel build-up around Alice, along the river as elsewhere, is buffel grass. Dense infestations that have occurred particularly since the last wet summer, especially when combined with naturally occurring thickets of dead acacias, can make for fires of exceptional intensity, says rural block owner and botanist, Dave Albrecht. He is among a handful of blockies who have been doing the hard yards to eliminate buffel in favour of native vegetation. Now the fire threat may force all blockies to follow suite, or will it? A tour of rural areas shows a number of approaches to fuel reduction under way. There's the old favourite of putting a horse on the block, often to eat it down to bare dirt; lately camels are also being recruited for this job. It undoubtedly stops fires dead in their tracks – there is simply nothing left to burn – but the practice creates dust and erosion problems. According to regional manager of the Department of Lands, Planning and Environment, Peter McDonald, there are provisions in the legislation for the department to act if land is being over-grazed. "It is a matter of achieving a balance, managing the land rather than eliminating all the vegetation," says Mr McDonald. He says the department does not prescribe fire management regimes, but would prefer to see firebreaks slashed rather than bull-dozed, once again for reasons of erosion control. Many block owners have put in fire breaks, but as often as not their neighbour has not acted, so their narrow four metre break will not be very effective. Commander Bob Colbey of the Alice Springs Fire Service says that under "normal conditions" an eight metre break – four metres either side of the fence – will stop a fire. A recent raging fire on Alice Springs airport land was stopped by an eight metre break: four metres on the airport side, four metres on the Undoolya Station side. The airport land, adjacent to rural residential areas off Colonel Rose Drive, covers 270 hectares, most of it densely infested with buffel. It has breaks ploughed along all its fence lines, external and internal, and as well, some of the larger paddocks have been " quartered" with breaks. It has also been partially cropped but good seasons throughout the region have limited demand for the fodder. The fuel load remains very high and discussions about what else can be done are under way between consultant ecologist Bill Low, who oversees the environmental management of the Commonwealth-owned land, and the Bush Fires Council. A number of block owners, not content with just a break, are slashing or mowing their entire acreage. This may reduce the intensity of a fire but will not stop it. A block in the Rangeview Estate area, with its mandatory four metre break on the fenceline and completely slashed just two weeks prior, recently all but burnt out. The neighbouring block, also largely burnt out, has its driveway close to the fence line but a narrow strip of grass and bushes growing along the fence was enough to carry the fire. The owner of one block says the fire started on the densely overgrown banks of the Todd River, for which, south of Heavitree Gap, the Department of Lands has responsibility. Mr McDonald says, as far as he is aware, firebreaks between the river and rural blocks have been maintained.The block owner also says the fire flared up over several days because smouldering stumps and fallen trees had not been completely extinguished. Meanwhile, what will mowing do to the non-buffel vegetation on a block?Mr Albrecht says that unless it is done taking great care to avoid seedlings, constant mowing over time will deplete the native vegetation. In particular the annuals – including the wildflowers that give so much pleasure – do not cope well with being mown, he says. If the slashing is followed immediately by rain, the annuals may re-shoot, but given the Centre's climate, it is more likely to remain dry and the plants will have been killed. If saplings are also being knocked down, in time mown blocks will also lose their trees."With an indiscriminate mowing regime you enter into a downward spiral, reducing plant diversity," says Mr Albrecht. Mr McDonald says there are no provisions under the Planning Act or the Soil Conservation Act which require property owners to maintain particular types of vegetation; they must simply maintain vegetation of any type in order to avoid dust and erosion problems.He recommends slashing firebreaks, and spraying the regrowth of the buffel to get rid of it altogether. He and partner Sally Mumford have cleared buffel from more than half of their 20 acres on Ilparpa Road. Most of it has been done by chipping, but they're the first to acknowledge that it's back-breaking labour. Recently they have moved to slashing some areas and spraying the regrowth. They started by working out from their house, and have had to go over some areas 10 to 20 times. Now, they are rewarded by a sea of wildflowers and soft native grasses. There are still some dense pockets of buffel, in particular around thickets of dead acacias. They work to isolate these by large buffel-free stretches. They have lost count of the hours of toil and also of the money spent but say both have been huge. They argue for a landcare subsidy to encourage block owners to "do the job well". At present, there are no incentives or assistance, except that the town council is offering to help elderly property owners by slashing firebreaks on their land. It will be possible to see first hand what Mr Albrecht and Ms Mumford have done on their block, this Saturday, 12pm-2pm at Lot 1963 Ilparpa Rd. They are taking part in a Buffel Busters Open Day organised by Greening Australia.Other property owners to take part are:
• Mike Gillam and Maria Giacon at 4 Hele Crescent in town, 9am - 11am;
• Scott Medhurst at Lot 3493 Moss Rd in the Ilparpa area, 10am - 12pm;
• Erwin Chlanda and Kieran Finnane (this reporter) at "Broken Elbow", Petrick Rd in the Winery area, from 1pm - 3pm;
• and, Pat & Des Nelson at "Nelcol", Lot 1946 Heffernan Rd, from 2pm - 4pm.
For a gold coin donation the public are welcome to visit during the designated times. Property owners will tour people around their blocks and Greening Australia Bushcare Support Officers will also be on hand to provide advice. Says Greening Australia's Michelle Rodrigo: "The spread of buffel grass is dramatically changing the arid zone landscape. "What is really encouraging though is the effort that block owners and community groups are putting in to clear buffel grass and promote the re-establishment of local natives. A winter wildflower display is not their only motivation. "Other tangible benefits include reduced fuel loads and fire risk as native ground covers carry less fuel than buffel grass; increased bird and insect activity; and for some, reduced hayfever problems. "The inspiration for one property owner is the real possibility that as buffel continues to spread across the landscape, their buffel-free block might end up being the best example of intact native vegetation in the area."

FEDERAL ELECTIONS: WARREN REVS UP. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.

ALP candidate for Lingiari Warren Snowdon claims Pine Gap is no more nor less a target as a result of the US led fight against international terrorism. "The major issue for us is how we can actively be involved and how we can ensure our security at home," he says. "Terrorism of the form undertaken by bin Laden doesn't discriminate in terms or targets as evidenced by the 6000 innocent people who were murdered in the twin towers attack." Mr Snowdon says Australia is limited in the support it can give to the US led war on terrorism because our defence forces are "undermanned". "The special service units and the naval and air components, committed to the coalition, are highly capable and highly motivated, but sustainability of our effort is in question because our defence forces are already stretched by the long term commitments to East Timor and Bougainville. "We will do what we can within our capability. "We have quite a small defence force. "There are hollow units, the numbers in them don't come up to their establishment. "There are skill shortages, especially in specialist areas. "What is clear is that there is strong support for ANZUS and the coalition against terrorism across the community." Commenting on Territory issues in the lead-up to the November 10 elections Mr Snowdon says: "We've suffered the highest fuel prices in Australia as a result of the GST. "More recently we've seen how government inaction over Ansett has compounded what otherwise might have been changes to Ansett management. "John Howard and John Anderson should have allowed Singapore Airlines to buy into Ansett some months ago." Mr Snowdon says now – after Ansett lost millions of dollars and thousands of jobs – "we've got Singapore Airlines getting hold of an asset, which is run down, a lot cheaper, and many Territorians, particularly here in Central Australia, are without work." Mr Snowdon says the Territory has been "very clearly discriminated against" by Canberra in the funding for roads and the public school system. "Tens of millions of dollars" have been allocated to category one private schools in the capital cities, "money which the Labor Party will shift back into the public sector". Mr Snowdon says this will not affect Alice Springs where an unusually high number of students – nearly half – are in private schools: "There is no impact at all" because they are not category one schools. "A combination of the CLP and John Howard has wrought havoc on the education system of the NT to the point where the sustainability of the Northern Territory University, part of which is housed here at the Centralian College, has been questioned."

FEDERAL ELECTIONS: ANSWERS, PLEASE! Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.

Voters in The Centre will be looking for clear policies for solving the "Aboriginal problem" before the Federal elections next month. The Territory will, for the first time, have two Federal Members, with incumbent Warren Snowdon easily the front runner in Lingiari, the "south of the Berrimah Line" seat taking in almost everything outside Darwin. The future of Lingiari, the urban centres included, is vitally linked to improvements in the Aboriginal communities from where troubles are spilling over into the towns. On the other hand the remote areas hold the greatest promises for development and racial harmony: there is a global fascination with our environment, and Aboriginal art is now a multi million dollar movement – both major draw cards for the tourism industry. With the first Labor government installed in Darwin, voters will take the view that the buck passing over Aboriginal affairs must stop if Labor wins nationally on November 10. Mr Snowdon has spent 15 years in Federal Parliament, including 12 years as the Member for the Territory. He is a former school teacher and staff member of the Central Land Council (CLC). Mr Snowdon pulls no punches when describing the parlous state of many Aborigines. He also raises fundamental questions of mutual understanding. In particular, how can we reconcile the expectations of white taxpayers with the aspirations of Aboriginal recipients of public funds? "There is an absolute and fundamental desire by Aboriginal people for partnerships, for understanding and mutual respect. "Aboriginal people accept that they have responsibilities as citizens as well as any other person. "They are sick and tired of the division and want to work with the wider community to achieve better outcomes for themselves and the Territory as a whole," says Mr Snowdon. "I don't know any Aborigines in the NT who are happy with being passive welfare recipients. "It's just not true." So, how much longer should we hear the clamour for employment, health care and education when billions of dollars down the track, the results are tragically inadequate. Mr Snowdon, in an interview with the Alice Springs News, commented on a range of issues, calling for new perspectives. About the absence of workers from the Mutitjulu Community in the Ayers Rock Resort: "The resort company has done precious little to further Aboriginal employment. "As far as I am aware they do not have any training programs of a long term nature. "They have got to be proactive in the process, and they need help with this from governments with innovative programs. "Unless people have basic skills they won't get employment nor training. "You need to be able to read and write. "Start at the basics where you've got to have people with reasonable education before they can even walk through the door to get a job. "It's about working through the process, so that people are used to the idea of employment. "You're not born with an innate desire to be employed by someone, and to work an eight hour day. "These things have got to be taught. The fact it that it hasn't been done is largely because the education system has failed, primarily because of the ineptitude, inaction, ignorance and stupidity of the CLP. "The bottom line is if we can work co-operatively around these issues, instead of looking for division, then we'll get the outcomes." About poverty in the communities: "These people are as poor as any people were during the Depression. Understand that. "This is about poverty. "If you are in an Aboriginal community where in the average house live 20 people, what do you expect the outcomes to be? "The story should not be where are we at after 25 years of land rights, the story should be where are we at after 26 years of CLP Government in the Northern Territory."About the lack of commercial progress in areas held under land rights: "You cannot impose your and my value systems to the way Aboriginal people perceive land. "We should not attempt to. Their fundamental and primary objective is to maintain their relationship with the land through care for sites and ceremony. "Land is not seen in many instances as something which is exploited for commercial purposes. "That's not to say it may not be, but we've got to look at the cultural values that people place upon the land. They are far more important for Aboriginal people than commercial value. "You or I might make different choices. "We've got to allow people to make their own choices. "My perception at the moment is that there are people who want to develop economic enterprises. I know this to be the case in many parts of the NT. "They want to participate in commerce. They want to have more control over their lives and most importantly, they want to improve the opportunities for their children. "I'm keen to be involved in making this happen. "This needs co-operation of government, something the CLP was reluctant to do. "But the bottom line is there are rights which have got to be protected. "And these rights, and other people's rights, have got to be balanced."

C.L.P. MAN SLOW LEARNER?

Shadow Industries and Business Minister Peter Maley stands by his description of the Outback Highway as a road that "starts in the middle of no where [sic] and finishes in the middle of no where". However, he says that’s got nothing to do with having a Berrimah Line mentality.His comments were made in the context of recommending savings to the Territory’s new Labor government. To make up for the "invented black hole" in the Territory’s budget, Mr Maley suggested Labor scrap some of its big ticket election promises.He says he singled out four, by way of example, including an initial $15m for the Outback Highway. He says the Outback Highway is a great idea (despite his description) but $15m "wouldn't do the job properly" and the project should be postponed.He says the largest saving he suggested was to postpone burying powerlines in Darwin, costed at $20m for the suburb of Nightcliff, and at $60m for the whole project. This proves, says Mr Maley, that his suggestions are not evidence of a Berrimah Line mentality. Alice Springs Mayor Fran Erlich described Mr Maley's comments as "short-sighted". She said: "Yulara and Alice Springs, both suffering from the airline crisis, are in the centre of the Outback Highway which would dramatically increase the number of domestic tourists driving from the east and west coasts to Central Australia. "With international airline traffic and tourism also decreasing we need to be supporting projects that will assist Australians to visit the Centre."Braitling MLA Loraine Braham said Mr Maley was "denigrating a concept that has the backing of local government, pastoralists, communities and tourism bodies who see the need for good highways to open up safe pathways for all." Mrs Braham also said Mr Maley's suggestions "demonstrate his lack of understanding of the budget". "The ... items he lists ... were not in the budget and did not cause the blow out." Shadow Minister for Central Australia Richard Lim says he agrees with Mr Maley: "There is no commitment to the highway from the Western Australian and Queensland governments, so for the Labor Government here to spend money on it is putting the cart before the horse."Spending on the highway should not be considered before other projects in Central Australia, such as the Desert People's Centre, are up and running." Mrs Erlich agrees that the highway requires a "combined effort". She says there has been a lot of discussion between government departments in all three states but now there needs to be discussion between Ministers. She also says the Outback Highway Development Council has made an application to the Commonwealth Government's Regional Solutions Program to get funding for a feasibility study.Mr Maley says he was just trying to be constructive, and to suggest ways around the imposition of a land tax, which would be very unpopular with business.Spokesperson for the Chief Minister says a land tax is one of a raft of measures put forward for consideration by the Allan report into the Territory's "unsustainable budgetary situation"."The government is looking at savings that can be made and is considering all the recommendations before bringing down its mini-budget in November," says the spokesperson."A land tax will not be brought in without consultation with business, industry and the community. All that reports about a land tax are doing is reducing business confidence."

BLOKES NEED BEAUTY, TOO! Report by STEPHANIE HARRISON.

We hear all the time about the latest beauty therapies for women, but what about beauty treatments for the men? I hadn't ever thought about men getting manicures, facials, pedicures and body waxing, but they do! Right here is the bush town of Alice Springs! Guys can look beautiful too! I spoke to beauty therapist Terry, about men having manicures: "We do get male customers but not enough! "It would be good if more came in. "We get about one male customer a month wanting a manicure." Terry has been a beauty therapist for 12 years and at her present job for a year. All the men Terry treats (or should I say pampers?) are businessmen, aged from 20 to 40 years. They mostly go in for a basic manicure, which involves soaking the hands, pushing back the cuticles and then cleaning, filing and cutting the nails. Some also go in for massages, waxes and facials. "Men in the hospitality industry are mainly the ones who come in for manicures – people who deal with the public and whose hands are on show." They get more guys wanting pedicures than manicures. Guys into body building, bike riding and swimming go for the waxes and massages. Another beauty therapist, Carly, says all her treatments are available to men. "Men sometimes come in for manicures. We would get about one every two months. Most men who come in are over 30 years of age."I think that they could come in more often." Like Terry, Carly agreed that men sometimes get their hands manicured for special occasions or if they have a job that requires nice clean nails. But there are some who just like to have it done because "it's a nice and relaxing treatment". I spoke to one of the supervisors at Lasseters Hotel Casino about whether the appearance of hands plays any role in the hiring of waiters and croupiers. He told me that in the staff manual, part of the employees' duty statement is to have well kept nails and hands. They don't have to have them professionally done, but it's always an option. There are a few home-based manicurists in town who do private appointments, or I guess the guys' girlfriends or wives can always do it for them! Pictured: Hair and makeup artist Josie Callipari of Headhunters sees at least one man a week for back-waxing and gets even busier with whole-body waxing (for women and men) when there's a body building competition coming up.

CENTRE ARTISTS STAR IN EUROPE. Report by KIERAN FINNANE.

A major exhibition of Aboriginal art in Vienna drew to a close on September 30 after four and a half months and more than 50,000 visitors.The show was staged by Austrian hardware magnate and art collector Karlheinz Essl in his private purpose-built gallery (pictured at right) in Klosterneuberg on the outskirts of the Austrian capital. Mr Essl became interested in Aboriginal art when he first toured Australia in 2000, making connections with key museum and gallery directors and curators, as well as artists and dealers.His visit to Alice Springs, which he describes as "the spiritual centre of Aboriginal art", and to Uluru, "the sacred site of the Australian Aboriginal people", made a particularly strong impression.He caused a stir in the art market when he subsequently acquired – in just one Sotheby's auction – a significant group of 38 works by some of Australia's best known artists, including eight by Emily Kngwarreye, four by Rover Thomas and a number of early Papunya paintings. It was around this core that he asked Michael Eather, Brisbane based gallery-owner, to assemble a survey show of Aboriginal art. In his introduction to the exhibition's full-colour 300 page bilingual catalogue, Mr Eather writes of Mr Essl's desire for the works to be seen as "first and foremost modern art" (the Essl collection is focussed on the modern, till now the wider European and American movements); to be understood by Europeans, necessitating therefore an educational program; and to represent a balance of Aboriginal spirituality and political reality.With the Essl collection heavily weighted to the most renowned Central Australian and Kimberley practitioners, Mr Eather took pains to broaden the offerings, including work by urban-based artists, such as Lin Onus, and by female artists increasingly prominent in recent years, like Gloria and Kathleen Petyarre, and this year's Telstra Aboriginal art award winner, Dorothy Napangardi. The opening last May, attended by more than 2500 visitors, featured 10 Aboriginal artists – five dancers from the north Queensland Jamu Dance Group, touring Europe at the time, and five painters, Dinny Nolan Tjampitjinpa, Ray Jabaljari, Michael Jagamara Nelson, and Brisbane-based artists of the Campfire Group, Laurie Nilsen and Richard Bell. Mr Eather returned to Vienna for the "finissage", taking with him a collection of canvasses for sale, from Papunya Tula and Warumpi Arts. He and Mr Essl are already planning a further show at the gallery, drawing aesthetic correspondences between modernist works in the Essl collection and a range of contemporary Aboriginal works. Mr Essl's newfound passion serves to underline the building international interest in Aboriginal art, estimated to contribute $200m a year to the Australian economy.

'NO' TO $10 AIR TICKET LEVY.

CATIA has told the Federal Government's tourism working group, headed by Minister Jackie Kelly, that it strongly opposes the proposed $10 levy on airline tickets."That is the last thing we need at the moment," says CATIA general manager Craig Catchlove.The lobby group had discussions with the Minister and other key industry players in a video link-up last Thursday. They argued that tourism in Central Australia feeds inbound tourism for the whole of the country: "If you can't see Uluru, you don't come," says Mr Catchlove.Thus "capacity" into the region is vitally important, and even with Qantas flying daily routes between Melbourne and Alice by the end of the month, "we are nowhere near what we were prior to the Ansett collapse", says Mr Catchlove."We want the Minister to look kindly on interim financial support to get a new airline into this region, whether it's Ansett Mark II or Virgin Blue. We need regular scheduled flights, competition to keep prices down and marketing to support the new services."CATIA was asked to prioritise a number of rescue measures under consideration. After calling an executive meeting, they told the working group on Friday that removal of the levy was their top priority, followed closely by the provision of short-term interest-free loans to small businesses to help them weather the crisis.They also asked for extension of export marketing development grants. These are dollar for dollar grants from the Federal Government to assist operators marketing their products overseas.: "At the moment, you get cut off after five years," says Mr Catchlove. "We are asking for extensions of a couple of years so we can maintain our volume of international marketing."CATIA also expressed its support for increased funds to the Australian Tourism Commission for international marketing campaigns. The working group had asked them to consider whether waiving of the December tax instalment would be helpful. Mr Catchlove says the general thinking was that it would be more trouble than it was worth, leaving operators with a big tax bill at the end of the year which they might struggle to pay. CATIA argued that tax rebates for domestic travel should be delayed until March or April next year: "We are coming into our flat domestic travel season, so a rebate introduced now would do little for us. The main beneficiaries would be operators on the east coast," says Mr Catchlove.Similarly, CATIA argued that a fuel rebate for the drive market should be delayed. Mr Catchlove says the domestic market was strong during the school holidays, making for "a calm before the storm".Numbers are down by 30 to 40 per cent and the feeling is that "we haven't seen the worst yet".

RUGBY: FOUR TEAMS READY FOR BATTLE ON ANZAC OVAL.

Rugby returns to Anzac Oval on Saturday night with a competition which promises to be one to remember. All four sides have good reason to looking forward to pulling on the boots.At 6pm last year's grand finalists will play a rematch. The Kiwis were given a scorching when AJ Doidge coached his Dingo Cubs to a first up premiership, winning 22-10. For the Kiwis the heads were bowed and maybe the end of an era recognised as they felt their first premiership loss in eight years. No doubt on Saturday the pain of defeat will be remembered. From the Dingo Cubs' perspective Doidge has left town to establish business interests in Timor, and his absence will be felt. However, given that they can continue with support from police ranks, the Cubs should be able to handle the Kiwis who are not known for starting at a blistering pace.The late game will give fans an insight into what is in store. The Eagles have reportedly had 20 plus players on the training track and have secured the services of the Ford family. Should this be the case, the "Misfits" who struggled to win games before renaming themselves the Eagles will be well placed to take on all comers. The Fords will attract other players, and in terms of the competition, as much as this will strengthen the Eagles, it may have the converse effect on the Kiwis.The Federal team received a shot in the arm when Frank Brennan declared himself "gifted" after sharing in last week's lottery win. His newfound psychic powers may well inspire the Devils to bigger things, especially as it seems their sponsorship cares may well be over! Otherwise Feds have recruited well and will run on as a more mature unit this season.

FROM PEN PUSHER TO ARTIST: ALL MUM'S WORK, SAYS LIZ. Report by DOROTHY GRIMM.

Maternal influence is reflected in many ways.For Alice Springs-born artist Liz Wauchope, maternal influence "changed her life" from being a bureaucrat to being an artist."My mother was always interested in art and craft," Liz said."She was a china painter and a member of the Alice Springs China Painters [which had an annual exhibition in the Residency for many years]."One day about 20 years ago we were in Adelaide and my mother suggested we buy some silk paints to ‘play' with."My mother ‘played' with the paints but I was ‘hooked'."I went from being a punctual, efficient, sequential bureaucrat to being a more creative, inefficient, lateral thinker, an artist."In 1982 Liz took her first course in silk painting, a recreational one, and then spent the following years developing and experimenting in that medium.In the early 1990s, Liz completed a book on silk painting which provided step by step instructions for people interested in trying the craft.She exhibited interstate as well as in a number of joint exhibitions in town with other Alice Springs textile artists.When Liz returned to Alice Springs to live she decided to broaden her artistic skills and enrolled in Centralian College courses including graphic design, ceramics, and screen printing.The range and diversity of mediums in which she has chosen to explore and express her creativity and talents will be apparent in her exhibition, Celebrating 50, which opens at the Territory Craft Gallery on Friday at 6.30pm."I was a textile artist for 15 years," Liz said."When I returned to Alice Springs after being interstate for many years, I was so inspired it was fantastic."Not only is the environment inspiring but art is more accessible in Alice Springs."For the size of the town it is unbelievable how many people are into art and doing artistic things."I think I have been to more art exhibitions since I've been back than in the 17 years I lived in Canberra."This exhibition is an example of the work I have done since I''ve been back."Liz's exhibition includes textiles, ceramics, digital images and prints on paper, many reflecting similar themes yet presented from different perspectives.For example one group of works is based on a bush banana which has been cut in half, left to mature, and the maturing process recorded through a variety of artistic processesAnother theme revolves around bush fires, another ant hills, and so forth."I am learning new things all the time and this exhibition reflects the fun I am having," Liz said."The exhibition also celebrates my 50th birthday."The works illustrate how I've taken the inspiration from the environment and expressed that inspiration across three or four mediums."For example I walk along the Larapinta Trail and take lots of photographs with a digital camera."I can then use the computer at college and manipulate the images on the photographs to create various designs and different effects which I can incorporate in different mediums such as bowls or cups or textiles."I can play with reality on the computer."Inspiration comes and the different ways and different processes all help each other."I have become all ‘fired up' since returning to Alice Springs."This exhibition is all about celebrating being 50 and celebrating being back in Alice Springs."Shows through Sunday, October 2,10.30am - 4.30pm daily.

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