Art For Charity

Art for Charity, Polish Club, Canberra. Sat 22nd Aug, 2015

Dear Editor,

The following is my ‘graft’ review of the Art for Charity event at the Polish Club held on Saturday the 22nd of August.

Being a visitor to Canberra, I was unacquainted with the local arts & music scene, so I attended the Art for Charity event at ‘the Polo’ with great interest.

The poetry portion of the night was beginning when I arrived. The first performer, Zoe Anderson, seemed unassuming when she first stood up, but when she spoke her words flowed with a way of drawing you in to the narrative that she was creating.

Judging from his introduction Andrew Galan, who followed, is a local scene institution. The highlights of his set were his riff piece on carpets and the emotionally engaging ‘Enjoying rides in police cars’.

Melinda Smith and Alison Plevey’s poetry and dance collaboration was an interesting combination which I felt gelled together best with the final piece, ‘Red Language’. The use of a parallel dance vocabulary to the lyric content of the poem created something that was greater than the sum of its parts.

The presentation and documentary about the Cisarua learning centre brought to light the work being done by some compassionate people and it was uplifting to hear their story, which was aptly described as “humans helping humans” by Owen Campbell who took the stage afterward. Looking every bit the part, he laid down a slide guitar groove that sounded like there was more than just one player up there.

It was an impressive performance that had a small group at the front of the hall up and dancing along. For me his east/west fusion track ‘Hindu Blues’ stood out among a set full of enjoyable songs, enough so that I was moved to buy one his CDs on my way out.

If this collection of performers is an indication of what Canberra has to offer I will eagerly check out what else I can next time I am in town. Especially if they are at this venue, because that Polish beer was pretty good too.

Tarquin Carlin

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