Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pane & biscotti day!

Well it's been a long time between blog entries, so I thought I'd share a photo of our wares from making bread & biscuits in a traditional wood-fired oven with my Mum & son.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Trashy TV

I was supposed to be working on a new drawing tonight. At least I had scheduled the time into my calendar to start anyway.

But you see, I got distracted by what I like to call "trashy tv". So after watching a number of brain draining shows tonight, I made a promise to myself to get back on track tomorrow as I have a deadline to meet. So no more trashy tv for me... at least for the rest of this week anyway!

Friday, March 23, 2012

(Re)view: Duran Duran, Melbourne 19 March 2012

In case you missed a couple of my recent posts, I was lucky enough to attend the Melbourne Duran Duran concert on Monday 19 March 2012 at Rod Laver Arena.

So keen was I to attend the concert I departed Mildura airport on "the red eye" 6:30am flight, bound for the "big smoke" of Melbourne almost 600 kms away.  My trip did have a couple of set-backs, one was the flight having to wait on the tarmac for 20 minutes on arrival due to the space it was allocated being occupied by another plane.  The other was the heated exchange I witnessed boarding the crowded Skybus by two employees, apparently some patrons had been waiting 20 minutes for a ride into the city, rather than its usual 10. But not even that could dampen my anticipation, so I put in my earphones to listen to, none other than... yep, DD for the journey into the CBD which took nearly 40 minutes.

So after I arrived at my sister Elina's apartment, we headed to Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts in St Kilda to pick up a couple of my artworks that had been in their Postcard Show exhibition.  After which we trammed it back into the city for some retail therapy and a spot of preening, then headed home to "get ready" for THE concert.

Getting to the actual concert took longer than expected as the #70 tram that stops near my sister's apartment was running late, and it was by pure luck that we happened upon a cab which took us the few kilometres to Rod Laver Arena.  Due to peak hour traffic, the approximate 15 minute trip, stretched to 20 - 25 minutes, but our cab driver was pleasant which made things less tedious and stressful (at least he seemed to know where he was going)!  So by the time we arrived at our destination, I was ready to jump out to meet the lovely Nicole and pick up our concert tickets.  (Nicole and her sister Lisa had travelled all the way from their beautiful hometown of Perth to attend the Melbourne concert - pretty dedicated I reckon.  They were going to see them again in Perth at Sandalford Estate Winery on their return... lucky ducks!)

I've heard many comments that DD might be getting on a bit and just be remembered for all their old 80s hits. Well let me tell you, that is grossly untrue; not only was their performance energetic and enigmatic, but they surpassed even my sentimental, romanticised expectations.

I suppose I did have my doubts as to whether they could reignite my teenage 80s infatuation, but they did... although maybe not in the same way that had me wanting to move to England and marry heart-throb, lead singer Simon Le Bon(!), but rather in a less delusional way that has made me appreciate them from a performer/artist's perspective.

Duran Duran, 17 March 2012
L- R: Dom Brown, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor & Simon Willescroft
image courtesy:
Simon Le Bon's voice was as sweetly melodic as I remembered, he dazzled the appreciative and very vocal crowd in his inimitable style, singing many old favourites, along with a few from the new album All You Need Is Now (set list below*). He also jumped into the audience and picked a very lucky lad named Chris to lead a rendition of The Reflex with him (an interactive number with the audience), a task envied by all those waiting in the wings - me included!  Le Bon also showed his serious side when he dedicated Ordinary World to the people of Syria.

A favourite with the "ladies", John Taylor proved he can still play the "effing" bass (their words, not mine)! JT, a self-confessed tweet-a-holic, also instigated a tweet-fest where fans were able to tweet messages to the band through social networking site Twitter which were then projected onto the backdrop during the instrumental classic Tiger, Tiger, which seemed to send my mobile version of Twitter into temporary meltdown! This instrumental interlude also allowed Le Bon a much needed vocal rest and dazzling costume change. (The tweeting also got me wondering if the new song, Being Followed, is also about social networking... hmmm...)

Roger Taylor, can still "bring it" as far as drummers go - I have to admit, I'm not very knowledgeable about drums (although my young son would like to learn how to play them) but RT really put everything into his performance, especially during a couple of my favourite DD songs, Hungry Like the Wolf and Wild Boys

Keyboardist extraordinaire Nick Rhodes (yep, still conjuring images of Andy Warhol - but better looking  with more sequins), provided some light entertainment by informing the crowd the many inventions Melbourne has been responsible for, notably the black box recorder plus my fav, the electric drill.  One of my favourite reviews of the concert poked fun at one of the songs, The Man Who Stole a Leopard, from the new DD album All You Need Is Now and pointed the finger at Rhodes for inspiring it's creation.  I love listening to this new song (you can read more about it here), but as I've explained before, I have many varied, eclectic musical tastes for various reasons.

The vibe at the concert was electric, and the band members really seemed to enjoy playing music together.  There was a real sense of camaraderie between the remaining four original members; the aforementioned Le Bon, John Taylor (bass), Roger Taylor (drums), Nick Rhodes (keyboard), and new guitarist Dom Brown (whom my sister thought looked a bit like Prince Harry... I didn't quite see the resemblance!), awesome backing singer Anna Ross and skilful saxophonist/percussionist Simon Willescroft came together to deliver an unforgettable performance that I will treasure forever.

A couple of highlights were John Taylor dedicating the Melbourne concert to local music guru Molly Meldrum who had an accident at his home last year.  And Le Bon's lengthy band intros during the encore, for which the appreciative crowd cheered enthusiastically... especially when he ventured into the audience again and picked another lucky gal with an English accent to introduce him... "make sure it's a good one" he quipped!

So even though we were just a little too far away from the stage (14 rows, great seats) to get up close and personal with my 80s idols; to say my sister and I enjoyed the concert is an understatement - it was absolutely FANTABULOUS!  Not even the annoying Scotsman in the row in front of us pretending to be German(!) could dampen the great vibe at Rod Laver, (but that's another story NOT worth telling)!

So after all of the tra-la-la-la's, re-flex-flex-flex-ing, clapping, dancing (on the spot), singing, screaming and sweating (from all of the dancing), one thing is for sure - as one of the lines in DD's well known song goes, "Wild Boys always shine" - and that they did!

If only I could do it all again... sigh!

* Set List, Melbourne:
Before the Rain-Planet Earth-View to a Kill -All You Need Is Now-Blame the Machines-The Reflex-Come Undone-Safe-Something I Should Know-Girl Panic-The Man Who Stole a Leopard-Tiger, Tiger-Notorious-White Lines-Ordinary World-Hungry Like the Wolf-Sunrise-Wild Boys
[Encore] Girls on Film-Rio

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I can hear the drums...

I'm having trouble getting to sleep tonight, in spite of the fact that I'm oh, so tired!

You see I have music in my head. And I can hear drums... no, not Fernando's drums, but rather the drums of Roger Taylor from pop group Duran Duran; in particular those from their huge 80s hit, Wild Boys.

I'm going to see DD in concert tomorrow night, which is something I've waited to do for 20+ years. (You can read about my 80s obsession in my earlier post here).

So as I try to shut my brain down to sleep, and nod off into la-la-land, I will think happy thoughts and picture their handsome 80s awesomeness, with that song in particular in my head!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 16, 2012

Art + Maths

Last week, I spent a couple of days help hang an art exhibition.
How lovely you might think?

Well, there is more to hanging an exhibition than meets the eye; it's more than just holding up a pretty picture and whacking a nail into the wall. Hanging an exhibition requires skill and knowledge which all centres around... maths! (Gasp!)

Yep, you read correctly, hanging art requires mathematical knowledge! While you don't necessarily need to know the square root of pi (I don't know what I'm talking about here!) there is addition, subtraction and division involved, plus a tape measure, pencil, eraser & spirit level! Yep, hard work!
the essential tool for hanging an exhibition - the humble tape measure

So after two days of marking up & drilling (oh, I forgot the power tools) my brain felt a tad frazzled, but that could have something to do with my interrupted sleep (that's a story for another post) - luckily I'm not a nuclear scientist or brain surgeon!

What is the point of this post you might ask? I'm asking myself the same question! ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hang in there...

A friend of mine is going through a tough time right now.

I can't stop thinking about my friend, she is on my mind day and night.

I don't know exactly how to help her, but I wish I could make everything better... somehow.

Friendship is an extraordinary thing, the people whom we choose other than our own family.  That old saying rings true:
"you can pick your friends, but not your relatives".
Hang in there my friend, for you are special xxx

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Getting back on track...

Hello peeps!

It's been a while since I posted some hot air into the cyberverse.

It seems there are people out there who actually enjoy reading my posts! (Have I mentioned I love feedback?)...

So I'm going to try and commit to posting something, albeit, anything much more regularly than I have been.

I can't promise that it will always be the riveting, descriptive ramblings to which you have become accustom to, but I will try my best - plus the voices stories and anecdotes are much better on "paper" than echoing around in my head for me to dwell think about for days on end!

So stay tuned, (you can also subscribe to this blog if you don't want to miss a post) you will be hearing a lot more for me in the coming days!

In the meantime, here is a photo of a Mallee sunrise taken by me from our back verandah for you to look at!

Ciao for now,
Luciana the banana xx

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Please, please tell me now, is there something I should know?

I've been obsessing  thinking  about Duran Duran a lot lately!  You see, they are touring Australia this March and I would really like to go see them... actually I would really, really LOVE to see them in concert!

I was quite smitten with them in the 80s. As a teenager, my bedroom walls were smothered with posters of them (plus some of my other 80s idols), but Duran Duran took up the most wall space. I'd retreat to my room after school to "do my homework", only to be distracted by their perfectly coiffed handsomeness... sigh!

I, like many teenage girls my age, also developed an obsession infatuation with lead singer Simon Le Bon. He also celebrates his birthday a few days before mine in October, which affirmed my admiration - a fellow Scorpio!  Not to take away from the appeal of the other band members; keyboardist Nick Rhodes (is it just me or does he remind anyone else of Andy Warhol?!), bass player John Taylor, guitarist Andy Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor (none of them are related)!

I collected all of their records (yes, vinyl records), I even bought every version of the single The Wild Boys, (it was released with five different covers - one for each band member)! Such a fan was I, I also purchased albums by Duran Duran spin-off projects, Arcadia & Power Station too. I still have all of these albums and I don't intend on parting with them in the near future either... (careless) memories!1.
My Duran Duran vinyl record collection, plus the Do They Know it's Christmas record they sang on.

So why Duran Duran? Well they were a very good looking group... and I enjoyed listening to their music, a lot!  

But also, I think it's because they seemed a little bit "arty", like me!  I, like many others, followed the gamut of 80s fashion trends, the New Romantic look synonymous with Duran Duran was one of them. I had a short asymmetric big hair do, wore a white men's shirt with stirrup pants and too much blush. I even have the photos (so many, many embarrassing photos) to prove it!
Here I am C.1980s "modelling" for my sister in a fashion parade... can anyone say "tragic 80s fashion victim"?!!

And who could forget their long list of pop hits?  Girls On Film, Planet Earth, Is There Something I Should Know?, Rio, Hungry Like The Wolf, Save A Prayer, The Reflex, Notorious, A View to a Kill (from the James Bond movie of the same name).

This post has taken me a few days to compose and put together, but I am happy to report that I now have tickets for the Duran Duran concert in Melbourne for my sister and I! Yay!  Bring it on!

I'd better go download their new album, All You Need is Now...

1. Yep, Careless Memories is another Duran Duran song!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


The following is the opening speech for my last exhibition, Presenza, which opened at The Art Vault, Mildura on Wednesday 2 November 2011.

Presenza picks up where my previous exhibition, Credo, left off – in this previous show I referenced clothing and objects that belonged to my mother and two grandmothers.

Presenza, primarily honours the memory of my father and two grandfathers through some of the objects they possessed.

My work also investigates finding faith in everyday objects, influenced by my family’s migration story and how they built a new life with not much more than their faith in each other and god.

After my maternal grandfather died at the ripe old age of 101 last year it occurred to me that I didn’t really know much about him, which is what partly inspired this exhibition.

Nonno Francesco's rosary beads, a prayer given to him before he embarked on his journey to Australia in 1951, his hanky which I discovered in the suit I inherited, his familiar eye glasses, the shoes he wore on the ship for his journey to Australia and suitcases (one of which still has a sticker from the Port of Fremantle from his arrival journey) and a commemorative medal given to him in his 100th year as a souvenir of his time in the Italian army.

Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo, Modiano Napoletane playing card - reverse, 2011

My father Antonio’s Italian playing cards conjure fond memories.  Dad and my Uncles would play the Italian card game of Briscola into the wee small hours (sometimes on school nights!), my cousins and I would bunk down in one of the family lounge rooms on blankets and nap while Mum and the Aunties chatted until it was time to go home.

Dad’s watch, the harmonica he played, well worn wallet and trusty pocket knife are immortalised on paper.

My paternal grandfather Michele’s “good” hat, the hat he wore on special occasions has a real sense of him.

These objects still have a sense of the presence of the people who possessed them before.

Also included are a suite of black gesso canvases adorned with religious icon souvenirs from religious feast days and jewellery fragments belonging to my mother.  As children my sister and I would dress up in the jewellery and make believe we were grown-ups!

I ended my speech with this poem, written late one sleepless night in the lead up to the exhibition:
Here in the presence of those that have gone before,
I sit and ponder and look and draw.
Channelling objects and events from ancestors past,
Remembering their essence through objects collected.
Lingering smells from long ago touches.
Objects worn with a sense of purpose; used with a sense of love & fondness.
In memoriam.

The Muppets

I went to see the new Muppet movie a couple of weekends ago with my son and some of my work colleagues. The event was highly anticipated as I'm a big Muppet fan from waaaay back (as are my work colleagues)

As a child I even had two proper hand puppets of my own. I "made" (that should be nagged!) Mum to buy them for me and I loved them.  I would put on plays, mostly myself and other members of the family - my older sister was usually my main victim! As the youngest of four siblings, with a six year gap between my brother and I, I pretty much had to keep myself amused!

Truth be known, I secretly wanted to be Miss Piggy. Who wouldn't want to be an independent, opinionated, fashionista, karate chopping, frog loving pig?!! 

The new Muppet film was well written and did justice to my old favourite characters. Miss Piggy was still as glamorous and feisty as ever, Kermit quietly humble, the Swedish Chef spouted incomprehensible chicken recipes (does anyone else see a likeness to Gordon Ramsey?!), Rowlf still tinkered on the piano, Fozzy delivered the same corny gags, Gonzo death defyingly great, Animal frenetic and Dr Teeth still managed to rock out a tune!

The human characters in the film were good too. Jason Segel's (who also co-wrote the film is a BIG Muppet fan - he had puppets as a child too!) Gary the sappy, yet believable older brother of Walter (a Muppet) and Amy Adams was gorgeously naive, as sweet Mary.

It even had a few celebrity cameos thrown in too, my favourite was Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters as an Animal impersonator!

Verdict: I  LOVED the film... as did my son and fellow colleagues too... we all exited the cinema with our fart shoes on! (You'll have to go see the film to find out what this means!)  Who doesn't love a film with spontaneous singing and a choreographed dance scene or two thrown in?!

And I am not ashamed to say it... I even sang along to the Muppet theme for all to hear too!  Yay! (as Kermit would say!)

Its time to play the music
Its time to light the lights
Its time to meet the muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.
Its time put on makeup
Its time to dress up right
Its time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Show tonight

[Old Men]
Why do we always come here?
I guess we'll never know
Its like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show

But now its getting started
Why don't you get things started?
Its time to get things started
On the most sensantional

This is what we call The Muppet Show!

Family Ties

Family is extremely important to me. Both my immediate & extended family.

It concerns me that as an only child, our son won't experience the bond one has with a sibling. And even though my brother has two older boys, and my husband's sister an older boy and girl, we have a relatively small family by Italian standards.

I grew up the youngest of four children, with strong bonds to my many cousins. We would see each other regularly as many of us were around the same age and also attended the same schools.

Our son doesn't have much contact with my cousin's kids, even though some of them are around the same age. Its not that we don't want to see each other.  As we all grew older, life changed; some of my cousins went off to university or got married and had children of their own.  We still enjoy the occasional family get-together, catching up on what has been happening in our increasingly busy lives, discussing schools, kids, life and a joke or two!

I'd like to give my son a sibling so he can experience the bond of close family too. My two brothers and sister are very important people in my life (as is my beautiful Mum), I'd do anything for them and vice-versa. The ties that binds a family together should never be broken, but unfortunately god had other ideas, the loss of my dear darling dad shook us all up nine years ago. It bought us closer together and as we gathered around Mum, it made us realise the importance of family.  The old saying "blood is thicker than water" is none truer in our case. But like most families we've had some bumps along the way too.

It's important to remember what brings us together, love.