Whale Migration and Seismic Testing

Seismic testing has been given the go ahead along Newcastle’s coastline. It involves sending repetitive sonic blasts into the ocean floor to identify natural gas deposits, which in turn has the potential to effect everything pretty much everything through the marine life chain.

These pictures are from last weekends protest rally here in Newcastle, NSW, where it seems  someone forgot to ask the community if they actually wanted a potential offshore gas field along their beautiful coastline. The testing also coincides with annual whale migration, meaning both testing and consequences of potentially having an offshore oil or gas field surely need to be seriously reconsidered.

Further reading can be found here.

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The Launch of The Sunrise Swimmers

A week slipped by, well maybe two, but where did it go they all whispered?

It went here, she called back. It went here! Not hiding the excitement that had snuck into her voice when she said so. Two weeks slipped by in these pages but out there in the community, there was a book launch, an exhibition opening, and an amazing weekend to kickstart it all.

The launch went beautifully. The gallery space was packed, the swimmers happy and I’m still feeling like it’s all a little surreal. Until my feet land completely back on the ground, I’m going to keep things fairly brief.

I’m incredibly lucky to be supported by both the Newcastle City Library for inviting me to use their gallery space and also to Olympus for trusting that I would produce a body of work that they would align their name with. (That still rocks my world!)

If by chance you are in the Newcastle area, the exhibition is on until the 17th April, with two artist talks, and a sunrise swim within the time.

If you are further afield, but are still interested in seeing some of the imagery and reading a few of the stories of The Sunrise Swimmers, the book may be purchased via my website here, and locally (Newcastle at this early stage) via all good book sellers. Prints if you are keen for some salty sunrise images for your walls, are also available via here. 

The Sunrise Swimmers Launch

Exhibition The Sunrise Swimmers: 24th Feb- 17th Apr 2018

Artist Talk: 11am 3rd March (yesterday, and it was so much fun!)

Artist Talk: 11am 9th March

Merewether Ocean Baths Sunrise Swim: 6.30am 17th March (no bookings required)

Instagram @brydiepiaf  #thesunriseswimmers

It’s all coming together

the sunrise swimmers

The next few weeks are filled with preparations, lists slowly being whittled down, installing, and rather a lot of strong coffee, (ahhh yes, coffee.)

And after all that coffee is drunk? The Sunrise Swimmers exhibition officially launches.

My book also launches. That launch week will see a crazy amount of people coming to celebrate the delicious joy of sea swimming at sunrise.

From here on in, the boxes of beautiful shiny books are standing by the wall. The bottles of wine are ready to go by the door. The invitations have been sent out, posters are being placed in corners of this wonderful city, and encouraging words are being gathering by all kinds of lovely people.

Seeing this project slowly unfurl, piece by piece has been amazing, but to stand here now and watch these last few weeks really come together, well THAT is very exciting!

 

The Sunrise Swimmers

Nearly two years ago I loosely started a project as a way of reconnecting to a city I hadn’t called home for a really long time. All I knew is, it would involve a camera and the ocean. As time went on this delicious project evolved into The Sunrise Swimmers. It’s something I’ve put my whole heart into, and next month this collection of portraits, seascapes and stories from the early morning swimmers of Newcastle’s iconic, Merewether Ocean Baths is launched. My solo exhibition is supported by Olympus and will be on for 7 weeks at Newcastle Library, and along with it, a limited edition book.

Am I excited? You betcha. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of this project and to have met so many wonderful, wonderful people because of it. Connecting with community is something that is incredibly important to me, and through this project I’ve done just that. Tapped into the most wonderful, sea loving community of people, while being able to tell a tiny part of their stories. Yep I’ve loved every part of it!

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To register for tickets (it’s free, yay!) for both the exhibition and book launch event. Please clickity click here.

Inspiration with The Sourdough Baker, Newcastle



cityhippyfarmgirl

thesourdoughbaker

There is a heady smell of freshly baked bread in the air as I close the little gate to the garden. The nights dew still sticks to the grass, making a soft squeaking noise underfoot. Following the sourdough signs, the incredible smell in the air confirms that I’m in the right spot.

garden

kids club

I’ve come in search of The Sourdough Baker in Newcastle. Currently baking at the Croation Sports Club in Wickham. Nestled in next to a community garden- sourdough and a community garden? It’s already making me smile and I haven’t even tasted the bread yet.

the baker

The Sourdough Baker is Warwick Quinton, who has been baking in all sorts of formats for the last few decades. I first heard of him through the wonders of Instagram, but several friends and family members had been telling me of delicious sourdough tales well beforehand. With his gorgeous partner Ginnie by his side and a handful of trusty helpers, the bread is woodfired and baked in “Bertha” the hefty black oven.

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Watching the beautiful loaves come out of the oven, lined up the table, and sit in the early morning sunlight. I can’t help but feel a huge amount of bread happiness. It’s these sort of people that I find incredibly inspiring, making a business work out of something that is so obviously dear to their heart.

Any artisan work is a labour of love, and sourdough bread really is a wonderful example of that. That love is certainly here, as I bite down on my thickly sliced bread a little while later. I scrutinise the crumb and take in the taste. So different to my own loaves.

It’s good, really good.

cityhippyfarmgirl

Talking with Warwick on all things sourdough, I find out his methods are also completely different to my own. Reading The Sourdough Baker’s site days later and there were audible pops as my brain explodes just a little.

I knew sourdough was a flexible beast, with many variations on how to do things, but some of his methods I hadn’t even considered. Seventy two hours from beginning dough mixing to end, desem dough sourdough starter and slashing hours before going in to the oven, were just some of them. All bready tweaks that I think I would definitely like to play with down the track.

For a wannabe bread nerd I still have a lot to work on, so visits like this just fuel that wanting to learn. So many variations, methods and ingredients to play with. All things which after about three years of baking sourdough I still find incredibly exciting. As I sat later, chewing on sourdough and musing on all kinds of bready possibilities, ideas began to form. Mental lists of what to play with next and how to go about it were made.

And next time I’m in Newcastle? Well, I know where I’m getting my bread from.

cityhippyfarmgirl

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For recipes, sourdough tales, bread making classes and general information, have a peek at the…

The Sourdough Baker

the weekend that was


 

weekend away

blue skies

blue water

bluebottles… ouch

family catching up

lots of lovely wonderful food

giggles from cousins

giggles from grandparents

happy farmers market visit

brimming bags of local produce

making sure that circle of happy wonderful food continues

goodbyes

exhausted Monkey naps

Newcastle City Farmers Market

What have you been up to this weekend?