The Little Prick series has been taking the mickey out of many deserving subjects for several years now and who more deserving of Therese Ritchie’s acidic visual blast than our Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The new Government’s first budget has been so broadly on the nose with the Australian public from top to bottom that an opportunity to beat the drum and sally forth into foreign fields, seemingly without a single strategic thought, was seized by the PM, also known as Crusader Abbott. The Little Prick title of this ongoing satiric series of faux magazine covers was inspired by a local politician and his similarly thoughtless description of troubled and rebellious young folk as “Little Pricks”. Watch this space for more Little Pricks from Therese and her fellow travellers.

Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) 45—50cm, male larger. Pizzey and Knight’s field guide describes the Grey Currawong as furtive. In our encounter with one at the Brambuk National Park near Hall’s Gap in Victoria this bold individual was more menacing than furtive. We sat on the deck at the visitor centre on the warmest autumn day in decades having lunch when this Currawong arrived and came to within a couple of metres, keenly looking for an opportunity to snatch some of our lunch. The Grey Currawong is found across southern Australia, including a range extension in West Australia east to the Petermann Ranges. It builds a large stick nest and has two to three chicks in a brood and raids the nests of other birds and eats their chicks.







Aiya Van Kooten everyone

When Aiya Van Kooten stood face-to-face with a burglar in her bedroom, her left eye twitched, then she went into “predator mode”.

“I screamed at him… jumped off my chair, leaped over my bed and sprinted after him down the stairs,” she said.

This is the best story of my life

Although she was the only one home, Van Kooten said she had no regard for her safety – instead, she said she was just overwhelmed with “rage“….. ummmmm Hero!!! 

Haha, badass Muslim woman. Love it!!!

This lady is so awesome. She lives with her grandma and was studying and had a towel on her head and no shoes but she chased them out of her garden, kicked one up the arse as he climbed a fence, they dropped a camera and laptop, she flagged down a passing driver to help her continue the pursuit, and it turned out he was ex-military, and they finally caught one of them in a park and pinned him as the police arrived. Now she’s going to visit the burglar in prison for the next few months to help with his rehabilitation.

So in summary:

This lady doesn’t just defend her home and loved ones, she will hunt you down, team up with other skilled individuals, get you put away, and then teach you the consequences of your actions until you’re a valuable member of society once more.

Seriously she’s a frigging superhero.

literal hero

dammit, now I wanna see a female Muslim version of the Incredible Hulk with a stretchable hijab

Back in 1983 I introduced Darwin photographer Therese Ritchie to the then-manager of Katherine’s Mimi Arts and Crafts, Chips Mackinolty, to do a shoot of the women weavers at Numbulwar on the Gulf of Carpentaria. My matchmaking with the two artists succeeded! They have worked together on and off ever since in a series of art projects and exhibitions. Indeed the three of us were partners in crime with a graphic arts/research company called Green Ant RAP in the 1990s.
Get well soon! A diagnosis, is their sixth outing together (they’ve been in dozens of group shows), and opens at Gallery 26 in Winnellie, an industrial suburb of Darwin, on 2 October 2014. Gallery 26 is the brainchild of photo journalist Dave Hancock.
It’s a show that takes a pretty hard look at the health situation of Aboriginal people in remote Australia, with a focus on End Stage Kidney Disease. But rather than focusing on Aboriginal people as victims—which is the most common meme—Therese and Chips turn the idea around … with something of a different diagnosis.
There are 14 powerful digital prints in the show: it will be interesting to see what the response is to them.
The images for Get well soon! are under wraps at the moment, but one related to health from Therese from a few years features in the next blog posting.
As Therese and Chips put it:
“Whether we like to admit it or not, artists often deal in clichés—sometimes to praise or reflect them; at other times to bury them. To the small extent that Australian artists (along with journalists, commentators and politicians) have dealt with Aboriginal health issues at all, we often find ourselves buried in the visual and written clichés of victimhood, suffering and despair. In our practice over many years, we have perhaps erred on the other side in trying to avoid the archetypes of victimhood—not least in looking at health.
“And as graphic artists, we have tried to look towards solutions, from immunisation to management of asthma, and from the role of Aboriginal Health Workers to community control of primary health care and beyond.”
There’s a great catalogue attached to the show which will be on sale, and a low res version of the catalogue on the Web from the time it opens.

Seeing Dendroica’s posting of a crab spider this morning I remembered this picture taken at Kabulwarnamyo on the West Arnhem Land Plateau about 2004.

It’s also a crab spider and I think probably Thomisus spectabilis, with its prey. The prey is a feral bee (Apis mellifera) which the spider has caught by hanging out in ambush mode on the underside of this lamb’s tail flower head (sp?), well camouflaged by its white colour.

Apis mellifera is a foreign invader in Arnhem Land.  Feral Apis seem to have spread extensively through Arnhem Land only in the late twentieth century where they compete with the stingless native bees, or “sugarbag” as these are known in Aboriginal english.

At Kabulwarnamyo in Kundednjenghmi language, native honey is called mankung, with various other speciific names that align with Linnaean taxonomic classifications for more than four different stingless bee species.

Last week I reposted a powerful account of the 15 September 1963 Klan bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham in which four small black girls died. I reposted the story from Dendroica who credited thepeoplesrecord This Day In History as the source. Since then my colleague linguist Murray Garde shared a url link to a YouTube clip— Birmingham Jail — by the Chatham County Line, which commemorates the murders and the outbreaks of righteous protest which followed. The lyrics appear as sub-titles. Link: Thanks Murray.