It is with great pleasure, I announce this year's Sketa Oz Perpetual Award Recipients Xavier Xue and Samantha Geddes. Both dancers found incredible strength, flexibility and agility in showcasing their talents at this year's Brisbane Eisteddfods.
Every year, I am blown away by the sheer, hard work and talent that seems to come together seamlessly, in front of our eyes. Unfortunately, this is not an instantaneous occurrence and both dancers know well - blisters, aching muscles and hours upon hours of perfected practice. What we see on stage, is the result of earnest diligence and dedication to one's craft. It is the culmination of years of work - rehearsed breathing, perfected turns, articulated rhythm, uniquely blended choreography and passion, in abundance.
It is behind the scenes - mums and dads getting up at the crack of dawn, to drive keen dancers to the studio for the extra lessons before school; it is selfless sacrifice of not only one's family assisting a dream, but a teacher, a coach, a mentor and copious warm hugs from friends - when the days get hard, when a dancer's world seems not that shiny.
And when the fruits of their hard labour, turn sweetly ripe, we gladly join in to celebrate their achievements - a breath in the moment of time, when one can smile and say, 'I did what I set out to do'. Yet, we dancers' know well, prestigious sweet rewards don't come easily and tomorrow ones life time friend - the ballet bar will be waiting eagerly for us to perfect that plie', for the hundredth time. :)
We can all think the world gets along as a solo effort, but by fact it takes so many people to make great events such as the Brisbane Eisteddfods and the Sketa Oz Awards. Each year, we rely on the thoughtful efforts of gracious people to either donate their time or expertise to make events such as these happen.
Late nights organising dance schedules, weeks of preparation coordinating dancers, helpers, backstage people, equipment and even food preparation are all put together by event managers such as - Bill Pengelly and Sharon Packenas. Over the years, there have been many others. Two who come to mind are Vicky Hansen and the longstanding organiser Christine Spencer. Without all these people, the Brisbane Eisteddfods - Dance Solos and Groups would cease to exist. Such people take on the arduous task of organising literally, every breath that goes into making this event a success.
In the making of Sketa Oz trophies, we rely on the expertise of the Toowoomba Trophy Centre to produce wonderful looking trophies, prepared to our highly artistic, expectations. Without fail, these men produce awesome trophies that our dancers can't wait to hold. Thank you! And, if you think of all the other dance trophies required for the Brisbane eisteddfods, I'm sure there are lots of equally hardworking men and women, who continue to work behind the scenes, with minimal thanks. We would like to thank you, also.
And lastly, engraving is a huge task. I'm sure there are many of you - just like Charlie, who spent two hours with me on Monday catching up on names that needed to be put, just right. Thanks Charlie!
Hundreds of awesome works of art now beautify a burgeoning, inland Australian city. The Darling Downs has often been remembered for its lush, farming and garden districts. Toowoomba garden city - as it is so fondly named, is the heart of this regional Queensland area and it is quickly becoming a hub for all things creative and innovative.
A brand-new international airport, a multi million-dollar shopping complex that will rival the best, and a second range crossing have all helped to transform this sleepy, yet family-oriented educational city into something quite unique. Although, it is not just economic progress and corporate deals that are changing the landscape of this city.
The creative world of art, culture and multi-culturalism are playing their part in painting the city, red. Well, not just red – a vast multitude of colours now adorn old walkways, pavements, sides of unsightly buildings, poles, beams and even electrical transformers – all in the name of art, design and beautification.
Graffiti can be found all over the world - in the streets of Germany, Denmark, France and even in Brazil. Although some may believe its origin lies in the backyard streets of Philadelphia – graffiti can be seen in a vast multitude of cities; where populations of people, writers, political activists have taken to the streets to display their voice against the norm – against what is seen as the everyday run of society.
Some of the earliest marks of Graffiti can be found in Turkey, where once the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, stood. Graffiti goes as far back as 200 AD. Yet, in all cases – ancient or modern - the graffiti artist was lashing out against the norm or making known a different viewpoint to what was considered acceptable. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been happily received and in many cases, such change makers were seen as troublemakers, defacers of public property who collected themselves huge fines for the sake of their art.
Today, such expressionists are given a legal stage to showcase their thoughts and artistic creations. In many cities around the world, graffiti competitions attract some of the most talented, artists ever seen on our streets.
Toowoomba city is no different and has acquired a great number of street artists who present their talents to the world, in the annual ‘First Coat’ Street Art Competition.
However, it is more a showcase of large, multicultural canvases strategically scattered across the city, than unsightly graffiti. They have become statements of heritage, documentation of trials and tribulations in having come to this land. They are the coming together of blended thought forms and are wonderful examples of variants in artistic appreciation. They are a bonded community upon which this city is now founded – a multicultural blend of individuals striving for a common cause – Family.
View some of the unique works sighted around this wonderful inland city!
Much of the designing that goes ahead for Sketa Oz Design takes months of preparation, considering and lots of layout. No we haven't yet begun on the 2019 line as the we are yet to complete our plans on expanding on what we commenced for the 2018 collection.
We were hoping the line would take hold really quickly and that we'd be able to service the entire next portion of the SO line. Unfortunately this did not occur, so it is back to the drawing board so to speak - to find ways and means of producing our products at a price and quality that is functional. Here's hoping 2019 comes through for SO Design.
As you know are card collection is already up and running, as is the designing and crafting of pens. We are yet to move a lot of our stock, but the New Year is here and it's time to catch up on lost time. The designing of bags and gift paper is complete, and we are keen to attract wholesale orders to move our products in through gift stores. How did you wrap your gifts this year?
So stay on board. Keep watching as we post the new items and pics. You can place both wholesale and retail orders via SO Store . You can peruse the entire line to date at the Sketa Oz Collection
If you haven't seen the Sketa Oz Collection of designer occasion cards and pens, now is the time to check them out. Especially, with the festive season just around the corner. If you are in to collecting pens or have someone in mind for unique gifts, I have designed six colourful pens that you will admire and enjoying using.
Matching the pens in this designer line are two, different sets of six cards. One is in mauve and the other in burgundy. Both sets are drawn by me in black ink and watercolour. Each of the six cards have their own couple of words on the front, but the interior is left blank for you to write your own special thoughts.
I hope you will take the time to consider the Sketa Oz Collection for your gifting this festive season. If you have already made up your mind, pop over to the SO Store to make your selection and I will send them out before things get too busy. https://www.sketaoz.com/store/c1/SOS
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