Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today Tambaroora…! Tomorrow Tweet-hearts?? The WORLD!!!

Swelling the ranks of the Revelation Generation

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery recently sent invitations for expressions of interest in their new Online Marketing for Artists’ Course. 

The brains and bustle behind this course is, Education and Public Programs Officer, Emma Hill. Emma is a qualified Teacher and an Artist. She believes “On-line Marketing for Artists” (OM4A is her snazzy acronym) to be, an especially, powerful tool for regional Artists. We’re on the rise apparently.

Emma is a powerhouse. She has designed this course and delivers it with aplomb. She leaps and springs around, not so much jumping out of her skin, but jumping around within it. She is a sculptor and radiates strength. She wore skin-tight red jeans topped with a tight black-silver-striped spangly number! Emma looks like a circus acrobat or a cat-burglar. She also has the best right eye-brow I’ve seen in 30 years! 

Emma cheerfully invites you to push your scepticism and fears aside, and then floods you with information. I suspect she enjoyed letting us have it. Her course notes are a wonderful resource. She also gifts us a downloadable-show-bag of very useful tools. But it’s Emma who is the Ring Master driving us through it.

The first session was crammed with options, marketing, platforms, tools, etiquette, short-cuts and dangers. To name a few. This was Emma’s plan. Push us through, give us the tools, and then hit us with the homework. Emma warns us she will accept no excuses for non-completed assignments! Next session we will collate all of our “homework” and launch a platform.

The second week and the set-up is different. Emma asks us to share our individual experiences and allows those, not in the hot-seat, to disappear behind their screens and play.

Emma listens to us carefully and answers our questions. For the most part, she’s a solo listener.  The rest of are deeply submerged in our on-line worlds. We only surface when a word from above, like a pelagic morsel, tempts us to rise. We stay, only as long as needed, before diving back down, into the depths, with our useful snippets. 

This is us finding our way into our on-line personae. 

At one stage, after nearly 3 hours of patient listening, Emma apologises for interrupting!!!! Emma has manners!  The rest of us shrieked, groaned and carried on cross conversations. There were even ejaculations of triumph!!  “I’ve got my first like!!!!!!!”. Emma assures us that even an old hand, like herself, still gets excited. 

"Likes" can create thorny issues.

“Likes” are valuable currency. They generate esteem as well as business.  Once you reach 30 you gain insight! You need not spend years to gain enlightenment!

There are ethical questions of course. Does one “Like” a fellow artist’s site if one doesn't like their work?  Emma seems to think that, especially in the early stages, we’re all there to help each other. Like  some mad vicarious Vivisectionist, Emma encourages us to create a network, and experiment on each other.

To do this, you have to share.

This is where Emma can’t help. Sharing requires judgement. As artists, how discriminating we are is critical to our work, and our reputation. Emma encourages us to look at what’s out there, aim high and get it together!

Studio 15.
Ruth Stone @Studio15 is a star. She has launched a Facebook business page during the week! Ruth has done a lot of work. The completion of her studio in Millthorpe, after an extended period of no studio, is a wonderful launch platform.

Ruth  has thought about the emotional issues involved in asking to be liked. It puts one in a vulnerable situation. Emma makes a clear distinction between personal and business.  She claims she never mixes but, vixen that she is, also has mischievously told me, earlier, that she doesn’t play hard to get!

Zenio Lapka wows us all by pulling out a second computer and playing away at the two of them like Phantom of the Opera playing on his organ. By the time we get around to this digital maestro, we’ve been at it for close to two hours. People are falling by the wayside! Zenio has put the two hours to good use. His launch has huge wow factor. Zenio is a Zenious. I felt positively primitive.   

Emma commits her only blasphemy in the course when she asserts the image’s
absolute superiority over the word. Can there be any surer way to lose control of your “image”, than to begin commenting, madly, after three martinis??  Emma agrees it’s wise to stay away from the keyboard when shickered!

I’m not a visual artist. I’m a writer in search of a joke. No joke then, when it's me who provides a text-book example of the word's power. Facebook is a master of connectivity. You just need the name. That's your key to the visual portal. “What’s your page called??” people ask, their fingers busy in a flurry of mutual liking.  

The Tambaroora Times” I answer. 

Silence.  Ruth le Cheminant looks at me with disbelief! I realise I’ve made a terrible mistake. Nobody has ever heard of Tambaroora! Even worse... no one knows how to spell it. Ruth's eyes glaze over when I try to. She's committed though. She leaps up, grabs pen and paper and scribbles it down. 

"The Tambaroora Tablets" by my husband, Michael Ramsden,
provided inspiration for my bad-comedy-tabloid inspired blog
The Tambaroora Times. 

I always thought living in a ghost-town gave me cachet. Wrong. The unspellable name is the kiss of death. Louise @ Bant Street Pottery tells us  she always teaches children to break down a difficult, or unknown, word and articulate it in it’s component parts. This is great  advice.

"The-Tam-ba-roor-a-Times" I enunciate. But no-one's listening. They've all moved on.  Time is precious.  My motto “Today? Tambaroora! Tomorrow? The World!!!! Doesn’t seem so convincing. My mad mwhah, hah, hah, hah laughter trails off. "It’s facebook” Ruth tells me. “You don’t always receive your likes”. Right. Even though Natasha Daniloff  likes me I still feel like the smelly kid in the class.

Hill End certainly looks posh in this portrait by Genevieve Carroll
Ruth Stone rescues me from despair when I explain that Tambaroora is due North of Hill End. Oh Hill End!!!” she says. Clearly we are now talking about a horse of a different colour. “Hill End’s posh!” 
I may have to lower my standards and admit Tambaroora’s, twisted-sister-connection to her more famous Siamese-twin; HILL END. Ethical dilemmas are everywhere. 

Unfortunate things can happen on the Internet. Emma speaks about some of these dangers. I hear the word “Stalker” at one point. The Internet is certainly a powerful tool to uncover the details of a life and it pays to keep current with the ever evolving world of malware and how to protect against it. The more famous you become, the harder it is to hide if someone takes it into their head to get to know you. I don’t have to worry about that out here. No-one’s ever heard of Tambaroora. Nor looks like they want to! 

I end the day, woefully unenlightened, with only one like. Well Two. One's my own.  

I wanted there to be a third lesson so I could take along an apple and wiggle my way into the position of teacher’s pet.

Then I’d realised that’s exactly what I’d been doing!

Emma redefines taking an Apple for the Teacher.

Thanks Emma and BRAG and all other who helped this project come to fruition. My apologies to my colleagues who, due to space restrictions, went unmentioned. They have big stories to tell. 

They are 
Nicola Mason
Harrie Fasher
Jennifer Gabbay
Emily Laszuck
Adrian Symes

"The Tambaroora Tablets" image is used here with thanks to Mark and Angela-Scmitt-Glaser of  GROUP.IE Gesellschaft für Identity Engineering mbH.
For the beautiful vintage images I thank Vintage Printable at Swivelchair Media – Beta
The opening image is Emma's and BRAG'S. Many thanks for permission to reproduce. 
Many thanks to Ruth Stone, Zenio Lapka and Genevieve Carroll for permission to reproduce their images. 
The image of the rock that forms the banner image of  The Tambaroora Times was taken by my husband, Michael Ramsden. His on-line presence, thanks to this course, is currently in-development. 

Muses and "like-magnets" Archy and Wynny @studio15. 
These  stars topped Ruth Stone's "like-chart".
Note to self.... 
Get to poultry shop. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Local Lad and Lass, Brad Warry and Shiralee Seaman are recreating a journey from Hill End's heyday.


This baby is from Coffin Bay South Australia. Wouldn't she go down a treat??
This is a Pacific Oyster but Pure Coffin Bay Oysters also breed, the Angasi. This native oyster was eaten to near-extinction on the Gold-fields. Maybe even by Brad's ancestors.
It is now making a comeback!
Then, of course, the unopened oysters were packed into hessian bags and hauled up the Bridle Track by horse or bullock. 

This team is hauling half a house!!!! They'd get a few sacks of Oysters up the old Bridle Track in no time at all!
Bullock team transportring part of a house in the Gympie District, 1928
John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg. 34800

But Brad and Shiralee are modern folk and this is their steed of choice. 

Note refrigeration unit!

Brad is a trained chef with extensive experience in large hotel kitchens. He has worked as Head Chef and supports this kitchen experience with considerable bar management expertise. A stint as a Licensee rounds off his CV.

It's impossible to rise, and operate, at this level of responsibility without knowledge of food handling and hygiene becoming ingrained. Very important with seafood. 

Shiralee is busy doing a certificate 2 in Business studies. She is grappling with the intricacies of spread-sheets, projections, and book-keeping as well as becoming acquainted with the complex joys of BAS and GST. 

The plan is simple. Drive to Sydney on Friday and collect fresh Oysters and prawns. Sell aforementioned Oysters and prawns on Saturday morning on The Avenue! 


Winter is the best time for this esteemed mollusc. How good would the plump, creamy taste of a freshly shucked oyster be? 

The local lemon trees are coming on...!

Betty's lemons are legendary. What a combination! 
God! Imagine letting Betty loose in an Oyster Bar!
She'd cut a rug!

This is worth travelling for!

10 am Saturday!
The Veggie Shack@The Avenue.
Shiralee has created a schedule. For all details, including placing orders, please contact her at 
Any other haulage work?
Ring Brad of Warry's Transport & Haulage  0421 258156

This is a budding operation. It will evolve as Brad and Shiralee find their way around the markets and refine their operation. 

It's going to be a delicious part of town. Let's keep it beautiful.

The Editor would like to thank Linda Hank from Pure Coffin Bay Oysters for permission to use the photograph of one of their oysters. The photo in question, was taken by John White photos. Thanks John.
The Editor would also like to thank Margaret Warren from the Library of Queensland for help with copyright on the Bullock Team photo. 
All other photos and text KMR