Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Upholstery Window Display

Hi, have you checked out our upholstery demonstration window display at the Green Living Centre on 218 King St, Newtown?

The Bower regularly runs upholstery demonstrations as part of our efforts to promote reuse/repair and keep items out of landfill.

We hosted a free upholstery workshop at the Addison Road Community Centre on July 8 and it was a great success with 45 people in attendance.

Keep an eye on our blog and facebook.com/Thebowercoop for future upholstery events.

Check out the Green Living Centre: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/environment/GreenLivingCentre/Shopfront.asp

Role up Role up - Come see the show

Hi again Bower folks.

This might be the last time I post here.  My six month residency as The Bower resident artist has just about come to a close.  So come along to the grand opening of Eclectic Electric, where I'll be showing off some of the results of my time here.

For ten days the Workshop Showroom in St Peters will be transformed into a cabinet of curiosities. A mysterious velvet-lined box to contain my electrical oddities.  Some come along and check it out. 

Opening night is Thursday 19th July at 7pm.  There'll be the usual vino and crackers, and I might even wear a clean shirt for the occasion.  You'll find the Workshop Showroom here: http://goo.gl/maps/IgPd

If you can't make it on the 19th, come along any day until the 29th from 11am till 4pm and you can have the show all to yourself (probably).

I'd like to say thanks to all the people who've come to say hi to me while I've been working out the back.  It's encouraging to have people curious about what you do, and everyone has been very encouraging. 

I expect I'll still be a Bower regular, but if I don't see you all again, then thank you, and goodbye.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The Bower's free demonstration workshops, known as Bowerography, is back for the third time. From July 8th, we're hosting a series of exciting demonstrations about Upholstery, Bike repair, Bookbinding and creating a vertical Timber Pallet planter. Bookings required for Bookbinding only. Please be sure to let us know if you're planning on bringing your kids along.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Unsafe Gilt - AiR update

Hi again everyone.  

Here are two of new pieces that have congealed in the past couple of weeks.


This one I call 'The Unsafe Shoelace".  This character's eyes light up but I couldn't photograph it as they're quite bright.  This is my reminder to everyone to always pay attention to electrical safety.  It's made of old brass lamp fittings haphazardly screwed together.

The second piece is a kind of confession.  Yes, I eat meat.  Yes I feel guilty about it.  But I eat it anyway.  Meanwhile a surface that has been carefully covered with a thin layer of gold is said to be 'gilt'.  So it seemed to make perfect sense to put a gold-painted goat skull on a slightly horrendous pseudo-rococo lamp stand to make this guilt lamp.   

You see?  Perfect sense.

That's all for now,


Monday, May 7, 2012

Blue Lights and Big Brothers

It feels like another blog post is well overdue, so here are some sneak peaks of current works (and occasionally don't-works).

 The blue lamp is a piece called 'Blue-light Disco'.  I never went to one, but I'm told blue light discos used to be put on by the police for the benefit of under-ages, on the misguided assumption that this would meet their need to have fun without having to sneak out and be naughty.  I feel like most of the society we now live in is a blue light disco.  Cameras everywhere, our movements tracked on the web.  We're constantly barraged with advertising telling us to be self-obsessed and have fun, but we're constantly under surveilence to make sure we're only having state-endorsed fun.  So for this piece, I've made a  mirror-ball head that rotates with the aid of an old microwave motor, so that it can keep an eye on everyone.  You feel safer now?  Me neither, so the other leg (which I forgot to get a photo of) is frozen in the act of escaping.

The illuminated mannequin abs are my gift to my beloved other half Hillary.  I figure if she's got these to look at then I won't have to work at getting abs of my own.  I'm still tinkering with it, but you can dimly see (maybe) that when the piece is illuminated a red heart emerges from within.  I started it on valentines day, and might have it finished in time for next valentines.


 Finally, the last piece is reference to contact juggling, in which the performer creates an illusion of stillness in a symmetrical object while moving their hands around it (think David Bowie and his round objects in the Labyrinth - no, the other round objects).  I've always loved juggling and circus, but I can't get into it myself because the sort of people who are into juggling also tend to be fun loving, sociable, happy, fit, spontaneous and full of life and laughter.  So you see the problem.  I haven't finished the wiring on 'Contact' yet, but when I do it'll light up on the top and bottom, which will be a first for me, and has turned out to be even more painful than I expected.

In other news, I've talked my way into the 'Hidden' show at Rookwood cemetery later this year, and the Swell sculpture festival in Queensland.  Busy times ahead.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Riding the Ride

You can talk the talk, or you can walk the walk. One Bower director is taking it further and riding the ride. John's pulled one bike together from various bike parts, loaded it up and is off on a Scrap Heap Challenge fundraising ride to Kosciusko to raise funds for Downs Syndrome NSW.
Check out his story below and consider donating funds to a great cause.

- Maaike

Dear Family, Friends & Bower
Off today from Sydney on the scrapheap challenge to Kosciusko to raise funds for Downs Syndrome NSW.
Should be a good laugh combined with gravel & mud. Lets hope the $1,000 scrapbike makes it there and back. Yesterday a fresh set of on road/off road tyres, finished making and fitting panniers frames, packed the tent & gear (now over 250 kg),  the test run went well. 3 months ago all new non-engine bearings,  6 months ago new electronic spark system. 93,000 km and still going strong apart from no neutral and occasionally missing a gear, but it is made from 2 $500 bikes and 26 years old - a bit of reuse, repair, bloody knuckles, sweat, oil .............. and Sharon's patience. 
We will meet up with 50 or so scrapheapers at Oberon travelling down to the snowy mountains where we'll meet another couple of hundred scrapheapers raising funds for Downs Syndrome NSW - already $50,000 has been raised (nearly as much as they get from the government). The outward route will be something like http://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?msid=208113176662555339071.0004bcd8f5df602d853d9&msa=0&ll=-34.533712,149.512939&spn=3.565577,8.657227.  Haven't mapped the return route, will go with the flow, back in Sydney on Monday 9th. A much shorter ride this year, the outback was tough in 2011.

If you like to, you could donate through
http://john-samuel.scrapheapadventure.org.au to Downs Sydrome NSW, thank you to those who already have.
have a great easter - I hope I do!