≡ Menu

Sculpting a Dugong for casting in Bronze

Carving Dugong by Alick Topoti

Alick Topoti carving original Torres Strait designs

In this Episode 75 of Your Story we talk to Alick Tipoti about his preparation for a forthcoming exhibition in Monaco about his Torres Strait culture, it’s differences from the Australian Aboriginal and similarity to Melanesian cultures. We also discuss how he expresses his culture in paint, sculpture and dance.

Dugong by Alick Tipoti from Ian Kath on Vimeo.

Sculpting a Dugong

Recently while working at Urban Art Projects here in Brisbane, I had the opportunity to work with indigenous Torres Strait artist Alick in manufacturing a large dugong sculpture to be cast into bronze by theUAP foundry.

[click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

How do you leave the country you love?


Not long ago, if you cared about having a good life and doing the right things by other people in South Africa, you had the real chance of coming up against the government. What would you do? For some it’s simply a matter of survival to leave and make a better life, away from the country you love. Some times this is the story of the refugee, sometimes it’s of the migrant but it’s always a variation on the theme where people wish to move to a better life.Ian Cook

In April 2014 I had the good fortune to attend the Do Lectures at Payne’s Hut where amongst many wonderful people, I meet Ian Cook. Later in the year I was passing through Sydney and asked him to share his migrant story, viewed from someone who had to abandon his home in South Africa with literally just a couple of suitcases.

A migrant’s life is never easy.

Even with a marriage, great education and the easier socio economic demographic in a first world country, migration is still not an easy path, especially when qualifications aren’t recognised as was the case for Ian’s wife but like all migrants they had to make it work, there was no returning to South Africa during the dark days of apartheid and the retribution they would have received for avoiding military service. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

 Music, Architecture and Music of the Old Country.

Moshlo (Morris) Shaw

Moshlo (Morrice) Shaw

It was 1936 and like many others, Morrice Shaw’s father could see the writing on the wall for his young family in Poland. More importantly, being Jewish, he knew things weren’t good and would only get worse. The best thing was to pay whatever was necessary to get his wife and 9 month old son to a safe country, then do what he could to get the rest of the family out of Europe. We all know how that played out for Europe and fortunately for this family it turned out to be immigrating to Australia.

Sadly most of their greater family fell victims to the Nazi persecution while the young Morrice grew up in the safety of Melbourne, later to hear the stories from the few relatives who did survive the the Nazi death camps. Not something easily forgotten.

A migrant’s life is never easy.

Growing up as a Jewish immigrant in the strong, Irish Catholic Melbourne suburb of Elwood was tough for the young Morrice (later to be known as Moshlo). Constant bullying and bickering from the other boys still weighs on him as some of the more unfortunate memories of his childhood. This he could also see playing out into the ’50’s in his father’s factory where new immigrants and locals clashed over cultural differences. This was the way it was long before the open acceptance of the multicultural society brought on by the post war migration boom and the mix of cultures we now enjoy.

What if you had to build a house with no money?

Morris Shaw Cottlesbridge House

Cottlesbridge House

Cottlesbridge House Interior

Cottlesbridge House Interior


With the strong work ethic of his parents Moshlo did well at school while also preferring to play the violin to the rough and tumble of sports, leading eventually into university and architecture. Soon after graduation Moshlo whet onto garner international fame in his 20’s for The Cottlesbridge House featuring in L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui in 1963. Then after a sojourn travelling and working overseas, eventually onto designing the Wave House in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Returning to the musical past.

[click to continue…]


Ian’s back from three years of Pod-Fading.


After three years away it’s wonderful for me to say…

“Welcome To Episode 30 of Your Story Addendum.

Having been away for so long I think, as we get started again, it’s only fair to bring you up to speed with what happened to cause such a long hiatus for Your Story and what you can look forward to in the future.

As I mention in this episode there will be changes here and also at Create Your (Life) Story, which is in the early stages of rebranding and new content about how to get your stories out to who needs to hear them.

Ian with Tango friends.

Ian with Tango friends.

This is just the first tentative steps in coming back to the world of podcasting. If you want to hear some of my stories from over the last few years you can listen to my audio feed at AudioBoo. Note: Sorry about having to log in but this is one of the examples of how AudioBoom is turning away from their community.

Come and say hello using some of the contact links available on the Contacts Page in the top navigation bar. [click to continue…]


No-One can sum up what it is, about The Do Lectures

No-One can but maybe Many-Ones can!
So I thought I let the many say as a community, what the individual struggled to get across. What is the Do Lectures all about? How would or could you explain something that only those who have been there can feel from experience.

We all meet and fell for each other in one week-end

We all meet and fell for each other in one week-end

I thought I’d give you my solo view…

But I quickly realised we needed more opinions…

Yes, It really was that special


The whisper of something special.

You know what it’s like, don’t you? There’s this whisper, mentioned from time to time, not by the mainstream but by those you care about and follow, the people who show you the way around this social sphere these days that is the internet.
Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 7.16.57 pmPeople like @Documentally and @RossHill both of whom I’ve followed on their adventures to the Wales Do Lectures in 2011 and 2012.

There’s a whisper of something different, something every bit as cool as the TED Talks but more intimate, more human, more real. That’s it… there isn’t the huge kerfuffle normally associated with grand promises but a whisper, that this thing, that is the Do Lectures is something special.

So the whisper was sent to me via a Twitter DM to try to get to the first Australian Do Lecture at Payne’s Hut. I might just find it worthwhile.

We’ll see but this is how it starts…

[click to continue…]


You live with science but do you know it?

Living in an age where technology encompasses every aspect of our lives, the most important thing is to have, at least at a basic level, an understanding of the science behind it. However as society dumbs down not caring where their iPhone comes from, great people like Carl Sagen have warned what to expect.radiolab-live-apocalyptical-15

The new landscape of  science communication.

The issue is how to enthuse people about complex topics. Then in one fell swoop, comes a not so little Radio (Podcast) show to take us on a new journey of understanding these topics in fascinating ways.

I’ve been listening to RadioLab, The Podcast for years and learnt much but it’s the entertaining style while sharing complex, often dry topics which impresses me no end. But now they’ve really shown how to do it with their live performance.

Disaster and Dinosaurs

If you love the monster lizards of days past, or have kiddies in you life who love dinosaurs, along with wondering how it all ended for them, then this is the show for you. But it’s more than that.

The stage show is visually stunning but also aurally awe-inspiring, dragging your deep into the drama and devastation of that fateful day when it all went very, very, I mean VERY,  bad in just a couple of hours for all life on Earth. Followed by the story of what came later.

To see the performance of how a radio show is created live along with the musical performance, using instruments in ways I’ve never seen or heard before, will I’m sure, as it did for me, entertain and educate you about some very complex science.

This is science communication at it’s best.

But also stay for some very human stories.


Having fun with my Atomic Coffee Maker.

How much do I love my Atomic!

While I was on The Wolverine at the end of 2012 I had access to a metal buffing machine so thought it was worth giving my trusty Atomic Cappuccino Maker a good clean and refresh. Over time it slowly tarnishes and once every few years it’s nice to return it to it’s brilliant, shiny newness.

Last time I did this while working on Narnia and sadly damaged the label which I wasn’t able to have replaced without taking it personally into Bon Trading. You have to understand, there are copies out there which people label with an Atomic label to then pass off as the real thing, so the good folk at Bon Trading need to see the unit to confirm it’s genuine. Sadly this meant I had to wait until I returned to Sydney which fortunately for me was in 2012.

The moment I dropped my Atomic on the counter I had a surprise reaction from the staff. I don’t think they have seen an atomic that shiny in a good long time. It even scrubbed up better than a new machine after being freshly polished.

We all got raving about it so I asked Irene to tell us a few things about the atomic and its history.

Then as a favour for them I recorded a little impromptu video for them. [click to continue…]


Bringing it all together in one place.

I thought it was worth bringing the whole story of Sabina and my trip to Canberra as part of #HumanBrochure in one place. What better way than the best of the audio and images I could find from the greater group of people we meet on the week-end.

[click to continue…]