Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Visit inner universe and paradise planet called Art

THE feeling of timelessness makes browsing artworks one of the most relaxing pastimes. Stepping into a public or private gallery seems to free up pathways in the mind.
On the other side of the art equation, the creation also can be a marvellously meditative experience and an escape from the humdrum of everyday existence to a special place where there are no pressures other than those you want to accept.
An invitation to this paradise has been posted on the Classifieds' Find Us First page, where renowned Birkdale sculptor Georgette Schwantes, trading as Georgette's Art, has promised "therapeutic and relaxing" art classes.

GEORGETTE is one of Redland's most accomplished artists, with her stunning creations featuring at times in our news pages.
One of her commissions, a life-size fibreglass sculpture of Jesus, for Sacred Heart School, Sandgate, appeared on The Redland Times front page in 2009, and last year crosses that she created for Carmel College featured in the Bayside Bulletin.
Georgette has had much experience in teaching, both privately and at TAFE level. She was born in Egypt but grew up in England, where she obtained a degree in fine arts.
She has practised in the Redlands for about three decades. Georgette has an intriguing answer to that age-old question, What is art?

"I STRONGLY believe that art is an experience, and it has to be experienced," she says. "Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed creating art.
"The pleasure ... is not from finishing a piece, but rather the journey in creating it.
"I am always reluctant to sign a piece off, as that is acknowledging that it is finished. Then sadness comes over me, similar to the sadness at the end of a love affair.
"For me, there is no better way to express myself, my feelings, dealing with a three-dimensional form, one I can feel, not only with my hands but with my very soul.
"When I am working with my clay, I lose myself in it, time stands still, five hours can fly by and it can feel like five minutes.
"I am no longer in control of it, it has a soul all of its own, the presence of pure energy is running through me. I can feel it directing my hands. Oh, what joy, what ecstasy; I am flying; I am out of this world."

GETTING her feet back on the ground Georgette is also developing a specialty in sculptural restorations and has completed several major projects on sculptures that have been damaged in transport from overseas.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times. Image courtesy

Retail stouch brings out hammers, saws

GUNS and bombs are the standard weapons of war but hammers and saws can be handy when the retail giants battle for supremacy.
The retail power game, which has been one of the nation's most discussed subjects in recent years, is erupting into outright commercial warfare, as Woolworths advances toward the opening of its first home improvement stores.
Woolies is recruiting staff for a Tingalpa store, which is under construction. Positions that the group has listed on the new Fairfax Media network,, include department managers and assistants, receiving associate and training coordinator.

A WOOLIES spokeswoman in Sydney yesterday confirmed the store was scheduled to open in the second half of 2011. She understood about 120 staff would be needed.
The job notice lists the departments as gardening/outdoor living; paint, flooring and home d├ęcor; kitchens and appliances; building supplies and trade sales; plumbing, electrical and tools; stockroom; and administration.
The criteria include ability to work across the seven days of the week, evenings, late nights and some public holidays; retail management experience; experience in one of the categories; a strong customer focus; liking for a fast-paced team environment; communication and interpersonal skills; an eye for detail and a sense of urgency; ability to drive sales; and a passion for home improvement.

THE details are likely to be well read by generals of the opposing 'army', the Wesfarmers group, which operates the Bunnings chain. They have had to chew their nails while Woolies has plotted its hardware campaign, which retail watchers dubbed as "top secret".
The Sydney Morning Herald last month reported Woolworth would spend about $400 million on the first 12 stores in its joint venture with US partner Lowe's as they targeted the $6 billion a year Bunnings business.
Bunnings reportedly has lodged a development application to build a store at Wynnum West, about one minute's drive from the Woolies site.
The name of the new chain is still a whisper in the Woolworths corridors but retail analysts expect an announcement soon.
The spokeswoman would not reveal whether the company planned any hardware stores in Redland City.

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column appeared in The Redland Times in April. Image courtesy