Patchewollock, Fintan Magee
DDIdeas / Featured

ART-stralia Day

Being your average shut-in, it takes something special to get me off the couch for a long weekend. What better way to escape the mundanity of trawling Netflix and celebrate Australia Day by taking a roadtrip to the middle of this beautiful country of ours to see some amazing art.

So I headed to Victoria’s Wild West where artists have been utilising the decommissioned grain silos that are dotted across the plains of the Wimmera region. Beginning in the small town of Brim, the idea to paint massive murals on these remarkable structures was conceived by a group of its residents and brought to fruition by street (and silo) artist Guido van Helten.

Brim, Guido van Helten
Brim, Guido van Helten

With huge success in Brim the trail has expanded into what is now Australia’s largest outdoor gallery – stretching 200km with a total of 6 installations from street artists Fintan Magee, Rone, Adnate, Kaff-eine and Julia Volchkova.

Lascelles, Rone
Lascelles, Rone
Lascelles, Rone
Lascelles, Rone
Sheep Hills, Adnate
Sheep Hills, Adnate
Rosebery, Kaff-eine
Rosebery, Kaff-eine
Rupanyup, Julia Volchkova
Rupanyup, Julia Volchkova

Something even grander than these works is how they serve to revitalise the small towns they live in. Once slowly deteriorating towns are now seeing a relative beehive of activity and providing a new sense of hope for the people that live there. If there’s something to take away from this experience, it is that art does have the ability to change lives for the better in a meaningful way.

DDIdeas / Featured

In a sea of Kardashians…be a Meghan

There’s a lot going on in the world right now that seems to be pointing towards a restacking of the gender imbalance. Let’s hope that this isn’t just a temporary positive blip and that the dial moves permanently to create the kind of change our daughters will thank us for. Amidst it all, an unexpected heroine has emerged as the new face of this very old conversation.

Steering clear of the stench that surrounds Harvey Weinstein, or the farce that’s emerged around my one-time favourite actor Kevin Spacey, let’s focus instead on the delightful Meghan Markle.

Beneath her princess-like beauty and fairy tale love story with the world’s most eligible bachelor, Ms Markle has revealed herself to be far more than that old cliché of a Hollywood actress who captivates Royalty.  She is an eloquent and passionate advocate for female empowerment, a phrase that is now less dirty to utter than it was even a few months ago, thanks to the #metoo campaign

In what is emerging as her own inimitable style – natural, articulate, warm and heartfelt – Meghan shares her views on this hot topic back in 2015 at a UN Summit.  This was long before she was picking out wedding dresses headed for Windsor Castle, or charming the Queen’s corgis into wilful submission, which leads me to suspect that she had no formal agenda, other than to encourage women to speak their truth.  Watch her disarm the room as she speaks hers here:

We’re seeing a modern icon claim new ground for women and girls all over the world before our very eyes, one who hasn’t felt the need to sacrifice her femininity as she’s found her voice, and whose gentle manner belies the power of someone who has a compelling fire burning within.

It’s hardly surprising that the flame-haired prince fell hard for Meghan.  She’s the role model I want my daughter to believe in, the “Girl power” I subscribe to in 2017 and the sign of a shifting perspective from the stuffy Royal establishment unshackling themselves in the wake of her undeniable style, wit, empathy and unaffected grace.   Qualities she singularly has the power to revive in a world of flagrant self-promotion and waning elegance.  Qualities too that every brand talking to women would do well to think about embedding within their own brand story.