Human Sign brings unique friendship in the ‘N’ in HANDS

How did this happen? East Timorese artist Anata, Los Palos artist Kiki, St Kilda artist Liz Milsom, my old friend Trish and myself all ended up together in the 'N' in HANDS for the Climate Change action in St Kilda last month next to Pat Jessen and others, while my daughter Kate tried to film with a camera she had never touched before!  Well that's the way this friendship with people in Suai is evolving. But this story is not about Anata or my daughter or photography. It is the beginning of a bigger story about Liz Milsom and her father George and the strange ways this international friendship weaves its mysterious web. In this particular case it goes back all the way to 1941.  Liz's father served in the Australian Army in World War 2. He wasn't a trained artist but he liked to draw, he painted water colours, and he surely had an artist's spirit, a spirit that comes clearly through his collection.  George Milsom died when Liz was a child so one of the ways she grew to know him was through his collection of memorabilia, letters he wrote from East Timor to his family, his water colours and maps, as well as official photographs sent to him of Timor at that time. In June this year when Suai Loro artist Anata was in Melbourne for the Bundoora Exhibition I introduced him to Liz and the circle of friendship began again. Anata and Liz met up when we all went to St Kilda Beach to make the human sign to give ourselves a morale boost while giving our politicians a clear message that we are relying on them to help us to change our habits and take the message to Copenhagen. After meeting we did a swag of trips and dinners together and shot a little bit of video about it too which I will post as soon as I can. In the meantime here's the slideshow. Anata and Kiki loved the Human Sign, VEGOUT, the Artist Studios and the visit to Rickett's Sanctuary in the Dandenongs. It's difficult to pick a highlight because they also had the opportunity to go to the Palais to a concert to see Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu who was backed up by Timorese singer songwriter Ego Lemos. Our request to film the concert  was refused but just so you can hear the kind of music these boys love here Yunupingu is singing one of their favourites on YouTube.

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