A Woman’s Worth: Arts and Letters Report March 2015

By Jennifer Ann Davies

NCWQ Arts and Letters Adviser


La sagasse vaut mieux que le genie, l’estime que l’admiration, et les douceurs du sentiment que le bruit de la renommee……Jean le Rond d’Alembert

Wisdom is better than genius, esteem better than admiration, and the sweetness of feeling, better than the noise of fame!


Marianne WILLIAMSON – Random House, London, 1994

“She puts the responsibility and direction of women’s lives right where it belongs – in our own hands and hearts….” The New York Times

“The eternal feminine draws us upward..” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“…Womanhood is being recast, and we’re pregnant, enmasse, giving birth to our own redemption…” p.5

“…Truth is radical – and birth and art and real love and death – this radicalism changes things. It represents a shift in core beliefs, a belly-up of dominant paradigms…” p.11

“…feminine principles of nonviolence and surrender and the values of intuition, nurturing, and healing…..have been pushed aside, so that the world forgot the power of a tender touch….” P.16

Williamson allows the reader to piece together the jig-saw of one’s inner and outer self, recognising the presence and absence of specific social mores – This warm, challenging, world acknowledged and passionate Woman Writer, includes a huge variety of ‘others’ –

This always indicates a wonderful open-ness –

An invitation to ALL Women –

A symbiosis of ferocity and gentleness –

A Grand Woman-Heart…… –

I found god in myself

And I loved her

I loved her fiercely. Ntozake SHANGE


Reinforcing some of the ideas and ideals in this inspiring book – “In youth we learn, in age we understand.” Marie VON EBNER ESCHENBACH.

Because this publication has a resemblance to a puzzle, I have posited small parts of that ‘puzzle’ for you to sample!

“Women are still in emotional bondage as long as we need to worry that we might have to make a choice between being heard and being loved.” p.69

“Women are not powerless. We just pretend we are…” p.73

“Be not ashamed, Woman

You are the gates of the body

And you are the gates of the soul. Walt WHITMAN

Woven into the puzzle, is a review of our jobs, as mothers!! This may meet with mixed feelings and responses – nevertheless – it is worth reading and reviewing. “The idea that a woman is somehow doing more with her life if she has a job out in the world is insane…..” p.107


A mother is not a person to lean on,

but a person to make leaning unnecessary.


IF we allow and facilitate Change, then – “…children will grow up to know that neither money nor fame nor prestige nor power is nearly as important as a life lived for noble purpose.” p.117

There is no greater nobility than to live with compassion for all living things!

“One is not born, but rather

becomes, a Woman…”


SO! – perhaps as we are all Women, here, to tell the Truth, to raise the spiritual rafters, to blow the roof off the paradigm that has ruled and oppressed us for a few thousand years, we will also note, and become comfortable with the difference between obsession and passion – we may, perhaps, note that forces that are sometimes seen as violent or turbulent, are not, truly, in CONTRAST with our ‘real’ selves, or with our ‘brilliance’ – but are deeply felt, totally natural effects of passionately lived lives!

Continuing the ‘weave’ of things, a curious and interesting novel by Australia’s own Kate FITZPATRICK : is“Airmail: Three Women: Letters from Five Continents”

John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd., Milton 4064, 2005

This is one of those books that simply ‘slid’ out of a book-shelf – minutes, in fact, after I had pressed SEND on my last Report – in which a focus was Letter-writing!!!!!!!!

Exposing wonderful symbiotic relationships with the art, joy and effects of letter-writing AND the historicity of creative Australian women, mothers, and children, living busy, often chaotic, passionately-lived energetic lives – some in unison – some in separation, Kate writes: – “… mum couldn’t understand women who decorated fridges with infantile scribble just because it was produced by their children. She was not excited by the fact that we were able to hold a pencil and make a mark. If the current climate of positive reinforcement and loving non-judgemental acceptance of failure had been fashionable at that time, we would probably have been removed from her care!!!!…” p.3

Insightful and interesting…..still around – it may even slide out of a shelf just near you…..!!



Commentary on today’s workplaces is a primary focus


A totally enjoyable performance, extended because of its popularity –

The offices of Shelbourne Harbour Institute of Tertiary Education (SHITE) are infused with the business of bureaucracy and pots of Ginger Kiss tea!

Moondance, a product of Nimbin parents Rainbow and Glass, has well and truly moved on from that world, to become a dedicated worker at SHITE.

For the last six months she has held the position of part-time Acting Manager of The Operations and Equity Department (TOED).

When Branka Radich, newly-appointed, permanent Manager arrives, spruiking orders to ‘shave the fat’, the hem of Moondance’s full-length skirts start to unravel.

An office comedy with heart, about a woman who is forced to learn that people who initially seem very different, can often turn out to be very much the same!

Directed by Peta Cooke

I was not able to validate rumours of this performance going ‘on the road;’!


The Cairns Regional Gallery celebrated its 20th Birthday, last weekend, but unfortunately, many of us did not attend as that particular night was very, very wet and nasty!

However, Best Wishes were extended to the Gallery Members and I will bring you news of new and old Artists as the Art Year progresses.

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