A Fairy Tale Evening – with AFTS members!

As per our Events page, we’re just reminding you of tomorrow’s little show at The Melbourne Athenaeum Library, 188 Collins St, Thursday 20th July at 6pm. A twirl of a thing, only 90min, with our signature diversity of modes, genres and backgrounds! Revel in faerie arts & conversation with light refreshments at an iconic venue that’s a paradox of accessibility and seclusion. Several of our renowned presenters are performing, including bewitching storyteller Roslyn Quin, pictured here with Wordsworth at our recent AFTS conference. 


Australian Fairy Tale Society’s 4th Annual Conference – even more highlights!

Now for yet another delight, the first quilting workshop ever to feature in our annual conference adventure. At first, a bunch of us wondered how responsive members might be to something more kinaesthetic than our usual fare; would the scholars and writers slip out for a cuppa? But no! Jo Henwood’s imaginative, compelling facilitation, and the conviviality of attendees, combined to form a magical interlude. From the top of the theatrette, glancing down to the stage, all one could see was a carpet of bodies, moving like sea-fronds, kneeling, cross-legged, arching over each other for a snippet of this, a patch of that… and whilst I don’t have a photo of Jo herself at the workshop, there’s a spectacular glimpse of her (thanks Jackie Kerin!) on stage telling a story that same day. Just scroll down through the quilts and gorgeous fairy tale folk here. Can you spot Aladdin’s lamp? A frog, anyone? Or toadstools spun from Australian wool?

Australian Fairy Tale Society’s 4th Annual Conference – more highlights!

Lorena Carrington from Castlemaine provided insights into her artistic approaches, and previewed her illustrations for a forthcoming book “Vasilisa the Wise” with acclaimed author Kate Forsyth (it’s great when our members collaborate!), while Erin McCuskey from Ballarat, founding producer of Yum Studio, introduced us to her fabulist realm of Luxville by way of film, photography and her book “Luxville Dolls”.

Courtesy of Spike Deane, we’re beaming a photo of her superb glass sculpture for our inaugural Australian Fairy Tale Society Award. Each year, awardees’ names will be inscribed onto this piece, as part of our permanent national fairy tale collection. The frog is designed so that light beams through his eyes, carrying the magic of glass, like a golden ball through a well.


Australian Fairy Tale Society’s 4th Annual Conference – highlights

A wondrous day it was, our Winter Solstice conference, full of marvels and mayhem! As part of the Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, we gathered in the Theatrette, Foyer and Gallery Annex of Glen Eira Town Hall in Caulfield, to share scholarship and creativity on the theme of mattresses… peeling back layers, disguises, self-narratives, identities, provocations and intercultural overlaps here in Australasia. Our membership renewals have been at a record-high during this June-July buzz.

Over the next days I’ll be posting highlights, starting with the exquisite illustration by member Erin-Claire Barrow (this photo pre-framing), presented to a former AFTS president Belinda Calderone, recipient of the inaugural Australian Fairy Tale Society Award:

We’ll beam more about Belinda and her award here soon, including a brilliant sculpture by glass artist Spike Deane that is now part of the Society’s permanent collection. First I’d like to thank both Bel and another former AFTS president, Catherine Snell, for participating in the conference, along with several other former, incoming or continuing committee members.

Thanks Dr Robyn Floyd for initiating and arranging delicious catering and a fairy tale cake contest, including Snow White cupcakes by Rose Gorman and Princess & the Pea cupcakes by Kellie Floyd (photos by MC/storyteller Jackie Kerin):

Lastly for today’s post, here is our Keynote, Durgah Devi (Dee) Palanisamy, who explored layers of cultural perception through use of oral storytelling and puppetry:

Further highlights will include glimpses of the fairy tale quilting workshop and photos of other contributors and their art.

To those who attended, thank you. To those present in spirit only, we hope to meet you at a fairy tale ring. If you’re in Melbourne Thursday 20th July, please join us at the Athenaeum Library for A Fairy Tale Evening 6pm, $15 or $10 for members of Australian Fairy Tale Society, Storytelling Australia Victoria or Athenaeum Library.

Fey regards,

Louisa John-Krol

President, Australian Fairy Tale Society