My amazing Wandering Journo Tribe!
We made it! Can you believe it Streets of Your Towners—this is it—the 100th episode of the little indie podcast that could.
And all of you Wandering Journo tribe of supporters—you know that I’m a BIG fan of a good ceremony. I am such a believer that sometimes in life we need a special celebration to mark the good in our lives when we are proud of what we’ve achieved. I am stoked to have made my 100th episode of Streets of Your Town featuring internationally renowned artist David Hinchliffe! And so I gathered some of my core supporters from my Wandering Journo tribe—those who don’t get enough thanks for keeping this podcast show on the road, at the iconic Brisbane venue the Brisbane Jazz Club to celebrate. I never imagined when I started this journey in Mildred the cantankerous Kombi to meet the amazing people in our midst that my little indie podcast could come so far. But with a team of friends like this around me, some who travelled from so far away to join me, all things are possible.
Before you hear from the man whose storytelling is equally masterful with words or with the palette knife—the man who is bookending this series by featuring in episode 1 and 100—let’s hear from some of the dedicated fans of Streets of Your Town, celebrating this century episode. You can listen to them by pressing play on the button above, or downloading the podcast from your favourite podcast provider.
Streets of Your Town is such a fantastic podcast. Nance Haxton’s interviewing style makes you feel like you’re right there with all of the charming people that she meets. She has a real talent for finding brilliant stories. I look forward to pressing play on the latest episode as I drive to Work. Streets of Your Town is spectacularly intimate and universally relevant. I’m always left feeling positive and inspired every time I listen to an episode.
Hello. I just wanted to wish Nance a very happy 100th episode for her Fabulous Streets of Your Town podcast series. Nance has really hung in there throughout Covid and has managed to be creative in the ways that she has managed to draw upon her wealth of social contacts and networks, and continues to deliver beautiful, poignant stories from people that are well known, to people we don’t necessarily know much about at all. I’ve loved listening to Nance’s podcasts, and it’s a wonderful addition to our family, and I’ve listened to it late at night, and when I’m driving sometimes. I always enjoy the way in which Nance asks questions and is able to bring her room warmth and compassion into each story. She has a way of making people feel special and really listened to, and she also has a beautiful lively side to her that makes people feel happy, I guess, and uplifted. She’s an amazing person who manages to juggle many things at once, and I’m often amazed at her next thought or her next project. She seems to have always something creative on the boil, and I find her highly inspiring. So once again, congratulations, Nance. Woohoo. Wonderful, wonderful achievement, and I love your work.
Thank you Mel and Manon for those kind words—and thanks also to Mildred my cantankerous kombi where I recorded the voicer today right next to the kitchen sink by the rock and roll bed. This podcast would not have been possible without all of your support!!!
And now to the man who so kindly kicked off this crazy Streets of Your Town adventure.
This internationally renowned artist—harking from a family of journos—generously started this podcast series by telling his story.
From his idyllic country childhood to rebellious teen, and on to becoming Deputy Mayor of Brisbane, before rediscovering his creative talent anew.
We’re re-visiting David Hinchliffe in his inner Brisbane city Fortitude Valley home to find out what’s changed for him on the street where he lives, what’s different post pandemic, and what has remained the same or even more important than before.
The same themes that all of us have pondered, as we reflect on our how our lives have changed too.
David starts his interview in understated fashion.
“Well, I feel honoured and very old,” David says.
“When you walk up my street, you don’t usually come back a second time. Once is enough. I live perched on the edge of a precipice in Fortitude Valley. I always hoped to see you again, Nance, and on this occasion, it’s indeed a very special event.”
Reflecting on how life has changed post pandemic, David couldn't believe how different his life is now from when we first met.
“Someone asked me in Sydney where I’ve come back from, whether I was based in Brisbane, and I said, I used to say I spent half my year in Brisbane and half in the world because I’d be travelling London, New York, Paris, all of those wonderful destinations for half of the year painting and exhibiting,” he says.
But it’s not like that any more.
“Wherever I look, I’m constantly painting in my mind. But I found, as I think all of the world found, treasures in their own backyard, places that they had neglected because we take those places where we live for granted.
“So yes, I think I benefitted—like many people around the world—from that precious gift of time.
“That whole covid experience, of course, wreaked havoc on families, on individuals, and is still wreaking havoc. Some of my friends have long covid, and of course it’s, it’s had economic effects as well.
“But looking at that silver lining on the cloud, I think time was something that it gave us, and hopefully it has affected a lot of people for the better as well, to take stock of what’s important.”
David has pivoted—or as he described “pirouetted”—to providing his painting workshops all over Australia instead of around the world. He encourages everyone to follow their passion and see where it leads.
“Oh, look, I think I know just about every artist in the southeast Queensland area. I’ve got workshops next, I think in Perth. And it is good it, it’s a way of connecting to people, but also a way of connecting back to art,” he says.
“See, I had been, and still am a professional painter, and so it’s much more cut and dried, businesslike, et cetera. When I see people who just love art for the sheer act of creation, it reminds me, oh yeah, that’s right. That’s what art is about.
“It’s about that wonderful sense of creating something. And I still get that with my own paintings, but it’s much more pure and direct and intense when it comes from people who haven’t really been painting all that much in their life.
“Everyone is an artist. It’s a firm conviction that I've had for many, many years. In the 20th century, all the rules in art were absolutely shredded.
“Anything can be art. A hundred—more than a hundred years ago—Marcel Duchamp exhibited a urinal up on a pedestal, and he called it La Fontana, the fountain. Now, if a urinal can be a work of art, then it follows that anyone can be an artist. So all it requires is, I guess, the courage to say, I’ll give it a go. It’s all about attitude. It’s about having the opportunity to do it.
“It’s not about whether you can paint accurately, because guess what? We’ve got cameras. Everyone who’s got a phone has a camera. We can take a photo.
“So yes, everyone can paint, and I encourage people to explore their creative side, whether it’s writing, literature, dance or painting. Artists live longer.”
It’s been a big month for the Wandering Journo! I’ve also started making a podcast with the incredible Daniel Morcombe Foundation called “Keeping Kids Safe”, A Bright Futures podcast. It’s on all the major podcast providers or here: https://omny.fm/shows/keeping-kids-safe/bruce-and-denise-morcombe. You see the extra pics and info shown below on Facebook.
The wonderful Bianca Wylie increased my street cred by about 200 per cent by interviewing me on her program on 4ZZZ about the joys of making this podcast and of the privilege working with Bruce and Denise Morcombe. You can listen to that here:
I also had a career highlight this month! It was an honour to interview Li Cunxin, author of Mao’s Last Dancer, face to face for Radio National. Let’s hope he’s on the road to recovery. (See it on Facebook.)
Thanks for making this milestone with me—and here’s to many more episodes of Streets of Your Town. Thanks so much for your support—couldn’t do this without you!