We may have been laying low on social media lately, but things have been mighty busy at the CO_ Headquarters. Some mad April foolishness saw us spend two weekends back to back hitting the road to get those little loose ends tied up with some special couples. First, it was Melbourne, where we flew in and flew out to meet and greet some wonderful people whom we have been communicating with over emails and social media since we began the project with them.
Melbourne once more
This time of year, autumn, in Melbourne is just perfect. The sun comes out to play each day and the cool nights remind us it’s soup time. Speaking of soup, we thankfully managed to squeeze in time to dine at the Moroccan Soup Bar on St Georges Road, Fitzroy North with some of our favourite people. Murwillumbah, Melbourne, Morocco; we’re just so ‘jetset’ here at CO_.
A stop at Carlton, where we were warmly welcomed by Lin van Hek and Joe Dolce, saw us share many laughs and trade many a tale with these wonderful people so rich in character and story. A merry moment under the apple tree, captured above by Joe, and we were sad to say ‘arrivederci.’ We were reminded, during lunch on Rathdowne Street, that it was just further up the road over a long lunch and wine that the seed was sown for this book. Many twists and turns later and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
A suburb later and we met with local Fitzroy identities Crusader and Rowland, owners of Hares and Hyenas, the quintessential queer bookstore and place of many happenings. Incidentally, friends of Joe and Lin, with much local creative history overlapping and layering between us all, as it does. The threads which tie so many wonderful stories and people in CO_ together has been so humbling and affirming. This is not simply a collection of couples who work together. This book is a series of stories, some interrelated, some markedly diverse. Bringing people together and creating connections was a theme of the following weekend, back north again.Northern Storms
We picked up Michelle from the airport just as a storm cell seemed to be making its way from the south, right in our direction! We had two shoots this afternoon; Murwillumbah with our friends Pete and David, and Lismore where we were to hang with Joanna and Darren. Well, although we assured Michelle that usually this region dishes out a steady supply of blue skies, this day was making us look the fool. The sky began to blacken, turning the cane fields an emerald green and the impending shoot a challenge. In our photographer we trust, however, and as we arrived at the lush home of Pete and David, the heavens opened in true subtropical fashion and we laughed at the ridiculousness of the timing. Luckily the brightly painted canvases of Pete Goodlet created a light of their own and we stood back and let Michelle work her magic behind the lens. The rain let up a little for the drive to Lismore to meet Joanna and Darren, printmakers, artists, and facilitators of Lismore Art Space. Abby the wheely dog was as excited as we were, and seemed pretty chuffed her beautiful mug will appear in the book too. An inspiring chat amongst creatives about co-working, living in a regional area and studio life was just what we needed to remind ourselves of all the nourishing aspects of living a life outside the 9-5 box. We later made new friends in Lismore town, and ate at the Bangalow Hotel as more life giving rain came a-falling.
The weather behaved for our trip the next morning to Caboolture, where we saw behind the scenes of Epheriell Designs run from a humble and oh-so-cosily styled tin shed by Jess and Nick. Many of you may also know Jess Van Den from her Create and Thrive creative business advice website. Business lunch soon called, and that was when we began to feel impending exhaustion from an over indulgence of creative hobnobbing and road tripping.
Thanks and Praise
Thank you to all the wonderful people we spent time with, for opening up their homes and studios and letting us tell their stories. Thanks to Michelle Dunn Photography for the miles, the support, trust and vision. To Alyson Pearson for her book layout, and for bringing it all together. To friends in Melbourne the northern rivers of New South Wales and Southern Queensland for their extended encouragement and support over what has become two years in the making of CO_The Creative Couples Project. To our blog readers, fans and Pozible supporters, we cannot wait to bring you this collection of creative stories, crafted with love and care, later in 2014.