Sonya Veronica Quintet LIVE Saturday, 8th May, 9pm at The Clocktower Centre Theatre

We are gigging LIVE on Saturday, May, 8th at 9 pm! (yeiii!). We would be playing at the beautiful Clocktower Centre Theatre as part of The Clocktower Centre‘s Music in May, FREE performances in Moonee Valley program (booking required).
This will be our first gig since 2020, and this time as a Quintet, with Mark Fitzgibbon on piano, Howard Cairns on double bass, Alex Spicer on drums, and Alistair Mclean on guitar.

Brought to you by the Moonee Valley City Council supporting the performing arts and the community, we are grateful and excited to be part of this “performing arts recovery project as part of Recast 2021, supported by the Victorian Government through the Working for Victoria program”.

Bien sûr, it will be a night filled with chansons françaises (comme Gainsbourg, Misraki) and few jazz standards weaved in. I hope you can join us then. Please book here.

Merci et á bien tôt, j’espere.

Sincere gratitude to @cityofmooneevalley for supporting the performing arts community and for having us. Special thank yous to Iain Finlayson and Jessica Bellamy.

Sonya 

image text: Double bass player, a guitarist, a pianist and partly shown drummer behind a vocalist. Showing a jazz performance in progress inside an intimate venue.

It’s a Wrap! Inclusive Design & Wellbeing – A Conversation – MDW 2021

Photo by: Jessica Hyde | Description: A laptop screen in one of the attendees’ room, showing zoom session of a conversation in progress with 6 panelists, 1 moderator and 1 Auslan Translator.

That’s it! Finally, it happened, the conversation that supposed to take place in March 2020, it was held yesterday, 31st March 2021 (This event is part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.)

Thank you for all of the attendees.

Thank you to all the panellists for their wonderful insights:

Dr Manisha Amin, CEO of Centre of Inclusive Design.

Professor Jenny Martin, Professor of Social Work- Federation University.

Jocelyn Chiew, Architect, Director City Design, City of Melbourne.

Dr Andrew Martel, Early Career Academic in Construction Management and Housing- Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne.

Dr Lil Deverell, Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialist of RoAM and Postdoctoral researcher at Swinburne University of Technology.

Leo Feig, Project Manager at Building Engineering Pty Ltd.

Thank you for the part sponsorship of ShawContract that has afforded the event the webinar format, and our very own Auslan translator, Amber Richardson of

Final thank yous are to Swinburne University of Technology for their support, especially Swinburne Ethics committee and my PhD supervisors, Dr Nanette Carter, Prof Mark Taylor of Swinburne and Dr Kirsten Day of University of Melbourne.

Till next time all !

Sonya

Inclusive Design & Wellbeing – a Conversation| MDW 2021

Image description: A close-up of stair-ramp combination at the entrance of Museum Leuven in Leuven, Belgium with an overlay of blue graphic and text. The text is a quote from Shut Out: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia (2009). The quote says, “I do not expect to get access to the pyramids and Uluru but I do want to get into all of the libraries and all of the community centres”. Title displayed on the bottom banner: Inclusive Design & Wellbeing – An interdisciplinary panelists Conversation, Wednesday, 31st March, 18.30-19.30, online. QR code is displayed on the left bottom corner.
The previously postponed (due to the COVID-19) “Inclusive Design & Wellbeing – A Conversation”  (part of Melbourne Design Week 2021) is happening virtually next Wednesday, 31st March from 6.30 to 7.30 pm.

For more information and registration, please go here or scan the QR code on the image above:  https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/inclusive-design-wellbeing-a-conversation-tickets-76432161653
 

Singing at “Out Loud” – live-streamed Saturday, 13th March at 1.15 pm

I have little news – it rather a short notice, being a pop-up event – if you have time and would like to hear some jazz, bossa, french tunes around lunchtime, please tune in to this “Out Loud” live-stream, presented by the Clocktower Centre

Al (Alistair Mclean) and I are playing this Saturday, 13th March at 1.15 pm. It will be a short but sweet 20-30 minutes session, and it will not be re-streamed.
So do tune in if you can. Here is the direct youtube link: https://youtu.be/z44wcgIH3xQ

For a wee bit of snippet on how we sound as a duo please click here. or scroll below.

Hope to see you then, albeit virtually and have a lovely weekend.

“Vulnerable” – an upcoming new artwork series

I've found that it's of some help to think of one's moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather.
Here are some obvious things about the weather:
It's real.
You can't change it by wishing it away.
If it's dark and rainy, it really is dark and rainy, and you can't alter it.
It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.
BUT
It will be sunny one day.
It isn't under one's control when the sun comes out, but come out it will.
One day.
- Stephen Fry

Never has this Stephen Fry’s quote resonated to me more than now and, especially, in the past year. With many uncertainties and setbacks. The ‘stormy and rainy days’ were frequent and, at times, relentless. Indeed the rain would pass, the darkness would shift, it would be sunny again, but before I knew it, the storm would come. 

Surrounded by the sound of rain, I often retreated to reflective solitude. There I was, confronted with my own vulnerability. I tried to set it aside and quiet it down, but, with the pandemic pause, there were not enough hustle-and-bustle of the day to drown it. Perhaps, it was the first time I truly listened to myself –to my vulnerability.

Last year, I planned to embark on creating a new artwork series, but the setbacks ensued as the pandemic struck stopped me at my track. The epiphany on vulnerability has prompted me to revisit the envisaged series of my new artwork project in a different light and focus. 

Many people are experiencing mental health setback due to the current pandemic and restrictions. One of the possible causes is the uncertainty of the future, which makes many of us feel vulnerable and exposed. As someone with lived-in experience, in supporting and raising awareness of mental health disorder, it is therefore fitting that Vulnerable is the focal theme of my new artwork series. 

Prior to embarking on creative development, it was crucial for me to conduct a foundational work exploring the meaning and nuances of vulnerability and establishing a methodology, a framework from the exploration. The foundational work was completed today, January, 25th evening with paths set for the next stage for further development.

Admittedly, it was not a straight forward, nor it was a linear process. It was difficult at the beginning; mainly because I was doubting myself and was so often stuck because I emphasized defining vulnerability intellectually, detaching myself from it in a bird’s eye view way that I avoided putting in my heart. Only when I started exploring wholeheartedly that the foundational work truly gained momentum.

Did I achieve what I set out to do? Yes, I did, but not in the way that I had initially envisaged it. My exploration and the foundational journey turned into a dive into the meaning and value of authenticity and acceptance of the impermanence.

This foundational work has not only set the core and the heart of a new art series journey but a voyage of a renewed art direction and unrelenting radical acceptance of the vulnerable, authentic self. To me, that is when art can truly flourish.

I shall share more update on my new artwork series at the next development stage.

My sincere gratitude to Moonee Valley City Council (MVCC) in granting me the COVID-19 Art Recovery Grant late last year to conduct this Foundational Work towards the creation of new artwork series “Vulnerable”. MVCC’s community recovery grant scheme has supported many local community groups, businesses, and artists to bounce back from the setback brought on by the pandemic. In my case, MVCC’s support and belief on the project have indeed made the difference and given me the push (and accountability) to pursue this endeavour. Thank you.

A Quiet Start of the New Year

To say that it has been an interesting year is an understatement. Many of us face challenges to stay afloat, being apart from loved ones, and some of us may still unable to come home. Thoughts and prayers for life lost and sadness surrounding the year that was 2020. Hopes and Acceptance of what we cannot control, and of the unknown for the year that is 2021.

A quiet start of the year is what I need and what I am having, luckily with a Seeing Eye Dog puppy that I am fostering by my side.

I hope you have the type of new year start that you need. Peace and love.

Description:
Shadows of a person walking a Seeing Eye Dog Puppy. The 3-month-old black Labrador puppy wearing a Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dog in training vest is partially seen on the left bottom corner.

Inclusive Design & Wellbeing Discussion restaged for 2021

Hello all, 

It sure has been a topsy turvy period since my last update. I sincerely hope that everyone is well amidst the present challenges and ahead. In light of the ever-evolving pandemic situation and restriction, this Inclusive Design discussion is undergoing a restaging process. This discussion has my heart and my mind, so while I cannot give the exact certainties of the revised plan yet, I can advise you that the discussion will indeed take place, albeit restaged for early 2021 (date shown currently is a placeholder – TBC).

Please kindly bear with me while I am ironing out a few wrinkles at my end.  

Thank you very much for your support and understanding. I will issue another update in due course.  In the meantime, keep well and take care.

Sincerely, Sonya

Update: Inclusive Design & Wellbeing Discussion – further postponement

Inclusive Design & Wellbeing Discussion – October 2020

A lot has certainly evolved in the last three weeks, since my last update to you

In light of the evolving public health safety issue, current restriction and further advice from the State and Federal Government, this Inclusive Design & Wellbeing interactive discussion is moved tentatively to Wednesday, 21st October, same time and same place. The date shall be re-assessed closer to date, sometime in late September or early October, subject to the official advice at the time.

Thank you kindly for your understanding and support.

I will keep posting updates through my website and social media. The links are below https://www.instagram.com/sonyasonnyveronica/, https://twitter.com/SonyaVeronica, https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonyaveronicaiskandar/

Please do not hesitate to contact me through my personal email address (sonya@sonyaveronica.com) or university email (siskandar@swin.edu.au).

 In the meantime, please do take care, keep safe and keep well. Till we meet in person.

Inclusive Design & Wellbeing Discussion is postponed to Wednesday, 29th April

Event registration has been updated: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/inclusive-design-wellbeing-tickets-76432161653

Thank you all firstly for those who have registered to attend this Inclusive Design and Wellbeing discussion and also for those who have signed up on the waiting list. It is very encouraging indeed.

Please be advised that in light to the current public health situation, as a precautionary measure, Meat Market is closing its door from 2 pm today till the end of March and this Inclusive Design and Wellbeing discussion has been postponed and moved to (tentatively) Wednesday, 29th April, same time and venue. 

The date will be reassessed in early April; All attendees, including those in the waiting list, should have received emails notifying them of the postponement.

I recognized that there has been a great interest in attendance for this event. Come early April, aside from reviewing the date, I will also endeavour to review the venue within Meat Market and discuss with them to see if there is a possibility of moving to a slightly larger space to accommodate those who are in the waiting list. 

I will post updates to my website and social media account (Instagram and Twitter). To follow, social media addresses are below: 

https://www.instagram.com/sonyasonnyveronica/, https://twitter.com/SonyaVeronica

Please do not hesitate to send me an email either through my Swinburne email address (siskandar@swin.edu.au) or website email (sonya@sonyaveronica.com), or both.

Although this is not an ideal situation, this is one of the ways to “flatten the epidemic curve”.

In the meantime, please do take care and keep safe.

I look forward to the day till we all can finally meet.

Au revoir,
Sonya