For readers and writers and all who appreciate the arts
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     ArtsLink Newsletter

      Issue 3 - August 2016

Friends, music, art and literature: One of my long-time Australian friends recently celebrated a special birthday in the Netherlands and attended an Andre Rieu concert in Maastricht - an ambition of many years.
Her follow-on trip included the Rembrandt Museum and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam among other delights.
Another friend is about to publish her latest book - a novella - she has branched away from the family stories of her Distance Series to explore the seamy side of life in Melbourne. Quite a departure.
1.  Maastricht
2.  Rembrandt
3.  Anne Frank
4. Nene Davies - Featured author
1. Maastricht
Here is a taste of Andre Rieu's showmanship.
I chose the   Johann Strauss' 'Emperor Waltz' (Kaiser-Walzer) live in Maastricht 2012 as it is taken from the DVD "HAPPY BIRTHDAY! A celebration of 25 years of the Johann Strauss Orchestra". It fits my friend's occasion.
Until now, I knew of Maastricht only as the venue for Rieux concerts - my loss. This short video uncovers a little of the history, charm, and vibrancy of this university city which is one of the oldest in the country - It's on the list for my next European visit. 
2. Rembrandt
It was my privilege to be in Amsterdam some years ago when there was an extensive exhibition of Rembrandt's work. Rembrandt is my favourite artist. The character in the Dutch faces of his portraits and busts and the contrast of light and dark give me goosebumps. It is wonderful to follow the changes through the years in his self-portraits till this later
one from 1669 when he was aged 63. 
How well it fits with a quote attributed to him - Life etches itself onto our faces as we grow older, showing our violence, excesses or kindnesses.
The stories behind the paintings are often fascinating.
The curious may be interested in this site
which tells us 'fifteen things we might not know about Rembrandt's Night Watch'. 
When the magnificent Night Watch was returned to the Rijksmuseum in 2013 the event was promoted with this lively flash mob video
On my last visit, because I could not drag myself away from the Rembrandt Museum I missed my visit to the Anne Frank House but I have never forgotten the impression that reading her diary made on me so many years before.
3. Anne Frank
In these times of war and terror, we need no reminding about the hard times endured by so many, and numbers of young people from troubled places are telling us their stories, often with the help of others. I'm thinking of Sudan's Lost Boys and the experiences elsewhere of young boys and girls kidnapped or sold into rebel armies. We marvel at their resilience when they reach safety and their commitment to recovery - and the significant place of music in that recovery - and their dedication towards peace and reconciliation. 
Sadly escape from death was not possible for Anne Frank, the German-Jewish girl who died of typhus in a concentration camp after being in hiding in a confined attic in Amsterdam for more than two years - but once again her amazing literary legacy is one of hope and faith.   
In 2015, the Anne Frank House introduced a new generation of 
travelling exhibitions in Australia: "Let Me Be Myself - The Life Story of Anne Frank". Apart from the story of Anne Frank and the historical context of her time, it specifically highlights the contemporary relevance of Anne's story. See​
for details. The 2016 Sydney exhibition remains open until October.
4. Featured author - Nene Davies 
Nene Davies and I have known each other for seven years as members of the Victoria Point Writers Group. Over time all our members have become friends as well as 
 critiquers and supporters.
Nene has published a successful family trilogy that follows a migrating family from Wales to Australia and takes us into the heart-rending and heart-melting moments of a loving family as they find their way in a new country and deal with separation from those they left behind. The books in the series are Distance, Further, and Surfacing.
Nene has spent recent months experimenting with a totally different style of writing, and confronting subject material. Be ready to seek out Redhanded on the sites of all the well-known internet retailer bookstores in the near future to read about a fire, drug dealing, murder, and camaraderie among emergency service workers.
Find the books of The Distance Series and her short stories here  or at your favourite online bookstore.

Follow Nene at:
Copyright © 2016  Winfreda Donald, All rights reserved.

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