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Isiiad (I saw it in a dream) is an arts and design blog. It is centred in Warrandyte and the surrounding Yarra Valley but will go where ever my creative spirit takes me… so Warrandyte to the world. Creator and blog owner is Jeannette Davison.

The Rug Maker of Mazar-e-Sharif

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Montsalvat is currently showing rugs and embroideries from the Middle East, courtesy of writer and carpet seller Najaf Mazari. Najaf is well known in High Street Prahran where he sells and restores magnificent rugs from Afghanistan. This exhibition is part of Montsalvat's Afghan festival- A Month in Afghanistan- being held over the month of March.  The walls and surfaces in the Barn are adorned with the results of countless hours of weaving and embroidery. I've chosen details of the rugs and embroideries to show you the beauty and variety of what's on offer.

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Najaf Mazari and Robert Hillman, are bestselling authors of The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif and The Honey Thief. Signed copies of both books are available for purchase during the festival. The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif is a beautifully written memoir detailing Najaf's life in Afghanistan before the civil war ripped the country apart.  In addition, his refugee experience has been poignantly and vividly described. As I read The Rugmaker over the last week I was touched by Najaf's indomitable spirit and capacity for forgiveness. In recognition of the quality of its writing and the issues it raises, The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif has been selected for the 2012 VCE English booklist.  

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On the final night of the festival (Saturday 31st March), Montsalvat will host a grand fundraising extravaganza featuring Afghan music, dancing, food, wine and 'magic' carpets.  Special guests on the night will be Julian Burnside AO QC, David Manne, Sally Warhaft and Arnold Zable. 

All money raised will go to the Masawat Development Fund where it will be used to provide medical and educational facilities in the community of Mazar-e-Sharif. 
Details for the extravaganza are as follows:

Saturday 31 March at 6.30pm in the Barn Gallery

Entrance fee, which includes buffet dinner: $35, $12 Students, children under 12 free
Bookings essential -  9439 7712

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Najaf Mazari's retail outlet, Afghan Traditional Rugs is at  461 High Street, Prahran, Melbourne, VIC. Australia.

Tel: (03) 9529 2068 (Int'l. +61 3 9529 2068)
Fax: (03) 9529 4468
Mobile: 0421 425 037


Parent Category: Arts

Montsalvat's Peacocks

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I've succumbed to the beauty of Montsalvat's peacocks.  The much loved, oft photographed peacocks were on display when I visited a week ago and I couldn't help myself.  Here's the result.

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I was visiting Montsalvat to view the exhibition of rugs from The Rug Maker of Mazar-e-Sharif, Najaf Mazari.  More about that next.



Parent Category: Arts

Warrandyte's Longest Lunch

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A definite change of pace today.  Look what I spied along the river at Warrandyte, just upstream from Isiiad. Too good to pass up really. One hundred and fifty people enjoying a four course meal on a lovely autumn day amoungst the gumtrees and birds in my favourite part of the world. The food was prepared and served by students from Box Hill Institute under the watchful eye of chef Andrew Sankey. Diners were gifted a jar of strawberry jam from my favourite local roadside store, Warrandyte Berry Farm, to enjoy at home. As guests arrived, the airwaves were filled with the music of a harpist followed by the strains of flutes during the entree. The lunch was organised in conjunction with the World's Longest Lunch, joining 29 Regional events held simultaneously around Victoria on 2nd of March during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

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Art is never far from the surface in Warrandyte.  Members of the Doncaster-Templestowe Artists Society recorded the day in paint, perhaps recalling the style of one of Warrandyte's favourite artists Clara Southern. The crowd enjoyed watching the paintings emerge over the course of the day. In addition, complementary massages were provided by students from Box Hill Institute's Aveda Wellness Centre.

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In keeping with the theme, Uncork the Past, the menu was designed to reflect the food of a bygone era.

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The wines, from Kellybrook Winery, were specially selected  to complement the food.

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Ali McCarthy gifted her friend a place at the lunch for her 60th birthday.  Ali "really enjoyed the day", any wonder she found it a great way to relax by the river.  She commented that the students had worked very hard.

Warrandyte's World's Longest Lunch was organised and sponsored by Box Hill Institute and the Manningham City Council. How wonderful to see the community come together to support young people's education in this innovative and life enhancing way.

 

Parent Category: Isiiad

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