A freelance writer and father of two, I am interested in almost anything the ever-changing city of Brisbane has to offer. When I am not seeking the kid-friendly and affordable, I am tracking the home-grown and the unique... Come and discover with me!
Residents and regular visitors of Brisbane's Postcode 4101, which comprises the suburbs of West End, Highgate Hill and South Brisbane, will no doubt be delighted - if somewhat unsurprised - to learn that this multi-cultural and artistically-inclined area is soon to receive a visitation from the Goddess Aphrodite. 4101, after all, has not only been voted "Most Likely Postcode To Host Australia's Next Prolonged Love-In" in several recent broad-ranging national surveys*, but has long been home to a large Greek migrant population, among whose ancestors the great Goddess historically enjoyed a particularly devoted fan-base.** Aphrodite's visit is the most recent in a series of local appearances, which themselves represent the latest evolution in a prolonged and broad-based campaign to restore Her former image in the eyes of billions as one of Olympus' most accessible and personable Deities.
In days past, those seeking an encounter with Aphrodite were obliged to pour libations of wine, sacrifice innocent animals, and chant repetitively while burning vast quantities of aromatic herbs. Such rituals, while undoubtedly fun-filled and aesthetically-pleasing, have proven increasingly impractical for today's time-poor Love-devotee. Libations and aromatic herbs are costly, not to mention downright anti-social in the context of high-density living; animal sacrifices not only cast a serious shadow over one's environmentally-friendly credentials, but are liable to incur the wrath of both the livestock's rightful owners and the law; and who among us hasn't struggled to work up the sincerity of feeling required to invoke the most powerful female Deity in the Universe whilst attempting to shoe-horn an Orphic Hymn in between dinner and the latest episode of Bones?
Fortunately, mighty Aphrodite has never been one to sit idly in Olympus waiting for the adoration to waft upwards. Concerned at plummeting popularity ratings, and full of compassion for love-starved communities everywhere, the great Goddess chose the early years of the new millennium to hit the reincarnation trail. While her return to this mortal plane may have borne some familiar hallmarks - mysterious oceanic origins, long hair and eye-popping outfit - the Aphrodite who washed up on Sydney's Bondi Beach just over a decade ago had plainly heeded the admonitions of Her media advisers.
Sporting a portable plastic clam-shell and a hip, tech-savvy outlook, She immediately set about her two-fold mission: to reassure some six billion fans of her continued existence, and to institute new modes of worship accessible to the pop-culture-addicted, globally-networked Web 2.0 generation. Taking on the human identity of one Rebecca McIntosh for the sake of acquiring the necessary driver's licence, passport and mobile-phone contract, Aphrodite ventured into the suffering mortal world with a warm smile, a keen eye for innovation in the fields of installation art and citizen journalism, and a simple question: Are you in love at the moment? Unsurprisingly - she is the Goddess of Love, after all - people from all walks of life were soon flocking towards Her, eager to pour out their stories and their hearts within the cosy confines of Her magic clam-shell.
Some ten years, dozens of prestigious arts events and several trips across the planet later, Aphrodite's mission to spread love and laughter among humankind continues from strength to strength in its current manifestation as the interactive live-art project known as Love TV. From within Her Big Hot Pink TV - a mobile theatre which can and does install itself just about anywhere - Aphrodite conducts intimate interviews with celebrities, peer-nominated community members, spectators and random passers-by on the universal and ever-fascinating subject of (you guessed it) L-O-V-E. A live video-feed from within the Big Hot Pink TV then broadcasts these sometimes-intriguing, sometimes-touching, sometimes-hilarious interviews onto a giant screen for all present to watch and enjoy, while mysterious co-hosts known as Aphrodite's Love-Wranglers facilitate audience participation in a variety of ways. In this deliciously-voyeuristic and uniquely-engaging setting, identities are explored, the cultural diversity and singular strengths of communities are celebrated, and Aphrodite's message of Love is shared in spontaneous and previously-inconceivable ways.