Shiftazine is about celebrating what is out there, already in your life, right in front of you. The idea behind Shiftazine is to give some useful insights, to pose some questions, make you look and hopefully help shift the contemporary perception of beauty and aesthetics.

For the armchair traveller: Observations of Berlin_No.1

Berlin is so far away at the moment. Berlin has provided me with some of my sweetest memories from the last decade. Travelling to distant shores, to vibrant cities, to experiences unimaginable is lost to us for now…but we have our stories to tell, our images to show, our memories to share. Shiftazine will be rolling out a series of observations of Berlin in the next month aiming to provide some delight to all the present day armchair travellers.

The Sun’s circle: Japan

The use of red in Japan is as skilfully applied as their use of orange or navy blue.
This is a culture that understands colour and respects it greatly.
But that does not mean they are conservative or fearful of colour.
On the contrary, they engage it as if it was a prayer being offered to the gods in the strongest and clearest voice. To see more observations about Japan go to the folders ‘Interesting Places’ and ‘Colour’ in the menu.

The Buzz and Hum of Art

The coming of winter in Sydney is always heralded by VIVID.
The energy generated by the clever and beautiful installations and art always warms our hearts and souls and sparkles energy within our minds.
I have just realised that the time of VIVID has come and gone this year, and sadly due to Cordiv 19, we were not spoilt with all the visual delights VIVID brings us.
Here is a past VIVID Festival exhibition piece found at the MCA. Fortunately, this piece is a part of the permanent collection of the MCA so it may come out to shine on us once again.
We wait eagerly for its return in 2021.

The violets prattle and titter,

There is a tiny doorway in George Street, Redfern, which transports you into
a huge world of flowers.
This wonderland is called ‘My Violet’.
Myra, the creative energy, is the heart and brains behind the operation.
One’s heart beats faster as you move into this delightful space.
4/17-21 George Street Redfern.
Visit the menu to discover more ‘interesting places’ that shifatzine has explored.

Justice and respect. Simple

Justice and respect for every sentine being. We need to stop breaking everyone and thing up into little groups. Rather we must see that we are all a part of one great thing…thus we must respect everything as if it was ourselves. Enough already with division.

JoyDay: I love Hot Pink

JoyDay is such a good thing. Every year on the 25th of November, people need to take a moment or the whole day to celebrate a thing or sentient being that brings one joy.
I post little reminders throughout the year and here is my annual post about
To see more of my JoyDay articles go to JoyDay in the Menu.

Art and Life in a Bubble

Life now, all over the world, is being lived in a bubble.
Our home is our safety bubble. Our car is another bubble
Bubbles encase our hands every 20 minutes when we wash them religiously.
I have always said that ideas are like bubbles…beautiful and 3 dimensional, moving and real but gone in a nano second.  Impermanent. This virus is not like that kind of bubble. 
It is very permanent.
 This piece of wonderful art was a part of WATER, which was the last exhibition at GOMA, closing prematurely in early March 2020.
Soapy water pushed through clear perspex tubes created these beautiful, elegant, fluid shapes and lines that were constant and moving and growing.  It was a delight to stand and watch. Our lives are like these bubble lines, constant and moving and growing in unexpected directions. And hopefully the unexpected directions will lead us to new paradigms, new ways of living our lives outside our bubbles.

Our Tiny Boat called Earth

Earth Day 2020. we are in the middle of an extraordinary global crisis. We are all staying at home. Not driving our cars. Not flying from place to place. We are being still and hopefully reflective. The planet has been given a chance to start to catch her breath. Look at this time as a gift not for us but for this tiny boat we are all sailing in across the universe.

This is a poem, a commentary, written in 1869. That is about one hundred and fifty years ago. The world was an entirely different place, a different planet from now. And yet, these words and sentiment could have tripped from someone’s lips yesterday. Things change but they stay the same it seems when it comes to the way humanity behaves. Lessons can be learnt. Shift your perspective about this crisis and see it as a gift of change.

July’s Wallism:

Every surface is a canvas just waiting to be utilised as a vehicle for an artist’s statement, observation, impression or just a delightful folly. A moment in time, a flick of the brush.
 Wallisms are universal in their function of delivering art to the street and to all who have the good sense to look and absorb.
 Tokyo, Koneji, Look Street.

More Wallism observations are to be found in the Wallism folder in the index.

Coffee and Suimo

The chance finding of this beyond quirky basement cafe was driven by the desire to have a coffee that was not a tourist nightmare.  Through our prescription sunglasses, our eagle eye gaze scanned the landscape of Waseda Dori in great detail. And there it was, the most unlikely doorway promised a once in a life-time experience. Down we went, dipping our heads so as not to bang them on the low ceiling. End result was a memorable, unique location, with a coffee that was not so bad, while the Sumo wrestling was playing on an old TV in the background. I was right. Did I mention I LOVE Tokyo?

Read more stories and observations of Interesting Places in the Interesting Places folder found in the index

Fashion Slut

If the contemporary does not speak to you and you are your own rugged individual with your own defined style, then it is a ride on the Tozai Line (the Cyan Blue line) out to Koenji.
It is here that you will be spoilt with choice of Americana and European fashion from the 50s, 60s 70s and 80s. And it will not empty the bank.
SLUT is but one of the many stores that lovingly present a wide range of clothes and accessories that will speak to the rogue ‘fashionister’. All along Look Street just right of the South exit from the train station…you will find it, I am sure.

Look at more Shiftazine Fashion stories in the ‘Fashion’ folder in the index

The colour of bravery

Navy blue and white are the ‘black’ of Japan. But WHAT ABOUT THAT ORANGE!!!!
On a recent adventure in Japan, mainly Tokyo, we aimed our focus and cameras at Kyoto for a short while. The fact that this incredible orange covers all the beautiful architecture of this ancient place made me want to come back, and immerse myself in the iridescent hue.
Japan has the most incredible understanding of colour and the how and when to use it. Orange is the colour of courage and the Japanese use of colour is always courageous and inspired.
You can see more Colour observations of the world in the ‘Colour’ folder in the index.

Tokyo, France

Japan and France, Tokyo and Paris, who knew that there was such a connection between these two dynamic, sophisticated cultures. There is a famous landmark in Tokyo called the Tokyo Tower. It looks like the Eiffel Tower of Paris. There are lots of French clothing brands like Chanel and Dior in the Ginza and if you go to the Sunday flea market at the International Forum, you will find beautiful, hand painted La morgue plates among the many other French delights and antiques for sale.

And then there is ‘branch’ in Yutenji, (not far from Meguro)  Tokyo.
It is perfect, with its delicious French food and the person who creates this beautiful experience, Naomi.

Freshly made pork pate that was out of this world with texture. Baby corn and fresh broad beans char-grilled. Pickled vegetables, such a perfect foil for the rich pork pate. Shredded carrot and red cabbage just made, and full of sweetness all go to create Naomi’s The Deli Plate.
All home made, fresh every day: Soup of the day; Pate; Sandwiches;
Deli plate; Tart; Fresh pie; Lemon cake. By herself, this dynamo produces food from the gods.
T1530052 Yutenji 2-15-8 Meguro Tokyo Japan Naomi Saeki
Read the full article in Interesting Places folder (in the index).

Is debate dead in Australia?

“Not all heroes wear capes.” A statement that is true and powerful. But is there some room to reflect on the fundamental action of ‘eggboy’? Yes he did a great thing by egging that dickhead, but he also assaulted a publicly elected representative of the people.
Now that aint good. We must respect the office of the representative but not necessarily respect the dickhead who is occupying it. Ah debate, is it a dying activity in Australia?
I fear so…sigh.


ChalkTalk is a series of observed chalk drawings that have blessed our foothpaths over the past few years. Enjoy them when you come across them. Stop and take them in as they are small, spontaneous artworks that are here today and gone tomorrow. More ChalkTalks can be enjoyed in the ‘ChalkTalk’ folder in the index.

Wallism: Art or vandalism

This image, captured by Felix Oppen, is a great example of a ‘Wallism’.
Urban art generously created and installed by an anonymous artist, brings pattern, colour and provocative imagery to our dull and often artless urban landscape. More interesting articles and observations to be found in the WALLISM folder in the index.

A colourful conversation

All things are connected. And colour is one of the key vehicles of connection.  See more articles about colour in the Colour folder in the index.

JoyDay: Bring a little joy in your life


Celebrate the things that bring you joy, no matter how small on the 25th November.  See more articles about JoyDay in the JOYDAY folder in the index.

Every time is defined by a palette: The 1940s

An analysis of a a mid century colour palette. More interesting articles and observations to be found in the COLOUR folder in the index


Wallism : Concrete Pillow



The psyche of a society is often laid bare on walls. It is all there for us to see and learn from. More interesting articles and observations to be found in the WALLISM folder in the index