We met Reg in his workshop and immediately knew we had met a gem of an individual. There he was surrounded by shelf upon shelf of old bakelite radios, TVs, cables, speakers and tons of other electronic paraphernalia dating back over decades. Flickering in the background amongst the cob webs, and ancient artifacts was a glossy, new plasma TV featuring images of days gone by which Reg had scanned and loaded onto a slide show for our use. These included a whole collection of photos dating back to 1922, the year he was born.
This was a man with a passion for all things electronic which started with the purchase of a crystal set in 1934.
Neil is a chilliman, he sows, grows and nurtures a backyard of chilli. Garrulous and ingenuous his story is a simple path from curiosity, obsession to lifetime passion. Hailing from Umina he worked in gardens, mowing lawns and pruning nature’s splendour; his backyard is a hot secret laboratory rich in natural variables and chemicals to develop his chilli hobby.
With a few rare varieties he began to produce hybrid chillis, mongrel pain radiators that swallow tastebuds in a furnace, whipping the brain’s pain receptors and triggering the rush of endorphins. A sweltering heat that soaks the tongue, tortures the mouth with undulations of fire burning strongly deep into the larynx. The 500 species in Neil’s backyard derive from global species of chilli, his house, backyard and house burst with the capsicum aromatic odour.
Cultivation begins just before spring, in his biolab, with one fluorescent light he prepares the chillis for spring growth and feeds them special soil containing wormjuice from his wormfarm “that’s the secret” he beams proudly. Neil explains the heat element is contained in the membrane lining the chilli interior, when the chilli is pressed and the membrane breaks the chilli chemical bursts and the liquid spread throughout the chilli creating the fallacious belief about chilli seeds being the perpetrator of the 'spice'.
Two years ago he met his Danish partner online, a nurse by profession Charlotte had been watching Neil’s chilli test on youtube and contacted Neil. Their relationship developed and she permanently moved to Australia and now helps develop kitchen friendly chilli products. Love birds immune to the pain of chilli they continue to test the capsicum and it's five species of hotness, and each chilli can possess various types of hotness. Neil's experimenting drives his passion and he welcomes any brave two-forked tongue to his laboratory’s backyard.
Kayla's obsession with vintage frocks began with Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window'. It was a film which introduced Kayla to Grace Kelly . A quirky peek into the fashion choice of a young woman on the Central Coast of Australia. Styled to remind us that the media greatly influences the choices we make. We live in a time where young women's fashion leaves little to the imagination. Miss Kayla delights us with a quirky look at her current wardrobe which is bursting with fashion from the 1940 & 50's. Filmed and edited by Nat Ferfoglia - Multi Media & Performance Artist. Soundtrack Changing Trains (1090/1) John Dankworth & Bubble Bath (1893/5) Dave James / Keith Beauvais. Photography by Danica Arboleda, Brianna Shaw & Nat Ferfoglia.