Reneé Barlow is a walking media hub: event promoter, photographer, graphic designer, audio engineer.
She’s a powerful voice for community living and the driver behind Homespun Bazaar, a music festival and market event in the Scenic Rim area of Queensland.
A piano teacher for several years before developing her many other talents, Reneé has an affinity with musicians and other creatives, promoting the arts through her own her publication Rimshot Magazine, and her photography business Scarlet Harlotte (portraiture and band design).
I met her at this year’s Homespun, where she was overseeing events. (On that very hot day, she insisted on paying for her own iced coffee, even though the stallholder didn’t want to take her money. Nice.)
“I’m already working on next year’s event,” Reneé said in between thankful mouthfuls of coffee and ice. She described a tortuous list of governmental paperwork including applications for various grants and permissions.
I thought: this babe gets stuff done.
Incidentally, I did catch some music. Ellie Jane And The Forces Of Destiny were playing.
Ellie has a big voice with a wide, wide range. With her was Byron Short (lead guitar), Jerry Stanton (bass) and Jake Tracy (drums). Byron was due to play solo later. He said he’d been listening to Eric Clapton in the car that morning and was inspired to play a blues set.
Ellie played original songs, “This song is about how your feelings about a person change…” and covers. She saw out the set with a Led Zepplin song. Her Facebook page says:
We bring you a collision of all things retro with a contemporary twist.
“Ellie loves Marc Bolan, you know.”
Ellie’s partner Eric held baby Rocco, who wore the coolest set of earmuffs I’d ever seen.
“She is all about retro.”
These creatives! Ellie is a music teacher working in a school, while writing and performing her own songs. Eric is a graphic artist who works a day job and has his own projects on the side. He spoke avidly about a cartoon book in the film noir genre. I loved listening to them talk.
Country singer Bridget O’Shannessy also writes her own songs.
“I wrote this one when I was thinking about my grandmother…” Her clear, bold voice travelled right over those fields. Apparently she’d just got back from work in the U.S.
I stared at Bridget, was that really her name? She looked like my colleague Jess! I snuck backstage afterwards to ask. Bridget had a minder.
“Jess, is that you?” I called out.
The minder stepped in front. No, she’s Bridget.
The next day I went over to Jess. So was she secretly a country rock chick?
No. But they did look alike.
And that was my experience of a Reneé-inspired event.
Whether it’s discount photo packages for local families, or local business promotions though events, or getting the local musicians into Rimshot Magazine, Reneé Barlow is the go-to person if you want the world to know who you are. Contact her at Reneé Barlow Creative Services.