The Buskers- Khyana & Mardi Gras

The Buskers - Khyana & Mardi Gras, oil on linen, 76 x 62 cm, ©Stephanie Brown 2011

My daughter Olivia and I stepped out to enjoy Manly during the school holidays. We just happened to stumble upon a talented musical duo busking with a purple harp in Manly Corso. A young girl called Khyana and her companion a lorrikeet called Mardi Gras. While Mardi Gras ran along the top of the harp plucking at the strings Khyana sang and played, struggling to compete with jack hammers and workmen from a nearby construction site. It was one of the cutest things I'd ever seen.

As I had a portrait exhibition looming in Melbourne with a theme called “All the World’s a Stage” with Portrait Artists Australia, this talented pair just fit the bill. The world to these two is one big stage, so I just had to find out more about the bond shared between these two special friends. Khyana’s mum Terri was keeping watch nearby and so we got chatting. I found out they’d come down from the Central Coast, near Gosford, for a few days holiday. Looked like they were working pretty hard to me.

Mardi Gras was rescued as a baby, found lying in the back yard after a heavy rain storm. She soon became one of the family, taking over the household and developed a special bond with Khyana. They spend hours together singing and dancing, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga being particular favourites. Mardi’s dance styles include side-stepping, turning in circles and head-banging to the beat. She also loves sitting on Khy’s shoulder as they ride their bike around the neighbourhood. Mardi Gras hates to be left alone and so does everything with the family.

Khyana’s now aged thirteen and went to the local Rudolf Steiner School. The harp was an instrument she was attracted to because of the beautiful sound. She started harp lessons at age nine and has had numerous performance opportunities since then, such as concerts, eisteddfods, local community radio, and busking. A highlight for her was singing and playing solo at the Christchurch Cathedral in Newcastle for Education Week. Khyana now attends a performing arts class at her local high school, sings with a children’s choir and is in the ensemble of a musical theatre group.

No wonder they live without TV, when would they ever get time to watch it? Sounds like a life of bliss to me. Wonder if I can talk my husband and daughter into a NO TV household?

One thing for sure, this talented duo are destined for a great future and I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to bump into them.