I've been offline for so long it actually feels like I've been on holiday! This year we did the long car trek up to brissy to stay with our excellent friends in Highgate hill and pop over to my brother's place for xmas dinner. He recently took his girlfy on a mystery surprise trip to Barcelona - awwwe how romantic - and she got inspired to produce this amazing paella for xmas lunch.
The nice thing is that even though we ate heaps, it wasn't like the overeating you do with the traditional meat and veg fest that is Christmas dinner. We also got to GOMA to see the Andy Warhol show and did rather a lot of sleeping - now I'm off to the coast for a few days r&r....
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I've been offline for so long it actually feels like I've been on holiday! This year we did the long car trek up to brissy to stay with our excellent friends in Highgate hill and pop over to my brother's place for xmas dinner. He recently took his girlfy on a mystery surprise trip to Barcelona - awwwe how romantic - and she got inspired to produce this amazing paella for xmas lunch.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Left hand drawing of a roller skate - done with willow charcoal. I've been really getting into the drawing - but have been totally slack on the posting. Anyway I'm posting them all to the flickr page, and a selection here - so go to my flickr page to see the lot. (I'm still behind on posting to flickr too - maybe I'll catch up by the end of the month...)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
And it's day 4 - I've managed to squeeze this drawing in before 11pm - yay! I'm still drawing with my left hand, this time using charcoal. I'm about to head up to Queensland for a week for work so I'm not sure if i'll be able to post every day. If not I'll keep drawing and post when I can.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
We went collecting hard rubbish in the silver bullet (Bessie and Mr W's grown up new car). Here's Salami boy with some very special Jamaican art found on the side of the road.
I helped Bessie build a merch booth for the Adelaide Roller Derby Halloween party and then went and found myself a brand new pair of roller skates. (I really wanted the cool black ones with the grey wheels, but alas there were none in my size).
The Halloween party at the Fad bar was a blast - I've got a sneaky video of Mr W doing some very imaginative dancing that I can't post here because it's too big - I'll be mailing it to Bessie to use as blackmail material.
Tuff Puff, Mr W and DJ Alice party on.
The blokes worked on the trailer in the shed on Sunday and Monday putting in windows and generally having shed time. I can't post that photo because Salami boy hates the way his hair looks in it.
I made self saucing chocolate pudding and on Monday night joined the Adeladies for my first ever roller derby training session, run by Bessie and the brilliant and sassy Smarty Pants. I stopped counting the number of times I fell over around 5 or 6 - all I can say is thank God for all those elbow, knee and wrist pads. I'm very proud to say I survived the entire two hours and that only my entire body hurt the next day.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Some time after 11 last night while doodling and looking at trashy magazines I decided to set myself a specific task for drawmo. From now on I will submit only left handed drawings (I'm right handed). It's a way of loosening up and focusing more on looking than on the end result. I also like the look of the less 'in control' drawings. It makes me step out of my comfort zone and stops me repeating the stuff I already know. So from today onwards I will inflict some very wobbly lines on the internet...
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Originally uploaded by ellishutch
I was inspired by Ampersandduck's post to check out the drawmo blog - it challenges members to do a drawing every day during the month of November. Certainly more achievable than growing a mo during Movember for those of us of the female persuasion. I did the little charcoal drawing above a few weeks ago and have done some scribbling since. I've often thought of setting up a drawing regimen for myself and have never quite made it - so - deep breath - this is a good motivation to get moving.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Been off the computer for a bit lately - can't face turning it on at night after spending the entire day, nay week ... well last couple of months desk bound. The good news is I've seen lots of art - the Guggenheim show at the NGV, Pixar show at ACMI, a bunch of stuff in Canberra and have been spending an excessive amount of time eating.
One day I'll get around to blogging about these things. In the meantime check out the yellow .... I drove out to a conference in Galong, past Binalong about four weeks ago and had to stop the car to take this photo.
I love yellow....
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So I was thrilled to see this post on Momo's blog. Check it out
The good thing is, it means I have a life. The bad thing is, there are heaps of things I want to write about and the longer I leave it the more I forget...
I spent last weekend in Sydney, enjoying the quiet streets and staying well away from anything connected to APEC. We had a delightful weekend catching up with mates and getting to see a bit of art.
The work pictured above Red duette is one of the images in the exhibition - the digital image goes nowhere near doing the real thing justice, but it gives you a bit of an idea. The trip to Sydney was worth it just to see these works.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
I spent three hours on Saturday frantically making a collaborative work of art with four other NSW resident artists. The event, called State of Belonging was inspired by Iron Chef - with teams of artists competing to produce something amazing in a very short timeframe. Our team competed against the ACT team for the inaugural CLAW (Canberra Living Artists Week) Trophy. It was mad, fun and totally exhausting. The judges - HG Nelson, Deborah Clark and Jessica Good kept up a very engaging commentary throughout the event.
So what do you do with a bag of cauliflowers?
...Well the team sheep eats some
a couple become the bosom for the boats figurehead
damn heavy things - cauliflowers
Pics of the event can be seen at CLAW and commentary will appear at glasscentralcanberra - i've only got shots of us setting up below:
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
On Friday while stocking up on cheese and bikkies we ran into Li'l Odette and Ray Dee Ator from the Red Hot Poker Dots. They've recently been in the US so we weren't expecting to find them in Bega, though they have family down that way and are currently living in a caravan while they get ready to move to the US permanently. We had a very tasty breakfast of coffee and left over pizza outside their caravan while watching a video of Odette playing double bass while riding a horse and singing her sweet country tunes. She later pulled the same stunt with an increasingly grumpy water buffalo - this occurred somewhere in Queensland. You can see it on their website - under the title of Swampy Tonk Delux.
We then visited Sam the bass player who turned us on to some great you tube clips - Spade Cooley - the king of Western Swing and Willie Hall - the king of Jazz - check 'em out.
Swampy Tonk - love that Pokerdot style
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I'm on the NSW team and we're gonna win the inaugural CLAW trophy - of course...
Anyone in the vicinity of the ANU near Childers St and the Street Theatre should come along. I'll post more details as they come to hand.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Q. What do you call a parrot in a raincoat?
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
I'm in a little group show in Bega opening next Friday - anyone in the area check it out!
The show is called Proximity and features my work and the work of Blaide Lallemande and Caroline Huf. We all studied sculpture at ANU School of Art and work in the general areas of sculpture, performance and installation. Blaide's work amplifies visitors' heartbeats, Caroline's incorporates some fantastic objects and animations - and mine - is a series of drawings created from hot glue - main image featured above.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Should be good practice though - building up my leg muscles and coordination - my friend Ginger had challenged me to learn how to do the Charleston on roller skates by 25 December. The reward - If I'm successful - is a new chicken.
I currently have three chickens - Madame Duchamp is a beautiful big Australorp who lays the biggest chicken eggs I've ever seen, Fifi is a small white silky bantam - totally the bottom of the pecking order, runs away when you come to feed her - and - finally Miette, bantam, black and white stripes and yellow legs. Miette is a grumpy bitch - but very good looking.
So Ginger says if I can do the Charleston on roller skates by her birthday - yes quite a famous date - she will buy me a new chicken - something exotic with spots...
Thursday, August 02, 2007
On a completely unrelated subject I'm in an exhibition called Proximity opening in a couple of weeks in Bega, anyone living in or visiting the region check it out!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I was introduced to the HP phenomenon by my sister-in-law a couple of years before it hit international cult frenzy status. I remember a dinner a where the lovely T raved about this fab new book, about a boy wizard that all the kids at school (she was a kindy teacher) were getting into. We thought she was getting a bit carried away and forgot all about it until she gave us the first book for Christmas.
I got sucked in and had a great time procrastinating with the second and third books when I was supposed to be writing my thesis at uni. Since then I've read each one as it's come out.
I was discussing the books with a literary mate of mine the other day who lamented she'd never really understood what all the fuss was about and couldn't really bring herself to read the books as they don't have beautiful sentences...
Well maybe not beautiful - but how can you beat:
The smell from the kitchen was getting stronger; it was something like burning underpants.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Ahh Tequila - it's a bit out of focus and shot on an arty angle and looks like a bottle of aftershave, but it is the best Tequila I've ever tasted. I spent the weekend with my Adelaide Texan friends who spoilt me rotten, fed me constantly and entertained me with hours of trashy reality tv about texas roller derby. As I mentioned in my previous post. We also went to Hallett cove, a spectacular piece of Adelaide coast, saw a flock of black cockatoos near McLaren Vale, and visited the Adelaide showground farmers markets. All I can say is thanks Boone and Sarah for a fab weekend - I can't wait to visit again so I can see the final episode of Rollergirls!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Over the course of the last couple of weeks two old activities have made a revival in my life. Knitting is getting a lot of attention in Canberra at the moment with a fab show at craft act called knit1blog1, check out the website for lots of good links to knitting and crafty blogs. It's inspired me to start knitting again, having knitted two scarves a couple of years ago and nothing since. I'm now halfway through a scarf made from scraps of wool bought from op shops. The next project will be a real life jumper.
The second revival in my life is roller skating. I'd love to know if there's any organised skating going on in Canberra. My buddy Barrelhouse bessie in Adelaide is getting a roller derby league up and running. We've been watching texas roller derby videos, discussing roller girl name ideas and hearing about a real live texas roller derby player coming to Australia to train the locals later this year.
Now I just need to get back on my skates...
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Ahhh Queensland, warm and sunny one day ... warm and sunny the next.
Apparently it had been raining practically non stop in Mackay for a couple of months so my timing was perfect - I had a week of warm sunny days.
While in Brissy I caught the river cat from New Farm up to South bank and popped in on GOMA for a quick visit. I caught the positively fiendish Katharina Grosse installation and the Howard Arkley show on tour from the NGV.
Grosse has built a fantastic landscape in the long narrow central axis of GOMA complete with sand banks, large canvases jutting out and big weather balloons suspended from the walls like some sort of massive multicoloured sea creatures. They are all painted with this mad abstract expressive assault of colour. It's fun, wacky and the scale is appropriate for the space, which I imagine would be a difficult space for many artists to work in, given its height and length.
I also particularly enjoyed the Arkley show at GOMA. I didn't get to see it in Melbourne, but I have often been frustrated by the architecture inside the NGVs Ian Potter Centre so I wonder how it worked there. Anyway it looked great in the big white barn of a space that is GOMA. You could get far enough away from the works to look at a whole series of large paintings at once, and there was plenty of white space to rest hurty eyes after staring at oppy dots and patterns. I particularly liked the Arkley and Davila collaboration pieces – really nice weird awkward works with so much going on in them, I could look at ‘em for ages and keep finding new elements.
I found this lovely interview with Arkely and Davila where they talked about their collaborative process:
Juan Davila: I see our collaboration as a wonderful travesty. Howard might not see it in these terms, but we are two transvestite painters, or camp decorators, who have no sense of taste, and we produced an intentionally bastard result. It has the appearance of a proper painting but as you come near the whole thing blurs, like make-up on a transvestite. We talked about being two prostitutes who would offer to decorate anything.
Howard Arkley: The paintings went back and forth between our studios in Prahran. There would be one of us at each end of a canvas, carrying it through the streets. On a windy day it was like riding a sail board down the street. You'd have to swing out into the traffic and the cars had to stop while we were twisting and turning the canvas, being dragged along like it was a big kite. It was very much a part of Chapel Street. We used to talk about the work and walk up and down the street window shopping, saying "look at this, look at that, let's put it in the painting". I would fling open the door of a place like a building society, drag Juan in, just stand there giggling at the carpet and then race out. There was a lot of energy.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
This guy's name is Theo Jansen, he creates sculptures that walk across the landscape powered by wind. They are beautifully engineered. Thanks to my mate Bruce for showing me his stuff on you tube - I highly recommend looking at more videos of his work...
Thursday, July 12, 2007
My mate Ginger's (the one in the gloves) going into hospital for a v nasty operation next week. True to form she had a pre hospital party with a medical theme. It was truly weird to turn up to the Polish club and find a room full of lab coats, scrubs and people in pyjamas dancing to some latinised grooves. Love your style Ginger - you rock!
Last week B and I drove down to Bega to check out the gallery there in preparation for out exhibition coming up in August. The snow traffic was steady, but not mad and the weather was perfect for a drive in the country side. Sleety rain, moments of sunshine, spectacular views of stark Cooma landscape turning into green Coastal valleys past Nimmitabel.
I can't remember the time I've seen so much green - and then there was the lovely snow dusting the mountains - and some muddy lumps of it by the road.
The highlight of the day was the wood fired pizza in Bredbo - followed by the delicious cinnamon syrupy apple and rhubarb turnover - the place is for sale so I'd recommend any one in the area check it out soon.
Monday, July 09, 2007
This morning I had to dash into work to collect my forgotten tool kit, itinerary and put the voicemail on.
I did however, manage to get all my shit in one pile and get myself to the airport. I'm sitting in Brisbane airport utilising a nifty internet hotspot and have just heard an announcement that flights to Melbourne are delayed due to fog. It is currently 1.35pm. I ran into a colleague this morning at Canberra airport at 11am - she had boarded a flight this morning at stupid-early-o'clock-before-sunrise to go to Melbourne for a day's work. They took off - flew to Melbourne, circled over the fog, got low on fuel and... returned to Canberra to re-fuel.
This reminds me of an article I read on the weekend about the commuter crisis in Australia's cities. Apparently it took 63 minutes to catch a train to Sydney from Gosford in the 1960s - now it takes 83 minutes. So much for progress ay...
Sunday, July 01, 2007
While in Sydney I popped in to the Art Gallery of NSW and spent a bit of time with the Anselm Kiefer show, and the Ishiuchi Miyako show. I've loved Kiefer's work for years - he's one of my favourite artists of all time - I'm familiar with his objects - but this show also features massive paintings. What I enjoyed about the large paintings in the show was this incredible sense of three-dimensionality and space from a distance - and then up close they become these amazing textural abstracts with big chunks of cracking paint and unexpected objects mired in the surface.
One of my favourite aspects of the show was the video footage showing Kiefer's studio complex in Barjac in France - he has a property containing a number of great old stone buildings, tunnels with works scattered throughout the environment - what I wouldn't give for my own personal art world!
Miyako's work was a kind of portrait in absence of her dead mother. The show contained black and white photographic images of her mother's underwear which had a kind of medical, almost xray feel to them and yet were simultaneously very intimate. These were accompanied by photographs of other ordinary intimate objects - used lipstick, a hairbrush. I particularly enjoyed the quiet and poetic feel to this installation - and knowing that the subject of the work was dead gave me that sense almost of intruding on some one's private space.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Anyway back to the Schnitzel experience - the deal was you could choose between a schnitzel or a rump steak + salad + a schooner of beer. We were keen before we even knew about the beer so when we paid up and got little red beer tickets we were most impressed. The quality of the meal was what you'd expect for ten bucks - bland with wilted salad and crunchy potato salad. The beer was crisp and cold and made up for the boringness of the food. Ted chose the rump and got to cook it himself on the grill, surrounded by a small group of pub patrons huddled around it's radiant warmth - they kept a running commentary on the progress of the steak cooking and made sure Ted didn't burn it...ahh Winter in Canberra....
Monday, June 25, 2007
As I was driving home tonight I was fascinated by the foggy nightscape I was experiencing. All the street lights created these golden pools of soft light, there was an amazing organge glow in the sky over our house. The misty fog - something I haven't seen the like of in years - created this beautiful diffused light, like a Clarice Beckett night scene. I went outside and took a bunch of photos from my front door step getting some great tree silhouettes in this lovely light.
Is it universal? Do you have to wait until judgement day to be served in any Spotlight store - or is it just the case with my local? It wasn't exactly crowded at 8pm tonight, in fact we were next in line when we lined up - it still took a good 15 minutes to get to the counter - plenty of time to ponder the attractions of discounted polyester fur and numerous mysterious of kreative kraft items.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
It was fascinating for me to be reminded of images I was surrounded by as a high school student. It was great to see a poster for the Bitumen river gallery - the first place I encountered contemporary art as a teenager and to see a poster listing George Washingmachine and the Dead Wringers headlining a local gig. There is a great raw energy in these images - it has that '80s protest punk kinda feel - and interesting to see how many of the same issues we are still grappling with twenty years later.
Anyone in Canberra check it out - it runs until 30 June.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I was in Geelong for work the week before last. I have a job that takes me to all sorts of random places and has it's pros and cons. On the negative side I am getting sadly familiar with those nasty synthetic fluffy beige blankets you only seem to find in hotels and motels of a certain quality. The positives include getting to see places I would otherwise never have a reason to visit, getting out of the office, and getting the odd quiet night in a hotel where I can do nothing but curl up in bed and read a book. Tho' I do feel concerned about the carbon debt I must be racking up flying all over the place and am determined to investigate switching my house over to solar power and creating some more environmentally sustainable living habits.
The picture above is of the side of a building in central Geelong, I really love seeing a bit of colour and decoration in architecture - especially if it moves beyond the postmodern lego look. I particularly like the links this one has to wall paper patterns.
Monday, June 18, 2007
The potlatch was a cultural practice much studied by ethnographers. "Potlatch is a festive event within a regional exchange system among tribes of the North pacific Coast of North America, including the Salish and Kwakiutl of Washington and British Columbia." Sponsors of a potlatch give away many useful items such as food, blankets, worked ornamental mediums of exchange called "coppers", and many other various items. In return, they earned prestige. To give a potlatch enhanced one’s reputation and validated social rank, the rank and requisite potlatch being proportional, both for the host and for the recipients by the gifts exchanged. Prestige increased with the lavishness of the potlatch, the value of the goods given away in it.
In our mutated version people bring random clothes and small household items they would otherwise throw out or take to the op shop and dump them in a pile in our front room. Everyone goes through the pile of stuff and takes away bits and pieces they like. The rest of the stuff gets taken to the Salvos or Vinnies at the end of the day. It's a great way to recycle and have a party at the same time. This year's effort was a little smaller that previous year's but I managed to score a blue velvet jacket, some red cord trousers and multiple pairs of sunglasses while feeling virtuous that I was offloading more unnecessary stuff than I was gaining.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I've been meaning to write heaps of posts over the past couple of weeks - but have been so stupidly busy they will remain unwritten in my head. As a way of getting back into the habit I'm posting this pic of Ted and our one laying chook, Madame Duchamp, taken today on our back step. Duchamp is the most curious of our chooks and will take any opportunity of scouting our laundry when we forget to close the door.
We have two other chooks - Fifi - a white silky who looks like a poodle and is hopelessly timid - totally the bottom of the pecking order. And there's miette a black and white stripey bantam with yellow legs. She's very pretty and a total bitch - gives Fifi hell.
I love having them in our yard, especially since recent rain has delivered us some green grass. Their clucking around the garden makes the times we're at home during the day (extremely rare, unfortunately) feel wholesome and domestic. I love that when I drive in to the driveway after a hard day at the office a big black chicken comes belting down the driveway to meet me. The comedy of Duchamp skidding sideways 'round the corner makes my day every time...
Friday, May 18, 2007
On a more professional note the conference raised a number of interesting issues and propositions. The first focus session I attended looked at interpreting contemporary art in art museums and working with audiences to get them engaged and interpreting contemporary art for themselves. This is something I as an artist and gallery worker am particularly interested in. Jane Deeth has done some nice work at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery researching how audiences engage with contemporary shows and ways to get them to express their responses to the work. What I liked about her approach was that it goes beyond bombarding people with information and just telling them about the work. She is more interested in getting people to look at work and form opinions and ideas for themselves.
In Tassie she put cards into the exhibition that asked the audience for comments and found that the majority of the responses were judgement calls - I like it - I don't like it - it's crap etc. However when the questions on the cards were changed to ask the audience to comment on the differences between the works or some other element that required them to stop and think a little longer she found that many more of the responses began to interpret the works - to talk about the discursive element in the works.
I'm fascinated by the reactions of people who go into galleries and get frustrated and angry with contemporary art - that a bunch of inanimate stuff/things can piss people off so much. It was really interesting to see in this case, that if people were encouraged to spend a little more time to think about what they are looking at, and if they were prompted by a question that directed them to think about a particular aspect of the work came up with really insightful and sophisticated responses. My theory is that we are basically a visually literate society and bombarding people with lots of text explaining stuff only works for those of us who like reading. If there are other ways of reducing the sense that the art is alienating and confronting and deliberately trying to make people feel stupid and can get people to stop and look for a while - rather than trying to give them answers - we can create some interesting conversations.
If I still have a brain tomorrow I'll write about some of the other sessions - for now it is time for a nap and then beer and pizza - the perfect way to finish a week of cultural bombardment...
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Time to do a little cleaning - this is the before shot and actually looks misleadingly tidy - it's far worse in real life. This is what happens when artists and musicians cohabit. So far I've spent two entire days sorting out this room and T has spent a day in there. We've emptied and refilled four bookcases - thrown out several garbage bags of junk - removed partial and entire works of art to the garage and relocated a drum kit. I reckon there's another two days work to get it entirely functional.
The motivation for this clean up - I have a work of art that needs to be unpacked and checked before sending away to an exhibition - it is six metres long and four metres wide and requires a certain amount of non-dusty, wax or plaster encrusted floorspace.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Anyone in Canberra can go along and make buttons for free tomorrow between 12 and 4 - the exhibition continues till 5 May.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Dear Art Enthusiast
RE: Miscellaneous Correspondence Exhibition
Enclosed please find a small fridge magnet. Though it appears to be an abstract blur, this magnet is an important component of the image Woman in dress reading near man in suit, and is part of the exhibition Miscellaneous Correspondence.
Could you please convene, with your magnet, at the opening ...
... If you are unable to attend, please send a proxy with your magnet.
Shoul you feel compelled to file this letter as a record, then the file would correctly be titled 'Miscellaneous Correspondence', and the letter would be folio # '1'. Please do not attempt to file your magnet as a record as it does not fall within Redord Management Guidelines as a fileable item. Should you feel compelled to file a resord of your magnet, please make a paper facsimile for placement on file as folio #'2'. You may also wish to consider putting your magnet on your fridge as a visual reminder of the upcoming event.
111 other art enthusiasts will receive the remaining 111 components that comprise Woman in dress reading near man in suit. 112 public servants will receive 112 components that comprise the image Man in white collar. By compiling their miscellaneous correspondence, public servants and art enthusiasts will compete for the coveted title of 'Best in Records Management'....
One of my friends was understandably miffed to fall under the category public servant, I, on the other hand was thrilled that though I derive my income from public service related activities, I was rightfully categorised as an art enthusiast. When I left, both magnet murals were unfinished so I wait with baited breath to find out who won the coveted title of Best in Records Management.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Laura's sleeping in...
Laura is missing a part that keeps the hole in the Ozone layer stable- The part has been ordered, ETA unknown.Sorry to be the bearer of bad news …. I’ve changed the toner … and it wont’ accept the new cartridge … can
someone come fix it?
Do not use LAURA as we have no yellow toner
We have an enormous problem. The magenta on Laura is gone. Please come and fix it now.
Does anyone else work with an anthropomorphic photocopier?
Monday, April 16, 2007
To catch up on the last two weeks - I spent very little time at the National Folk Festival this year as I was popping into work all weekend to finish off stuff before spending a week installing a show at Geraldton in WA (about 5 hours drive north of Perth).
I did catch Fred Smith doing a snappy rendition of a song called Tension - it has the fabulous lyrics 'just don't stuff my clobber full of flora!'
Also was mightly entertained by the Dolls - I'm biased as my fella's band was supporting them - but the rest of the audience appeared to be having a ball too. I also caught bits of Mic Conway's National Junk band - their version of the Sex Pistols God Save the Queen rocked. Also saw the Lawnmowers, Bluestone Junction and a bit of Totally Gourdgeous and Mystery Pacific (website doesn't appear to be working - will try and add a link later). All well worth catching if their in your neck of the woods.
So Easter Monday I was on a Plane to WA - the best and sometimes worst part of my job is the travel. Its fantastic going to places I would otherwise have no reason to visit and great meeting and working with a wide variety of people. It's also stressful working in unfamiliar environments with a wide variety of people.
Geralton, like many coastal Australian towns appears to do a brisk trade in the alternate, spiritual, hippy, tiedyed, dreamcatcher variety of retail outlet. I didn't get to the store above during business hours so my curiousity about the directional clothing was not satisfied. Also spotted around town were shops with the inspirational names: Inna Dreams, Fantasy Fings and Crystal Hemlock.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
This is a detail of a nice bit of street art I spotted in Adelaide last week while attending the fringe - I love this artist's sensibility and the way they play with transparency and form, I'm also a sucker for anything with birds in it. There are a few more on my other flickr page.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
YUKEN TERUYATwo weeks ago I had a flying visit north to Brisbane, land of wooden houses and warm breezes. We got a couple of sweltering days and balmy nights to bring back in our memories as we are now being hit by the first cool winds heralding winter. After we returned we got the first of what I've always called the snow winds. Biting southerlies with an icy edge are for me the one true sign that winter is really comming (mind you it's coming nice and slow and should stay that way as long as possible...).
Notice - Forest (detail) 2005
Collection: Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
To hang on to the warmth in my mind a little longer I'm going to muse on my visit to the APT (Asia Pacific Triennial) and my first visit to GoMA. Brisbane's new Gallery of Modern Art.
Overall I enjoyed the exhibition - it felt consistently strong, nicely installed and resolved, maybe a bit too nice - there were some politically quite confronting works, but somehow the gallery just makes everything so clean. The GoMA has beautiful big exhibition spaces, but the entrance is not great, and some of the workmanship on the actual building looks a bit shoddy. Their installation of indigenous work was absolutely stunning.
So the entrance - you go through these sliding glass doors that act as a kind of air lock into an entrance way with very high ceilings and a feeling that you're sure exactly where to go to find the art. Once inside I discover an arctic breeze that encourages me to remain in the actual gallery looking at the art for the shortest possible time before scurrying outside to prevent the onset of hypothermia. It seriously was that cold - I had been at the Queensland Art Gallery earlier and it was noticably warmer, even then I was wearing long sleeves.
The shoddyness - we were looking at these grey panels in the doorways between the galleries and noticed the some were quite dented and were not level at the bottom - picky I know but who ever screwed in those panels either used too much force or the material is too soft for it's chosen purpose. The highlight of the APT at GoMA for me was the Anish Kapoor installation - really gorgeous, though apparently a problem for the gallery with visitors accidentally walking into a few of the works. Quite difficult to control as there are some children's activities that actively invite physical interaction and Kapoor's work does mess with perception and can be quite disorienting. The education/kids stuff was fantastic as always - QAG really knows how to do this stuff well, they create really intelligent and engaging activities that provide insight into the works and give audiences something to create and do as well.
I could go on at length about the works in the show across the two venues but I need to go to bed so my highlights were:
Yuken Teruya - images can be seen here, here and here - these paper works were delicate, witty and thoroughly engaging. It's great to see a simple concept handled so skillfully and in this day or high tech multimedia everything to be engaged by art made entirely from paper bags.
Sangeeta Sandrasegar - images here and here - these were also paper based works - cutouts of incredible detail, my favourite was a wall installtion of white hands. The paper was so fine and delicate that at first I saw only the shadows made from the silhouettes of the paper hands pinned just off the wall.
Nursa Latif Qureshi - Indian miniatures with a subversive contemporary edge - images here, here and here
There was so much wonderful work in this show I could go on all night - but I won't so all I can say is that if you can get to Brisbane before May and see it for yourself - go!
Friday, March 23, 2007
I will get around to talking about GoMA as mentioned in my last post, but in the meantime I thought I'd pop in an example of the exciting architectural features of my own home town Queanbeyan. I'm thinking of doing an occasional series on Hideous Architecture. Something small town Australia has many examples of, and something I see a bit of travelling 'round the countryside installing art exhibitions. This is my local leagues club, note the wave form awning at the front, a nod to postmodernism without being too risque and the funky geometric forms that create sculptural interest. i haven't decided if it really fits the category hideous, though the front view is by far the most sympathetic...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Saw some nice street art in Brisbane on the weekend, also APT at QAG and GoMA but not much at MOB and missed IMA completely (ha! see if I can get any more acronyms into a single sentence). I will write a full report on APT and GoMA later in the week. Apart from the art the highlight was visiting relatives who live in Torbreck, Brisbane's first highrise apartment block built in 1959 and watching the sunset over the city.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
On an evening walk, as a way of avoiding the group of dodgy men hanging out down by the river, I walked through the carpark under Riverside Plaza in QBN. I've lived here for five years now and this is the first I've heard about a fashion precinct. I must say, while I have my doubts about the existence of the so-called precinct, I'm quite taken by the word travelator.
On an entirely different note I spent a couple of very pleasant hours at the Front this afternoon and caught Randall Blair doing some solo stuff, (this guy has a fantastic voice) and a couple of fellas from Hashemoto who I am falling deeply in love with. If you have a chance to see them play - check 'em out.
Friday, March 09, 2007
It was a stunning Canberra Autumn morning, the kind that makes me feel all fresh and new and goodwill to mankind and way to chilled to get shitty with the speeding tailgating roadrage fuckwit in the new ute. I love it when - after being harrassed by a dork who has tried to drive over the top of me, sped round me and raced off - I end up right next to them at the lights on the other side of town. I particularly love it when I'm in that crisp Autumn morning happy frame of mind that enables me to turn to the other driver and give them a big cheesy grin and a cheery wave.
And why is it a happy day? Well because there were many hot air balloons suspended in the still sky over Canberra, and that always makes me happy.
I then popped upstairs - with a hard hat on - to the clocktower, where I worked for a couple of years for Art Monthly. The room has been completely cleared, the festy carpet removed and the plaster coming away from the ceiling was being held up by long beams of quite fragile looking timber. It was amazing to see what once had been a cave filled with piles, stacks, shelves and many many intrays of paper - completely empty. The editrix is optimistically planning a new minimalist look for the room which I'm looking forward to seeing.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Last week we had a very posh first wedding anniversary dinner at Courgette - local posh restaurant - sister to Aubergine - I love that these places have the names of vegetables. It reminds me of some performance art I saw in the nineties where the fabulous Megan Elliot sprouted random french words in an endearing aussie accented monologue whilst wearing a very sophisticated evening gown. At one point she needed both hands to gesticulate wildly so she very efficiently placed the stubbie of VB from which she had been swigging snugly into her rather voluptuous cleavage. I'd love to have a picture of that...
Anyway back to matters marital - we have two anniversaries - the living in sin one which has us turning twelve this year in May, and the legal one, celebrated for the first time last week - woohoo. For years we never thought we'd get hitched, but we've attended many ceremonies over the years and had begun to appreciate the idea of getting all our loved ones together for a celebration. It was totally worth it - bar the three million times in the last year that I've been asked 'how's married life', followed by 'so when are you having kids?
If anyone is looking for a posh meal I thoroughly recommend Courgette - it was fab and had the best (and probably most expensive) mashed potato I've ever eaten. My most excellent sculptural dessert was almost too good to eat - but my sugar addiction won out in the end.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Ian Dury has to be one of my all time favourite songwriters with gems like:
You come awake
In a horny morning mood
And have a proper wriggle
In the naughty naked nude
Roll against my body
Get me where you want me
What happens next is private
It's also very rude...
Here come duck-tail Danny dragging uncanny Annie, she's the one with the flying feet
You can break the peace, daddy sickle grease, the beat is reet complete
And the jump-back honey in the dungarees, tight sweater and a pony-tail
Will you guess her age when she comes back-stage, the hoodlums bite their nails
Friday, January 26, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Anyway Eckener said:
The mass of the mighty airship hull, which seemed matched by its lightness and grace, and whose beauty of form was modulated by delicate shades of colour, never failed to make a strong impression on people's minds. It was not, as genarally described, a "silver bird soaring in majestic flight," but rather a fabulous silver fish, floating quietly in the ocean of air, and captivating the eye just like a fantastic, exotic fish seen in an aquarium. And this fairy-like apparation, which seemed to melt into the silvery blue background of the sky, when it appeared far away, lighted by the sun, seemed to be coming from another world and to be returning there like a dream...