Sunday, March 25, 2007


Notice - Forest (detail) 2005
Collection: Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
Two 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...).

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

Great QBN architecture

Great QBN architecture, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

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

stickers and stencils

stickers and stencils, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

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.

stickers and stencils

stickers and stencils, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

black things

I had a sneak preview of Mel Douglas's work in her studio in Canberra yesterday - She's a local glass artist who makes very, very beautiful objects. She's having an exhibition at Sabbia Gallery in April in Sydney. I can't upload pics at the moment, so go to the website and check 'em out.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Who knew?

Who knew?, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

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

Autumn morning

I woke up at 5am this morning, tried to sleep for a while then gave up and got out of bed at the unheard of time of 5.30. I productively used my time to make a dress out of some scraps of fabric, drank copious amounts of tea (current favourite Chai 2 - Glenborg tea - it has corriander seeds in it) then by 8ish discovered I was out of novel things to do around the house. Rather than clean the house - which has gone ferrel recently - I headed off to the markets.

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.

Happy day

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.

After the hail storm

I spent pretty much all of last week in bed with a rather boring virus and then returned to work yesterday to an enormous pile of work and millions of emails and phone messages. It was almost enough to inspire me to turn around and head straight back home again. I stuck it out knowing I'd have to face it sooner or later then headed over to the Art School to see the postgrad exhibition that was open to the public for a few hours. Due to the freak storm the other week (the damage and aftermath faithfully captured by Ampersandduck who works there and is involved in the clean up operations) the school is in a sad state of disrepair and the two poor students due to have their final exhibition only got to show it to the public for a few hours after their postponed examinations had occurred. I really enjoyed Pamela Lofts crisp images of outback/rural environments littered with rusting metal and decaying houses. The way the light played over the man-made elements in the close cropped views of interior spaces, and the contrast between this and the external spaces in the images was what I found most engaging.

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

smashed potato

arty mash, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

Ohh its just so pretty

arty dessert

arty dessert, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

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.