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.