Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No regrets coyote

I had a great day today. I went to Tarrawarra which is an Art Gallery in Healesville with a friend and it was the most glorious weather and everything was green and clear. I bought a whole lot of food and we had a picnic on the grass next to the lake. Then, we had wine at the restaurant and took the scenic drive back home. Not bad for a Tuesday.

I've been reasonably busy otherwise, just odd jobs and working on my book at intervals - I need to be more stringent with making myself sit down and do it at specific times rather than picking it up and putting down a little randomly... I just get distracted by nice weather and opportunities to laze about in the sun laughing.

I haven't felt like blogging lately, a phase which I know will pass - I suppose I am writing a lot elsewhere and this space takes a back seat. Once a week (ish) seems to be working pretty well for me at the moment.

Here are some pictures which are completely out of order...

Studio desk on Saturday
New issue of Filmme Fatales by my friend Brodie Lancaster! Plus she bought me blow-up '60s coat hangers!
Amazingly creepy book from Savers about facepainting
Grumpy in the studio on Saturday
Tarrawarra relaxing
Presents that my sister bought me back from New York!
Studio desk last Tuesday
Flowers from Madeline at Extraordinary Routines in my studio last Tuesday
Waiting for the train
Media preview of the Romance was born exhibition at the NGV on Friday!

The Romance was born exhibition is phenomenal! I was so happy to have a first look and I also got to meet Anna and Luke! They visited my exhibition at Daine Singer the other week and I was completely stoked. Tomorrow I have work as usual but I feel much more refreshed after a day in the sunshine today... I think that's all for now.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Missin' every mile that friend of mine


Last night I was walking to my friend's house and as I crossed the road a taxi slowed down next to me and a man riding as the passenger looked out of the window at me and said "would you like to get married?". If I wasn't taken so much by surprise I would have said something laced with sarcasm like "to you, or in general?" but instead I just said "no..." and the taxi sped up off into the distance. It was a very odd encounter as it was such a calmly and sincerely delivered line despite by definition his actions being catcalling - essentially. It was strange that I didn't feel humiliated or angry. He was alone in the taxi, not being egged on by a bunch of "mates" laughing and whistling. He seemed sad and lost and for the first time ever I felt a pang of sympathy for a male counterpart who has approached me on the street simply based on some sort of projected fantasy they've conjured up just by looking at me. It was very curious.

I hung out at my friend Georgia's apartment on Saturday night with my other friend Georgie. I enjoy their company immensely and we had pizza and wine and beer and discussed the motivations of the actions of every single person we know, as usual. I've really been enjoying my weekends lately. I never really used to separate them from weekdays but now that things are a bit quieter the weekend's have largely been able to be work free and it's wonderful. I look forward to going out for dinner or drinks with people. I have brilliant friends. This year I have completely changed in the face of socialising and I am so much happier for it. When I used to want to stay home I now want to go out. It's remarkable.

I went to Savers this afternoon (for a change) and bought a few things including the above record albums and the 1967 Vogue magazine. My exhibition ended yesterday and it seems right that it's over. I breathed a sigh of relief. I'm not going to have another exhibition now until well into next year. I am going to focus on my book mainly for the time being, and on making work for myself - that is, just experimenting, having fun and not working towards any particular deadlines or bodies of work.

I am completely obsessed with a singer who I just discovered named Barbara Keith. It 's completely soul destroyingly beautiful and it's completely up my Joni Mitchell loving alley.

My favourite song off the album isn't even anywhere on Youtube (It's called 'The Road I Took to You') but my closely following second favourite is:

This album came to me just at the right time.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Really long time no see

Ah I don't know how to start this post as it's been too long since my last one. I guess I've just needed to retreat for a bit since my opening. I suppose I can just go from my most recent activity which is today, where I was at home writing the introduction to my book. I've enjoyed it. I just sent it to my editors so I'm looking forward to seeing what they say.

I had a lovely Friday, after work Pamela played a gig then I went out for drinks and dinner. It has been warm and sunny and I'm beginning to be able to wear more of the clothes I want to wear without socks or stockings or jackets and that makes me happy. I was talking about being in limbo with someone and I feel like that's where I am. I'm between many things right now and I am finding it confusing. For the first time I'm not even sure that writing it out will help, or, maybe I'm avoiding writing it out because I don't want to figure out or decide if I'm either here nor there. It's obviously a cliche but I wish you could free frame or slow down different portions of your life while others move forward at regular pace. Freeze frame feelings, slow down a sunset so you could enjoy it longer, freeze frame periods of elation while you go about your day to day life regularly. It would be ideal but as usual I spend far too much time lamenting over the impossible and avoiding altogether the grittiness and decisions that reality forces upon us. I like to see how long I can go avoiding it, sticking my hand out the sunroof catching the wind and getting ever so slightly sunburned on the tips of my shoulders. Spring is definitely a purgatory season. New things are reaching yet you still feel inexplicably attached to the old.

I made a playlist for the first time in ages because I'm clearly incapable of articulating these feelings!

Shell purse postcard
New patch
'Sad Girl', 2014, acrylic, paint and collage on found fabric.
More new postcards, books and swapcards
Detail of my amazing new Tsumori Chisato skirt
Equally amazing new Opening Ceremony dress
Drawing for Rookie
Disco ball
There's a cactus in that shot glass

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday after I did it

On the Sunday after my opening I literally did not do a single thing. I stayed in bed until very late, spent some time watching TV, went on my laptop, and somehow in the midst of all that, got the idea in my head that I wanted to go to the Melbourne Show. For those who don't live in Melbourne, the Melbourne show is like a yearly carnival sort of thing that's been going forever (I actually just looked it up, it started in 1846!) and there's farmyard animals, equestrian events, dog shows, food stands, cake decorating competitions, craft competitions, rides, showbags etc etc.

The last time I went would have been when I was 16 or something, and I went with my friends from high school. I have very vivid memories of going with my Mum, Aunty and Nanna when I was a child, too, it was kind of like the universal annual pilgrimage of every family with young kids in Melbourne. I was never someone who went on the rides (what with truly heinous motion sickness and general anxiety...) but while I found the noise and crowds a bit overwhelming, I always remember being excited and happy.

Anyway so I wanted to go I guess because I was in the mood to do something a bit nostalgic and relaxing and daggy to sort of get out of the mindset of stress and deadlines. Plus, I thought it would be fun! Somehow I managed to convince my Mum to come with me, and I also convinced her to let me take her there on public transport. It was 24 degrees, sunny with not a cloud in the sky and it was so perfect.



I made a new friend
Those were all just phone pictures so the quality is a bit questionable, but the cute little baby animals and oddly sculpted cakes shine through! Doing a really basic, nostalgic, escapist and ultimately unproductive (work wise) activity was exactly what I needed, oddly, to snap me back into reality. Almost.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Long time no see

When I got home on Saturday night after my opening, the elated phrase "I DID IT" was circling round and round in my head. "I DID IT" I exclaimed in disbelief. I DID IT. Before I did it, for the first time in my life, I was having serious doubts about being able to complete something to the best of my ability. After participating in the two art fairs, I was destroyed. After they were over, I had so little time, so little energy and so little lust to produce a new body of work. I managed somehow to reach over those feelings to a reservoir of energy and passion that had always been there but I'd never had reason to access before. I got on with it.

The result is my exhibition at Daine Singer 'Long time no see' - showing new paintings, fabric prints, and a little collage that I snuck in there. I wouldn't say this flippantly - but I am really pleased with it. For the first time I feel as though I have made a cohesive body of work - individual pieces that work together and bounce off each other but also stand on their own. Making this exhibition in a matter of weeks was a fantastic learning experience. I pushed myself to the limit and survived. It's like that thing when you are exercising or whatever and you push on from that point where you think it impossible to go any further. That's when you break records, set personal bests - or even make your best work.

My favourite piece in the exhibition (I think!) is this painting 'Sweetheart, stay well'. It doesn't actually photograph that well, it's less washed out in real life and more vibrant - but you get the idea.

There's also this work 'Worried Sick' which has been painted on found fabric.

And this collage titled 'Long time no see':

Anyway, the exhibition is on until 11 October so you can see the whole thing at Daine Singer. After the exhibition is over, I'll post the works here for those not within geographical convenience.

The opening on Saturday afternoon was fun and pretty low maintenance. Family, friends and well wishers were there, and it seemed I knew most people - unlike the overwhelming nature of the art fairs where I was meeting someone new every few minutes. I think this is why I felt relatively calm. I changed my outfit plans so many times for this exhibition opening. It's rare that I change what I've planned to wear at all. I settled on an all black ensemble (except for red shoes) which was really odd for me. It just felt right, I felt like receding a bit and letting the work stand and do some of my talking, letting them have the full presence, cause I was exhausted.

Here are some photos! (Can't be bothered captioning them all - most are with my family though haha)

There are some more pictures here taken by the Melbourne Arts Club, and The Thousands also took some photos but they aren't up yet.

I met some fantastic girls who were kind enough to come to the opening - two of which gave me GIFTS. It was one of those moments where it was like "If I never do anything ever worthwhile again it doesn't matter because this has happened - I've made some sort of impact upon these people which is the absolute ultimate privilege". They wrote me the sweetest notes and gave me love heart candy and glitter and pictures and a badge and it was so awesome. My heart literally melted into a thousand rainbows of happiness.

All in all, it was a complete success. I feel relieved, I feel a bit like a weight has been lifted off my chest making it easier to breathe... I am proud of myself. I am so ready to tackle whatever comes my way next. This post was also going to encompass my trip to the MELBOURNE SHOW yesterday (Yes I am 23 years old...) however I think it will be better as a separate post. Thanks for being so supportive and tolerant of my constant plugging of exhibitions over the past couple of months. I appreciate it immensely. I wrote an elated oxygen deprived Instagram post when I got home on Saturday night, and I simply said "I have the best family and friends a gal could ask for" and I should have added the overused yet apt line "I couldn't have done it without them".