Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I was in a bad mood today. It was one of those days where everything and everyone has the audacity to exist around you, jiggling their legs in the corner of your eye or asking you to do things you don't want to do or just generally saying things you do not want to hear. Fuck off, shut up, get lost - were things twirling around in my head. Instead I got out the sticky tape and the finger paint and did some vicious cutting, sticking and ripping to make the above works. I have a thousand things to do but I'm not going to do them, when I'm in a bad mood it helps to procrastinate and watch an old comforting movie, perhaps tonight it will be 'Almost Famous'... "Call me if you need a rescue. We live in the same city"

Monday, May 30, 2011


11. Pick five things that have defined your life so far ( and give images )

Oh Yalei this is a tough one but I've accepted the challenge. I assume 'things that have defined my life' means people/things I have read or seen or heard or experienced that - (for lack of a better expression) made me who I am today.

1. My name

As strange as it may be 'Minna Pamela Gilligan' I have a real sense of loyalty for my name. I often wonder how different I would be if I were named Fiona or Simone. I feel like one's name is the single most defining thing in their life. We grow into our names, into the aura of everything the word encompasses or suggests.

2. A certain mix tape

My Mum had this ONE mix tape that she would play over and over in the car when I was young. The songs on it I have uploaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/?ubb00zv9v50mp I feel like this tape marked the beginning of my imagination, and an appreciation for imagery created through music - in particular, lyrics. At the age of 5 I knew all the words to these songs.

3. Flowers/Trees/Plants/Gardens

My first word was flower. I think I wrote about this here once before, but the significance of them in my life is incredible. My Dad is a garden designer and my Mum a florist so I suppose from when I was very little I was trained to notice not only the beauty of plants, but the health, the placement, the aesthetic qualities. It was all about nurturing, watering, caring, tending to. I would just adore to live in an old weatherboard house surrounded by an overgrown cottage garden with berries and flowers (probably much to my Dad's disgust and my Mum's delight)

4. Trip to America

When I was 16 I went to America with my parents. This trip was incredibly influential on me, I was made fully aware of art, of the existence of a wider world outside my little suburban haven. I saw New York, Los Angeles, Connecticut, Philadelphia and New Haven. I love America. It's a huge expanse of land encompassing everything and anything from restaurants called 'Nancy's Diner' to the most beautiful beach houses of the Hamptons and everything in between. I had a ball. I ate Oreos for breakfast and gave my pizza to a homeless man and saw my first Andy Warhol. I've never looked back.

5. Where I live.

I have lived in the one little town and the one little house for my whole life. This is weird and has definitely played a massive part in the kind of person I am and the kind of things that I want for myself in the future. Obviously I'm not going to tell you where I live on my blog but it's somewhere between suburbia and and rural fringes, about an hours north of Melbourne. I travel into the city everyday and I enjoy the city but I love having that distance from it. Coming home allows me to gather my thoughts and look at the stars. Thanks to my parents I live in a beautiful house with a beautiful garden that they designed and built all themselves.

Our little town has a population of 1460 people (just looked it up) a general store, Fire Station and a Train Station. That's it and that's why I like it.

* * *

I suppose some of these choices are really all encompassing and essentially apply to everyone but it's hard to think of incredibly specific things that caused huge revelations. I often wonder if sudden revelations even exist or if they are just a result of a series of events and experiences that have gradually built up into an intense realization...? but I digress.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Friday it was 1972.
Carole King's Tapestry to contend with
this tangle of hand holding amongst old flames ignited and sparks slighted -
flared pants shared taken off or rather slipped issues
with intimacy with issues.
A gem of an apology three years too late
sit on stairs or seek
and you shall find yourself looking at
two different eyelids.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm using my freedom tonight to go through, one by one - this list of 'One Hit Wonders' from the 1970s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_1970s_one-hit_wonders_in_the_United_States) I am really interested in attempting to achieve an ambiguity in time, that is, to be so immersed in the defining elements of a time period like music, clothes, language - that essentially its like I'm living both in the past and now.

This sounds insane, I know. But it's what I've been thinking about lately - ultimately I want to get up in the morning and sort of be able to choose what period of time I'm in.. 50s, 60s, 40s... Now THAT'S what I call freedom. I mean something has gotta come from my hoarding tendencies - I have clothes from pretty much every decade in the 20th century and need occasion to wear them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Today, after handing in my essay, I got a rush of freedom. I think freedom is one of the best feelings in the entire world. Freedom alludes to independence, "no worries", and often, happiness. Sure, there's feelings of love and lust and excitement but really, if you're not free to do what you want to do then there's none of that.

Now that I don't have to worry about my essay, I can solely focus on Studio work, on writing, on faffing around listening to music, on going out, on staying in, on going to Savers, on the things that I want to do. In a contemporary, western society - that is freedom. The freedom to spend your time in the way you want to. Ultimately everyone would strive for this or claim to have it already. I don't think anyone I know, including myself, has freedom in its entirety - which is sort of okay - perhaps it's impossible to truly be free when in amongst all these things I can do like paint and talk and dance I still have to get to work at 8.30 on the weekends.

Freedom is slippery and subjective so when it comes in an ever so small dose after you finish an essay or clock off your shift at your part time job - embrace it and really do with it what you will, so to speak. The above works are the result of freedom this afternoon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cemetery Gates

Words have lately escaped me, perhaps they're all going into my essay that's due tomorrow. This does not make for exciting blog posts so in a vain attempt to make it up to you here is a playlist I made tonight. As usual you can download it straight to your Itunes from this link: http://www.mediafire.com/?5akuwm6jiyjzq

1. 18 With A Bullet - Pete Wingfield
2. Jambalaya - Hank Williams
3. Cemetery Gates - The Smiths
4. Suzanne - Nina Simone
5. Strolypso Dance - Jackie Dee
6. Come And Get Your Love - Redbone
7. Government Hooker - Lady Gaga
8. Pure Shores - All Saints
9. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - The Carpenters
10. Seduced - Leon Redbone
11. I Like London In The Rain - Blossom Dearie
12. Honey To The Bee - Billie Piper

Monday, May 23, 2011


Above are some recent drawings I have made. Once again I find myself incredibly tired and inarticulate so I'm going to do anther one of these quizzes that Yalei posts on her blog.

What song has captured your mind lately? Today in particular Schei├če by Lady Gaga
What TV show do you catch regularly? At the moment I'm not watching any television show regularly.
What book really has lately engaged you? A short story by Truman Capote called 'Lola' (1964)
What movie do you find yourself re-watching? I re-watch a whole lot of movies, like Mary Poppins, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Almost Famous, Harriet the Spy, The Wizard of Oz... all the corny movies from my childhood because they make me feel safe.
Is there a book/film/piece of music from your childhood you still have? Yes, lots. I have most of my books from childhood, and the music from my childhood consisted of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, The Counting Crows and the Indigo Girls which I still listen to today.
What is something that is over-rated lately? Essentially everything is overrated but that's the way I like it.
What is the best kept secret in music you NEED to share? I think this is a stupid question.
What comfort food has been important to you of late? Chocolate. I have an intense sweet tooth.
What place is your hiding place? The train. I can totally shrink away for an hour and not speak to anyone.
Do you collect anything? If so what? I suppose I collect clothes. It is ridiculous.
What is a weekly ritual for you? A trip to Savers. I look forward to it every week.
What beverage is a daily consumable for you? Water and milk
What store or shop do you frequent the most? Savers/Eckersly's Art Store
Are you a creature of habit? Yes, very much so.
What is your favorite animal? I like all animals. I really like horses.
Who is your favorite actress/actor? Meryl Streep

Let's Stay Together

It's funny, I knew this couple who had been together so long and were so in love that they could say things like "I'm breaking up with you" sarcastically as a joke and it was so fine, like the prospect of them ever breaking up was so ridiculous that it was reduced to mere hilarity. So anyway, they just broke up. I know I think something about this but I just can't put my finger on what. It's late and I'm tired and you know those times when you feel like every song that plays on the radio or every little comment people make is directly relational to you and your innermost private worries - including the aforementioned relationship break down of two people I don't even really know that well and what it means for all of us out there.

It's uncertain times like these when I'm particularly drawn to 'old favourite' artworks of mine, because at heart when it comes to art I'm romantic, the painters of these images are long dead and they remain unchanged in their state, making me feel the same sense of comfortable wonderment every time I see them (albeit reproduced). Paintings are like eternal youth. These are some of my favourites.

On second thoughts, this is a pretty disparate list - there are thousands more I'd like to post, but too much of a good thing is.. well, too much of a good thing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Piano Lesson

'The Piano Lesson' by Matisse is one of my most favourite paintings, however lately after letting a certain someone know this it has been the subject of much ridicule (most of which I do find very entertaining) I made a birthday card for this friend of mine in the vain of these jokes which goes a little something like this: The front cover is a drawing I did of 'The Piano Lesson' minus the protagonist of the painting. When you open the card, you see the little boy and he's saying "I SKIPPED MY PIANO LESSON", which is funny in a sense that I always try and make friends skip class with me and go to the park. I dunno, jokes are never funny once you explain them. Like as soon as someone says "I get it" it's probably over.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"The old (semi) broken heart"

One of my favourite Janis Joplin songs is 'Get it While You Can' which has been somewhat of a mantra for me the past few days. I'm not necessarily talking about sex but just thinking about being young and how important it is not to take it (youth, having the world at our fingertips etc) for granted - the usual stuff y'know.

The word 'YES' is important. Walking slow is important. Why and I rushing anyway? You miss so much stuff when you're just zooming on by. To 'get it while you can' you must engage fully with others and the world instead of just existing in your own space - you have plenty of time to do that in a hospital bed or in an old people's home or something. We're out, we're alive, healthy and able and I wanna soak up as much of the world that I can, you know, while I can.

Monday, May 16, 2011


After much deliberation I have finally finished this huge painting. 'Wet Bandaids, Limp Handshakes' Spray Paint, Acrylic and collage on canvas (72 x 52 inches) 2011.

After finishing a major work I'm always busting to start another, to try and keep that high consistent - but unfortunately I think art making is an ebb and flow, or rather a series of highs and lows that reach a peak upon the completion of a work then ease away again only to come back stronger and more urgently in the form of another idea.

Today was a good day because I felt like I have resolved this work. I dressed for the 1950s vibes, pinning my hair and wearing my (faux) fur coat which was nice, I've been living in the 70s for a while so it felt good to be among the familiar faces of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.

Thanks Yalei :)

- A quality I would want in a future girlfriend/boyfriend = A sense of humor, interested in art, music, life in general, ability to teach me things about life/introduce me to another realm of this wide world.
- Something I am proud of = My family
- One of my insecurities = That the onslaught of anxiety/depression can come to haunt me at any time
- A secret = I've had my wedding song planned since I was 14.
- An ideal date = Going to an art gallery and walking around saying which person you'd be in each of the paintings.
- A turn on = Having a mix CD made for me
- A turn off = A lack of enthusiasm, a pessimistic attitude
- Something that makes me happy = Putting together a really good outfit. Loud music, people who don't turn down the music, finding something incredible at Savers, time by myself, dancing
- Something I regret = Many insignificant things here and there, usually saying something that sounded incredibly idiotic/brash in front of people I like/respect
- Something that’s on my mind = That the Australian version of 'The Amazing Race' is really not living up to my expectations
- A random fact about myself = I am incredibly organized
- Where I would like to live = In an old weatherboard house in the country and all my friends would come and visit and we'd make stuff and have parties and listen to Leonard Cohen and cook things with cinnamon in the kitchen and get around in 1950s aprons and head scarves.
- One of my bad habits = Postponing menial tasks
- Who I wish I could be = Peggy Guggenheim or Sunday Reed in the 1950s

Sunday, May 15, 2011


1. Madonna
2. Meryl Streep
3. Joni Mitchell
4. Dusty Springfield
5. Barbara Eden
6. Doris Day
7. Elizabeth Montgomery
8. Shirley Temple
9. Dolly Parton
10. Lady Gaga

The getting of wisdom

My wisdom teeth are coming through. This doesn't mean a lot however it did get me thinking about wisdom and how one goes about getting it. I am not wise. I feel like I among many others create some kind of illusion of being so by making broad sweeping statements with words and phrases included like 'life' and 'I think this is why'. I don't think necessarily wise people preach. I think wisdom is an innate ability to be truly empathetic, that is, to understand why others do what they do and why they make the decisions that they make.

Wisdom comes from experiences, although some are more prone to it than others. You could experience everything under the sun but still not be wise, however another could live in a little house in a little town leaving only for groceries once a week and have the wisdom of a thousand elephants. It depends largely on your perception of people and situations and the ability of your mind to be able to categorize them and look at them objectively sort of outside yourself. This whole blog is evidence that I am not wise, like... ah life and I think this is why... but I feel like wisdom will come to me one day, just not in the form of teeth.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nothing to do with it

Just following up from my plug for this exhibition yesterday - I made this invitation to hand out around the studios.

For Uni today I dressed up in an outfit I would have worn if I was meeting the President of the United States in the 1960s because the Premier of the State was coming to visit our studios. I was all excited and had my hair all bee hived up to perhaps shake his hand and pretend I was actually meeting the President of the United States at the White house in the 60s but he just walked right on by us all on his way through with his little entourage holding his umbrella for him.

I find that the more 'important' someone is, the louder their shoes sound when they walk. I could hear these people coming a mile away but their bark sure was louder than their bite.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I'm currently riding the wave of a Karen Carpenter obsession after I watched this super movie last night 'Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story' directed by Todd Haynes. It's filmed using BARBIE DOLLS as the main characters but it's not insensitive or crass or anything it's actually brilliant and I got all teary and it's just so good. Here is the link to part 1 (I think there's 5 in total), it goes for like 45 minutes so totally do-able before you go to bed! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrAA6VMIPb0

The above drawings/text is all from today. Caroline Miley is my Art History teacher who is incredible. If there is one person who I would just die to know what they looked like it would be her when she was young. My friend Louise reckons she would have been a hot babe and I can't help but agree. 'LEAD SISTER' is from this photo of Karen Carpenter wearing this t-shirt saying LEAD SISTER which is just so cool and I want one. N Lee Bakery is where I got my lunch today and I always go there and it's brilliant, on Smith Street just near my Aunty's gallery where it just so happens that I am in an exhibition, opening THIS Friday night at 6pm.

Gilligan Grant Gallery is at 1B Stanley St Collingwood (Just off Smith Street) and the opening goes from 6 till 8 this Friday then runs until June 25th. Would love to see some nice faces there! I got a new red dress so I'm really going to be the 'lady in red'... mmm hmm. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bad Art Day

Bad art day. Interestingly, the first letter from each of those three words (bad, art and day) spells BAD. Bad art days are when you sleep in because it's so unbearably cold outside and when you finally get up you can't for the life of you figure out an outfit you want to wear, your hair's not looking so good either (one might even say: 'bad'). You get to the studio at about 1.00, just in time for lunch so you waste another hour then FINALLY you pick up a texta and the result is disastrous. Consistency in your failure is the only achievement of the afternoon.

After a while you do so many drawings you can hardly tell the ones that are successful from the ones that aren't any more. Maybe that's nice or something I'm not sure, like seeing but not seeing you know.. but it was real tough! I drowned my sorrows in free beer and fudge at the Student Gallery opening afterward then on my way home listened to this playlist which is just generally pretty ridiculous. You can download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?rclw067l2khd2

Seduced - Leon Redbone
I'm Hip - Blossom Dearie
Suzanne - Nina Simone
Lady In Red - Chris De Burgh
Let Love Do The Talking - Diana Leigh
Mohair Sam - Kitty Daisy and Lewis
What's Love - Fat Joe Ft. Ashanti
Streets of Your Town - The Go-Betweens
Hopscotch - CocoRosie
Alfie - Dionne Warwick
Blue Skies - Mel Torme & The Swingers
Come On Home - The Enchantments
I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You - Jens Lekman

Saturday, May 7, 2011


8. “ What other people think of us, is none of our business” Elaborate…

I've been thinking a lot about what other people think of me, actually. In particular, what people who you are in an intimate friendship/relationship/family relationship with think of you. It's easier to think about what someone from a distance would think of you, because to them it's more a surface judgement, a sweeping statement - but what about those close to you, who see every little twitch of your lip and hear every little under your breath comment and see every little imperfection in your skin? I think it is our business if we're in a relationship that's purpose is to be an equal exchange of love (or something similar) but be that as it may is it ever possible to really get the true gist of what and who you are to someone else?

I don't think so. It's indescribable, what we feel and think about others close to us. The only way I could put it into words would be that it's like an aura of a person that you understand only in the terms of your mind. It's what oozes out of these people not in words but in energy, it could be positive or optimistic or indigo or sharp... it could be totally nonsensical yet it's the pure essence of a person perceived through each of our individual senses. The closer you get to a person, the closer you look - the stronger and more apparent this inexplicable feeling is.

It is our business what other people think about us but we will never know. It's our business I suppose because we can't help but be curious, even we don't know ourselves - who ARE we? We're desperate for an objective view on our being that we will never receive because it's impossible - impossible to put into words, impossible to support and impossible to sustain.