Monday, July 30, 2012

"I wish you were beside me, we can make it if we try"





Back in the studio today wearing my new 60s red dress and daydreamin' about stuff. Right now I'm in the mindset that every day that I live, is one day closer to Spring which is closer to Summer. I just want long days and to be squinting into the sun and clammy foreheads. What a winter it's been though, so many new things, even a brief northern hemisphere getaway! (Okay so I can't complain too much). Listening to Joni right now, feelin' pretty good I think. Looking up 70s zodiac memorabilia on the internet. There comes a time in the middle of the year when you sort of realize that you're on the other side of the beginning and it begins to turn into the end and that it isn't almost over, but it's heading there at a hurtling rate. It's almost August and I'm still thinking about March like it was yesterday, like that party we went to the other week (in February) that show I was in that opened in March... is getting to be a while ago.


The sweet and slippery sands of time are so fascinating. The circle game, so busy being free...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm frightened by the devil and I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid

I met a woman, she had a mouth like yours she knew your life she knew your devils and your deeds and she said go to him, stay with him if you can but be prepared to bleed.

YOU'RE IN MY BLOOD LIKE HOLY WINE


By Gonzalo Ceballos
My friend Gonzalo drew the above picture, of the dinner after my opening. I absolutely LOVE IT. I am pretty sure that's me lying on the table, that wasn't exactly how it went down you know but it's pretty close! I love how it's like some super warped last supper or something and I love how I can pick out all my friends.


Today I did NOTHING. Seriously like I'm actually embarrassed. Well I went to Savers in the morning, that was one thing, but then I literally got back into bed, at like 12, and lie there for the whole afternoon. I didn't really sleep or anything but I didn't do anything else either. It was weird. I guess it was me like physically coming to terms with Friday maybe? Just thinkin' about stuff. I feel really *emotional* or something, in a good way, like I feel happy but I feel like I'm feeling lots of intense things and experiencing some new feelings that I haven't felt before and just starting to accept them and feel comfortable with them. A good song for feeling is of course Fleetwood Mac's 'Landslide' that has serendipitously come into my life many times of late, and of course Joni Mitchell who is my number one gal at the moment.


I'm still thinking a lot about that thing I wrote about before which was that my art doesn't make me or other people feel as intensely as music does. I want my art to be entangled in people's lives, to momentarily emotionally paralyze them or something (...in the most non-violent way possible, of course). I was thinking about visual artists who I think have achieved this, you can probably guess but first I went to Rothko - I mean he has been a major inspiration for me and over time I've seen a few of his works in real life, and I do honestly get that kind of hugeness of sort of existence or something, there's a real humanity about his work and a sorrow that I find so moving. Matisse moves me. I want to see monumentality in art, and sentimentality. I want to be obsessed with it, in rapture in front of it. I want a grand emotional flooring. I want to intensely feel. I don't want to be all like "Art these days..." but I wish there was more art that I saw in real life, that made me feel like people feel when they see the Sistine Chapel or something. Have I mentioned 'Florence Syndrome' before? Click the link. I find this reassuring that my grand desire in art can possibly come true. I really am going to try and make this happen in my work.  


When in doubt about the significance of everything I've ever cared about I always go back to in Woody Allen's film 'Manhattan' how he sort of rattles off reasons why life's worth living. You know:


"Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me... oh, I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... and Willie Mays, and... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and... Louie Armstrong's recording of 'Potatohead Blues'... Swedish movies, naturally... 'Sentimental Education' by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's... Tracy's face..."


In the meantime all I need are a few vague reassurances of summer, that transcendent beginning of The Rolling Stones' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', and some time with people who feel more like home than ever.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I made it through the wilderness

My exhibition opening last night was a success! An overwhelming amount of people were there which prompted me to get really nervous and talk AT people in a high pitched overly excited voice for the whole night, basically repeating "THANKS FOR COMING" a thousand times... that's pretty standard behaviour for me at openings of my own because it is actually quite nerve inducing! The opening was so busy that they ran out of beer, and my friends were enlisted to go to the bottle shop and buy some more cases! Insane!
Afterwards was the most fun though, my friends and I went out for dinner at Japanese restaurant Yamatos on Exhibition Street, that we have so affectionately nicknamed 'Freaky Yamatos'. It's great in there because it's this huge restaurant that no-one goes to, so we can be really loud and ridiculous and the food is actually delicious and you can sit on those tables where you take your shoes off and sit on cushions. There was about 20 of us, and I had the best fun. We made like three nonsensical toasts raising our glasses to nothing in particular and I felt so happy being around all my friends who always display neverending support when it comes to other friend's artistic endeavours.

As usual I am so inept at getting photographs at any important events in my life, (I'm good at getting them at unimportant events) no camera at Graduation, nor last night - but one single photo has surfaced of me and my Nanna, who ever so kindly braved the sleet and rain and cold and the stairs up to Kings, and the back alley to DUDSPACE, to see my show. SO LOVELY! I will document the show properly soon, and put the photos up here. In the meantime you should check it out! It will be open until August 18th from Wednesday to Saturday, 12-5. 171 Kings Street, Melbourne.

To the opening I wore a salmon pink Kinki Gerlinki dress that I got on sale the other week. It is sort of backless, which I just love, and sort of sits on the shoulders 'just so'... I dunno, I love it. And it's so shiny. And has huge pockets which my friend's were saying I could even fit a six-pack in! So useful.

Anyway I am getting to some sort of end here sort of. I slept really well last night but you know those sleeps when you're awake but asleep, you sort of know what's going on or something and this is going to sound weird, but I had this overwhelming feeling of the colour green. Like, everything felt green. This has never actually happened to me before and it was amazing. Everything was tainted with this idea of green. It was probably some sort of weird awake dream, but I just loved it. I think I want to make a work about it soon. The funny thing about having a show is that despite all the work you've just done, after the opening the only thing I can think about is doing more you know? I'm just busting to get back into the studio.

Thanks for being patient with my latest posts - we will now resume to normal broadcasting.
 
My Nanna and I at my show!
 
Post opening I treated myself to a new shirt. My mushroom shirt!
 
Found this 1957 magazine at an Op Shop this morning. It's in perfect condition. I love the slogan "Lilliput is a man's magazine"

I was going through my swap card collection to find some to put on the walls at DUDSPACE

My studio neighbour Marc gave me this book

DUD room sheet
I think I'm going to work up some energy to go to a 'Moustache Party' tonight. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I look at all the people and I love the ones I can




Above are some very recent pictures from my studio. It is out of control on a lot of levels. I am in the midst of hanging and preparing for my show at DUDSPACE. I am very busy but it's okay, in my spare time I'm finally finishing off reading 'Girls Like Us' and coming up with titles for my work, which I think may actually be the most fun ever because I get to listen to my favourite songs for inspiration/lyrics to directly steal but by steal I mean reference or something. I'm digging a deeper hole.


Also I did an interview about my show for The Thousands! I had the best fun with these questions and got to talk about stuff I wanted to e.g my dog, outfits, etc. Here is the link: http://thethousands.com.au/melbourne/look/minna-gilligan-not-in-kansas-anymore/
this really does have to be the last of my 'press' related posts otherwise you guys will stop reading and I won't blame ya one bit! Also please don't be scared by that second picture of my studio. I know it looks terrifying but I've got everything pretty much where it needs to be which actually is a good metaphor for my entire life. WOAH. "Everything pretty much where it needs to be" is actually really optimistic or something, an unusual contrast to the last post down there! Must have been all your lovely comments!


The best past of my day today was when I got to get a Kit Kat. It tasted especially amazing and I don't know why. Something's in the air...


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I will still be on my feet



I have a problem that floors me every time. I can never make anything as beautiful as what is above. My art can never have such resonance, or such a reverberating heart wrenching affinity with so many people. I want to make art that people have a relationship with like they would with Joni's 'Blue' album or something. The beauty about music is that it can play to and alongside your most intimate experiences amongst multiple times, circumstances and places. Its relevance can be renewed easily, igniting all sorts of memories and emotional twangs. Visual Art keeps its distance or something, doesn't get so entwined. I want to make serious art that gets twisted into people's lives and makes them feel like I feel when I listen to Joni Mitchell music.


On the subject of my inadequate and flippant artistic endeavors here is a photo of my work (ON THE LEFT) in 'Strange Magic' at Space 15 Twenty in LA. WHY CAN'T IT MAKE ME FEEL PROFOUND THINGS GOD DAMMIT.


Monday, July 23, 2012

"PRESS"


I made the above collage really quickly today. It doesn't have that signature touch of a texta mark or anything, but it really encapsulates a whole bunch of stuff for me right now! My new 'mantra image'

In other news I was interviewed by Laetitia Mannessier, the editor in chief of French magazine 'Simon(e)'. I am featured in their section 'VIEWVIEW' this issue. You can look at it online for free (WOO!) Via this link http://www.simone-magazine.com I am on page 76 I think. It's in French though oh la la, so for you uncultured brutes (like myself) below is the translation.. mind you I know I'm naive in thinking you're interested in reading this, but ah, how do you say.. "What the hell?"


— How do you start your collages ?
I start my collages quickly, on transient urges and sentiments, I'm a little slapdash in a sense that I favor the immediacy of something that doesn't appear too labored or considered, I like that awkwardness. I don't think about what is it to look like as a finished product, I just listen to the work, what it needs, thinking about what kind of images may eventually be suitable to inhabit the colourful, psychedelic playgrounds I make.


— Where do you find your images ?
I find my images in old books that I collect from Thrift stores. I have a disturbingly large collection. In front of me now are three stacks of books - to give you an example, some of the titles read: 'Every Woman's Medical Guide', 'The Geller Phenomenon', 'Developmental Psychology Today' and 'Australian Book of Cake Decorating'. As you can see, my sources are reasonably vast. The only criteria I have really is that they are usually from anywhere from the 1930s up until the 1980s, sometimes even the 1990s. They're never new books I get from Bookstores!


— Who are your 'girl icons' ?
I have so many girl icons! I just love Madonna, she IS an icon, but she has been an icon of mine since I was 14 and I heard Like A Prayer at a disco I went to. I adore Joni Mitchell because she gave me so many emotions, I love Peggy Guggenheim, Diane Keaton, Janis Joplin, Julie Andrews, Meryl Streep, Nina Simone... I could go on!


— What are your inspirations / artistic references ?
I am inspired by Leonard Cohen and his perpetual poignancy, e.e cummings, Rolling Stones lyrics... Visually I love Henri Matisse, Helen Frankenthaler, Pippilotti Rist, and Australian artists Mike Brown and Jenny Watson.


— You live in Australia, how does your city/country influences your work ?
I really love Australia and Melbourne in particular. I just got back from a trip to the States and spent a lot of time in New York. I love that city immensely but there's no place like home or something, and Melbourne has the best thrift stores where I find all of the books I use for collage imagery, and my wonderful art school friends are here and we have strange and obscure themed parties and lots of fun. The art scene in Melbourne is thriving intensely, it is really focused on youth, and the students at art schools here, it's fantastic. (Come visit!) Australian culture has influenced me in ways so ingrained I wouldn't even be able to identify them, but there's something to be said about the kind of "she'll be right" attitude that I've adopted with my work, I'm not really precious or anal when it comes to 'making' and I think there's an Australian kind of liveliness or exuberance in that. 


— Do you think we live in completely global world and you're more influenced by the internet ?
The internet has definitely been a fantastic platform for me to exhibit my work to a wider audience. Our world is definitely feeling a little more intimate since the popularization of the internet, and I think it's fantastic that friendships and professional relationships can bloom online, and that things can happen and contacts can be formed just through email and stuff. The world isn't completely global, yet, because that physical barrier is still incredibly relevant, especially for me with a 14 hour flight across the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles - but I love how the internet makes sharing so easy, sharing of information, sound, and of course, the visual. It's like a big embrace except between you and the whole world, not just between you and one other person.


— You're using kids tools. Why ? How do they help you create ?
I don't know if markers are necessarily for kids, but I like them because they are so dynamic and versatile and vibrant, and easy to use. Markers have the best range of colours, like fluorescent pinks and pastel blues. I also use stickers and stamps and stuff because there is a naivety about them that I find very attractive, and there's nothing more satisfying than sticking a sticker down on a piece of paper knowing you can't move it!


— You're using manual/craft technics whereas a lot of collages are currently made with photoshop ?
It's just the way I feel most comfortable doing things, plus I find it is quicker and more straightforward to physically pick up a pair of scissors and cut something out rather than do it with a few clicks of a finger. Also I like how there is inconsistencies with my cutting out, that it's not prefect and that even though most people might see the work as a flat digital image, it's doesn't begin as such.


— What do you currently do in your life ?
At the moment I am in my last year at University, studying Fine Art majoring in Painting. I spend my time away from University blogging incessantly on my blog, making work for Rookie and any other jobs I may have at the time. I also write poetry and occasionally exhibit my paintings at various galleries in Melbourne. My friends from Art School and I spend a lot of time together just hanging out, going to exhibition openings, and partys oh!


— What are the projects you're currently working on?
I am an Illustrator for Tavi Gevinson's magazine 'Rookie' and there I post my own weekly 'diary' collage, as well as illustrate for articles and interviews. I have done some work for Urban Outfitters illustrating their catalogues, and also I recently designed an Album cover! Aside from this obviously I am constantly working on my artistic practice, painting, drawing, blogging, and very occasionally doing interviews like this one, which is so lovely, and I thank you very much for having me!


* * *

Anyway continuing on that thread there is an article on me at 'It's Nice That' http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/minna-gilligan

Also! I am in the show 'Strange Magic' curated by Petra Collins and Tavi Gevinson, which is at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles 90028) Obvs if you're in LA (I'm not) please go! It's on from July 21 to July 28.

Sorry. This is terrible. But may as well have all the heavy self promotion in one post I guess.. Please forgive me oh! Below are some pictures to help with the forgiving...




Sunday, July 22, 2012

Can't ya tell by the way I run

For the past couple of days I've been moonlighting as a dinner party goer and daylighting as a newly appointed 'gallery manager' (or so my email signature says) It's been great at the gallery because I've sold three paintings in the past three days, and it feels amazing to have an exchange with a client result in a sale. Ca-ching! Anyway art isn't all about MONEY ya know but it's nice to feel like I'm doing a good job at my job.


I have been to two dinner parties the past two nights and I'm totally socialized out. The great thing about art students is that usually they are also great cooks because they're intuitive or something and eventually it all comes together regardless of any traumas in the 'making process'. Anyway so tonight is a self appointed night in, on my new bedspread that is like thin black and white stripes that makes my room feel like a 50s jail cell set out of like Elvis' Jail House Rock movie which is as mildly unfortunate as it sounds.


I have my show coming up next week AH! I should really focus less on what I'm going to wear to the opening and more on actually FINISHING THE WORK. Below are some pictures that I am thinking about. 










Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ready 2 Go



I am ready to go to a dinner party! My new favourite thing in the whole world is this coat that I'm wearing. I got it from Savers for $20, it's a 60s woolen coat and has the best collar ever, and it's so warm and has changed my life. I was really inappropriately dressed for the cold one day and I was like "RIGHT" this is serious I am getting a serious coat. It is amazing! Anyway don't have a lot to say right now just killin' time until the tram really... I've been at work all day and excited for a glass of wine and fun times! X Minna

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It Ain't Me Babe



Above is the 'OUTFIT' that I wore today (I find outfit pots to be incredibly gratuitous if I'm doing them myself but I love reading them on other people's blogs so that's why I occasionally persevere) Anyway the top is this ORIGINAL 70s silk thing which is AMAZING, I very rarely find things from the eras I like in nice fabric. Anyway this is perfect. And the skirt is this like gold bronze coloured thing from Kinki Gerlinki.  


Today was another productive day WOW. I got my invitations for my exhibition from the printers today, SO EXCITING! I have 200 of them. I really should have counted the amount of friends I have before printing, I have like 3 friends so I'm going to have about 197 spare invites, so if you want one please be like "HEY CAN I HAVE ONE OF THEM THERE INVITES" and I'll be like "Yes sir they're weighing me down here!" Anyway I'm not funny. This is the Facebook event page if you wanna be like attending on Facebook, which will be so fun I reckon if you click attending. http://www.facebook.com/events/137533679718163/


In other news nothing else in my life is interesting. I am having heaps of fun in the studios though because my friends have been there heaps. Today Georgie and I were talking about people and things and she said: "He tries his darnedest" which is such a great saying, and I hadn't really recognized it as so until now. Heaps of people I know try their damn darnedest and I just love them for it. Officially the most endearing quality in a person, trying their darnedest!

Seriously LOOK AT ALL THESE!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'll be around for a while



I am lonely but you can free me all in the way that you smile.

Tell me why.

The past few days have been busy, I'm working quite a bit and even socializing and drinking cocktails (well on Saturday night anyway) and it's been good. I like nothing more than having a busy mind and to have things happening. "It's all happening" I actually didn't really realize how close my show at Dudspace really is and I need to get a move along on that front I'd say. Eight days till install ooohhh! Oh this is so boring for you. I'm sorry! Does anyone have any advice on getting out of an undeserved train ticket fine? I got done and it's totally unjust and stuff because the machine was broken. I'm so angry about it too and I never get angry, I wrote the best letter yesterday you know in my spare time. It felt SO GOOD.


Now a reader commented on a post a couple of days ago asking if I could mention some books that I think are good to read! Which was really lovely because no one ever says stuff I should write about so I was kind of excited because it's like what my opinion is valid to someone woo hoo! Anyway um so I just love D.H Lawrence, in particular his short stories 'The Fox' 'The Captain's Doll' and 'The Ladybird', also 'The Virgin and the Gypsy'. I absolutely love Sartre's 'Age of Reason'. Stereotypically I love Sylvia Plath, like LOVE. ("An interesting poetess whose tragic suicide was misinterpreted as romantic by the college girl mentality." - Alvy Singer in Annie Hall) Start with 'Ariel' and then 'The Bell Jar'. 'THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON' BY STEPHEN KING. Um Vladmir Nabakov's 'Despair' is better than Lolita, weirder. Apparently there is a movie of it that I must see! Of course, there's Leonard Cohen - 'The Favorite Game', 'Beautiful Losers', 'Let Us Compare Mythologies' (MY FAV) and 'Death of A Ladies Man' (Another fav) and 'Book of Longing' (STUNNING) Most of those are poetry. I love Rumi, I love e.e cummings to death. For the Australians out there in particular Melbournians, you have to read 'The Heart Garden' by Janine Bourke, it's about Heide the artist commune in Heidelberg. 'The Words of Gilbert and George' by Gilbert and George. Anything in the whole universe by Roald Dahl. 'The Great Gatsby', 'The Catcher in the Rye', 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD'. 'The Philosophy of Andy Warhol' changed my life at 15. Okay don't judge my but I loved 'Looking For Alaska' (made me cry). I LOVE Heidi by Johanna Spyri and I also love MARK TWAIN. This is all (ha!) that comes to mind right now. Sorry that it's just a big chunk of name dropping. Hope you find something in there you enjoy! I have no more energy to finish off this post eloquently so have some pictures :)

I went on a shopping spree at Kinki Gerkinki because they had a 50% off sale. I was out of control!




I wanna live, I wanna give. I've been a miner for a heart of gold.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Shoulda been me

Don't have a whole lot to report, finally I'm back from the brink and am my busy self again - I went a bit mad for a few days there, what with Titanic and everything, phew. I'm working a whole heap these next few weeks at my gallery job. It's going to be good I reckon actually because I love going to Coles across the road and buying snacks and putting up the 'back in 5 minutes' sign to do so. That is the greatest because I always think like the 5 minutes only starts from when someone SEES the sign, do you know what I mean? So 5 minutes can really be any amount of minutes depending on when you think the sign may have been viewed. I can go crazy thinkin about that stuff. Anyway as you can tell I've spent a lot of time alone today.


I finished my Dudspace intro paragraph that talks about the upcoming exhibition, you can read it (please read it) here:
http://dudspace.com/filter/ARCHIVE/UPCOMING


Other than these things I'm looking forward to tomorrow night cos Louis and I are going to watch the original King Kong! I have meant to watch that for ages but I never did and now I'm going to. It's going to be good and if it's not good at least I'll have someone to laugh and make immature jokes about it with. I thought that the King Kong in it was a robotic toy thing but it's actually claymation I think which is so wild.


Here is my Rookie diary post for this week. I have also added various other pix from my life this week and some pix that aren't from my life but are cool. Seeyalater.