Friday, October 25, 2013

Waiting a million years, just for us

PHEW as they say. Whatta week!

I'm still working full-time, now with just one week to go as a Dolly Parton working girl. I haven't minded it so much, I was in the office by myself this week and listened to a lot of music and was singing along a bit until I realised our neighbors could probably hear me. I think once you get used to it it's not so bad. Working full time that is, not my singing. That said though, these past two weeks I really haven't had any time to make art or anything really. Blah.

At the beginning of the week I had dinner at Georgie's new house with everybody. Ridiculous antics ensued. Everyone bought a plate of something or other and it was a delicious if not random meal. King prawns and quiche anyone? I felt so happy after that night because we hadn't all gotten together like that in a long time, and I hadn't laughed like that in a long time, and towards the end of the night we always reminisce about past art school experiences and crazy parties we hosted and it is very funny.

More work, more work, then last night was Painters and Rockers, which was a gig that I was playing at with Jon and Georgie in Pamela! The night is a product of the VCA painting department, where past and present students/teachers who are interested in/have some sort of musical talent, perform. We went a little early and met up with some people for a pub meal that was very average (don't eat at the Gasometer!) I bought this incredible jumpsuit to wear, and I was really excited about it, but it's slightly ill-fitting and made it hard to sit down/eat large quantities of food. Mum said I would look like Frankenstein on stage but I managed to loosen up. We were on at 9pm and it went really well, even though I couldn't really hear enough 'fold back' (is that what it's called!?) so I had no idea what I sounded like but meh. The beauty of Pamela is that you can sing out of tune and it doesn't really matter.

A lot of people came up to me after and said how sad they thought our song Art School was! It's funny, because I get that it's really melancholy and it feels like reminiscing and stuff, but I did write the lyrics from a happy place, reflecting positively on the time but not necessarily missing it. Ha. Anyway, I don't even know if I've posted the song on here, and I don't have any footage from last night, but here is some footage from when we played at Jon's opening in Sydney a few weeks ago! :D

Art School - PAMELA from Darren Knight Gallery on Vimeo.

What do you think? Happy song or kind of sad song? I guess it depends on how you feel about art school in general. ha. The best thing about last night, was after the acts had finished and someone decided it was a great idea to play M.I.A 'Bad Girls'. It was. The dance floor was EPIC and so refreshing to just go kind of crazy and jump around with lecturers and students and hangers-on alike (I'm a VCA hanger on, haha!) I just literally had the best time. I was so sweaty and my legs are KILLING today but it felt amazing. My new thing is to be like "Louis I'm lazy let's get a taxi home" so we hailed a cab and went back to Footscray, after we'd let everything out on the dance floor. BEST. Couldn't wait to get out of my jumpsuit though even if it had loosened up with all the 'gettin low'.

A great place near Georgie's house - check out Doc from Snow White as the focal point!
Ridiculous selfie in my outfit for last night! Didn't even mean to match my phone but HEY ;)
Oh, a stop in at Savers got me some manners and AMAZING fabric!
Parcel from Beci!
Wednesday night this week I came home to an amazing parcel (contents above) from Beci Orpin. She is an incredible practitioner and freelance business creative woman and really cool and NICE, she sent me her book and a great '60s bag and swap cards. So sweet and absolutely made my day coming home to this. Ray of sunshine! This is hurrr

Here is a little collaboration we did together in 2012 (I think!) for the True Self Exhibition!

Something else I got in the mail was some baby blue Juju jelly shoes! Yay! In a way, I feel like I am too old for these shoes. But, I like them, and they look too good with my new tights. So they stay. How's this for a combo?

Today on Rookie a series of collages that I made from photographs of my recent trip to Hanging Rock with Tavi and Brodie is up! Check it out here: And, below are my favourites. It seems like so long ago now!

Today ended on an amazing and overwhelming note, something crazy-good happened which I will write more about in the coming weeks. In the meantime I am intent on relaxing hardcore this weekend. TV, textas, bed, cereal. It's all a girl needs.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stumblin' in

I have not made a GIF in a million years. I used to have them in pretty much every blog post back in the day. I'm thinking about maybe doing some video stuff for my next show (as accompaniment with my paintings) but I'm not sure. It's something I love the idea of but you can't actually just randomly start doing it or something there has to be a reason to use that medium maybe. I'll have a think.

Such a quiet day today. I hung out at my Nanna's for a bit actually. Then we had a BBQ dinner outside because it was a nice day for once. Now I'm feeling a lot like my old self, my old-old self, making GIFs and listening to music on a Saturday night, thinking about life and stuff. I have not done this in ages and it's nice. It makes me miss like, going to a party on a Friday night at The Manor or a similar share house we would frequent, and then spending the rest of the weekend in my room at home thinking about people and life and again, listening to music and drawing dumb stuff and watching Woody Allen movies. I listened to a lot of Leonard Cohen back in those days too because I was romanticizing something that never came to fruition, as usual, but it was also perfect for the reflective badly poetic and sometimes melodramatic occasionally venturing on to actually sad times I was having back then. I think I did most of my growing up in my room, thinking and being alone listening to Leonard Cohen and getting all Woody Allen existential. I don't know if I'll ever have time like that to myself again in the same way. I was really young then in lots of ways.

This is a detail of an old painting of mine that I gave to my Nanna. She has it in her lounge room and it's hilarious because it doesn't suit the room at all but it has prime position. So sweet.
The amazing front porch of a house I take a detour to walk past on my way to work. It's SO fantastic, hanging baskets everywhere and odd knick knacks. The plastic dolls are freaky!
I cannot STOP listening to this song:

It's weird, because it's been one of those tunes that's come up like 3 times in the past few days - a song I've heard before but never really LISTENED to how good it was, and it came on the radio, then on the soundtrack to a movie I was watching, then on TV - and I was like dude there's something about that song it is like trying to make me pay attention plus I do love Suzi Quatro but don't associate her with that kind of soft '70s rock sound that this song has. I am obsessed and have been humming it all day. Great lyrics too.

I stumbled in to my entire time at art school and then that allowed me to stumble in to the entire rest of my life and now here I am. Foolishly layin' my heart on the table, stumblin' in.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Someday soon

Yay! Someone found Soda and dropped him off at the local Vet, then they scanned his microchip and called us! Dad sent us all this message:

He was gone a whole night and day and night and morning, and I really didn't think we were going to see him again! I wonder what he got up to on his adventure. I'm so glad that he is home again! Thanks for your sweet comments and well wishes :) I made such a mean lost dog poster, if any of you ever lose a pet, I'm your girl.

I am going to be working full time at Art Guide for two weeks, because we are launching a new website and are very busy. So this Monday I started being like a real life 9-5 Dolly Parton girl which in a way is kind of cool because I feel like I am kind of important or contributing something to society or something.

I wanted to share a couple of things like that I've been doing or whatever - last week I was the Guest Editor of the 'Art Issue' of Lost and Found, which is like a newsletter of things that go on in Melbourne. You can read it here:

It was fun, because I got to talk about this hilarious place that my friends and I go to eat at - 'Freaky Yamatos'. There are two Yamatos in Melbourne, and one is 'regular' Yamatos and the other is Freakies, because its like the bizarro world one where everything is the opposite or something. Anyway I explain it more eloquently in Lost and Found.

* * *

The next thing is something I'm really proud of which is a little post that I wrote for the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) blog. It's about my work 'Someday Soon' which is going to be a part of Melbourne Now at the NGV in November. I couldn't be more stoked to be in the show, and to be given the opportunity to talk about what I made! The image and text are below or you can read it on the NGV blog here:

Someday Soon, Texta and collage on paper.

"My work for Melbourne Now is titled Someday Soon, after the Ian Tyson song of the same name. Many artists have covered the song, but my favourite is Judy Collins’ version. At the time I made this work I think I watched this video 100 times:

I made my drawing Someday Soon thinking about longing, nostalgia and rose tinted vision – the kind that obscures imperfections and makes excuses for reality. The images of the eyes that I collaged in a triangular mandala-esque formation were sourced from a general Health and Wellbeing book from the 1970s. The images were demonstrating the effects on the pupil under different light intensities.

I liked the images of the eyes, as for me, they conjured up imaginings of what they were perhaps looking at – cliched images of sunsets and long, open roads, or, a weird satanic ritual? I guess though if I’m being honest with myself they were probably just looking at the lens of chunky now-retro camera.

After recently watching ‘The Source Family’ documentary, detailing the lives of members of this 1970s Californian based cult – I associated my idea of rose-tinted vision with the exceptions and compromises they made in order to live what they believed to be a utopian existence.

Both my work and the phrase ‘Someday Soon’ itself lend to ideas of the grass being greener on the other side, of the ‘sun coming out tomorrow’. As dangerous as types of eternal optimism can be (for example, the leader of The Source Family ‘Father Yod’ hang-glided to his death believing his lack of skill at the sport would be trumped by his faith) I liken this work of mine to a symbol or celebration of rose-tinted vision, of being able to see things through a filter we conjure up to protect us from the horrors of the naked eye.

'Someday Soon' by Minna Gilligan will feature in Drawing Now curated by John Nixon for Melbourne Now."

* * *

So that's that. This is a recent Rookie illustration that accompanied Jessica's interview with Billie Jean King!

* * *

And then there was something that I really wanted to write about today which happened while I was on  my way home from work. I had to change trains so I was waiting on a bench on the platform and this guy comes and sits on the bench next to me and I was just like itching my ear or something thinking about what I was going to watch on tv when I get home and then I just get this vibe like I know he's going to talk to me, like I literally could almost read his mind like trying to come up with something to start a conversation. He started with something about waiting for lots of trains or something nonsensical and I sort of laughed and then he said something about how he thought my hair was nice and it looked like it was from the '60s or whatever so then I sort of have to like say thank you or whatever. Then of course he's extending out his hand and introducing himself to me and maintaining this awkward conversation where I'm just like dying because I know where it's going.

I think it would happen much more often to other people, but, guys have asked me out on trains before. Usually they approach me with a comment about my hair or what I'm wearing, and me trying to diffuse the situation by dismissing the compliment genuinely so as they don't take it as a means to persist on it you know. All I want to do is to stop them in their tracks and like politely put them out of their misery before they go awkwardly any further like "I have a boyfriend" and even if I didn't its like, "trust me, I'm not for you and you're not really for me" - but it's this weird place where you don't want to seem presumptuous, like every guy that just starts an 'innocent' conversation with you wants to ask you out or be your boyfriend even though that's where it's going pretty much 95% of the time. So it goes, I get on the train and he stands near me and keeps up this terrible conversation that I am powerless to leave as you can't subtly part ways on the capsule of a train carriage.

So then of course he is running low on conversation prompts for the relatively unresponsive me and I can see his head ticking like "time's running out" and he comes up with something like "I think you're really cool I'd really like to get your number, maybe we could go out some time, like, next week?" and I'm just dying because I'm sure he's a nice guy but obviously I am in a relationship and I couldn't be less interested so I have to let him down in front of "fellow commuters" with the old "listen I actually have a boyfriend" and you find yourself like feeling really bad, and it's like, why do I feel bad? I feel like I am being a mean person or something because I just really embarrassed someone in front of a lot of people but then it's like even weirder because he didn't pick up my "get away from me vibes" until I mentioned I had a boyfriend, but then you don't want to preface every guy who says "BOO!" with "I HAVE A BOYFRIEND GET AWAY" kind of thing because then you're like preempting his intention you know?

Okay. So I know I over-think these things. But I did feel awkward and sort of bad to have to do that to this guy. Is there a nice way to divert the conversation when you know exactly where it's going? Is there a nice way to say: "Thanks, really, but I'm not interested at all and actually can't even be bothered holding this conversation with you - it's nothing personal though, really! Better luck next time, don't let this experience make you never ask anyone out again - there will be other people who'll take you up on your offer - but maybe re-think the context and perhaps leave them a 'Here's looking at you' message in the MX first and give them a chance to think it over. I'm sure you're a nice guy but I just want to go home from work with my own thoughts and not have to feel like a bad person for shutting down your intentions to begin some sort of awkward dating saga with me, but there's probably someone else up for it, and when they are, and you're talking to them and they're not acting aloof and vacant, you'll know! Have a great evening, Yours Sincerely, Minna Gilligan"

I don't know. Does this make me sound like the worst person ever? What do you guys do when faced with these kinds of situations? How to politely diffuse the conversation before they get to the 'What's your number" part, without seeming 'full of yourself' or 'mean'? I hope I have articulated myself properly!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Baby come back

I'm sad because my dog Soda got out last night and has not come back all day. We have done everything to find him and looked everywhere with no sign. He is microchipped and registered and we are hoping maybe he's just been taken in by someone who hasn't checked his information. If I never see him again I hope that at least he is with people that look after him and are nice to him. We've had him since I was 15 which makes it about 8 years now. I am hoping it will be like that Brady Bunch episode where Tiger runs away and then they find him under the house of their neighbors with a lady dog and new puppies. That's best case scenario. Sigh. Now that it's getting later and dark I am thinking how we haven't fed him and how I am hoping he's sleeping somewhere warm and that I hope he is not alone. :(

The past week has been a busy one. On Monday I saw the Vali Myers exhibition at Latrobe Museum of Art with Mum. It was really fantastic - invaluable to see works of hers in the flesh. They were screening a very hard to find documentary about her that was filmed in the '60s, at her place in Italy. It was brilliant. I also saw some of her infamous diaries, however, they were under glass open to a one page spread - and I couldn't flick through as I so wanted to and appreciate all their glory.

Tuesday I worked on this painting for my friend Tai:

Wednesday was crazy! I had work (Art Guide work), then as a part of 'work' I went to the "VIP" exhibition opening at ACCA. The show was one I was very excited about - Tacita Dean's 'Film'. Recently I'd watched Lily Cole's 'Art Matters' (A TV show) with Tacita, and it was fascinating. She shared her collection of paper ephemera, old photographs and postcards, and her collection of four leaf clovers. It really appealed to me being the hopeless romantic that I am. So this VIP opening thing included food, drinks, and a private talk from Tacita. I was like, 2 metres away from her! Starstruck!

After that, Georgie and I went to another opening at Tcb in the city. THEN we headed to Knight Street for our third and final opening of the night. We drunk novelty 'Grand Final' beers out of cans (they were on sale) and then got some African food for dinner (for a change). Phew. I had fun on Wednesday night actually despite being exhausted.

A still from 'FILM'. It is truly a stunning work, I really like it.

After I am coming back from the office from my lunch break every day I go out of my way and walk down a little street that always seems sunny. It's a nice little detour that I enjoy taking. There are cute little houses along there with flowers out the front and I like to think one day maybe I'll own one of them. In the meantime I can always photograph their roses.

Thursday was back in the office, extracting myself carefully from Louis' sleeping arms to go to work. Louis is away for the next 10 days, and he promised to send me two postcards. I haven't forgotten!

Thursday night was more Tacita, because I am her groupie. She spoke at ACMI to a big cinema of people. She went into intricate detail regarding her making process for 'Film'. It was really interesting actually. To be honest though, I was so exhausted and knew that the later I got home, the later I'd have to stay up finishing off some loose ends I had to do - emails, drawings, etc. I left a little early from the lecture to come home to a bowl of cereal and working cross legged on my bed.

Here are my latest Rookie illustrations:

When Friday came around I couldn't have been happier. Gorman announced a flash 20% off sale and I knew that was a sign from the gods telling me to buy these shoes I'd been eyeing off.

I've been looking forward to tomorrow for a while now, except I feel like everything is a bit dull because I know that Soda is missing. I am going to catch up with Brodie tomorrow and then go to Gold Class for the first time with my Mum and Dad to see Gravity. I am really looking forward to that because we literally never, ever, ever do those kinds of things as a family. If we do stuff together it's usually go out for dinner, so I think this will be cool. I hope Soda comes back and that will make it even cooler, but I know that may not happen so I have to brace myself! Chin up and be an adult! ha. Aw no.
Soda on my bed when he is not meant to be and me encouraging such behavior.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Throwback scans

Had a fun time tonight looking through old photo albums with Mum. So hilarious! Take these as proof that my hair colour is natural. You wouldn't believe the amount of people who actively dispute me when I say to their face that it is. Like I have the energy to keep up such a facade for years and years... “The blood of a redheaded woman is three degrees cooler than the blood of a normal woman. This has been established by medical studies.”

Above was a family trip to Bali in 2000 I think? I had my hair braided and obviously this is the aftermath.

My Nanna and my sisters and I as flower girls at my Aunt and Uncle's wedding. I was 9 here.

A day at Primary school when we had to dress up like we were from the Gold Rush I think - we went to Sovereign Hill as an excursion - I think I went there 10 times over my schooling life, that place is such a time warp, it never changes.

My little sister and I at my Nanna's place.

This last one is my favourite. It's a face I'd pull now. I love that I'm holding up a drawing. Looking at old photos is very strange. I look at my hand in a photo and them look down at my own hand now and can't believe it's the same hand. It's a weird feeling. Will post a proper post tomorrow when I'm not super nostalgic and wanting to spend the rest of my Friday night looking up weird items on Ebay.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hotel California

I love my new Gorman skirt! :D
Darren Sylvester album launch at Polyester Records on Friday night
Cheralyn Lim at the Seventh Worker's Club window
Haul from the Kinki Gerlinki garage sale! Continues this week!
A cool bin at the Camberwell market on Sunday
Darren's album cover. I bought the vinyl and am loving it.
Also couldn't resist getting Miley's album too
Been busy but had a good weekend. It was a "ME" weekend where I did stuff I wanted to do and did the stuff mostly by myself. I hit up the Kinki Gerlinki Garage sale on Saturday and bought so much stuff, weirdly enough it was ALL various shades of pink. I feel like it's summer vibes aggressively pushing through my subconscious, my love affair with pastel pink buildings, hotel/motels is coming back. Weirdly it's channelled in the Bangerz cover, too, ha. I have been so disappointed with the weather lately. I'm desperate for warm days and jealous that everywhere else in Australia seems to be experiencing them other than us. I mean I don't want like 45 degrees, but here's hoping there's a few 25 and sunny days approaching soon.

I want to write about more interesting stuff on here, but lately I've just been so busy that whenever I sit down to blog it is like just a re-cap of what I've been doing. I feel like that's boring. I actually know it's pretty boring. I feel like when summer comes I'm going to have a whole lot of free time like I did this summer, but it's actually not going to be a reality because I'm a "working girl" now and endless summers and holidays that go for months are never going to happen again, probably. Boo hoo but not really actually. I remember last summer and the summer before being a bit like ... "okay, back to reality" sort of thing. Looking back though seems all romantic and spending my days making art for the sake of it and stuff. Maybe the only thing I can ever be sure that I want is a bowl of cereal.

The best thing about summer that I am pretty sure of is that I'm more social. The fact that is stays light much later just makes me much more likely to hang about in the city rather than scurry home to bed. I like that side of me actually, a more open side - probably as spontaneous as I'm ever going to get. Anywho it would probably be more exciting if I was talking about 'what I've been doing' at this point. Sigh!

I have been daydreaming today about The Madonna Inn in California, it is the most amazing, cult hotel ever (well, that's what I gather from pictures) and it would be a dream to stay there. Each room is individually themed and it seems to me to be the most authentically retro place ever - I don't actually think they've changed the bedspreads since the 1960s. I was going through this page which gives you previews of each of the rooms Personally the rooms I'm into are the Vous, Romance, Merry, Love Nest, Just Heaven and Carin. Because I know you were all so curious.

Because I went to Darren Sylvester's album launch on Friday night I ended up buying his record, 'Off  By Heart'. It is legitimately so good and now not only am I daydreaming about staying in the Madonna Inn but I'm daydreaming about staying in the Madonna Inn listening to 'Off By Heart'. The vibes would just be off the richter scale with that combo. His music is dreamy and echoey and my vocabulary doesn't describe anything accurately so you can listen here:

Here are some Madonna Inn pictures so you can pretend you are there listening to 'Dream or Something Like That' while there:

Jayne Mansfield!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Moral dilemmas

I feel really bad because I just yelled at my little sister for stealing my clothes from my room. It is so infuriating though and it makes me so angry when I go to put something on and I can't find it, and I'm rushing to get ready for work or whatever, and I search everywhere and think I've lost it and then find it scrunched up on the floor in her room. I'm totally fine with sharing my stuff, I'm the older sister and have more money to spend on clothes, so have lots of them. I've let my sisters wear pretty much everything in my wardrobe, as long as they ask first. When they take stuff without asking it's the one thing that really makes me angry! Angry enough to yell at someone, which I never do, usually because if I do I start to feel really bad about it and it seems so silly, getting angry about clothes. So yeah, on one hand I feel really bad about getting mad at my sister because I have like a conscious and don't want to have to be bully older sister but on the other hand I can't seem to convey how much it frustrates me so that it doesn't happen anymore :( Wah.

I spent the day in the studio today, and Cheralyn was also in which was nice. For lunch I went and got some sushi and stopped off in Myer and David Jones - I think I've mentioned here that I am addicted to wandering around there not necessarily buying stuff but just browsing, feeling the fabrics and noting the patterns and stuff. It's so therapeutic and relaxing. I honestly think at some time in my life that fashion will play a major part in my career, which sounds like a ridiculous grandiose and slightly egocentric statement but I just have this feeling that it will. Time will tell I guess. Anyway - I ended up buying some Aesop face moisturizer, which is something I never spend money on, skin care - because I figure now that I'm almost 23 I should start trying to prevent wrinkles or something (ha no) but just because occasionally I get this idea that I want to 'look after myself' or something which comes about when I feel tired or that I'm working too much. I know I just had a holiday but I want to try and do more of that stuff. There's a massive part of me that would just work all the time and not see anyone, but I feel so good and happy (?) from this past weekend of socialising and not working that I think I should really make time to do it more often. A leopard doesn't change its spots though, so we'll see, ha.

Here's a gratuitous picture of me this morning and a detail of my very clean and organised desk. Back to work tomorrow!