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: http://www.wearelostandfound.com.au/edm/volume-8/04/?utm_source=emarketing&utm_medium=email_edm&utm_content=online_link&utm_campaign=landf-v8-04

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.

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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: http://blog.ngv.vic.gov.au/2013/10/14/melbourne-now-countdown-day-39/#.Ul0gexw1Yrg

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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70-1b9SCj0

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."

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

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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!


  1. Unfortunately I don't know a polite way to diffuse such conversations. This has happened to me a few time and strangely enough not long ago. It really bothers me because (as you also stated) I knew where the conversation was going and I didn't know how to deter the guy. Sadly the dude who was talking to me was really persistent and even thought he wasn't aggressive I felt quite upset afterwards. In fact after he left the train I almost cried because I had felt so uncomfortable. I didn't want to often him, because I think its a brave thing to do, but at the same time I felt no connection or interest in him and I was annoyed that he hadn't pick up on that...I'm not sure what my point is but I guess I wanted to let you know I totally empathise with you. Take care. I love your work :) x

    1. Yep, TOTALLY. Guys don't seem to be sensitive to like subtle hints and stuff, and gauging whether the person they're talking too is uncomfortable or into the conversation. I think we just need to do a total fuck off face thing and maybe they'll get the message, unfortunately I need to practice mine and get up the courage! Thanks for your comment X

  2. it definitely doesn't make you a bad person...he assumed you didn't have a boyfriend, and you simply corrected him. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that :) I feel your pain though, you end up feeling bad anyway even though it wasn't your fault! <3


    1. Blah I know, ! Thanks for your reassurance, I know I didn't do anything wrong but I just wished I could have vanished on the spot and not had to deal with it at all, ha !

  3. There's literally no nice way of letting someone down. You just have to grit your teeth and remember it's for the best FOR YOURSELF.

  4. Our dog is called Soda too! I'm glad you found him!

    Yah but I agree, pretty much all guys that talk to you are probably interested in you, but it seems up-oneself to assume that (even though it's totally true!). But at least you had the out of saying you have a boyfriend, that has to be better for his ego than "I'm single but I just have no interest in you!".

    I hate being in that situation too. I was just in Europe and it happened to me a few times as I was alone and I think European guys are just more forward anyway. I got a lot better at asserting myself as time went on which I'm proud of. I mean I don't want to be a jerk to a nice person, but if you are going to approach a stranger and ask them out then you have to know there is a risk of rejection and if you do it in public and then get turned down in public that's kinda your fault....

    And men seem to be so bad at realising when you are interested and when you aren't, I feel like girls are so much better at recognising this!

    1. Oh yes, definitely. Also it's weird how guys only seem to respond to the 'I have a boyfriend' card, not massive hints of disinterest and disengagement. Ages ago, I went out for ONE drink with this guy who asked me out and it was a train wreck like we had nothing in common and it was so boring and he asked me out again and I just kind of said I was really busy was really non-committal and he kept asking and got SO annoying, so eventually I just made up that I was seeing someone even though I wasn't at the time, and then he never contacted me again. He actually said, "well, that's all you had to say" after I lied about seeing someone else. And it's like, HELLO I am just not interested in you, take a hint! Like they only back off after they know there's another MAN there, not after OUR display of complete and utter disinterest. Are we too subtle? ha!
      I've never been to Europe but people have said that that happens all the time - being approached in public by men - I would feel really uncomfortable in a foreign country, I felt uncomfortable enough in Melbourne! it's such a fine line to walk if you're going to ask someone out in public.
      Lol this comment is longer than my post! Sorry.
      So funny that your dog is named Soda too! :D :)
      Love Minna xxx