Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nobody likes you when you're 23

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now 23 years old! I always get weird feelings with these milestones - birthdays, New Years Eve, stuff like that, because it marks the end of something while at the same time is the beginning of something else. Sometimes when something ends, there isn't always a beginning to follow, like a relationship, or the last bite of a great meal - you know they'll be others at some point but it's usually not expected to immediately follow. You get time to reflect between partners and meals you know. With birthdays and new years and stuff, you have no choice but to jump straight in. I'm mourning the loss of 22 but am already living 23. I digress now to a "milestone selfie" I took on my first morning of being 23.

Notice any remarkable change? wrinkles? I don't but who can be sure. I got to celebrate my birthday the evening before as it's my Dad's birthday the day before mine, so my family plus Louis went out for dinner and then went back home and ate some cake that my sister cooked. On the morning of my birthday I woke up and headed to work in the usual fashion except for some flowers from Mum and a few presents ;)

I was permitted to leave work a little early so that I could go out for lunch with Louis. He picked me up from work which was very gallant, and then we went to Gorski and Jones on Smith Street. It was fancy and lovely and I had a glass of wine with lunch and I felt really grown up. It was the perfect, relaxing and low maintenance way to celebrate.

Then, with the afternoon to myself I bought some new spray paint, the really good quality kind that is like $20 a can. I was determined also to buy myself some sort of garment as a birthday present for myself but didn't see anything that caught my eye. I love the idea of buying myself a birthday present, that also makes me feel grown up.

For old times sake I popped into Savers on my way home, just to see if there was any major birthday good fortune in the form of some incredible find, but no such luck. I didn't mind because I find browsing Savers just as satisfying when I find something than when I don't, because there's always the possibility, and if it doesn't come through on a particular occasion, there's always next time. I did find the below fabric, but it was so synthetic I'd never use it so settled for a photograph.

I had dinner with my Mum and my Nanna who came over to visit to say: "happy birthday!". She gave me a parcel of expensive Aesop products, which killed me because it would have been such a big deal for her to go in there and she wouldn't have known what to get and it is so expensive. It was so generous of her but you know when someone is so generous that you get like a small pang of guilt, or a pang of "God they truly did not need to do that" and saying: "thank you" doesn't really do justice to how you feel or something. My Nanna is renowned for giving 'useful' presents, and boy will I use this one. Oh my heart!

I had a good birthday. I'll be having another one in a years time presuming I don't collide with any misfortunes of fate, ha. They're weird but they're only a day a year so I can deal.

Also, just so you know, Annabelle got the prize for best birthday message:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lonely for you only

If you follow me on the Insta you'll know that I have a feature in the latest Yen Magazine! I'm so thrilled with it. The image is by Brooke Holm and the article is by Lisa Marie Corso. You should pick up a copy at the newsagents to check it out! Other people featured include designer Alice Oher who I got to meet on the weekend (!) and the two girls behind the Witu bags!

Here's an outfit picture I haven't posted here yet. I love my new Romance was Born skirt from the Kawaii Hawaii collection! I bought the new flower power chain belt at Vintage Garage on Smith Street, and my top is Gorman as are my shoes.

Couldn't resist getting these new white clogs from Funkis, even though I totally do not need another pair of clogs let alone another pair of shoes. My socks are Gorman and my dress is a Verner sample!

Last night I went to the VCA Grad Show. I absolutely loved not being in the exhibition this time 'round, it was so relaxing just being a viewer and having a couple of beers. This time last year I graduated from Uni. I can't believe it. It equally feels like an eternity ago and just yesterday. Last night was a lovely warm night and lots of my buddies were there so I had a good time. I'm so thrilled with this warm weather and am loving not bringing jumpers and jackets with me wherever I go.

I liked these works at the Grad show among others:

Beautiful work by Natalie Turnbull above and beautiful work by Jessica Schoer below!

Today Louis and I got breakfast and then I went to buy some canvas and paints so I can get started on some work for my next show. I would truly love to have a vast, endless supply of every paint colour, every size brush and blank canvases in all shapes and sizes at my fingertips. I'm very immediate in the way that I work, and sort of dislike the preparatory period of gathering materials and surfaces to work on. I just want it all to be there so I can just paint or draw. Unfortunately a pretty major part of the 'work' as a whole is the preparatory stuff. Suck it up princess!

I bought some cheap canvas boards just to have some practices on and get back into the swing of it before beginning on a bigger work. This is what I made this afternoon - it's a bad quality iPhone picture but you get the idea!

My birthday is on Friday which is weird to me or something? All I want to do is like hang out with my Nanna and have a nice day doing stuff that I like with people I like ya know? I want happy times and  flowers and stuff for reminiscing on in like 10 years when I am old. But then I have this thing where I don't wanna make a fuss. So it's conflicting!

Blah blah blah! Work tomorrow so won't get to paint again until Saturday, maybe! I'll be busting to get started by then. Lastly, I saw this graffiti in a bathroom last night, I really liked it:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

And the rest...

This is kind of a continuation of yesterday's post because I intended it to be way longer but was too tired to make that a reality. I definitely did want to blog about my favourite works in Melbourne Now, so here goes! This just covers the National Gallery in Federation Square. NGV on St Kilda Road soon! Also, please excuse my rather average photography, you'll just have to go in real life to see the works!

1. Tully Moore. Hands down, my favourite work.

2. Jess Johnson

3. Kate Smith

4. Paul Yore!

5. Zoe Croggon

6. 'Dreaming the Collection' by Sean Peoples and Veronica Kent. (this one is a little sneaky, because I'm in it!) Remember when I dressed up as a silver woman? This is the video! My voice is so husky and I look really greasy, but hey you know it's only up for three months in the NGV! haha) It really is a great work.

YAY ART. When I went back to look at everything properly on Saturday morning it was so incredible, because there were lots of people in the usually deserted and echoey galleries, looking curiously at all these works they've never seen before. It made me feel really happy and excited.

All I want to do right now is focus on my painting. I need to make some works for my show in January and I NEED to get started. Remember when I said I'd really like a holiday from socialising? (I think that was like 2 days ago or something ha) I still do! I think that maybe is why artists go on residencies and stuff, they get big blocks of time to dedicate solely to their art. I want that but I don't want to have to go anywhere because I make such big work and it's hard to transport you know. Blah blah blah. I hope to get some good work done over Christmas.

Today I went to the Design Files Open House with my Mum and sister for a quick sticky beak. I admire Lucy Feagins as a business woman and wanted to see how she converts her internet enterprise into a "IRL" enterprise. It all seemed very successful judging by the jostling amount of people there. I was so happy because I finally got to meet Beci Orpin and Alice Oher in person which was brilliant.

One last thing! My friend Max made me a pair of beautiful, hand painted earrings and I <3 p="" them.="">

They come in heaps of other colours. Mine are white enamel, gold and powder blue. Perfect with my outfit on Friday night! Contact Max for more details :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Melbourne now and then

Last night was the opening of Melbourne Now and I was pretty excited about it. If someone had of told me when I was in High School that I would have a work in the National Gallery of Victoria a year out of art school, I wouldn't have believed them. This remarkable opportunity was made possible firstly by Tony Ellwood, the new director of the NGV. In my opinion, this exhibition is such a positive new direction for the institution, opening it up, refreshing and revitalizing it. There are SO many interesting artists practicing in Melbourne NOW, and it makes absolute sense to have them represented at the National Gallery of Victoria. Much more sense than showing second rate Picasso works that don't appear to contribute to a new or contemporary dialogue in our city that currently has so many avant-garde things happening within. Melbourne has such a strong band of artist run initiatives, spaces that aren't strictly just for 'emerging' artists. Artists of all degrees of established show in them and I truly believe this is because the higher institutions such as the NGV have been so closed for so many years.

The opportunity was secondly made possible by John Nixon, who curated me into the show 'Drawing Now' within 'Melbourne Now'. The work that I have contributed is small but close to my heart, and, as you probably know I wrote about here:

Louis was my date last night and Georgie also got an invitation, so we went all together and I'm just gonna put it out there now: we had KFC for dinner. Don't worry though, we disposed of the evidence before lining up for our wrist bands and stuff. It was reasonably 'exclusive' and getting in without an invitation was near impossible. We had some friends who wanted to do so and managed to figure that out quite nicely. The alcohol and food was free all night and this was quite a novelty for us as at previous NGV soirées it's quite normal to pay something like $14 for a drink. Not the case, so more points for Tony, ha.

The evening began at NGV Federation Square. It was a who's who of Melbourne, it was impossible to walk even a few meters without running into someone. This made looking at the art impossible, but I didn't mind because I felt more like socalising anyway. Word on the street was that everyone who's anyone was meeting on Darren Sylvester's light up dancefloor at 9.30pm. My friend Annabelle and I spread this rumor around and it was a success. By the time we made it over to NGV on St Kilda Road it was almost time for this 'meeting' and it totally went off!


Okay, can you see my work?! haha
Yep there it is.
I have to admit, I got MOST excited when I saw my name on the wall plaque! haha!
We ended the night at NGV St Kilda Road, dancing on the silent dance floor that had been set up in the foyer. It was brilliant, and I'd never danced on a silent dance floor before despite hearing about them. Everyone had headphones and there were three channels. It was cool because they were all like fun retro songs like Love Shack and you could co-ordinate which songs you were listening to with your friends. I had a great time but I was very very tried afterwards so we eventually headed home.

I went back to NGV this morning because as I said, I didn't see any of the art last night. Whoops. I want to do another post about the works I like the most from the show :) Hopefully tomorrow when I'm not exhausted! In the meantime here are a few more photos from the opening:

Rainbow connection!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Often as I may

I was at home painting and drawing today, and I really enjoyed it. I haven't picked up a paint brush in a fair while, and it felt really good to be working with it again, like catching up with an old friend after a long time. You forget how well you get along. "Why don't we see each other more often!?"

I've had a quiet weekend, except for a party on Friday night where everyone danced so hard that the floor of the living room literally caved in. Literally. It was fun and all my friends were there, but I do think that the older I get the further down 'partying' goes on my list of priorities. Often I feel that I would like to take time off from being social, like one would take time off from work. It's just the type or person that I am, I need to have pretty large amounts of my own space and my own time.

That said though, this Friday is the opening for Melbourne Now, the huge exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria of which I am a part of (a small part, but a part nonetheless! what do they say - "there are no small parts, only small actors", ha!) and I am pretty excited. During my 'quiet time' this weekend all I've really been thinking about is what I'm going to wear. I've decided to debut my sequined Romance was Born mushroom top as I've worn it before but only for photo shoots, photo shoots that have not come out yet, so it's still brand new technically *never before seen* not considering the million pictures I've posted and the million times I've talked about it here. The thing about being a blogger internet person is that things lose their shiny new gleam very quickly once you've put them on your Tumblr, Instagram, Blog, Pinterest and Twitter. Ya feel me? I think the mushroom top transcends that affliction though. I'm still working out what shoes and skirt to wear. I think I'll go with something simple.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's all happening

Something pretty remarkable happened a few weeks ago, something of which I was sworn to secrecy until yesterday. I was on my way home from work on a Friday night, and my phone rang. I'm really into answering my phone with 'Hello, Minna speaking' if I don't know who's calling, because it makes me sound like a business guy. So I answered with that and I was met on the other end with the head curator at Gertrude Contemporary. I knew that line would be appropriate someday. As we went through some introductory banter I was truly drawing blanks in my head as to why she would be calling me. I had applied for a studio residency at Gertrude a few months ago, so I could get an early start on applying so I get one like, 10 years into my career, and I throughly thought she was ringing to say thanks but no thanks, apply again next year. In some weird twist of fate or luck or whatever, she actually proceeded to say that I was accepted as a 2014-2016 studio artist there. I was beyond speechless which means I actually have a lot of speech, and was bubbling and thanking and oh my god-ing over and over. It was the most unexpected thing in my whole life.

I immediately rung my Mum and then my Dad, rushing to explain what a big deal this whole thing was and getting choked up and not making sense. It was a brilliant feeling of excitement and elation.

Yesterday was the official announcement of the studio artists so I was free to tell people (people other than my Mum and Dad). It was like that same feeling of elation and excitement all over again, being able to share it with my friends and people that are important to me. Last night the announcement coincided with the current Gertrude Studio artist's exhibition opening, so Louis and I went along. Some of the studio spaces were open for exhibiting and we walked through. They're huge, light drenched, luxurious, and I was absolutely struck with the reality that I am going to have one of these spaces, for two years, and it is going to be brilliant.

I'm still getting my head around the whole thing to be honest. This truly means that I am a "real artist" not just in my mind, but in the minds of other people. I definitely struggle with feeling confident that my work is valued in a critical/intellectual environment. This appointment as a Gertrude Studio artist has taught me that even though my practice is not laden with intense theory and book smarts, an emotionally based practice is just as valuable and stands equal on the same plain. I write a lot here about wanting to be an artist who can make commercial work and also make 'fine art' work, and for them to be considered as separate things. I think that I will be able to walk that line in my career and I don't think there's anything wrong with that or it makes me any less of a 'fine artist'.

Gertrude staggers the times that new people move into the studios throughout the year. I was offered move in dates of June 2014 or December 2014. After thinking on it for a few days, I decided to take the later move-in date, December 2014. So, I will be moving in to Gertrude this time next year, and I'm happy to have a bit more time in my current studio with my friends until then. I'm in no rush, despite being super excited to start my residency at Gertrude. I have a whole year to look forward to it, and when I finally get there I will make the absolute most of it!

Phew. Anyway so that's my news for the moment. Here are some pictures from the past week:

Playing with rainbow gradients in my scanner
Louis has these amazing Tarot cards called Hexen 2.0, by Suzanne Treister. 
Working on my Elvis series 
Too many Nanna blankets at Savers!
A cool poison apple phone that I ended up leaving, and some daisy fabric.
I got an amazing new Romance was Born skirt! And this sticker from their A/W14 collection, can't wait!
Junky stuff at Savers 
"Odd pets"
Bought this cool flower power chain belt
Aaaand the pièce de résistance these original ABBA earrings. Couldn't resist!
Thanks for reading :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Come Walk With Me

My new Prada sunglasses came in the mail. They're almost too good to wear. I can't wait for a really sunny day, unlike the weather we've been getting lately, so that I can wear them for a reason.

I haven't been well lately which seems to be happening all the time at the moment. It's so frustrating and I hate doing stuff like calling in sick for work or missing out on openings and stuff. I know from past experience that I have to look after myself better, and take everything really slowly and not take on too much stuff, which is definitely easier said than done. I haaaaate missing out on things.

I also hate being the "boo hoo" person who's always like "I can't I'm sick" or "I don't feel well". Blah. I have never been that person until I was in hospital last year, and now I seem to get sick really often. I've stayed really close to home the past few days, which I like doing.

On the weekend I did participate in a video project at the NGV though, where I had to be painted silver. I have to admit I was kind of nervous because I thought I would be too sick to do it and I was dreading having to call in and let people down. I managed to drag myself there and I ended up being pretty good. I was dressed up at Man Ray's 'Silver Woman' (see below) for a project called 'Dreaming the Collection' by Veronica Kent and Sean People's for Melbourne Now. Georgie also was dressed up as another character from a painting so I got to spend the say with her. It was fun actually, and hey, I got to be a silver '70s space woman.

It was Georgie's birthday on the day, and this is the crazy card I made her (I had a lot of time on my hands!)

My sister drives, so she took my on a little excursion to Savers. I was really grumpy and didn't find anything I wanted until I was literally walking out, and I spotted this record in the *display cabinet* that is supposed to be for like expensive things but is just gaping open. I paid $14.99 for Disraeli Gears and it was so worth it. I am so happy to have found this finally. It's a Martin Sharp cover, my favourite, and so beautiful in real life. It's the original 1967 pressing and such a special object. That cheered me up :)

Yesterday and today I've been at home working on a new series coming in December on Rookie, starring Elvis. It's going well and I'm looking forward to it all coming together.

Has anyone heard M.I.A's new album? It is brilliant. My favourite tracks are Come Walk With Me, Double Bubble Trouble and Boom Skit. I've never heard anything like it!