Monday, January 27, 2014

Gentle on my mind

I just got back from a long weekend down the beach at Lorne. It was relaxing, which was something I seriously needed, and actually, I wish I could have stayed another week. I'm not usually a beach person, I hate baking in the sun and getting salt water in my mouth, but I embraced it over the past couple of days because I knew I needed something different happening to shake things up a bit, get my mind out of a bit of a rut and try to do something for myself and for my heath, physical and mental! Nothing is more refreshing or liberating than a quick swim in the ocean. I jumped in every day and it was really, really nice. Swimming makes you hungry which is something I haven't been a lot lately, so that was good, and pretty much just getting out in the sun and making the most of summer was good.

I took the train down to Geelong after work on Friday afternoon and I really enjoyed that. I love traveling by train because you can listen to music and look out the window and imagine dumb stuff and eat snacks. I arrived on Friday night for dinner with intentions of spending the entire weekend not doing a single thing, but it turns out I had a couple of work things to get done which ended up being great. Doing nothing ends up driving me crazy, doing too many things drives me crazy, so I had a pretty luxurious balance, internetting with my laptop on my knees looking out over the ocean.

On Saturday there was a market in Lorne, and it was pretty crap. You know, like weird pet hair remover brushes and steel weather vanes and moccasins and socks. Just when I thought all hope was gone for finding something decent, I came across a stall that had a whole bunch of old suitcases, filled to the brim with old postcards. As I walked in, I came across a stack of photo albums filled with found photographs, and there were also Beatles collectable items and jewelry and figurines. The postcards and photographs though, consumed me for like an hour, and I went back again in the afternoon. I've bought found photographs and postcards from Ebay before, from an amazing store in Los Angeles called Necromance, and from a lady who occasionally has a stall at the Camberwell market, but this was the best lot I'd ever seen. There were so many I didn't even get through them all. It was brilliant!

The first one I picked up, out of some weird divine intervention, was this one:

It was particularly poignant as my boyfriend and I have broken up, and it's like sad you know, so this was kind of a sweet little thing that I'll keep - not that I particularly equate love with the measles. The poem reads:

'Let us be kind to each other, the night's coming on, when friend and when brother, perchance may be gone. We have been friends together, in sunshine and in shade, since first beneath the chestnut tree, in infancy we played. Think of me when you are happy, keep for one one little spot, in the depth of thine affection, plant a sweet forget me not' 

Here are the other postcards and photographs that I found!

And, the found photographs:

I just love them. Here's a playlist I made to go alongside all of this:

And, some more photos from the past few days:

I haven't even posted about my opening at Tcb yet, but I'm going to hopefully tomorrow! Thanks for reading X

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

At the Memory Motel

Another exhibition coming round the bend. I finished installing yesterday and it was reasonably low maintenance which is my favourite kind of install. It was largely low maintenance because on Sunday my Dad bought my paintings to the gallery in his big truck, so transport was easy, and then everything was there for me to hang I just went ahead and did it. *Dusts hands* done and done. I'm happy with the works in the show individually, but I think that I do have trouble 'curating' my work together or something. I can never make more than two works that look like they belong in the same space together. This time I tried to make an effort to make a more consistent like 'body' of work, but ended up with three paintings that work together, along side two paintings that work together, and then one work that stands alone. I do put it down to the fact that I'm changing the way that I make very rapidly, and I make works quickly, and I'm still learning. My aesthetic decisions depend on my mood and environment which is often different, and my ideas of what I want are not always consistent. I think this is okay, because I don't want the other end of the spectrum where I make essentially the same work over and over again, but I do want some sort of unity that distinguishes particular periods of making.

I'm excited to show my work at Tcb. It's an artist run space just off Little Bourke Street in the city, and has been around forever (well, like 15 years). I've always thought of it as a particularly critically engaged space, which is why I'm a little nervous to have my work there as I often think my work doesn't really sit within contemporary critical dialogue - I'm not referencing essays, philosophers (if you don't count the Rolling Stones, ha) or anything of that vein really. I live in my own little world and make references to things in my own little world. Basically I don't want people who are really smart to see the show and be like "wow she's not all she's cracked up to be" kind of thing. I am 'smart' or whatever but smart in a different way.

I have a lot on over the next few days. Work tomorrow, my opening tomorrow night (come along if you want!), work on Thursday and then like, on my lunch break I'm going to the NGV to give a talk (a private session, sorry, otherwise I'd make you all come along to that too). I'll survive but as usual I probably should have made the most of today doing freelance/art stuff so that I don't have to do it in between work towards the end of the week. Instead I went to Heide Museum of Modern Art with Mum today and had a look at Future Primitive which is the show on there at the moment. I also went to Savers and bought stuff I don't need including a book on Magic Tricks from the 80s and a book on Witchcraft from the 70s. So necessary, just what I needed ya know. I also painted my nails and have made a pact with myself not to peel it off until at least Thursday morning, we'll see how that goes shall we.

Below is one of the works in my exhibition. It's a drawing that I got printed large scale on fabric. To request a catalogue with prices, dimensions and mediums of the works in this exhibition, please contact :)

One last time, here are the logistical details! Everyone is welcome at the opening, bring friends, etc, and of course everyone is welcome to come and check it out during the gallery hours!

Here are some pictures from Heide today:

Erica McGilchrist 
Richard Larter
Sarah Contos 
Jess Johnson
Mikala Dwyer
TV Moore
X Till next time

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Your love is like a heat wave (or some other more obscure heat wave referencing song lyric)

It's hot and yeah I am one of those people who talks about the weather which some may think is terribly pedestrian but I don't care. I find it quite interesting because it's a rare thing that unites people you know, everyone feels hot in the heat wave, everyone feels cold in winter or wet if it's raining or um just comfortable or whatever. WE ARE ALL ONE you know don't forget it. It's so hot though like really hot, hot hot like unbearable hot. In the car today the temperature gauge said 56 degrees (celsius) and okay, so it probably wasn't quite 56 outside (I think it was 56 in the hot car), but it was up there like when you just take a step outside and you're already sweating and the air is really close to you and it's like a furnace. I like the weather when it's warm, I love it, but when it's heat wave hot, I don't like it at all. Mum always says I'm a weak little petal but I just can't cope with the heat. It's exhausting.

We only have one more day of the heat wave now, hooray! And I was allowed to stay home from work today, but I have to go in tomorrow and I'm kind of dreading catching public transport. Boo. And you should see me when I go 'out', I have really fair, freckled skin so generally I have to lather sunscreen on every single square inch, but I'm on antibiotics at the moment that have a warning on the label that the medication makes you way more UV light sensitive, so I like dart into patches of shade and carry with me a litre water bottle and wear like a visor. (Okay I don't wear a visor). But you get the idea.

Last night I went out for a drive with my Dad and my sister with all the windows down and my hand out the window. It was great actually. I also have a little kid pool thing set up in the front yard and sitting in that for brief periods is also good. Ultimately I want to be heat wave chic and have drinks with little umbrellas in them, be permanently in like a '50s style bathing suit and my cat-eye glasses lazing on a pink plastic banana lounge with not a bead of sweat on my brow. That is not and will never be the case but a girl can dream.

I told you I liked to talk about the weather. Anyway today I went to Spotlight and bought a rainbow piƱata. I kind of want to include it in my upcoming show butttt then again that's like an idea I would have had in second year or something so I don't know. It's pretty anyway so I can always put it up in my room if I decide not to use it. I also wanted to get one of those tinsel curtain things in gold (I have one in silver) but they didn't have any. How exciting is my existence? Now photos:

Cool camouflage fabric at Spotlight
Melting fake flowers
Mixed lollies when we went down to the Milk Bar to get icy poles
Dreamboat Annie stares at me from the wall opposite my bed as I melt
Me and my rainbow pinata at Spotlight 
Rainbow pom poms
Drawing in progress from the other night
I ordered some swap cards from Ebay for my swap card collection, and received them in the post the other day. These are they:

The best thing about the parcel though, was the card that the seller put the swap cards in:

I just love weird junk like that. I will keep this and treasure it probably more than the actual swap cards. It's hilarious!

I was at work yesterday and we exchanged belated Christmas presents. My boss bought me this amazing book called Art/Fashion in the 21st Century by Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler. It's really brilliant. I've said here before that I feel like fashion will at some point play a major part in my career - or something along those lines. I really have a legitimate interest in it so this was such a great gift. Here are some of my favourite spreads:

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton with artwork by Yayoi Kusama ^^^
Elle Fanning photographed by Bill Owens wearing Rodarte Spring/Summer 2012 for A Magazine Curated by Rodarte
Marni: Richard Prince, Gary Hume and Claude Caillol
Harmony Korine photographed by Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs, Spring/Summer
That's all for now!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lotta Love

These glasses make it so easy to look sassy. This was me on Friday before I went to pick up my invitations for my exhibition at Tcb, and then I went to an exhibition opening. I felt really awkward and actually not sassy at all on Friday night, like my attempts at chatting and small talk was really labored or something. You know when you feel like you are really uninteresting and lackluster and don't make funny jokes. I'm usually not too bad at small talk and at times I can quite enjoy it if the encounter doesn't drag on too long until you're not at all fascinated with the other person any more. I'm a big fan of the George Costanza method of 'leaving on a high note' like extracting yourself from the situation before you say something stupid or ruin the enigma or whatever. Leave before the awkward silence even has a chance to manifest. This is strictly with acquaintances and people I've just met of course - at like a gallery opening for example, I don't like run away if I'm out for lunch with a friend or whatever.  But with small talk, I always want to talk to someone more if they know when to stop talking, if that makes sense. I always feel so high after a good small talk encounter with a good joke and tinge of sarcasm and a polite departure. Brilliant.

Anyway off on a tangent now but back to me moping yeah I actually hadn't felt that: "Oh no I'm really boring and stupid and no-one wants to talk to me" feeling in ages, and it wasn't cool! I mean it's not like I was eating off a lunch tray on my lap while sitting in a toilet stall or anything, but my friends all seemed to have purposes at the gallery cause they like work there or were helping out and that was totally fine, but a few times I like turned around and was like "oh yeah, I'm on my own" you know. I actually do like art openings purely because if you are that person you can just pretend to be really fascinated with the art or read the room sheet or whatever, you can make yourself look really busy or mysterious. That's what I did and it really wasn't even bad, but I was just conscious of that feeling I guess because I hadn't felt it in ages! That just goes to show that I've been in a bit of a comfort zone for a while too. Also let's be honest over Christmas time I hardly socialized at all so it takes a little while to get back in the swing of things.

If anything these experiences are good for me because it's like sink or swim you know and it proves that I am not hiding in my bedroom drawing the nights away alone, and truly I'm not saying it was a bad evening, but it was just an "Oh yeah" moment when I remembered how I would feel like that really often back in the old days. I guess everyone has times when that awkward teen insecurity thing resurfaces and that's okay because you know it's only temporary and dependent on the people you are/are not around, the mood you're in, the place you're at etc. It's not a permanent personality trait for me so phew y'all!

Here is the scanned invitation for my upcoming show at Tcb with all the info. I've been working on paintings all weekend!

And here's a couple of other pictures of stuffs

Also, way above here is the 'Free to be you and me' thing I made, you know when you get like a really punchy phrase stuck in your head? I can't get this one out so had to make something with it. This might not be the last time I use it either!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Heart of Glass

New 2014 scrapbook begins.
In my studio on Tuesday
Flower power stickers
An illustration by me for Rookie, to accompany Tavi's interview with Lorde!
Another illustration for Rookie to accompany Amber's piece on Mariah Carey's 'Vision of Love'.
Started a new painting today, this is the first layer of spray. I've since worked on it more and am less enthused with it.
Okay so I said that New Year's resolutions are for suckers but I guess I'm a sucker because there are some changes that I do want to make that I have been thinking about over the past few days. I really want to be more social. It's so, so easy for me to stay home by myself all the time. I love it, I do work, blog, listen to music, think, think, write, buy crap online, whatever. In many ways my penchant for staying home and doing my own thing has contributed to many of the things that I now treasure in life, like my involvement in Rookie, having and maintaining my blog and the way my art practice has evolved. But, as usual, I want the best of both worlds - I want connections with people, friendships, jokes, relationships, invitations to do things, the occasional occasion to wear the clothes and shoes that I buy online, an excuse to do my hair and makeup. But I want it only when I want it. I'm selfish, what's new. I really am going to try and be better with socializing, more open, more like "HEY I'M UP FOR STUFF, LIKE Y'KNOW, WHATEVER!" Just because I'd rather stay home and work doesn't mean I necessarily should - doesn't mean it's necessarily in my best interest to do so. Obviously you have to recognize the things you want to do aren't always the things you should do. Obviously I have to find a balance, blah blah, shouldn't be too hard. So that's one thing I've been thinking about I guess.

This coming week I'll be back in the swing of things again. Back in the Art Guide office, hurriedly finishing off works for my upcoming exhibition at Tcb (opens the evening of January 22nd!), maybe going to an opening or two. Back to normal. Settling into a New Year is always a bit strange because it feels weird to sit at an office desk after not sitting at one for like a month and because everyone is like 'on hiatus' and 'out of office auto reply' over the Christmas and New Year period it's weird to see everyone all together again or whatever.

Anyway I'll get back into the swing of it all soon I'm sure sure sure. In the meantime did you know there is a show on TV called American Stuffers, about these taxidermy dudes who stuff people's dead pets so they can put them on display in their homes? Cool.