Sunday, February 23, 2014

Come walk with me

On a toilet wall
I walk past this on my way to work
On the phone doodles
Suspicious Minds jumper from Opening Ceremony
In the studio not doing anything
Patterns at Savers
Cutting out pictures of food for a collage I'm making for Alice Oehr. We're doing a trade :) 
Found a vintage bomber jacket with these cool patches on it
This book had some great colouring in inside.
Above are pictures from the past few days. I mentioned that I am doing an art trade with Alice Oehr and I finished making the work today. This is it! Excited to give it to her tomorrow.

I've stayed up late the past two nights. On Friday night was my sister's 18th birthday party. It bought back all sorts of memories about parties I attended in my teens, it was also refreshing to know that they played pretty much the same kinds of music they did when I was attending 18th parties, so I'm not as totally out of touch as I thought I was. I hid away in front of my laptop as the night went on, and was mouthing the words to 50 cent and Outkast songs alone and snapchatting my friends stupid things. I was also thinking about how weird it is that my little sister is 18, like just another one of those where the hell did the time go moments really.

Saturday night I went to my friend's house with some other friends for dinner. We had plans to go to White Night later, which is like an annual festival in Melbourne, after I um'd and ah'd all week about whether I thought it was *cool* or not or whether I thought *cool people* were going and if I should go or not. Last minute I decided to because as you know I'm on my new *being more open/social* rampage so at least I fulfilled that criteria. Anyway so after dinner and a couple of beers we went into the city and I suddenly remembered why I left White Night so early last year. It was just impossible to go or do anything because of the amount of people. Walking was reduced to a shuffle at the best of times and it was pretty much hideous in my opinion. Last year for White Night, the band I'm in Pamela was performing at the NGV, and that was really good, and we performed early, so when it started to get really crowded I just went home. I had fun. This year was impossible! So I think we mulled around the city for like, an hour or so, and then decided to head home. Not an overly successful night, but successful in that dinner was lovely and I just made the wrong call on White Night. My friend Annabelle and I made a pact to definitely not go next year, like, no, a thousands times no!

Other things in between, I made a trip to Savers and bought some stuff, have been making a few drawings for illustration commissions and going to work. I'm not enjoying the weather, this time last year seemed as if summer would go on forever. Now it seems as though it's already over. I know we're going to get a few more warm days, but to be honest all I'm feeling is autumn and an impending winter. I didn't make the most of this summer, it wasn't the best summer for me, but the best thing about summer is that there will be another one, and often I prefer the anticipation of summer rather than the actuality of it. In an attempt for me to get more enthusiastic about cooler weather I'm trying to decide on like a *statement* coat to spend $$$ on, that I'll want to put on. I also want to get a woolen scarf, like one of those really long ones that you wrap round and round and round and your hair kind of tucks under it. I get really cold and every year I'm like THIS YEAR I'm going to be warm and have warm clothes. This year.

I feel like my posts have gotten super boring of late, because basically I just recap what I've been doing which is never usually anything remarkably exciting. I just haven't really felt like writing my usual rants about things such as the meaning of life etc which I guess for a period of time is fair enough, urges to do so will come back soon I'm sure. I'm living very simply at the moment, my life seems very under control. I go to work, I sleep, draw, paint, see friends, go home. Everything seems so much more tame this year, things seem more familiar. Last year I was always rushing around. This year I feel more grounded. I think that is a good thing, to an extent - I don't want to get too comfortable or in too much of a rut though. I want to experience new things but in controlled circumstances, if that makes sense. I don't want to be on a roller coaster with a fantastic view but be going to fast to look at the scenery. I want to be busy and doing/experiencing new things but have enough time to appreciate and reflect upon them/learn from them without getting bored before something different comes along. I want to connect more with people but still maintain my extended periods of time alone... balance is an extremely hard thing to stumble upon and my unfortunate frame of mind forever wanting both worlds makes it even harder! I'm not doing too bad at the moment though, so that's good.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

No remedy for memory

Tonight I am very tired and not actually compelled to write anything in particular here at all, which is unusual! I think last time I posted I had a million ideas swirling around and it's funny how you can go to the other extreme so quickly. I'm really excited to make paintings right now, and I do feel as though maybe like, if I'm craving painting I'm not craving writing or vice versa. I think the medium is specific to what I want to get out. Painting lends itself to more abstract feelings and ideas, whereas I find if I'm writing I'm trying to give solidity to and identify those abstract ideas.

I met up with a writer on Monday on the grass out the front of the State Library for an interview. Usually if people I don't know ask to interview me, I'll ask them to send questions over email and that way I avoid the whole talking thing that I can muck up so easily. Anyway for some reason I decided to bite the bullet and go "IRL" and it went so well. It was the second time I've really legitimately enjoyed giving an interview, where I've felt like both me and the person interviewing me got something out of it. And, that through talking I discover things further about myself and my practice. I was proud of myself.

I've been to a few openings in the past week, been in the office, in the studio, went out for hotdogs with Brodie, Georgia and some new friends. It was nice. No longer being in a relationship has been a really hard thing to come to terms with, and actually it is something I'm still coming to terms with. It's something I'm not entirely comfortable discussing here - it's something that needs time, space, privacy and retrospect. I guess what I'm saying is that it's been helpful for me to hang out with new people and expand myself socially over the past week. Keeping busy is never the definitive answer to one's problems, but personally I find that it does help, as long as it's not CRAZY busy, which is something I kept up last year, just like, busy enough but able to go home and watch TV in bed a couple of nights a week without having to think about work. Keeping busy in conjunction with writing down and acknowledging your feelings in a journal, letting yourself feel them and letting them exist, while at the same time not dwelling on them - that's the best combo.

Tomorrow night I'm going to the opening of an exhibition I'm in, which will be fun. I was asked to make a miniature version of a painting I made last year: 'See you on a dark night'. It was really hard actually, and I was a bit at odds with the idea of trying to replicate something I'd already made, but it turned out really well, and it's different in enough ways that I can see it as a new work and something that stands alone. I called it 'See you on a dark night in miniature' and here is a picture of it:

Anyway, it's going to be displayed along with a bunch of other miniature works in a heritage listed mailbox on Flinders Lane. The details are at the website here:
It'll be fun and I think it's a neat idea. Since working in miniature I kind of want to make more small works, they are so easy to transport in comparison to my usual 1.5m x 1.5m bigger than me paintings - miniature paintings I just chuck in my backpack. Very convenient. These are some more miniature works that I made:

Aaaand that's all for now.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Back to Reality

It's very hot, and I'm doing two activities at the moment, one is listening to Eminem and the other is watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) on TV. They're slightly conflicting but seem to make sense right now. When I went to start writing this post, the lyric from Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' came to mind "Snap back to reality, oh, there goes gravity" and then I started reminiscing about the times when my friends and I would rap the whole song at parties progressively getting louder and jokingly aggressive, and I missed it, but then I thought about missing a time or a place and how it doesn't necessarily mean you actually want to travel back in time and live it all over again. Originally the lyric came to mind because today my exhibition at Tcb ended, which seems like a pretty basic connection, but it's like - time to check out of the metaphorical Memory Motel and get on with your life, I think the exhibition was paying tribute to a time of longing and nostalgia and fantasy that wouldn't be healthy to dwell upon any longer. The end of this exhibition is the end of a "CHAPTER" in my life heeeyyy!

I had a good week last week, work was productive and fun, and I also had some time off to sit the gallery space, which, looking back on, I actually enjoyed. I like being there and having your friends come in to hang around and chat, I had some great visitors including Jeremy who I hadn't seen in three months as he'd been overseas, and other friends who I don't usually get to chat that much too. I was productive on the computer, watched the amazing documentary on art collectors Dorothy and Herb Vogel, (WATCH IT) and various shows on hoarders. On Wednesday night I went to my friend Cheralyn's exhibition opening at c3 contemporary art space which is at the Abbotsford convent, and on Friday night I popped into an opening at Rearview and then met up with my friends and fellow Rookie contributors Brodie and Ruby for dinner at Rice Queen! It was truly lovely.

At Rearview I arrived by myself and on time, which is particularly uncool of me, and I felt really self conscious, but I went in, and spoke to people and then used the old "I have to meet some friends for dinner" which, for once, was TRUE, and I was proud of myself. But yeah, I am always on time and by myself at cool openings. Not cool. But then again I don't think I've ever truly been cool or ever truly will be. I think cool people are calm and collected people, and I am rarely calm. I'm usually flustered and fast talking and lacking in tact and waving my arms around either enthusiastically or enraged, OR, the total opposite, at a total loss for what to say and grinning like an idiot. It's a wild ride you guys.

But, enough about me! (ha yeah right) today I stayed inside all day because it was way too hot and to be honest I wasn't exactly productive. I have internet stuff to do but ended up drawing strange little phrases and stuffing around with photoshop. I made this, which I actually really like:

This is me in a new dress I bought, it has the best collar:

Cheralyn's work at c3
Renee Cosgrave's work at Rearview
A sweet little book I bought at Savers
Another book at Savers
An illustration in a children's book I got from Savers!
BABY'S FIRST KENZO, I bought this bejeweled woolen skirt and I love it, but it's too hot to wear in summer! This skirt is the only reason I'd ever long for winter.
So yeah basically to 'SUM UP' I'm back to reality and (I think) back in the swing of things after the Christmas/New year weird period.

Memory Motel

Here is the like 'online' version of my exhibition Memory Motel. The last day was today, so if you missed it, you can check out all the works below! I also have an online catalogue with the works, that you can view here: For all enquiries about the works, contact :)

"Memory Motel is an exhibition of recent paintings by Minna Gilligan. With a nod to the last track Memory Motel on the Rolling Stones' 1976 album Black and Blue, Gilligan explores the nature of sigh inducing, fond, rose-tinted memories.

For Gilligan, the process of painting is a diaristic one, taking her own cloudy, dream-like and not quite there reminiscences and channeling them into equally cloudy paintings. The recent paintings of Memory Motel are smoky - with fuzzy, aerosol colours underneath odd, floating shapes and crude mark making. The result is psychedelic and almost nauseating.

The notion of longing and missing something, or someone, is what Gilligan is particularly trying to preserve in these works. The exhibition space is her own Memory Motel of magical, fleeting encounters that are rapidly fading from her mind - disappearing into their own forgotten, seldom sung melody."

Love Me Tender, 2014, acrylic and spray paint on canvas.

Cool Change, 2014, acrylic, spray paint and collage on canvas.

Being With You, 2014, acrylic and spray paint on canvas.

Lotta Love, 2014, acrylic and spray paint on canvas.

A lot of friends/blog readers/instagram followers/general well wishers came to see the show while it was up, and that really meant a lot to me! I was sitting for a few days and got to meet and chat to some of you, which was brilliant. Thank you so much for your support.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A change is gonna come

Argh I'm sorry. I was going to do my Memory Motel post but then I decided to wait until the exhibition is over, or at least almost over, just incase people haven't seen it yet and they're going to go, I'd rather them not see it first on the internet you know. So, stay tuned for that.

Right now I'm relaxing listening to Bobbie Gentry on Saturday night. I had a pretty busy week, and, praise the lord I am actually feeling a bit better re. the niggling illness that's been hanging around for months and that I always complain about here. Doing stuff is so much easier now, and, I'm actually enjoying doing stuff again. It's awesome. I hope I can still make the most of what's left of summer, before it slips away again. I need to have a picnic, that's one thing I need to make happen as soon as possible.

I have had so many moments this week where I've been like geez I need to write a blog post about that, and written a phrase down in the crazy notes section on my phone. Here are the things I wrote down:

* The right decision isn't always the one that doesn't suck
* On being "intimidating"
* On going home alone on a Friday night
* Autumn leaf falling slowly and a street musician playing 'A Change is Gonna Come' by Sam Cooke while going home alone on a Friday night
* The alter ego
* This girl told me that in high school she liked this guy so much that she'd call him up and he'd be watching TV, and he would tell her she could only speak to him during the commercials and while the show was on she'd just hang there on the phone in silence until he said it was okay to talk.
* Those people you just find endlessly fascinating no matter what they're talking about, what's the word like being captivating.

I think I'll try and put a couple of these things in context amongst relaying what I've done the past few days. I was alternating between being in the office and sitting my show at Tcb this week, and I felt really lousy about having to blow off work to do it, actually. Sitting the show has been totally fine though, and actually has allowed me to get some application writing done and get ahead on a few deadlines and stuff. I have been really spoilt in that I haven't had to sit a lot of the exhibitions I've had, and to be honest I kind of forgot that I had to do it, and like, sitting there and watching people look at my work kind of makes me a bit squirmy but it's all part of it and I have to suck it up!

Thursday night I was very excited because I was doing something social. I know. Georgie and my other friend Georgia met up for drinks after work. It was so adult. Then we went to an opening at Westspace. I had a great night. The best part was talking earlier with Georgie and Georgia, about boys and relationships and people we know and what kind of people the people we know are, you know. It was just so easy, and fun, and those girls are so quick-witted and smart and when I'm around them I feel the same. It was a real confidence boost. Then when we went to Westspace I talked to more people there. I know. I went home alone which I do quite often these days, and I really felt as though I had a good night which was the first time in forever.

Friday was a combination of work and sitting the gallery. That was a good day too because I had two great visitors, and got a lot of work done in the meantime. Because I was "so social" the night before, I was gearing myself up to go to another opening, this time by myself, but I didn't end up going. As usual, the old "I have work to do at home" which this time I legitimately did, got in the way. I had two big deadlines for illustrations fall on the 31st of Jan, so had to get everything finished off, scanned, sealed and delivered. This happened at 11.30pm and I literally fell immediately asleep.

On my way home to finish off the illustration stuff, I was getting all sentimental and symbolic as I tend to do like all the time, and I decided to walk to the station rather than get the tram and it was hot and close but I was in my own little world and kind of floated there between all the couples who won't stop holding hands to get out of your way and around the people who look at their phones while they walk. As I was walking my eye caught sight of an early autumn leaf falling slowly slowly, from very high up, and a street musician played the first line of A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke, and he played it well because usually street musicians make me feel kind of anxious or something, but this dude was good, and I caught my reflection in that dirty mirror that's next to Subway and Seven Eleven on Swanston Street as you cross the road, and yeah it was like a movie or whatever but it was real so it was better, and I felt really aware of myself. I was going home alone on a Friday night, not to a party or a dinner or a date or a movie or anything, not a thing except to my pieces of paper with rainbows on them and my scanner and my internet world. I looked at other people and dreamily wondered about their plans for the evening and wondered why I am so fixated with this idea that I'm not social enough and I realized that it's rooted in this idea that I'm somehow missing out, missing out on things I don't even know I could have had, exchanges or relationships with people I'd never meet and places I'd never go. The thing is, and it's bleedingly obvious, but the more you fixate on the things you may miss out on, the more things you miss out on. I need to like, remember that one.

I'm beginning to think it's not necessarily about being more 'social' but I think it's about being a more OPEN person. Up until now I've had very specific opening hours, only letting people, experiences and exchanges in when I want to. GUYS, A CHANGE IS GONNA COME. Ha ha ha.

After that rant, I'm going to buy some Elvis necklaces on Ebay. I can't believe the idea had never occurred to me until now!

Just what you need another picture of me looking pensive
A little snippet of an illustration I'm working on for It's Nice That!
'I'm coming for yr job' is the new Rookie mag Staff motto. Hattie designed us all tote bags, t-shirts and stickers!
Tavi in Dazed! Petra is also in the same issue :)
Drawing drawing drawing all day every day