|Image taken by Carolyn West of me amongst my work at the Windsor hotel as a part of Spring 1883.|
This exact time last week I was putting the finishing touches on my installation 'Almost Forever' at The Windsor Hotel as a part of Spring 1883. That day, I'd risen at 5.30am and headed into the exhibition building loaded up with all my work, a bunch of plants, pots and a high visibility vest (so fashion) to install my work for the Melbourne Art Fair. I didn't quite believe I could do two major installs in one day, but I did. I was so proud of myself. However, I couldn't have done it without the help of my Dad, Daine, Jordi and Ben.
|Early morning Art Fair install on Tuesday with Jordi|
|A very tired me beginning install at the Windsor for Spring 1883|
|The Kenzo jumpsuit yahoo!|
Vernissage was lots of fun, I really had a great time and was beaming all night. I thought I would be incredibly stressed but even before any champagne I was far more relaxed than I thought I would be. I think because before the week begun I'd instilled the "pace yourself/stay calm" mantra in my mind and it actually worked. My Mum, Dad and Aunty came along and I was really glad to have them there - I think they all had a great time, too! I felt no pressure to spend time with any one person, I floated about with different people the entire night, many of my friends were there and if I was alone at any point I always had my stand to go back to with my buddies Laura and Ben working there. The Vernissage ended at 10pm and I went to the after party at The Carlton Club briefly with friends Laura, Amelia and Zoe. We were joking that maybe there'd be a tab on the bar and I was very definite that there would not be, we'd already had free Chandon all night at the Vernissage... but when we went to the bar our drinks were indeed free and it was a brilliant yet shocking realization! This was in stark contrast to the usual art events we all attended and it was quite the novelty.
|Mum and I at Vernissage in front of my work|
Loop Bar was so, so much fun. I thought I'd be collapsing from exhaustion, but when we got there Darren Sylvester was just starting his DJ set, and I danced from the minute I arrived to the minute I left. I had an absolute ball. So many people who make me happy were there on the dancefloor. It was all I wanted. Daine was buying Georgie and I light beers so we'd "last longer!" and I felt so grateful for the people in my life who are looking out for me. It felt so lovely.
I caught a cab home alone for the second night in a row and didn't even care about the cost or the time, I was just feeling so elated. I couldn't believe that I didn't feel tired.
|Friday morning with my LOVE badge ;)|
After that, another Melbourne Art Fair afternoon loomed - they also took my photo that day looking rather unenthused:
Saturday night I was invited to yet another party, but just could not bring myself to make an appearance. I'd already begun to lose my voice after talking literally non-stop for the week, and I felt my introvert self had really made a monumental effort so far and I caught the train home when the fair closed at 6pm. The last day was looming and I couldn't quite believe it - the last day looming also meant that deinstall was looming, which I was rather dreading!
Sunday also meant that my family was coming to visit, including my beautiful little twin cousins! I went and met them at the front ticket booth and they were so beyond excited, running from wall to wall and pointing at things and tearing ahead to get to my stand first. It was such a lovely feeling to have them there participating. My other Nanna also came with my Mum and Dad - here is a photo of her and I:
As the day came to an end and my family had gone, I was physically flagging. I went and hid in the bathroom for a few minutes and just closed my eyes and tried to relax and breathe. There I thought about how well I'd done over the duration of both fairs - I'd achieved the almost impossible - producing work for and exhibiting two major installations at exactly the same time. I told myself that all I had to get through now was deinstall - the easiest part. Before those few minutes in the bathroom I didn't think I could do deinstall that evening. After I had composed myself, patted myself on the back and said "GOOD JOB" and walked back out, I knew I could. After all, I'd gotten this far!
At 5pm, when the loudspeaker came over "The fair is now closed, I repeat, the fair is now closed" Laura, Ben and I began ripping down the wonderful work that the participants had made over the duration of the project.
Ben started carting the plants down stairs (I couldn't bear the thought of doing that again - neither could my aching arms and legs!) and we took down the fabric prints. It was once again an empty space and seemed like such a dream - it disappeared so quickly I begun to wonder if any of it even happened!
It was about 7pm when Ben and I headed to the Windsor to begin deinstall there. As I we wound our way for the last time through the grand Wes Anderson/The Shining-esque corridors of the fourth floor I realised I'd somehow lost the key to our room... I emptied the contents of my bag on the floor outside our door and I was sitting splay legged amongst it frantically searching though. It was gone. It must have fallen out somewhere.
Like many little hiccups over the past week - this was resolved by the serendipitous kindness of a friend who happened to be the front of house manager for Spring 1883 and was walking past just as I was about to give up. She had a spare key - gave me a hug and Ben and I opened the door to rip down my silver streamers as unceremoniously as possible.
At this point, I had the giggles. I was absolutely delirious with exhaustion and found most things about the whole situation absolutely hilarious. I had wanted to order room service at some point while I had the exhibition at the Windsor, and this was my last chance. I dialed 9 and ordered a bowl of wedges and a bowl of chips for Ben and I to share as we bubbled wrapped my many knick knacks and reflected over the ridiculousness of the hand pillow I'd made - which actually sold to someone. I know. I don't know what my life is either.
I am notoriously dodgy when it comes to packing my art for transportation, and this was no exception. I think I have horrified Daine on many occasions but this time, the bubble wrap I was using was absolutely ruined and had holes in it and didn't fit the paintings and I was in hysterics with Ben who was helping, being like "This one's ready to go to MoMa!" or "This one's being delivered to the NGV now!" with the mangled bubble wrapping barely covering the corners of the paintings. We had a beer and I was feeling very light and happy. I couldn't believe it was over. I couldn't believe I was packing the paintings up when I'd just been nervously unpacking them. Time was so distorted last week. It seemed equally like the longest time ever and the shortest time ever. I do know, however, that it was the best time ever.
|My sophisticated choice for room service|