Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday after I did it

On the Sunday after my opening I literally did not do a single thing. I stayed in bed until very late, spent some time watching TV, went on my laptop, and somehow in the midst of all that, got the idea in my head that I wanted to go to the Melbourne Show. For those who don't live in Melbourne, the Melbourne show is like a yearly carnival sort of thing that's been going forever (I actually just looked it up, it started in 1846!) and there's farmyard animals, equestrian events, dog shows, food stands, cake decorating competitions, craft competitions, rides, showbags etc etc.

The last time I went would have been when I was 16 or something, and I went with my friends from high school. I have very vivid memories of going with my Mum, Aunty and Nanna when I was a child, too, it was kind of like the universal annual pilgrimage of every family with young kids in Melbourne. I was never someone who went on the rides (what with truly heinous motion sickness and general anxiety...) but while I found the noise and crowds a bit overwhelming, I always remember being excited and happy.

Anyway so I wanted to go I guess because I was in the mood to do something a bit nostalgic and relaxing and daggy to sort of get out of the mindset of stress and deadlines. Plus, I thought it would be fun! Somehow I managed to convince my Mum to come with me, and I also convinced her to let me take her there on public transport. It was 24 degrees, sunny with not a cloud in the sky and it was so perfect.



I made a new friend
Those were all just phone pictures so the quality is a bit questionable, but the cute little baby animals and oddly sculpted cakes shine through! Doing a really basic, nostalgic, escapist and ultimately unproductive (work wise) activity was exactly what I needed, oddly, to snap me back into reality. Almost.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Long time no see

When I got home on Saturday night after my opening, the elated phrase "I DID IT" was circling round and round in my head. "I DID IT" I exclaimed in disbelief. I DID IT. Before I did it, for the first time in my life, I was having serious doubts about being able to complete something to the best of my ability. After participating in the two art fairs, I was destroyed. After they were over, I had so little time, so little energy and so little lust to produce a new body of work. I managed somehow to reach over those feelings to a reservoir of energy and passion that had always been there but I'd never had reason to access before. I got on with it.

The result is my exhibition at Daine Singer 'Long time no see' - showing new paintings, fabric prints, and a little collage that I snuck in there. I wouldn't say this flippantly - but I am really pleased with it. For the first time I feel as though I have made a cohesive body of work - individual pieces that work together and bounce off each other but also stand on their own. Making this exhibition in a matter of weeks was a fantastic learning experience. I pushed myself to the limit and survived. It's like that thing when you are exercising or whatever and you push on from that point where you think it impossible to go any further. That's when you break records, set personal bests - or even make your best work.

My favourite piece in the exhibition (I think!) is this painting 'Sweetheart, stay well'. It doesn't actually photograph that well, it's less washed out in real life and more vibrant - but you get the idea.

There's also this work 'Worried Sick' which has been painted on found fabric.

And this collage titled 'Long time no see':

Anyway, the exhibition is on until 11 October so you can see the whole thing at Daine Singer. After the exhibition is over, I'll post the works here for those not within geographical convenience.

The opening on Saturday afternoon was fun and pretty low maintenance. Family, friends and well wishers were there, and it seemed I knew most people - unlike the overwhelming nature of the art fairs where I was meeting someone new every few minutes. I think this is why I felt relatively calm. I changed my outfit plans so many times for this exhibition opening. It's rare that I change what I've planned to wear at all. I settled on an all black ensemble (except for red shoes) which was really odd for me. It just felt right, I felt like receding a bit and letting the work stand and do some of my talking, letting them have the full presence, cause I was exhausted.

Here are some photos! (Can't be bothered captioning them all - most are with my family though haha)

There are some more pictures here taken by the Melbourne Arts Club, and The Thousands also took some photos but they aren't up yet.

I met some fantastic girls who were kind enough to come to the opening - two of which gave me GIFTS. It was one of those moments where it was like "If I never do anything ever worthwhile again it doesn't matter because this has happened - I've made some sort of impact upon these people which is the absolute ultimate privilege". They wrote me the sweetest notes and gave me love heart candy and glitter and pictures and a badge and it was so awesome. My heart literally melted into a thousand rainbows of happiness.

All in all, it was a complete success. I feel relieved, I feel a bit like a weight has been lifted off my chest making it easier to breathe... I am proud of myself. I am so ready to tackle whatever comes my way next. This post was also going to encompass my trip to the MELBOURNE SHOW yesterday (Yes I am 23 years old...) however I think it will be better as a separate post. Thanks for being so supportive and tolerant of my constant plugging of exhibitions over the past couple of months. I appreciate it immensely. I wrote an elated oxygen deprived Instagram post when I got home on Saturday night, and I simply said "I have the best family and friends a gal could ask for" and I should have added the overused yet apt line "I couldn't have done it without them".

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Do I really need / another habit like you

I'm not quite sure where I'm at at the moment. I'm neither here nor there. Today I installed my exhibition 'Long time no see' at Daine Singer. We're probably about 75% finished, I'm still waiting on some things coming back from the printers and will need to hang them. When I was walking around the gallery today looking at all my paintings on the wall - it felt strange as it seemed like just yesterday I was sitting at Daine's desk thinking about how I didn't know if I could pull this show together. But I did! It practically was just yesterday, too, I think it was about the 21st of August, just after art fair, when I considered the fact that I might not actually have enough time to do it. Now that I HAVE done it, I'm a bit shell shocked. And, feeling a little aimless as for the first time in like four months I don't have any paintings lined up to complete. They're all out of my room and I'm remembering how big my surroundings are when I don't have large canvases looming over my desk and bed.

This is the blurb that I wrote for the exhibition:

I seem to be growing more concerned with my perception of time. While it can be dull, thumping, and slow moving, equally I lament as it rapidly slips away. I collect objects, archive memories and document exchanges in vain attempts to paralyze and embrace the present whilst simultaneously wishing for future utopian paradises. It’s contradictory, wanting that which is always just out of reach and longing back to something I'm not even sure existed. The present is something I decorate with remnants of the past in an attempt to freeze frame vignettes of elation and lightness of being, while it is also something I curse and dismiss onward further into the unknown. I don't know how long a long time is.

* * *

I'm excited for my exhibition opening on Saturday (still deciding on what to wear!), but I've got a big week leading up to it. Progress with my book is heating up, and I'm desperately brainstorming trying to decide on a title. Titles are so important to me, I probably spend longer coming up with the titles for my paintings than I do painting them. I like abstract and elusive titles, and these are perfect for paintings and art works - however, for a book, I have to come to a sort of compromise in that the titles sort of signposts what the book is about but still has that kind of magically monumental presence that I look for in a name. What's in a name? Everything.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Do you know where you're going to

At the Camberwell market on Sunday with my new old suitcase!
The stripy '70s sweater dress I bought at Savers on Saturday
So squinty!
Cardigan and a Yogi Bear book from Savers on Saturday

Detail of a new painting that will be in my upcoming show at Daine Singer! (opens 20th Sept)
Before catching the train on Saturday night
Lots of pictures of myself over the past few days! I have had a very social weekend, and yesterday I had the happiest day I've had in a long time. I was so glad for it!

On Friday night, I went to my friend Georgia's city apartment that she has recently bought! She only moved in a week prior, and it was so amazingly decked out and exciting that it's spurring me on even more to save my pennies for my own place. To know that a friend of mine who's only a little bit older than me can do it, makes me feel like I can do it. Eee! So my friend Georgie and I hung out with Georgia in her snazzy apartment for a girl's night on Friday night. It was so so nice, and we got pizza from a little place just downstairs and it was delicious and drank wine and came to many conclusions about pretty much every circumstance in each of our lives. (Mostly mine...) I tend to dominate girl-time with my own emotional woes and do occasionally feel like a mild burden despite my friend's reassuring me it's not so. It really helped, though, and on Saturday I woke feeling a little lighter.

During the day on Saturday I worked on my paintings and did some emails blah blah. Then I went to Savers in the afternoon and bought a few books and some cute knitwear (despite the approaching warmer weather) My favourite purchase was the green stripy '70s sweater dress I'm wearing above.

Saturday night I met my friend Cheralyn for dinner (I had pizza again, whoops) and that was really really nice. She'd just returned from a trip to the states where she visited all my dream locations - Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea and Slab City. It was really exciting to hear about them all first hand. Then, we went to meet some more friends for drinks to farewell our buddy who's going overseas. That was fun, all the 'usuals' were there and I had a good time.

On Sunday, the weather was glorious. I had a bit of a sleep-in (for once) but woke up with enough time to get to the Camberwell market reasonably early with my Mum and sister. I love the Camberwell market. I know it's pretty trendy now but I reckon it still has good stuff if you're willing to pay for it. If you 'apply yourself' (haha) you can still find a bargain too. Anyway I wore my new stripy dress and my gingham sunglasses and had bare legs and no socks with my clogs. It was so brilliant. Mum and Dad used to sell potted herbs at the Camberwell market in the '70s and there's this woman who used to be at the market every week with them back then, and she STILL goes now, every week and has a stall and she's about 90 or something. I'm really getting good at bargaining from watching that daggy show 'American Pickers' on TV about those guys who go around in a van picking their nose. I got the suitcase I'm holding in the first picture for $45, which I didn't think was TOO bad given that is has all the original stickers and even a flight tag from the '60s on it plus it's so Wes Anderson I couldn't not.

When I got home I opened up the suitcase and realised that the seller had left a bunch of stuff in there, including these really hilariously creepy balding toys from the '60s some of which have no eyes and detached legs etc. I literally couldn't stop laughing...

Here are some close ups of the amazing stickers on the case!

Sunday night, I went to my Nanna's place with my family to celebrate Father's day. It was really lovely, we had fish and chips and just ate it on our laps on the couch talking and laughing with my little cousins. The perfect end to a really nice and socially active weekend. I got back down to work today, sort of, and I'm feeling like my exhibition is under control. Here's the Facebook event page with all the details about the exhibition opening and the duration/opening times etc :) It's very weird, but, I think I may actually be looking forward to it!