Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm about seventeen I guess

Totally and completely obsessed with this Jonathan Richman song right now:



It's just so simple and sweet in its sentimentality. Brilliant. The whole album is to die for really, but 'Just About Seventeen' is my favourite, then 'It's You'. Sigh!

Yesterday was a fun day, the beautiful sun was shining but not too warmly and just warm enough. I had lunch in the city and rehearsal with Pamela in the afternoon at Georgie's place, before a gig that evening at a place called Discobeans in Preston. It was really fun and if I do say so myself, I think we did a really good set. I always harp on about this, but I really ENJOY singing. It's so fun, especially with my friends Georgie and Jon to have a laugh with while we do it. The key is not taking yourself too seriously. I want to write another song for our band, I need to dedicate some time to doing so! I started writing one about Easey Street but never finished it. Maybe I'll pick that up again.

The beginning of the weekend, Friday and Saturday were rather uneventful. Dirty Dancing was on TV on Saturday night and that was absolutely brilliant. It brought back hilarious memories of being sweet 16 going on 17 and doing my debutante ball thing with my boyfriend at the time. We had to learn the most daggy of all dances to perform, and one of the dances was to the song '(I've Had) The Time Of My Life'. We did some dumbed down version of the Cha Cha and whenever I listen to 'Time Of My Life' now, it literally transports me back to those dancing lessons where I'd start laughing uncontrollably over something silly and make faces at my friend dancing with her partner across the room. When 'Time Of My Life' plays through and it gets to the part where it goes "JUST REMEMBER...", in my head I automatically repeat the dance steps that were drilled into us - "right left, cha cha cha - right left cha cha cha". I truly think I will harbour that affliction for my entire life like when I'm listening to a super super oldies radio station when I'm 75 I'll still be going "right left, cha cha cha" in my head, it's one of those things that's going to stick.

Anyway as exciting as that all is I'm going to move on. Had a relatively productive day today emailing and writing notes and perhaps watching a little TV. I also popped in to Savers for a change. I've been finding some amazing books there lately, really pleased with the latest additions to my collection.

Here are some pictures yo

Pretending to be productive by placing things in aesthetically pleasing piles

Bionic Woman was overpriced at Savers so I didn't buy it - pages were falling out etc. It was sort of to die for though so took a sneaky pic of the cover.

Some stuff I was working on today

I bought the most amazing pair of pants from the Acne pop up outlet store thing on Gertrude Street. It is way too convenient for me so I POP in all the time...

Mushroom oven grabber thing

Groovy florals on a skirt

Got these four amazing books on Saturday.

I love my new Witu circle tote made out of wetsuit material. I've never had a statement bag until now so I'm very lucky!

Scrapbookin' on the weekend
This was a photo of some of my collage works laying out for the studio visit I mentioned last week with a curator and my gallerist. It went really well, yay!
Also funny story as a last minute anecdote, speaking of singing I guess... I had a lucid dream last night, (I've been having them more often, it's amazing) and I was in a park and sort of floating around looking at all the beautiful things and I decided I wanted to like do a performance so I got up with a microphone in front of friends of mine who happened to be there and consciously decided to sing 'You're So Vain', I woke up and found that very funny. Son of a gun. I do know every single word off by heart forever and also the secret of its meaning, but shhh.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Let me down easy

I have been crazy busy lately, crazy busy with activities and work, and crazy busy in my head. I wake up at, on average, 5am every morning, buzzing. I don't feel rested or that any time has passed since my head lay on my pillow the night before. My Dad is very insistent that I start doing 1/2 an hour of meditation a day, and he is right. I do need to start committing to that. I speak and think at a million miles an hour. In the meantime I employ a strategy I've only recently come to identify. I imagine a vessel in my mind, usually a bowl of some description. Then I imagine all the things I'm thinking about, and put them in the bowl. I then imagine the bowl flying at a speed out of my head. It actually kind of works in clearing your mind. I put people in there, anxieties, commitments, deadlines, anything that's keeping that mind buzz going.

The mind buzz I have been burdened with lately isn't a particularly bad mind buzz. It's an exciting one, albeit disruptive. Really different and crazy opportunities are presenting themselves to me, seemingly all at once, and I suppose I am trying to come to terms with where I'm sitting amongst them all. My Mum said to me this morning "make hay when the sun shines" and I know that's what I have to do, not literally of course. It's funny how just a few weeks ago when all was rather quiet on the western front, I was writing about how this year would be calmer than the previous, more under control, but... that's the nature of the beast, and, with beasts, whether they be the weather or other things out of your control, it's better to work with them rather than against them. I knew that work would come in ebbs and flows but I didn't know those ebbs and flows came and went so quickly, I guess.

On Monday I had what has the potential to be seen in the future as one of the defining meetings of my life. (Yeah, I go to meetings now. Defining ones) I walked into a big, commercial office complex in Richmond, lost and looking uncharacteristically young and naive. I felt it too, it was one of the few times when my usually not too bad self confidence was actually a little shaken, and I remember specifically thinking as I approached a receptionist with her headset on "I'm really out of my depth here". She looked at me like I was too, like maybe I was lost or making up my appointment.

I am a believer that things do happen at the right time and for the right reasons. I keep telling myself - if it doesn't work out this time, there will be other opportunities. It's so hard not to get my heart set on this mysterious project that I discussed at this secret meeting, because it's a wildest dream kind of project and my heart was already set on my wildest dreams from the moment I was born, anyway. I hate dancing around stuff on here, but sometimes there are things that in stages of conception you have to keep quiet, incase they don't work out, so you save some face, or, whatever the equivalent is on the internet - internet face? Anyway I discussed the meeting after with my Dad because his office was conveniently just down the road and I deleriously said: "this is the biggest thing to ever happen to me" and he laughed. So did I.

More career milestones, I went to my first "conference" on Tuesday for my job at Art Guide. After struggling to find the room that every other person seemed to know the number of, I was late and had to sit right up the front. I got the same look that I did from the receptionist the day before like I was in the wrong place, I had my backpack and messy hair and heels thicker than and lower than an inch. No-one was particularly friendly towards me, at all, and they were all at least 10 years older than me. I slunk down in my chair and started doodling on our supplied notepads like in High School and it really truly was one of those weird mentally traveling back in time moments.

I ate the supplied 'coorporate' lunch by myself behind a fake fern. It was really interesting to participate in something like that because I've never done it before, but it wasn't the best day of my life or anything. The whole building felt super empty, like no human emotion or circumstance had ever been soaked up into its walls. It was eerie in that respect.

Tomorrow I have the day off work because I'm meeting a curator at my studio with my gallerist Daine Singer. I don't think I'm nervous? I do know that I have to get there at least 3 hours early to clean everything and make it look presentable, especially focusing on the old sushi I've left on my desk for two weeks that seems to have formed its own ecosystem with fruit flies and moisture and mould. I have a bit on on the weekend too but when I get really busy all I want to do is crawl up by myself and think about life and write blog posts like this one. It's hard for me to give time to other people when I can't even give time to myself. I dunno, that's something I think i'll always struggle with. Introvert lyf.

Here's a pic of me on my "big day" on Monday:




Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dreams come true

I had a really good week last week, much better than the week before. It was made better by a whole bunch of positive feedback on the Design Files article, and subsequently being really busy with deadlines, work and other stuff. I had a bad week the week before last because I find that sadness preys on an idle mind. I definitely don't advocate for those who say stuff like "just keep busy" as a means of curing depression and stuff like that because that's totally ridiculous (you don't say that to someone with a broken leg you know) but, personally, I do find that those kinds of demons tend to show their faces at times when I am not run off my feet. I like being busy because it does make for a good distraction from less constructive thoughts and feelings.

I say that I was busy last week but then again I'm not entirely sure what exactly I was doing... mostly running around from pillar to post achieving god knows what and eating toasted cheese and vegemite sandwiches. I do know that yesterday, I gave a workshop at Art Play called 'Dreams Come True' with a group of 9 to 13 year old girls. It was super fun and fulfilling and like, made me feel really happy about the state of the world knowing that those girls were going to grow up in it and contribute interesting things. They're all young bloggers, part of a program at Art Play where they set up their own blogs and get together each month to talk about them. It's fantastic! So, naturally, we chatted about blogging, art and inspiration/where it comes from. We also all made collages of our wildest dreams and ambitions which was really fun.

Here is a photo of some of us after the workshop had ended:


So fun! When I got home though, I was absolutely exhausted. I went straight to bed. Today I'm supposed to be doing some preparation for a meeting I have tomorrow, but I haven't quite gotten around to it what with a trip to Savers and a visit to my Nanna's house. Here are some photos from the past few days:

Drawing in my studio on Tuesday
Found this while walking to the station from work on Thursday
Went to a designer vintage sale on Friday afternoon, it was AMAZING. Here's a rainbow of bell bottoms.
A sticker I found amongst my junk
Really cool clothing label today at Savers.
That's all for now, I think. I'm in for another busy week this week by the looks of it. That's fine by me for the time being, actually! :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm a new kid on the blog!

Okay so I pretttty much did nothing today. I was excited though because I knew that today a post about me and my work was going live on The Design Files blog! I woke up early to read it, yay :) It's been shared to death by me already throughout the day, but hey - here it is again incase you somehow missed it: http://thedesignfiles.net/2014/03/new-kids-on-the-blog-minna-gilligan/ The article is written by none other than Lisa Marie Corso, who has been nothing but positive and enthusiastic about my work and career. She's brilliant.

A thank you also to everyone on social media and in real life who has been excited and enthusiastic and congratulatory. It really, really means a lot to me! Below are a couple of pictures from the shoot in my studio, by Eve Wilson. It was funny because my studio is so small and I share with two friends of mine, so Eve did a lot of climbing and negotiating of space and still managed to take these great shots, wahoo!



So yeah, apart from freak out (in a good way) about being on The Design Files, I really didn't do a lot. My Mum and I took our dog Soda to the vet to have some stitches out and then we went to the local shopping centre for some wandering which I always enjoy because it's kind of boring and nothing, and usually there's nothing I want to buy at a shopping centre so I don't spend any money. I actually bought a toy for Soda and that's it. I literally keep telling you I'm not cool! I replied to some emails that were long overdue, watched a couple of episodes of The Simpsons, freaked out (again, in a good way) when the postman arrived with the Miu Miu leather jacket that I won in an auction on Ebay and I was dying to get. Here is a photo of it:


and this is the back:


I keep looking at it hanging up on the hanger and I like die thinking that I own it. The only thing is like I don't do anything that would really warrant wearing this jacket but I suppose I don't mind being overdressed sometimes...

Tonight I hung out with my friends from high school, Bree and Therese. They are so funny and I love hearing about their lives when we catch up. I ask them so many questions that they can't even finish their meals because they're talking so much. We have a tradition where we always go to the same burger place and eat burgers and then we eat Kinder Surprises. It's someone's job each time to bring a pack of three Kinder Surprises, one for each of us. It's so fun and sounds silly and it is but I love it.

This post is in stark contrast to the previous one - and I am feeling a lot more positive today, but still have that little pang inside. I know I can defeat that pang if I focus on work and the beautiful friends I have and face the things I don't necessarily want to do but know I have to do because it will be easier in the long run if I do. So specific.. ha. Tomorrow I plan on spending some time in the studio finishing a piece for Rookie. I am looking forward to that. Little things I'm tellin' ya. Thanks for reading, new readers and old. X Minna

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Run to Paradise

Oh no lol. I've been really sad lately for some reason. I have cried three times this week, once for a reason, two times for no reason. I've come up with a thing that is like supposed to make me feel better, where I say whatever the sad thing is in my life and I say after it "The musical" e.g "I'm Lonely: The Musical" so it's kind of funny, or, "Why hasn't he friend requested me yet: The Musical" What a laugh.

Whenever I say like oh I'm sad I always have to stipulate "BUT I'M OKAY GUYS" because I feel bad for being sad because I hate being worried about and hate being "A BURDEN" you know. I never write about being sad on here because I know my family and friends read it and I don't want them to worry about me but now I've decided it's okay to be sad sometimes and I write about everything else on here so why not that really. I am okay, and yeah I'll be okay or whatever but it totally sucks right now. I'd say I've felt sad for the past like 4 or 5 days? Not even like for whole days or anything, usually for a little bit at one point in a day or something. No one encounter or event brings it on, it just creeps up slowly, and sometimes I'll be listening to Jonathan Richman and feeling really good and then I'll be feeling sad again and I don't know why.

Today on the street I was approached and asked out by two different people. A younger me would have been mildly flattered and maybe a little curious, but the current me couldn't get out of there fast enough. "I'm not really dating at the moment" was the best excuse I could come up with for one dude, the other I used the line "I'm too old for you" and I don't even know if I was, but emotionally I felt like I was and that was good enough. That's the second time in my life that I've used that line, and it's a real line, I used to think it was only in the movies.

The concept of actually like, flagging someone down on the street to ask them out is fascinating. I've been asked out on trains before. I get that a little more because you're sitting for long periods of time in the same space. The street flagger though, I dunno, it's like they act as though I should be flattered, that because of their grandiose statement of introducing themselves to me I should automatically be interested and practically throw my phone number at them. Some people might feel differently, but I find it a really invasive action, putting someone under pressure to talk to someone they don't know literally from a bar of soap and give an immediate yes or no answer about if you're interested.

The thing is, there have been plenty of guys I've seen on the street who I'd love to ask me out, but, it's like, the second they broach that barrier I wouldn't be interested. Does that make sense? I just couldn't spend the rest of my life with a street flagger guy who like, ran in front of me as I was walking and said I look "interesting" or "quirky" or complimented me on my appearance or something. I'd be far more interested in a guy who I walked past and had eye contact with for like one second and never saw again in my life than someone who chases me down on the street for my phone number. That says a lot about my personality.

So, the feeling sad in combination with two guys separate unrelated guys in the space of like an hour, approaching me, wanting to know about my life in a brief little introductory chat while people brush past me, I wasn't really willing to engage with. Plus I really did have a friend to meet and no I don't want company. Their interest in me is based purely on my aesthetic and romantic distance staring spacey looking public self which the image of is quashed as soon as I open my mouth. Little can they tell I'm brutal but at the moment I don't particularly care.

In the past two days I've been to 5 separate exhibition openings. That's a fair amount really. Last night I did it alone, an early appearance at a clothing launch at Kinki Gerlinki, then to the NEW opening at ACCA, then to Paradise Hills, a gallery in Richmond, as my friend Annabelle was in the exhibition there. I walked into 3 separate places alone. I'm getting used to it, but it's not my favourite thing to do.

Today I met up with my friend Georgia and I was really happy to hang out with her. We went to two openings, one was John Nixon's beautiful foray into jewelry making at Gallery Funaki in the city, and the other was Kate Smith and John Meade at Sutton on Brunswick Street. Then we had hot chips and talked about life and love and how we're convinced that we know like, 2 genuinely nice guys each, but we're not cynical don't worry.

I've been really good at being social lately (my like new years resolution goal thing), and I'm proud of myself for that. I haven't withdrawn, which is what I tend to do if I go into lil sad phases or whatever. Ultimately though, being social is healthy for me, but it's not going to solve all problems. Other people can provide good distractions but they can't make everything better you know. I remember talking with Tavi once about relationships and how you don't want to be in a relationship where the other person is a bandaid, like, being with them makes you okay, but when you're not with them, you're not okay. I've never been in a bandaid relationship but I think that in times when I'm vulnerable, the idea is attractive, and can see how other people become part in one.

I'm home now, it's 10.14pm on Saturday night, I'm about to eat a bowl of cereal. Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac just came on the radio. I feel a little bit better after writing all this. I am so happy to have made this space for myself to speak to whoever wants to listen, I don't even care if it's no one.

When I was at the opening at Paradise Hills last night, I met a girl who I've never met in real life, but was Myspace friends with when I was 16. Since then we've always remained online friends, followed each other to Facebook, Instagram, various different blogs we've kept... meeting her in real life last night was amazing because I was like wow, you know, we're living the life we'd pretend we had on Myspace while we were in high school, it actually came true. She's working as a freelance designer and I'm an artist. It's what we always wanted when we'd upload pictures of our lousy high school art and comment on each others profiles about Andy Warhol or dreams of living in New York or whatever. We're wearing the clothes we'd covet. I caught the tram back from the opening with her and it felt strangely familiar.


Drumstick crucifix by Nell at Gertrude Contemporary.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Am I ever gonna see your face again

I actually have stuff to write about now cause I did stuff over the past two days, go me. One of those things included eating a Cookies and Cream Kit Kat. More on that later. On Monday night I went to see John Waters at Hamer Hall with my friend Brodie, who gave me a *free* ticket, yahoo! As we were walking in I saw this old dude and I just couldn't figure out where I knew him from, then I realized it was Geoffrey Rush! Celeb sighting number one. Brodie thought I was just patting her on the back with congratulations but it was actually me trying to tell her Geoffrey Rush was next to us. Anyway then we collected our tickets from the box office and there was a massive cockroach on the bench, and I tapped Brodie on the shoulder again like I did with Geoffrey Rush and pointed out the cockroach. Upon reflection the cochroach may have been planted by John Waters in keeping with the title of his show 'This Filthy World'. Who knows.

After a kind waiter told us we'd have enough time to have another drink before going in, we didn't, so we had to gulp down a beer and a wine rather quickly before heading in which made me extra giggly when John Waters came out in an amazing Comme des Garçons plaid suit and red shoes. The show was really good, people like him are just seasoned professionals you know. They come out and literally don't miss a beat. It was very funny, moved quickly and left me cringing more then a couple of times, but that was totally okay. I had grand plans of stalking him after the show but by the time it was over I didn't fancy hanging around dingy back doors waiting for him like a creep so left it as it was. The whole night was really fun and I was glad I got to hang out with Brodie.

Last night, the band that I am in - Pamela - was playing at Hell's Kitchen in the city. The vibes were so great. I always enjoy hanging out with Georgie and Jon, having a drink and playing 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again' as our last song. That in itself is SUCH a great line, and I love belting it out. It's a brilliant song and if I do say so myself, we do a pretty good cover. I'm getting more confident and improving as a *singer* you know, and I find it really fun. So that was good. Georgie and I left together and we chatted like old times which was nice. My journey home was crazy on public transport because they were running buses instead of trains. When you live as far away as I do, this is a serious liability. After sort of verbally abusing a Metro employee a girl approached me and introduced herself, saying she like *recognised* me, and I felt terrible, because whenever I get *recognised* it seems to be in compromising/stressful situations like after giving someone a piece of my mind or running enormously late or tripping over or sweating or.. you get the idea. And I feel like I come across as either a) a total flustered freak or b) a total mean crazy person. I love that people are friendly enough to approach me as readers of my blog or whatever, but I hate when I feel like I come across as they would think I would from what they see online. So yeah, if I've ever met you and you're reading this, sorry if I seem totally insane. I am. I should really make that more public on my blog. Also FYI when I say like that I get *recognised* it sounds like I think I am famous or something which is not the case, it's only because I put myself forward so much as the face of my work, online and everywhere really. I recognise bloggers and stuff all the time but never have the guts to say anything or introduce myself, so I admire people who do and do love it when you do. I just want to live up to your expectations of someone who's capable and normal and smart, ha!

ANYWHO. Today I had werk and it was nice and normal. I was glad to come home and chill out and write this blog post. I mostly find writing really cathartic and satisfying. Tomorrow I get to go to Arts Project Australia for work and I get to pick out some artwork to hang in our office space! So exciting. I really enjoy little activities like that in my job. Yahoo. Here's a bunch of poor quality images for y'all

Pamela grooving YAY!
Blurry kick and jump yey!
Brodie took this of me before we went in to John Waters! This is what I look like after a beer...
John Waters and a bald head

Oh yeah and as promised the main part of this post the Cookies and Cream Kit Kat, I got it after work and was really excited but actually I kind of wish I just got a regular one! It wasn't bad but it wasn't like, brilliant. I should know never to stray from the classics! That's all for now :) thanks for reading X

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Autumn again



Okay I want to write like a really poignant blog post but for some reason no brilliant prize winning idea is coming to me just because I'm willing it to. No nuthin'. I've been writing stuff for like *work* all afternoon, and now when it comes to my like, recreational writing, I'm spent. At the moment I'm also watching Jaws 3, which is an infinitely terrible movie, I don't even think it's terrible in a good way. That said I'm only like half way through and I haven't seen anyone get mauled by a shark yet so we'll see. This is my Saturday night. I am not a cool person.

I did go out last night though, albeit briefly, to a couple of openings after work. I was really into my outfit because for once in my life, I actually dressed appropriately for the weather, and I got to wear my new Gorman dress and my new burnt orange coloured trench coat that I got from Savers. I also wore my blue gingham Opening Ceremony shoes and it felt great. The orange on the Gorman dress print matched the coat too perfectly, it was a thing of beauty I tell you. And, the colours were so rich and autumny. It's warm enough not to wear tights yet, so I could go bare legged (is that a thing?) and it was perfect perfect.

On Monday night I'm going to see John Waters with my friend Brodie. I'm so excited! I'm hoping that I get to meet him afterwards, as I think he usually does like book signings and stuff! I bought Cry Baby on DVD so I can watch it tomorrow to get in the mood. Yeehaw!

Will post again soon, this one is lacking in substance and just about everything else... ah but actually I just wanted to let you know that remarkably Jaws 3 improves.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Forever-ever

As promised, I said I would upload the article from the National Gallery of Victoria Magazine once the issue (Jan/Feb) was no longer current. It is written by Georgia Jones - a multi-talented friend of mine who is the assistant contemporary curator at the NGV, a writer and smart cookie. The beautiful photographs are by Selina Ou. If you click on it you can see it bigger.





If you aren't sick of me yet, I was also recently interviewed for Vertigo magazine which is a Sydney based publication. Here is a scan of that interview too!




In continuation of my last post about how this year is my second year out of Uni and things are a bit calmer and stuff, I started thinking about 'forever' and how I've really realised that being an artist is a 'forever' thing. I mean, I always knew it was forever, but for some reason the reality of that has only just now sunken in. That's not a bad thing, by the way, but in order to explain it, I suppose last year I used to look at my career as an artist only in the here and now, or, at most, in advance of the next couple of months. If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know that last year I pretty much worked myself into the ground trying to do as much as possible and go as hard and as fast as I could. Now for my corny analogy - last year I was approaching my career as if it was an 200 metre sprint, but now, I'm looking at it and approaching it as a long distance run. A long, long, forever-type run perhaps with some hurdles thrown in there too.

Seriously though, I'm thinking more about a trajectory, you know, like I literally am only on my first lap, not even, and it's important to have strategies in place for the longevity of your stay, if that makes sense. Basically it's about the 'balance' I was talking about in my last post, going at a steady, consistent pace, while at the same time keeping yourself stimulated with new challenges. I just wanted to convey how I was looking at things now from the beginning, like into the distance of a long, straight road or running track or whatever. The 'artist thing' is a 'forever thing', it's as much about the here and now as it is about 30, 40 or 50 years down the track. Of course there will be periods where I'll be busier than others, but it's just important to remember that there's a thousand other different great things and challenges to look forward to and conquer. That's what I love about being an artist, there is absolutely no possibility that I'll ever get bored if I continue to work consistently and stimulate myself with new problems and goals and don't get locked into one way of doing or making things.

I was talking about this with a friend of mine who also graduated art school recently and he put it as "getting shot out of a cannon" and I think that's how a few of us were working crazily last year. I don't regret it for a second, but I can acknowledge that that kind of momentum is not possible for forever, which is how long I wanna be around.

Went to the op shop and found this amazing dress, the label was the winner though. 
I finally got my hands on a piece from the Miu Miu Spring/Summer '10 collection, via Ebay. I love it.
More Ebay stuff, this badge for my collection. It's three inches wide!
At Rookie we did secret Galentines between staff members, and this is what I got from Danielle :) So happy!
I've been a bit up and down lately, getting used to things, getting into the swing of things again - I've enjoyed hanging out with Georgie a bit over the past week, we had lunch and some studio time, and then she hosted a dinner with everyone at her place on Friday night. It was nice, and really relaxed. I went to an opening by myself yesterday, I'm getting better at doing things like that by myself, and it's reallllly good for me to do it. I always feel good after I really make an effort to be social regardless if anyone I know is doing the same. I can be good at social situations if I really put my mind to it, ha. And you all probably think I'm ridiculous to talk so much about 'being social' but lately I really have been making an effort and I'm sort of proud of myself maybe. I am so lame but whatever. Also I'll end here because this is spiraling but here is a song I am obsessed with right now.