Monday, June 29, 2009

Bangkok

It was amazing flying in, first thing in the morning.

I woke up just in tome to look down, and underneath the plane were canals snaking through green paddy fields, with Bangkok city in a shroud of haze - right there amongst it.

I haven't done too much exploring - just took a long walk around the area we are staying...about an hour in the wrong direction. It was interesting though, and a good thing to just take in the everyday. Traffic and motorcycles, dogs everywhere, road side stalls selling fried chicken and fish, and ladies stringing together fragrant arrangements of flowers for shrines.

And amongst the grey haze and concrete expressways, bursts of vivid colours.




 

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Departure Lounge

So here is a picture of me, drinking a G&T at the airport, on my way on an adventure. I've been fortunate to have done my fair share of traveling....but you know what? I hate it when people tell me how lucky I am. I know I'm lucky in comparison to some folk, but to those people who usually say that - not really lucky compared to you.

All but my immediate family live overseas, so instead of holidays to the coast or really any trips away growing up, my parents worked two jobs each to make sure every 4 years or so we could go back to the homeland. I was really fortunate to grow up and experience the world from a young age. I have memories of flying over the slums of Mumbai, the smell of caraway seeds cooling with roasted pork,my grandmothers secret stash of lollies for me, and car trips past fields of wild poppies or slopes of snow (depending on the season). 

I think in a way because of this, I've made sure I've travelled regularly since I was old enough to hold down a part time job. I do have a connection with the country and culture of my parents and theirs, but I think travel to new places is such an adventure - the new sounds and smells, but also the reassurance in a way that even new things can at times feel and seem familiar? In making travel a priority, I've forgone other luxuries - so luck it aint...it's just spending money on what is important to me. 

So I've left my yellow house in the U in very capable hands, and am on my way to Thailand! I'm excited about catching up with friends there, but I'm also feeling a little anxious about the unknown. It is a hard thing to put into words, but after spending the last few years traveling with my partner at the time, there comes a little lack of confidence in going solo again. I think it comes down to a whole mess of emotions I've been going through at the moment...and typing this in the departure lounge I'm kind of filled with a mix of sadness, that I know will give way to excitement. Usually I'm an optimistic person, but sometimes I over analyse and by stopping my normal life and going away, I now have extra time to look at where I am and where I thought I'd be, and still wonder how this big old rug was pulled out from underneath me?



Friday, June 26, 2009

Poodles - Overheard in South Perth


Have you seen poodles? They are fucking ugly. That's why they are so aggresive. That's why ugly kids can fight.

Clarence Pennylittle of the Southern Shore


Perth - Western Australian Museum



Last night I hopped on a plane to visit my dear friends who moved West Side earlier in the year. One of things planned for the day was to go to the Western Australian Museum to see the current exhibition about Nick Cave. The Nick Cave exhibition was excellent, mind you, you just weren't allowed to take photos of any of the pieces. This is why I took lots of pictures of stuffed animals. Those you are allowed to photograph, plus they are really cool. You can see those photos later.

Before we went into the Nick Cave Exhibition,  I was bad mouthing Nick Cave as talented though very pretentious and a little bit precious. I had tried to read And the Ass Saw the Angel and failed at each attempt. The text just seemed so laboured to me. Just thinking about that book makes me want to punch something...

Anyway the exhibition was a great reminder about what is fantastic about Mr Cave and what is really annoying. Great photos from the early days of The Boys Next Door and the Birthday Party, and there were also lots of interesting journals and scraps of paper with lyrics. I think it is very generous for people to share that part of the creative process, as it gives you a sense of where great work began and often when the end result seems to be genius, the reality is often that it started off as a simple idea in a raw and basic form.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that although Nick Cave can often come across as overly confident, sanctimonious and generally a bit wanky, some of the text in those journals reminded me that he is also an amazing talent and a man of beautiful thoughts and words.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I have a million things to do








and for once I picked the thing that was the most important. I ♥ you B-Head

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fog

My head and heart are in a fog. I wish it was a pretty fog, like the one I saw last night in Canberra town...




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

30 Days of Give and Take


Looking at those Japan photos reminded me about the online exhibition I did during that trip - 30 days of give and take. You can go have a look at it here if you are interested.

If you can't access the link, the exhibition was me creating a work a day for 30 days and giving them all away. I documented the process by holding a virtual exhibition. In its madness, and due to my stupidity, this project crossed countries and time zones and went from Canberra to Japan and back. I say due to my stupidity as I started the project not even considering what impact my trip to Japan would have on this exercise (and vice versa). In the end, the online exhibition was better for it, as was the real life exhibition which was held in November at the Front Gallery.

Here is the photo which reminded me of all of this and the picture of the piece I created on the same day.



Day 15 "Tree in Hama-Rikyu-Teien" 24th June

Brooke and I loved this park. It was such a peaceful retreat in a city such as Tokyo. You could see the sky scrapers just behind, fencing the park in a way - but walking through the perfect landscape you were a million miles away. At the time we both talked about how much our mothers would love this park - they seem quite similar in a way. Brooke suggested I give this one to my mum Annemarie. She won't really understand what this is all about but she will like the painting anyway because it was made with love.


This time last year

I was in Japanland. This time this year I'm sick in bed with the non pig flu.

Last year feels so long ago, and also feels like yesterday at the same time. Makes no sense? Blame it on the fever.

That trip to Japan, was the first time I had ever taken a digital camera away with me...and I might have gone a bit nuts.

I still love my polaroid camera and my Canon SLR, but a digital camera lets you take endless photos of complete rubbish. You've got to love that! I think using the old fashioned film camera I am more measured and exact with my shot, where the digital world is much more spontaneous I think.

So here are some of my favourite photos from this very day a year ago.







Monday, June 22, 2009

Iran



I came across this fantastic set of photographs from Look at this Fucking Hipster, which was unexpected. The images are amazing and come from Hamed Saber 's Public Gallery on Picassa. Please take the time to look, and the photographer has written the following: 'propagate, publish, and use of these photos are strongly suggested. Please let the world know what's going here!'







Sunday, June 21, 2009

When too much lycra is never enough

Spandex—or elastane—is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, its major non-synthetic competitor. It was invented in 1959 by DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers. When first introduced, it revolutionized many areas of the clothing industry.

   

So last night was Knightsbridge's Birthday, which I think marked the great lyrca shortage of Canberra. Let's hope there are no jazz ballet concerts or eisteddfods this week, because the kids won't have anything to wear. 

It isn't everyday that you get to order drinks from your favourite bar from a cyclist in full racing gear, with flashing taillight, and motorcycle helmet. To his right, a bartender with parachute pants, headband and singlet. To his right, black lyrca tights with midriff top. To his right...you get the idea. 

It was initially a confronting experience at 7.30pm, so much flouro combined with man made fibre - but after a few drinks? Who am I kidding, I don't think I ever got used to all the leotards. But it was fun. It also did explain the long line for the ladies - it takes time to get that shiz off.

Favourite outfits were the black and white geometric stockings, the pretty gold leotard, and the striped leotard with matching red shoes. 

Also admired the oversized sweatshirt which sat off the shoulder - very flashdance.
The high school rugby league jersey - very Aubrey Wodonga.
The foil man - not very in theme but very funny.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Caneurism Update - running afoul

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Author(s) notification template: {{subst:prodwarning|Caneurism|concern = Runs afoul of WP:NEO}} ~~~~

Caneurism

Happy Birthday Taffy. Caneurism talk reminds me of the first night of Stonefest, where I thought you and Charlie Virtue were perhaps the funniest people I had ever met. And the cleverest. Caneurism makes complete sense to me and hopefully this time it won't get deleted. Getting smashed in the head with a can is no joke wikipedia!
02:56, 14 May 2009 Nihiltres (talk | contribs) deleted "Caneurism" ‎ (G1Patent nonsense, meaningless, or incomprehensible: Obvious joke article)
Attempt # 2
Caneurism
Caneurism is the physical attack using a can as a weapon, usually inflicting injury to the head. Caneurism usually occurs where alcohol is served, and a drinking can is available as a weapon. The most common method of caneurism involves the attacker smashing a full can in the face of the victim. Common injuries resulting from caneurism are headaches, bruising, swelling, disfigurement and loss of sight through eye injury.
In the Australian Capital Territory, there have been isolated incidents in the areas of Belconnen, and O'Connor shops. http://the-riotact.com/?p=12571

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Barbara Hanrahan - The Dog and the Cat edition 18/35



This is one of my favourite works of Barbara Hanrahan an Australian printmaker and writer. I was lucky enough to travel to Adelaide and visited the gallery who represented this artist throughout the latter part of her career. The owner of the gallery was lovely and showed me some work which was in private storage( about 70 pieces) and then left me in a room full of plan chests, where I was able to sift through years and years of work. 

Writing this today reminded me that I had kept a journal of that trip, and I've just reread that diary entry to help me remember that rainy day in Norwood. 

The gallery owner was in charge of Barbara's estate, which would explain the high volume of work she had in storage. She was also very generous in sharing her stories about a women who I admired and respected - how she was during her illness, and how her partner, a sculptor, stopped working on his own art to care for Barbara during her illness. She told me about the funeral and talked about intimate stories of her friend and the wonderful artwork she left behind. 

I was going to write this post about Barbara Hanrahan, but having been reminded of the details of that day, this little blog entry has changed to be a story of how I came to own this print. After talking about my work, this wonderful woman gave me some books about Barbara, a lot of encouragement, and then let me pick the print I wanted to buy. Because I was an art student with no money, she let me put down a deposit and I sent her money for that print when I had the cash to spare. It took forever, but one day I had paid it off and that beautiful print arrived in the mail and it has been hanging in my home ever since. I can't believe I forgot about that wonderful woman!  

Barbara Hanrahan was also a fantastic writer, and she created a distinct l body of work during her career. I was really lucky to be exposed to her work while I was studying, and thinking about it, she has had a profound influence on my own work...not so much in the subject matter or style, but more so in the combination of text with images and the reworking of artwork created in the past. 

Anyway I have just deleted a whole rant about how people should be taught more about Australian artists like this one, and instead have included a link for you to read a bit about her yourself or if you prefer to look at pictures click here

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is it just me...

Or is it odd to stand in a crowded lift in a professional environment with about 10 of  your work colleagues, make smoochy noises and kisses to what is obviously your 'special friend', then sing out loudly 'bye bye lover' as he gets out on the second floor..... 

Monday, June 15, 2009

Operation Cloned Cat II




The Cloned Cat Faction operated from the late 1990s to 2009, committing numerous terrorist activities, especially in the winter of 2009. This led to a crisis in the city of Canberra. The covert operation designed to overthrow these insurgents is now documented in history as Operation Cloned Cat II.  
The origins of the group can be traced back to the early 1990's, where they defiantly and brazenly operated in the inner north. The conservative police force did little to reclaim the streets and it took a posse of brave revolutionaries to defend what was ours.
Charlie Virtue, McKenzie Gypsy Landon, and 10 Feet of Steel risked everything as part of this battle. A frontline photojournalist documented that black evening, and these pictures tell our story. 




Overheard at Dendy Cinema Canberra

Yesterday I went to the movies with a friend, and there was an abnormally high number of movie goers over the age of 65.  And boy do those folks chatter!

During the movie State of Play, the main character arrives at a murder scene.  2 seats down from me a person was overheard whispering loudly ' He's pulled into a no standing zone!'

Sometimes it is the small details that matter. Actually the small details didn't matter and that was just annoying.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blue


Old Parliament House is blue at the moment. Not sure why but it was a very pretty sight on the early morning drive back to the south side.

Update - OPH was lit up in blue as a tribute to refugees (blue symbolising the United Nations) and it is going to stay like that until next Saturday which is World Refugee Day. 

Thanks Julia!

Overheard at McDonalds Braddon

McD:Welcome to McDonalds, how may I help you.

Customer:I hit a wombat on the way here.

McD: Right

Customer: Don't you like wombats?

McD: (silence)

Customer: I'll have two quarter pounder meals with bacon, nuggets, a chicken wrap and small fries

McD: Thats $28.70

Customer: Thanks. Umm when did you stop selling pizzas?

McD: Silence as drive through window closes

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pony Up

I love Pony Up - especially their song  'Truth about Cats and Dogs'. Found out by chance that they are playing ANU this Wednesday 17th June. Supported by The Devoted Few, doors open 8pm.

Here is the very cute video to aforementioned song.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Vapour Trail



This print is no longer above the couch in my living room, and but I've been told it is now above the couch in my second home.  That makes me happy.



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wake Up Call


Just a note to say thank you for the early morning (4.57am) wake up call.  

It was lucky you did call, because when I went to find my phone in the dark I discovered Barney sitting very close to the fire. This wouldn't normally be an issue but he was drinking cognac and smoking a cigar whilst wearing (what looked to be) quite a flammable scarf. Actually the scarf looked really similar to the one you let me borrow last week....mind you I only caught a glimpse before the whole event went pear shaped. Seems I bumped him while running for the phone, the cognac spilt, sparks from the cigar....you'll be happy to know it seems that dog fur is not as highly flammable as silk scarves, and he is okay.

He did get a stern talking to about smoking inside. Because, quite frankly, that is just not on and I had no idea he got up to such hijinks while I slept. So to summarise, it is lucky you called.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Soft Sculpture

Dear Soft Sculpture Curators

I don't mean to be picky, but that Jim Dine work 'An Animal' isn't a sculpture...it's kind of a painting.

I wasn't going to mention it, but after seeing the exhibition on the long weekend I couldn't stop thinking about it. And, because I'm not one to make a fool of myself on the internet, I checked a few things. One of the sites I checked was yours and the NGA website says this about the work:

'An animal is one of a group of paintings which Dine began at the end of 1961 in which the legacy of Abstract Expressionism is still apparent in the free, painterly technique, but is combined with real objects fixed to the surface of their written equivalents.'

Anyways, Soft Sculpture is on until 12 July at the National Gallery in Canberra if you want to go see a bunch of sculptures and a Jim Dine painting.

Peter Singer

Went to a seminar today at Old Parliament House about extreme poverty. The speaker was Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher with interesting views on the injustice of world poverty. 

Something he said which resonated with me, was the concept of seeing a small child in danger of drowning in a shallow pond, and the fact that most people wouldn't think twice about saving the kid. You might ruin a pair of $200 shoes, but you'd do it instinctively. Why isn't that the same for the kids we can't see?

There was also lots of talk about workplace giving, which was fine in a roomful of middle class (mostly) public servants, but I couldn't help to think that none of this is going to change. There are too many people in this world who profit from people in extreme poverty and they profit because those people make compromised choices due to their personal circumstances. 

There is too much money in keeping the poor poor.

Peter Singer has recently published a book on his ideas about poverty, and the book's website has some really interesting information in how we can all make a difference. There is also a calculator which tells you how much you should be giving based on your income. I just did the calculation and fell short by about $5000, so I should get off my moral soapbox about keeping the poor poor...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hearts












New work uploaded into my etsy shop. Go take a look. I dare you ♥



Monday, June 8, 2009

Can anyone help?

Yellow

During the month of May, the slideshow on this blog was photos of all things yellow. To celebrate the first month of this blog, I've made a yellow colour chart just for you. You can buy it here, or just let me know you'd like one by emailing. They cost $3 US dollars each and there are only 20. The image is a postcard size print and I mail it straight to you ♥ the yellow house in the U.