There’s nothing like the cry of black cockatoos – and the thwack of willow on leather drifting up across the valley – to remind you that you’re in the heart and soul of country Australia.
(View from the Gang’s front yard…)
Shame on us – can’t imagine how we managed to miss Blanchie’s website.
Check it out: www.blanchetilden.com
How bizarre – right on the heels of Aric’s post, word arrived last night of the arrival of Dee Dee Violet Lau. Katie Lau was also in that Glass Workshop intake of 2000, and a great mate (we were blowing partners for the duration of the degree.)
Katie, who married Martin in a gorgeous ceremony on the headland at Balmoral Beach a few years ago, has been on imminent bub alert for the last coupla weeks (obviously!) and we’ve been sitting on the edge of our seat awaiting the news…
For those of you who are into the statistics, she weighed in at 8 pounds 3 ounces.
We love the name – Dee Dee Violet, just adorable. All our love, guys. Can’t wait to catch up properly…
The Gang had the pleasure of Aric’s company back in 2000, when we were both first year students at the ANU School of Art Glass Workshop. He was a very cool dude, already good in the hotshop when the rest of us were rank beginners. He’d come specifically to study with Stephen Procter and lucked out badly with the onset of Stephen’s sudden illness and demise – and so Aric, not unreasonably, opted to pull up stumps and return Stateside. It’s lovely to cross paths again (as you do in the glass fraternity) and we were really interested to check out his new website; www.aricsnee.com
Here’s to you, old son. And we’re very pleased to see you’ve lost none of your awe of the universe…
We always get excited when we receive images in the mail, and never more so than when the goodies are from Tevita.
He didn’t send any titles (we’ll put ’em in later if they show) – we can tell you that they’re glass, wood and string. Enjoy.
On the news front, he has a show at CCAS next year – a shift that we’re really looking forward to. Contemporary art, people. That’s what we’re talkin’ about.
This post is a little tardy – while the Gang was up north, Jas sent through an overview of Domain 2008, the annual temporary public art program held in Canberra City West, on Alinga St (spreading out from the Wig & Pen) – so sincere apologies for taking so long, Jas, but we had other pressing commitments to conclude primo…(hence that general blog inertia last week.)
Co-ordinated every year by Cathy Laudenbach, this temporary art-en-plein-air fest features the work of twelve selected artists: Jas Hugonnet’s bird netting Nodules (above), using existing plants as a substructure for the work/reformatting a temporary material for a temporary project; Nick Strank’s bronzes on the sales tables in Smith’s bookshop; Sam Townsend’s performance as Fannii Minogue; Lucy Quinn’s video piece in Smith’s shopfront; Dorte Conroy’s very cute bus signalling system;
Ed Whalan’s photographic installation in an empty shopfront; Heather B Swann’s black pussy’s head in a frock shop; Mariana Del Castillo’s mural under the stairwell; Steven Holland’s serpent feet, Sito, in the hairdressing salon.
(click to enlarge)
Fiona Lee conducted an interactive audience piece (no snap); Geoff Farquhar-Still had another fabbo industrial waste number that was instantly turned into a percussion piece by an appreciative audience on the opening night (and yes, before you all start, we have seen Christo and Jean-Claude’s 1962 piece in Paris, and yes we do know that this kind of thing’s been done recently by Ruak Lewis, amongst others…yadda yadda. It’s different horses, different courses. We like it HEAPS.)
(Hey there, Maxie and Jack!)
And the last word goes to the never wearisome Simon Scheuerle, whose Clown performance involved a quiet ale at the Wig & Pen every lunchtime. Now that’s what we call a well-considered art practice.
This is where we declare no bias as regards our enjoyment of the trip north to the land of our forefathers (the Gang being 5th generation Oz on the Queensland side of the family)…!!!
Regan Tamanui, Such is Life
Now, where were we? Ah yes, the media launch. It was all very pleasant indeed and when we finally managed to tear ourselves away from the generous hospitality of the upstairs bar, we wandered off to the West End in search of a spot of late lunch at the Gun Club. Great food and a bucket or two of beer – and we were too busy talking to remember to take snaps so you’ll just have to take our word for it. And then suddenly it was 4.30, and we had to scramble back to our respective hotels to frock up for the evening frolic…
So it was more of the same, this time with a larger cast of extras. But we’d had the best of it in the morning, frankly. Except Judith Lucy, who we love, doing a stand-up routine – that was a bonus. This time around the tucker careered wildly between being surprisingly twee, or just strangely ordinaire; it had lost the charm and promise of the morning (a victim of the catering logistics, we surmise.) Not that it mattered – the art was still fah-bulous. And we found Neddy lurking under the stairwell (we’d managed to miss him entirely earlier.) Didn’t run across the lovely Mr Broker in the end – but you know how crowded those opening doos can get…
Finally we called it a night and went back to Megsie’s room at the Royal Albert for a nightcap; a Marakovsky, darlings, an old fave tipple. Great accommodation, by the way, if anybody’s looking for somewhere good to stay in Brizzie. We checked out Ritchie’s room as well, two floors below, when we went to grab the champers – same deal, but strangely split level. Anyhoo, seriously comfortable beds, way spacious rooms, and the place in general teeters on the plush side.
Then all too soon it was time for big hugs and goodbyes…
…the boys took off in the morning – Tim and Art Stateside, and Ritchie to Melbourne – and the Gang filled in the day scoping Artisan (Craft Queensland) over in Fortitude Valley (great gallery shop, btw) and generally just mooching until it was time for our arvo flight back to the ‘Berra. Short and sweet, it was. And just as well – we got out before the following day’s super destructo deluge.
Lots more goodies to feast your eyes on, here.
Well, the water tanks are full and there’s a wee break in the weather. But we’re back to spencers and ugh boots and cosying up in front of a roaring fire (we stayed in our jarmies all day yesterday – heaven). Were we really sweating (or rather ‘glowing’) in Brisvegas last week?
Here at the hide-out we wake up to breakfastpolitics.com every morning (Nige put us on to it eons ago, and it’s the first thing we do…ok, the second thing we do, on waking). Anyhoo, we thought we’d share today’s little gem from Barry Cohen in the Australian. It’s a classic.
And check out the fabulous snaps from the Jester Ball on riotACT. We guarantee at least 6 belly laughs…[note to self: must go to Jester Ball next year. n(Ed)]
We’ve been a little side-tracked, mes amis, but never mind. Time to give you the scoop on the Optimism opening at GoMA. One of our absolute faves was Not under my roof, 2008; the entire flooring of an old, abandoned Queensland farmhouse – an ‘investigation of the surface versus the interior narrative.’
Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healy, Not under my roof, 2008
This wunderbar installation, almost a Rosalie-on-steroids (though of course, that’s hardly fair – it’s so much more than that), was the first thing we saw as we entered the gallery space (or rather, it was the piece that, not surprisingly, commanded our immediate attention) and it set the tone of the show; feel-good and fabulous. Contemporary Australia: Optimism is a big, generous exhibition, both in breadth and sentiment. And what a great place GoMA is, and so refreshingly unpretentious (we’ve not been before, obviously.) It’s a Queensland thing, we figure.
Going to the morning’s media launch was way better than waiting for the evening’s bunfight. We had a proper gander at the work and unfettered photo access without all the frenetic flesh pressing and ‘look at moi, look at moi’ opening hype. All the main players were there, of course, but it was a pleasant, unflustered meeting-of-the-makers/mutual-admiration-fest kind of event. Low-key and sincere.
The primary object of the Gang’s trip was to catch up with Timmy – a rare chance to to get into a huddle now that he lives in New Mexico. And, of course, having Tom as well was a bonus – two birdies in the hand, so to speak.
The incomparable Tom Moore and Timothy Horn
Anyhoo, after the obligatory speeches, the mob was treated to a comprehensive tour of the exhibition (courtesy of Julie Ewington) followed by very superior refreshments in the upstairs bar. It was all trés trés cool.
Timmy’s Medusa is spectacular in the flesh (though we did think it was a little too tucked away)…Patricia Piccinini’s hybrid vespas are seriously adorable…Tom’s Autoganic is brilliant (his episode on the ABC arts programme must be coming up soon)…Kathy Temlin’s white fluffy Bringing it all back home is a sensory delight…the Kayili artists have given the bush mechanics a glorious make-over…it just goes on and on, darlings. We’re going to have to break it into two posts to accommodate the visuals. Try to make the trip north if you can, it’s well worth the effort – otherwise get hold of a catalogue. This is the sort of show that you just want to cuddle.
For a bit of an oggle, go here.