Highway art…

Spotted at Nimmitabel…

We have no idea how long it’s been there (we’ve not done a daytime run to the ‘Berra for a while…) and on closer inspection there was no plaque regarding the work, artist, whatsitallaboutalfie. Perhaps it’s the result of the community project-stimulus package doled out to regional councils by the Feds last year.

At least it’s more appropriate than that silly elephant at the bakery.

Week in review: Tanja Riese, Yoof and Philip Cox’s…

A quickie round of last week’s events…

There’s been so much on in the last month that we’ve not had a moment spare to post the Tanja Riese (winner of the FSCLAP scholarship 2009) exhibition, Journey of Arrival, currently showing at the BVRG. Actually, the crowd at the opening was packed like pilchards – and we were so busy running the bar that we had no time whatsoever to get any snaps off. Last week, however, was Tanja’s Art Café floor talk and proceedings were far more gently paced…

Plenty of interest had obviously been stirred by the Artscape piece on the ABC, and response to the show has no doubt been very gratifying for Tanja. And what a relief, one imagines, to have that 16-odd months of pressure behind her. Time for some well-deserved R&R, wethinks.

On Friday evening Spiral Gallery kicked off the upcoming Youth Season with their annual Youth Show (participating artists pictured below…)

And on Saturday the Gang and Brigitte went for a sticky beak at Sculpture on the Edge’s open day at Philip Cox’s coastal retreat, overseen by Jan and Beatle…

A literal stone’s throw from the Murrah River mouth, it’d be hard to take for a weekend get-away…

We found our ideal bedroom(!!)…

                                                              (…just a bed with a wall of wine, perfeck!)

We didn’t get there until late in the day, so it was a fairly whirlwind tour; having met Michael Snape at the Sculpture Symposium the week before it was nice to come across some of his work…

and the highlight, of course, was seeing Beatle Collin’s original waves in situ

All a tad brief, we know – but the Candelo Pool beckons. Ciao, ciao.

Sculpture on the Edge 2010…

Well darls, it was the Canberra long weekend – which means Sculpture on the Edge time again. After work on Friday the Gang swung around via Wapengo to pick up Brigitte and off we tootled towards the promise of yet more rain. You’d reckon we’d’ve had enough of it by now – but we just think of the farmers and take it cheerfully on the chin. Luckily the worst of it held off for the opening formalities, and that’s the main thing, eh…

…besides, there was something almost lyrical about the umberella element, don’t ya reckon?…

Anyhoo, the inclement weather really wasn’t condusive to too much lingering – so it was all a bit like cultural speed dating. There was stuff we did like…

…and stuff we weren’t quite as keen on as many might expect (we like our Ned a tad more manly than this)…

Nonetheless it was all good fun, with lots of lovely peeps to natter with over a vino or two (in the shelter of the marquee) and well worth the drive. We even managed to catch our fave fish’n chips joint a minute before they closed.

Lovely. And then we dashed back to the headland to watch Yuri’s fire sculpture, which we’ve regrettably missed the last couple of years. But no joy with snaps, folks – the rain put a fairly severe dampener on proceedings – and we didn’t make it to the beach, either, so didn’t see Daniel Lafferty or John Ramsay’s work. We’ll have to try to get back – the images in the catalogue look  triff.

The next excitement was the Sculpture Symposium on Sunday (Megsie was one of the speakers, along with Ken Hutchinson, Randall Sinnamon and Michael Snape) hosted by Don and Cecile at their idyllic “Nerimbah”,  just south of Bermagui. Seriously gorgeous spot…

…and what a brilliant venue for a sculptural doo; talk about site specific – it was pure micky mouse. 

The symposium turned out to be a really enjoyable day, and very entertaining. And again, what a great group of peeps.

We even found a boyfriend for Lola (they would have made lovely babies, shame she’s been fixed.)

And, finally, in the late arvo we dashed back into Bermi to catch the Small Sculpture show before it closed (….yeah, alright, and a gelato) – whereapon we came across what we decided was possibly our fave piece in the overall gig – Randall Sinnamon’s Watch Dog.

Followed closely by Richard Raffan’s boats…

All power to Jan Ireland and her crew for another successful show. It’s so much work putting something like this together, particularly given that constant battle for funding. How wonderful to see the patronage of Philip Cox this year with the inaugural, acquisitive  “Cox Prize” (awarded to Senden Blackwood for a limestone sculpture that unfortunately we didn’t get a snap of – sorry.) Meanwhile Gordon Bull, Head of the School of Art at the ANU, also announced a residency in the Sculpture Workshop (awarded on this occasion to Randell Sinnamon.) Onward, ever upward, chaps. We’re looking forward to 2011 with great anticipation.

More snaps here.

Sculpture on the Edge runs until the 14th March.

Ginger’s 21st…

For everyone who’s been asking about Ginger’s birthday, how’s this for a saga…

What a nightmare – it was worse than just bad timing (Ginger’s 21st was slated for the Saturday night immediately following the Tour de Force opening in Brisvegas.) Best case scenario, taking into account the opening on Thursday and floor talk on Friday, was an early morning flight out of Brizzie on the Saturday morning, catching a connecting flight from Sydders and arriving in Merimbula at 1.15 in the arvo. So – home by 2pm, leaving 4 hours to pull the catering together. Do-able, just. We’d done some prep before leaving on Thursday, and left a ream of instructions. What could go wrong? (Apart from the fact that Paulie, Sammy Jo’s chef mate from the train, hadn’t managed to get his visa in time – so the kitchen was rudderless…)

When our plane arrived at Merimbula, the pilot had to abort the landing – bad visability and rain, blah blah – and we went into a holding pattern for half an hour while he waited for the weather to lift. It didn’t. He made one more attempt, pulled out half way, and…we  flew all the way back to Sydney.  What the hell to do now? Being a Saturday, it was the only flight to Merimbula. We scrambled around the terminal, checking the possibilities of Virgin or Qantas flights to the ‘Berra (Sammy was prepared to make the six hour round car trip to pick us up – we wouldn’t make the party until 10pm, but at least we’d be there, eventually.) In the meantime, faced with a plane load of irate passengers, Rex decided to have another go. They couldn’t guarantee we’d be able to land, but they were prepared to give it a burl.

Omigid, which way to jump? Sammy said ‘don’t risk it – I’ll drive to Canberra’.  Yeah but no but yeah but no but. There wasn’t much time to dither. The Gang tossed a mental coin – it was an excruciating decision: worst case scenario was another four hours plus in a plane going nowhere…

Rex split the passengers up into two planes so that each could carry maximum fuel (2 tonne) in case they had to circle forever waiting for the break to land, and then of course, failing that, to still have sufficient gas to get back to Sydney. Because we’d been scooting around the airport scoping for alternatives, we’d missed the cut-off for the first plane. Eight of us drew the second.

By the time Rex rounded up a crew and fueled up we were nearly an hour behind the first. Our pilot, a sheila, explained the very real probabilities of this being another extended scenic flight back to Sydney – nonetheless she would, she assured us, give it her very best shot. Once in the air, between sips of warm unwooded chardonnay, we went into metaphoric nail biting mode. Would we get through? Should we have been on the other plane? What about the party – what about the catering!!!

Fifteen minutes out of Merimbula the pilot informed us that the first plane’s attempts to land had so far failed and it was currently in a holding pattern over Merimbula airport. Tension mounted palpably in the cabin the closer we got to our destination. We stoically ignored the turbulence. Finally, as we descended toward Short Point, all eight of us held our collective breath (well, eleven of us really – counting the hostie and the pilot and the co-pilot…) 

And then, at the very last minute, that wonderful sheila in the cockpit squeezed through a momentary parting of the clouds – and quickly landed. Just like that! Omigod, totally unbelievable. A great cheer went up. Megsie got a bit teary, even. Then the weather moved back in again. And as we disembarked we could hear the distant droning of those other poor buggers still circling high above – we’d caught the right plane after all.

We drove home through pouring rain, arriving only a smidge later than the other guests. It took a while for the stress factor to subside (about a week!) and the food was less than perfeck – but we had finally made it to Ginger’s birthday, thankgoodness – and for that we remain eternally grateful.

Thanks to Klausie and Helen for additional snaps. Lotsa pics were taken of the night – and many were (for one reason and another, unprintable!!) To check out those that did survive the editing process, go here.

An opening at GAD…

Barragán in Context 17 March until 26 April gallery of australian design opening night 6pm wednesday 17 march 2010. To be officially opened  by H.E. Beatriz Lopez Gargallo, Ambassador of Mexico, followed by a floor talk with the curator, Dr. Daniel Garza Usabiaga rsvp@gad.org.au (acceptances only)

image Barragán, courtesy of the Embassy of Mexico

Presented in conjunction with the Embassy of Mexico and the Barragán Foundation / Prolitteris, Switzerland

www.gad.org.au