Punk

I am going to Brightspace Gallery, St Kilda, to see an exhibition called “Punk Journey, St Kilda + Beyond . I am excited. It was a movement I first encountered in London in 1979, where it spawned a vibrant and dynamic art, and music culture . At home in Melbourne, and as a Stkilda resident of the early 80’s, I loved going to the now defunct Crystal Ballroom, in Fitzroy st, part of the Seaview Hotel. It was seedy, distressed, dirty, dingy, but with exhilarating music, and outlandish costumes, I loved it. Heady times, exuberant passions, and visually stimulating art, I was part of a movement. It was a movement without peer, its like not seen again, and it spawned many talented Australian artists eg Rowland. S .Howard, and  Nick Cave , from the band, “The Birthday Party”.

punk
punk

 

Fashion was sublime in this period, and dress sense was avant garde, and personal, anything goes, with safety pins, studs, chains, and tartans abounding. In the UK, Vivienne Westwood ruled, and as one time partner of Malcolm Mc Laren, original punk god, she had her finger on the pulse, of all things punk! In Australia, Jenny Bannister officiated, and I was disappointed I was unable to book into a free workshop, at Brightspace, to punk up an item of clothing. It’s booked out by all the dormant punks in StKilda.!

 

I hope to meet Lauren, my ex VU Buddy, and we will enjoy the exhibition together.

Cheers!

Linden Postcard Show

I am an exhibiting artist in the “Linden Postcard Show”

postcard show
postcard show

. My mixed media work , entitled, “Luna Park “, was delivered today. I registered and paid the entry fee on line. Although reluctant to enter I was encouraged by a friend who has entered in the past and sold some work. Also as a visual artist I believe it is important to exhibit work , as part of the creation process.

Housed in a beautiful old Victorian mansion, down the quiet end of Acland st, St Kilda, Linden is an innovative gallery space showing ambitious, creative work .

The postcard show will be an eclectic collection of many diverse visual artists work, displayed together, all of uniform size, but of diverse theme and execution.

I,d better go and see how ” Luna Park ” fits in the space, and whether I sell it !

linden 2
linden 2

Tip Shop

in search of corrugated tin
in search of corrugated tin

 

My theme for much of my visual work , is sea washed detritus , with a focus on ravaged and degraded cans .

Recently , whilst working on my series of “Can ” drawings , I decided to use rusted corrugated iron as a base to draw on .

A  source of the material would come from the legendary Melbourne tip shops I heard so much about . I had used them in Hobart , but not locally . A friend had sourced props for a short film from one , another had bought eighties costumes for a themed party .

I sourced them through google .

The closest to me was in Wantirna South , so I coerced my youngest daughter into driving me . She is the owner of a shiny new red “P” plate.

Our Border Collie ,  Clive , tagged along with his impeccable nose for good smells , as we  reversed out of the driveway at a blistering pace.

North road welcomed us and we sped along , my mind racing with all the possibilities the tip shop conjured up.

Upon arrival I was stunned to find it neatly laid out , signposted and well stocked . The cornucopia of discarded detritus, and buried treasure , gladdened my heart . I purchased a new frame , distressed 1930’s mirror , ancient soft cloth sandpaper , to print on , a 1960 Australian Home Beautiful , a British 1969 b&w electronics weekly, neon stickers , 2 Brockhoff vintage biscuit tins , 3 hand painted glass Christmas globes , and a packet of neon printing paper . Not a bad haul for 12 bucks !

I loved the place , and the potential it offered of future resources . The erstwhile female attendant , confided she had procured a mint set of 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games tickets , from their Coldstream store. My interest pricked , I will return . An inveterate op shopper , bower bird , scrounger , recycler and sticky beak , I think I have found a favourite place to shop . Surrounded by dust , dirt , grime & mess I happily sorted , declaring it my ideal job , which caused my driver to comment ” only mum would want to work in a tip shop ” .

Visual Diary

My Visual Diary, is an integral part of who I am.  I record in it, stow found objects, sketch ideas, write lines overheard on the train, snatches of songs, and map out ideas. Its my creative life blood, my thought space, where I create, think, feel and articulate my visual repertoire . Varying sizes, paper thicknesses and surfaces add variety. At the moment I am using a rather cumbersome one, distributed free by a VU teacher, from an abandoned stock-pile in a cupboard. Its large in size, and needs to be transported in its own bag. I now draw in a horizontal rather than vertical format. I love the crispness of its sheets, the rustle of its pages, and the inviting, cool expanse, of white paper in which to unleash my creative energies. One page flows into another, many are filled in rapid succession, soon a fleeting image is captured and I am able to move onto the next feast of  mark making.

 

 

Diary material
Diary material

Sporadically, I  look back at the previous pages work, scarcely able to believe I have created such spontaneous imagery. My small diary was carted around eastern Europe, in 2013, and saved me from many an argument with a recalcitrant daughter. I would put my head down, and draw and paint in my tiny diary, easing the barbs of the day and removing any residual animosity. For a period of quiet reflection, wherever we were I would use my diary, choosing from the accompanying small selection of tools, and I would attempt to draw what I saw,record it in my visual diary and commit it to memory. It became my escape, my release and my solace when the constant travelling became exhausting, and the camaraderie of the journey a little stretched. Bit like my current trajectory at VU.

Prague

It seemed like a good idea to go. The 16 year old and I were stranded in cold, dank, London, at the time, and needed a change of scene. Cheap flights

Street Art
Street Art

were offered via ryanair , it only needed navigation through their tricky website, no I don’t need a ryan air emblazoned travel bag, and the astoundingly cheap tickets were purchased. An apartment was booked via airbnb in a restored, historical building, in the old part of town.

 

Prague proved to be a vibrant, bustling, global metropolis, steeped in history, drenched in tradition, and picturesque . The twisting curving streets were negotiable via hop on, hop off trams, and the natives were friendly .

 

Upon arrival we visited the museum, and national art gallery. Many scientific inventions are attributable to the Czechs, and they are a resilient, clever race of people, proud of their traditions, and deeply influenced by an inquisitive mind, and a love of the Catholic Church . The narrow streets revealed many hidden delights. The tram took us to the pinnacle of the mountain range above Prague, and we journeyed back on the conjoined tram to dine at the very fine river side of the Vltava River,near the famous Charles Bridge. Driven by tourism, there is still a  rebellious streak in Prague, addressed by the prominence of posters everywhere proclaiming rallies, and inciting the locals to action. The historical buildings are massive, and the underground rail system impressive by its sheer sophistication. It is a city of contrasts, of old versus new, religion against communism, and rich versus poor. One overriding factor is the sheer brilliance of the Czech mind, their sense of social justice, the beauty of the place,and its pivotal role in the European hierarchy .

Time poor, I didn’t get to any modern art galleries, but the little I saw has whetted my appetite for a return visit in the not too distant future .

Lower East Side

Lower East Side Manhattan, was my home for one glorious month in November, 2010. A low rise, brownstone apartment housed four of us in modest style. It was noisy, exhilarating, a relentless sea of people and cars, but never dull .Whilst there I experienced Halloween, the five consecutive night baseball playoffs, between the Mets and Yankees, both local NYC teams, and the Melbourne Cup  . It felt like the whole city was in a permanent party mode.

 

Fittingly Americain, won the Cup that year, we celebrated by finding a late night bar run by an expatriate Melbourne  father and son team, and watched the big race, in the wee small hours. The Halloween Parade that went for multiple city blocks, was hugely popular with paradees and viewers alike, and seemed to host an all night subway party. Baseball blared from every bar, coffee shop and restaurant, on a nightly basis, as the 2010 World Series Games were  played out.

mondrian copy
mondrian copy

A highlight of the trip was multiple visits to MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, who were hosting a Van Gogh retrospective exhibition,  and the Guggenheim Museum. Both exemplary viewing spaces and innovators in the visual arts. I loved the Staten Island Ferry, and the vintage shops on the Island. The Bowery was home to great bagels and cheap booze. Flea Markets abounded in Brooklyn, and inexpensive, end of season shopping, was to be had in New Jersey. Legendary, cavernous, warehouse sized thrift shops, threw up priceless gems,eg; Vera Wang new black satin cocktail pants, and Jimmy Choo barely worn heels, all with bargain price tags .

speed limit
speed limit

It was an inspiring visit and one  I hope to replicate in the not too distant future .

 

 

Berlin

Having spent several days in Leipzig, West Germany, with the uber cool, 20 plus set, I decided it was time to have an urban adventure of my own and head for Berlin, on the very fast, silver, express, train. It turned out most of Germany was in shut down mode, as it was the holiday for unification between East and West Germany, but I managed to purchase a ticket from a very harried, fraulein. The train was fast, smooth and comfortable and got me to Berlin quickly, despite there being  a minor misunderstanding when it was discovered I was sitting in the first class section of the train.

 

Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack

Alighting in Berlin, the sun was out, many Germans were bustling around enjoying the rare, public holiday and all the museums were open. Armed with a multi pass ticket, directions and euros I headed off. First stop was the Hamburger Bahnof  Museum for the Present.  It had a multi discipline sculpture exhibition, that was stimulating and slightly surreal, as the human figures exhibited looked so life like that is was hard to tell if they were indeed, human.

The natural history museum was next, with many ethereal animal embryo on display, preserved in formaldehyde. Gigantic reconstructions of dinosaurs were in the main hall, and insects pinned to boards were viewed under glass.

 

Close to the station were the science museum, worth a quick look, as was the river cruise to check out the check point charlie relic of the famous Berlin Wall. Lunch was had on the river bank, but alas, the Bauhaus Museum, proved elusive as it was located too far out of town.

The train ride back was fraught with difficulty as I stayed too long on the train at Leipzig, and travelled back into the countryside and had to wait to dismount and come back again. Eventually I made it to Leipzig airport, and bade farewell to Germany, with the help of an efficient public transport system and english speaking commuters . The wind farms, and the picturesque, rolling green fields showed a bucolic side to Germany, not normally seen from the urban environment

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Self Serve Hell

School holidays and I’m running on empty , food wise that is .   A quick trip to the local food dispensary is required . Hmm , I only want a few things why not do self serve , it’ll be quicker , I think . Balancing my overloaded basket of goodies requires the juggling skills  of a  Circus OZ acrobat . The ability to slot them into the minuscule space provided in the self serve checkout requires even more dexterity  . I deftly negotiate scanning the barcodes and continue packing the item snugly into the plastic supermarket issue bags .

 

Issey Miyake Dress
Issey Miyake Dress

Quite a manoeuvre above the cacophony of non soothing music , binging sounds and moronic intotonations of the Self Serve robot . I move a bulging bag from the tiny packing area . Apocalyptic lights start flashing , and the robot goes into loud accusatory mode , as I am told not to  remove a bag . The self serve screen shuts down and refuses to continue until I press the appropriate button . Hard to do whilst balancing the 12 pack of dunny roll on top of the raisin loaf ,  which is balanced on top of the plain flour ,  which is balanced on top of … etc etc . Feeling like a recalcitrant schoolgirl caught shoplifting I reluctantly continue . Having stowed the many purchases in 3 supermarket bags , alright I forgot  the recycle bags , I stagger away from the checkout having paid a sum of money equal to the deposit on a small flat . Disaster quickly ensues as with a sickening thud the groceries tumble out of the inferior bags , burst and ricochet across the supermarket floor. The tiny efficient supermarket worker darts form her post with a dire admonishment ” you must not pack too much stuff in the bags “. Again I feel great inadequacy  as I furtively retrieve my items .

 

combat fatigues to shop in
combat fatigues to shop in

Escaping into the crisp , early morning  air I feel only a sense of crushing relief . I am shell shocked but alive to tell the tale . the tale . Ah consumerism , at its finest !