Friday, July 24, 2009
‘She was already a star in my eyes. She was manic, passionate, obsessive, miserable, even a little bit neurotic - the stuff I always believed artists were made of – the stuff I could so easily relate to. I loved her from the word go. She had a frantic energy that allowed you no other choice but to notice her and pay attention. She could also paint. Her work was great and possessed that same frenetic energy as her personality – and why wouldn’t it – it was HERS.’
I thought about her yesterday when Tom Waits' Swordfishtrombones started playing on my i-pod whilst walking to the bus stop. I had a vision of her dancing in her bedroom like some kind of praying mantis-like Goddess.
I have not had a car now for 18 months – (since a man in a ute drove into the front of my car and the insurance company declared it a write off – they handed me a cheque for some measly amount but by the time it finally arrived, after all the stuffing around, the money had already been spent) – I’ve since realised just how much I took having a vehicle for granted – mostly for the simplest and closest of tasks.
I very rarely ventured too far from home even when I had a car, especially since my parents moved to the N.S.W border. My main reason for heading into the city used to be to visit them… or my Melbourne gallery, who I left last year after a six-year relationship, of which 2 or 3 were quite tumultuous. Most of my work is now exhibited interstate or overseas so I have even less reason to travel to Melbourne.
So, back to my walk yesterday. She entered my thoughts and I wanted to write about her. The words just began to arrange themselves in my head and I was so disappointed I did not have my pen and notebook with me. I used to always carry them with me but have slacked off in recent times due to a lack of inspiration. I find it so much harder to write now than say, 2 years ago… so when I do get the urge it is frustrating to not have the utensils I need to make them permanent.
I drink a lot less than I used to. I often wonder whether this plays a part in me writing less now than I did then. I pretty much wrote every day back then. Whether it was poetry, short stories, diary/blog entries, random obscure emails or just stream of consciousness, (which later got labelled psychobabble by a reader) – whatever it was I was always able to write easily and freely. Perhaps my consumption of alcohol allowed me to be less inhibited – who knows. I do know that whilst walking to the bus stop yesterday and having all these thoughts race through my head, I felt like running back home and opening a bottle of wine and Microsoft word. Instead, I went to work and lost my mojo.
It’s weird; I struggle with the same inhibitions when it comes to my painting. The first word is like the first mark on a blank canvas. Intimidating.
I paint for myself, just as I write for myself – FOR ME… and I don’t hide my work because I feel there is nothing to be ashamed of. If others choose to view or read it is their prerogative. So why do I feel this intimidation? Will I be 40 before I finally say, “I don’t give a fuck! I’m just going to do it!”? What am I really afraid of?
I’m writing this morning. On an empty stomach. No alcohol has been consumed. I had an awful, broken sleep… it’s an effort to find the words but I am determined.
‘We met in Sydney. The meeting was for business but quickly became a pleasure. We fast became ‘friends’ and I religiously travelled to Sydney for a number of her shows. I even purchased a work of hers, a self-portrait, on my second or third visit. It hangs proudly in my living room.
I stayed at her place a few times – every trip it was a different location. We’d talk about art and pain. We’d drink tea and I’d passively smoke her second-hand tobacco. She introduced me to the likes of Louise Bourgeois and we would write sad and beautiful prose whilst listening to Tom Waits. If we ventured out we would walk the streets of Paddington weaving in and out of galleries.
She had the ability to force answers out of me to questions I did not even realise existed within me – about myself, and about my art. My head would always spin after our conversations – but it was invigorating.
I was always a little bit in awe of her though I never really knew just why. She openly expressed so many things that I seemed to suppress, and I am hardly a shy or introverted person. I looked up to her, even though she was tinier than me. She was like a ladybug on speed… always feminine and always frantic. Her energy made me both happy and sad at the same time.
She would sometimes disappear. She could often never explain.
If I was her lover, I just know she would have broken my heart.
I miss her. I often look at her painting and wonder how she is. I hope she is ok.’
Perhaps I’ll write her.
Posted by Simone Maynard at 11:37 am