Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Coast and Canines...

I arrived back home from the Gold Coast yesterday afternoon. It was a short trip - a brief two night stay in Mermaid Beach, a part of the world I had never seen - to attend the opening of Homage to Frida at 19 Karen, where three of my works are hanging as part of this large group exhibition.

I traveled alone - I often do when it's art related - and managed to fly without the assistance of xanax... although I did have two gin and tonics in a very short space of time on both the flight up and the flight back. It may be famous for being quite a depressant but it sure as hell eases my in flight anxiety... even if it is only a 1.5 - 2 hour journey!

The opening at 19 Karen was enjoyable but for the most part I felt like I was not really present. It felt somewhat surreal - but not in a bad way. I was not in the most sociable of moods so I spoke to only a select few people... the majority of my time there was spent silently wandering and perusing the modern warehouse-style space that is 19 Karen... tequila sunrise in hand.

I really love the space, and considering I am due to have a solo there in August, it was nice to finally see the layout of the place.

I did happen to meet, in person, (after knowing each other online through our artwork and social and artistic connections), Queensland artist Nic Plowman, whose work I have admired since first seeing it a few years ago.

One of my three works sold on the night. It was my personal favourite of the works I had created for the exhibition. It was a pen and ink piece titled "Elementos de Frida", (pictured above). I'm not embarrassed to say that I still get a kick out of seeing a red sticker going up on one of my works. What I also enjoy is observing people as they view my work... be it briefly or more contemplative, it always fascinates me. I only wished that my works had somehow been wired to an earpiece so I could hear any dialogue in reference to any or all of my works. There was a Mexican style band playing on the night, and despite them being very good and creating a great atmosphere, it made it impossible for me to eavesdrop whilst standing near my own work. Short of standing on the toes of anyone who viewed my work, there was no way of hearing what was being said as they pointed and or took closer and longer looks at my work. I did notice though that the detail in the pen and ink work seemed to capture people's attention enough for them to take a closer look and to find that it was not digital but hand generated artwork, which I think definitely worked in it's favour.

The thing about creating the works for a heavily themed exhibition is that whatever doesn't sell during "Homage to Frida" will have very little relevance once the show concludes as they were specifically created for this theme alone. I did, however, really enjoy creating these Frida inspired works and using diverse styles and techniques for each work.

I must also confess that I actually enjoyed my brief visit to the Gold Coast a lot more than I thought I would. I had no expectations of the place before traveling there and was pleasantly surprised by how much I 'liked' the area. At one point I even found myself daydreaming about owning a beachside mansion in Broadbeach... but then again - who wouldn't want to daydream about that! Some of the properties along Hedges Avenue and surrounds were just amazing and in some ways insane. It really is another world.

The weather, although I am not a real Summery or sun person, was just perfect. Given it is the start of Winter, 23 degree days are my ideal... and the nights were perfectly mild and fit for el fresco dining. I could have easily stayed another 4 or 5 nights... or longer. I some ways, parts of the Gold Coast reminded me of my time in Singapore... and even certain parts of Japan. One thing is for certain, as a general rule, the lifestyle up there does seem far more relaxed than down south.

In other news, since my last entry, my dog Teak had puppies. It was a somewhat traumatic experience as her labour was quite complicated and she did not take to the whole series of events very well or very naturally so after a sleepless night for both her and myself I took her to the vet. She's been pregnant with six puppies, three of which were born dead and the three that survived were, so I was told, quite massive. Two boys and a girl. The mother Teak (top photo) is a brown and white border collie and the father, Kip (bottom photo), who is also ours, is a brown kelpie with a tiny bit of white on his collar... the 3 puppies all have his colouring and markings and are incredibly cute. They are now almost 4 weeks old and full of beans! As we also have three adult dogs, it is fair to say that our house, at present, is rather chaotic!

No comments: