Monday, 31 October 2011

hang em high

i arrived at the gallery at 12 noon, the appointed time
having trotted bravely through horizontal rain with work in tow
the wind was so strong that my wheeled bag blew out horizontally behind me from time to time
the sort of weather in which you could ride a skateboard uphill
if you didn't mind becoming utterly sodden

fortunately i had the good sense to invest in some cutting edge fashion whilst in my beloved Vermont
where [at the Fairlee Feed Store, an excellent establishment run by delightful people where you can buy all sorts of really useful stuff] i equiped myself with a pair of muckboots, an oilskin hat and a cheap but extremely effective waterproof coat.

when adorned in these treasures i resemble Worzel Gummidge

i may well reprise the outfit tomorrow evening after the opening
- should be perfect for trick-or-treating

but i'll spare you the full catastrophe. i have, after all, many others to share.

back to the gallery, where the previous exhibition was still in place
somewhat unexpectedly
[perhaps the pre-Halloween parties are really good around here]

luckily however i had nothing else to do on my rainy sunday afternoon in Halifax, as the Port Campus [where my studio is located] is only accessible with a swipe card and i didn't fancy hanging around in the rain trying to convince a passing student of my bona fides.

in any case, the Anna Leonowens Gallery is nice and warm
and looks out onto the street
where the occasional dripping wretch can be seen tottering past
[better than television]

i apply myself to drybrushing marks on the wall and offer thanks to Silver Harris [set designer and founding Director of the Adelaide Festival Centre Gallery] for teaching me this useful skill some several lifetimes ago. Ben Webster kindly plays [on the batfone] while i reminisce.

we discover the letter 'r' is missing from the signage
good thing it wasn't the "o"

they find a spare and the exhibition title makes a little more sense. if only other gaps in my life could be filled so easily

i get on with hanging the show

at left 'windfall map' at right 'anywhere is walking distance if you have the time'

'cloudland' [I,II,III]
a reference to Aotearoa that some might recognise

a piece of two parts

and a couple of details
[the gold is from onionskin, for those who are wondering]

a draught from a gap in the door proves perfect - gently rotating one of the garments as though mechanically created for the purpose

and there are nice marks on the ceiling

i manage to hang the show quite quickly, then spend two hours staring at it
some of you will recognise the work
it was after all shown at the Katherine Nash Gallery in Minneapolis earlier this year
since then it has been sleeping in a box
in San Francisco
and one or two of the pieces have found homes in various places
if Qantas doesn't get its act together, i might be sleeping in a box in San Francisco myself shortly
i'll cross that bridge when i come to it

it's 5.24 pm local time and i haven't yet had breakfast
attempts to coax cash from an ATM have failed
i'm off to thrash the credit card and take supper at the Five Fishermen

Sunday, 30 October 2011

an interlude

class finished yesterday
but today i was back in the studio bright and early
because now it is my workspace until next Friday evening

there is a small window
looking on to Georges Island
hard to imagine that 10,000 Acadians were interned here
before being shipped out [to France, Louisiana and other ports]

the view changes from one hour to the next

between gazing out the window
i work
9 hours of serious effort
punctuated by excursions into the great outdoors
to gather materials
unaccustomed luxury

tomorrow i'll hang the exhibition

Friday, 28 October 2011

double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and caldron bubble.

third extract of local seaweed 
in the company of dogspikes
gleaned from the railyards
by a pack of rag-tag gypsies oh
on their way to the water's edge

Thursday, 27 October 2011

midweek in NSCAD extended studies [Halifax]

as usual
there are bundles to be opened
these have seaweed in them
and are clamped with found shells

a student brought in this box
of treasures

late morning
we walked to Point Pleasant 
to dip cloth into the seawater
[earlier ideas of trying that closer to the Port
had been abandoned
due to oily slicks
and copper arsenate treated wharf posts]


noticed this after the baptisms
shall be extra thorough in the boiling department

one of my samples from today

more delicious bundles

and above [and two below] some very fine
student samples
folks are clearly paying attention in class :)

the blue bits in the image above
are prints from the little stalks
that remain after the evil invasive seeds
from Japanese knotweed [Polygonum cuspidatum]
have flown off to wreak havoc in the whirled

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

rock-hopping at Halifax

yesterday i tottered about at the seaside
preparing for my class in Halifax

the road to the water wandered past a lovely pond

but in one end of it there was a dog crate
i hope it was vacant

to calm down i built a rockpile

and then another

then i combed the beach for treasure

i marvelled at birch trees growing so close to salt water
it just doesn't happen at home

such a beautiful path
the perfect place to set fire to a car

from this black patch
i salvaged
a nice piece of copper pipe
some melted aluminium
and a lot of fine rusted wire 
[from the tyres]
we used that today to set up some 'magic potion'
for the class

after work today

i went down to the sea again
to collect more lovely seaweed

one of the rockpiles
had survived the tide 

Monday, 24 October 2011


there's something brown and hairy
sleeping in my stuff

Friday, 21 October 2011

a blessed week

i'm writing this post tucked into a comfy bed
with a very dear friend [canine] sleeping at my feet
while outside
my beloved maples are gently drifting leaf stars

it's been a wonderful week for quiet walking in the woods
time with good friends
and for doing some very satisfying work

maple stars...

the lovely patina on railside treasures

i'll be wearing the dress [that big thing on the right]
when i say goodbye to this very special place

and head for Canada and Halifax this afternoon

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

a happy accident

sometimes holes in containers
can lead to very happy accidents
accidental happiness

holes in calendars can do similar things
it's good to have time off between workshops
i'm taking some quiet days to prepare for a big fortnight at NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sunday, 16 October 2011

in Vermont

in Vermont
there are stars in the lakes


strawberries grow by the roadside

before i left i stacked stones
the last two that had not been slung into the water

Friday, 14 October 2011

catching up [in more ways than one]

for those of you who think i've found a portal into the future
it's just blogger posting in Australian time
which is where i isn't

would much rather find a portal that goes back in time

i lurk by my favourite lake
among my beloved maples
naughtily brew stuff in the bathroom