Yeah… so I did an awesome job of catching up and keeping in touch right?
My excuse is that we’ve both been battling minor illness and less minor cases of both homesickness and the general sads. Sometimes what keeps rattling around in your brain is ‘if you can’t say sumn’ nice, don’t say nuttin’ at all’. That equals silence.
However it also means that once you come to verbalise (or text-ualise?) where you’re at, you are past the worst and on the up; back to appreciating the amazing opportunity you have.
The illness and depression have been incubating while we both hammer away at trying to produce some quality work out of our time here. While Matt has completed the work his Marie Edwards scholarship brought him here to do, he always planned to do more.
In my case, having made the investment in this trip out of my own pocket (scraping every last penny), I had been despairing that I could make no art, and that I would have wasted not only dollars but the whole opportunity and in doing so, have also passed on some awesome opportunities that were going back home (I’m looking at you, ONO Project. Looks like Pip and Kate organised an amazing event. The documentation is great. I want to live in a Scot Cotterell room!)
This worry is put to bed with a cold cloth on it’s feverish brow today (I wish I could say the same for myself) as Matt and I launch the small exhibition space at the end of the second floor corridor (Angela planned to call it the Squeezebox Gallery but she’s been away for the weekend and I have yet to confirm it’s name. Francois who works here, laughed at us bustling around in there yesterday and said he calls it the ‘Royal Suite’) with our tiny show entitled Of heaven and earth.
It’s a work each basically.
Matts work The Lull is rather a meditative thing. A narrow but human proportioned alcove, fitted with LEDs, emulates the star pattern in the night sky over Australia, complete with Southern Cross. It’s artifice is completely transparent, with each star constructed from an LED wrapped directly around a flat cell battery, and the space framed theatrically in proscenium style with red satin curtaining. It emanates a strangely soothing electrical buzz.
My own work (pictured above) is a diorama of roughly collaged, standing rabbits on cardboard that rests under a projection of snow falling upwards from a large tree. The effect is very much like a snowglobe, so that is its name.
I have shot a lot of snow here. I have written here before about how crazy I am for it. Anyone who knows me or reads this blog will be aware how crazy I am about rabbits too. The making of Snowglobe has been a fairly simplistic attempt to be happy, you see. I found an old 70’s era book on rabbit care in a secondhand store with lovely large photo’s and, in the absence of what I thought of as inspiration but with a burning need to just ‘make something’, I started to collage and mount them, almost just as a cheery silly decoration for our room as much as anything. Something to make us smile.
When Matt solidified the idea for The Lull and it became clear that an exhibition would happen, I brought all the bits and bobs I had made and shot up to the space and threw bits together until something went ‘ping’. It works and it makes me very happy indeed.
It’s only a short-run show. Just a week, but there will be a ‘Fermissage’ (Angela’s made-up word. It doesn’t feel right to call it a vernissage when it’s a closing.) on Sunday.
We’ll hop on a plane and head home the following Wednesday, dusting our hands together with art-satisfaction and dreaming of our own home.