Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Never Ending Story

Well, this is it, time to go home, we leave soon (and with the time warp, should get home tomorrow - floods in Thailand pending) and will be back in the loop from Wednesday. But before we go, we need to say a massive thank you to all the wonderful people who have made our trip down under so amazing: Marian and Ruth for all their hard work making Impact 7 such a great gig at Monash, Tommaso and Mariella for a wonderful feast and welcome to Melbourne, Robert, Suzie and Des for the welcome at State Library Victoria, Gracia and Louise, David, Angela, Scott, Willis and family, Sara, Monica, Peter and everyone in Melbourne who made it so great to be there; Tim, Mal, Jonathan, Alan, and all the students at QCA in Brisbane, for good times, talking and help all round, and especially Tim for looking after us so well and inviting us to be here in Brisbane to work with him. Helen for dinner and the wonderful tour of State Library Queensland, and Jo Diball, Gallery Director of POP for being ace, and making our work there so entertaining.

Our rules of engagement in Australia: look up, down and either side, don’t sit on any benches, sidewalks, pavement edges, wooden benches, grass, don't stand still too long, stand near water, under a tree, keep still outside or inside, don’t lean against anything, or get in the car without checking for a massive spider, don’t feed the wildlife, do talk to strangers, they have great stories to tell, and buy you drinks.

We will miss, all the amazing people we have met, and we will stay in touch; the octopus sushi in the QCA cafĂ©, the knee breaking, gravity defying rides at Luna Park, Melbourne, our lovely balcony at QCA with views of the city, and the massive bats that swoop past each evening, races in the lifts to get to the 7th floor first, papermaking with Tim, POP Gallery, Tim and Mal (of course, for everything) peace and quiet, friendly strangers who love bio-engineering, lovely Thai food, Gordon the gecko who lives in our apartment (he is probably still there waiting for the next guest to arrive).  We won’t miss: mosquitoes, scarily large Huntsman spiders, goannas, jumping spiders, strange animals and insects, being bitten by anything, and nightly birdcalls that sound like someone being murdered.

We hope to come back and do more in the future, and then if we blog again, we can call it Return to Oz, but in the meantime, we are really grateful to everyone for making it such a brilliant trip, and thanks for following our blog too. We’ll update our websites when we get back with proper info and images.

Paul and Sarah

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Riders on The Storm

This morning, covered in mosquito bites from papering the car park last night, we peeled the dry paper off the underground car park ceiling and walls, and have divided it up for the participants to take away and make into books.

What do you get as payback for your patience when scraping, filling and painting the gallery walls twice to make sure they are super clean for the next artists?  The perfect storm of course! After being disappointed last weekend when a storm seemed to materialise and pass away before it got to do anything great, we got the best Armageddon type storm this afternoon when were putting POP gallery back to rights. Completely unpredictable Australian weather we love it!  And the gallery cleaned up very nicely too.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Going Underground (car parking)

We had another busy day today. After our opening/closing party last night, Helen Cole kindly invited us all back to her house where her husband had cooked up a Spanish feast of tapas and paella, where we had a lovely evening with them, Noreen Grahame of Grahame Galleries + Editions, and the artist Normana Wight.

This morning, Sarah met with Helen again at State Library Queensland where she had a tour of the amazing building, and Helen chose some of her favourite artists’ books to study for the morning, whilst Paul met with second and third year printmaking students at QCA to talk about digital printmaking.

This afternoon, we decamped to the underneath of Tim’s house to make sheets of black paper, in which we floated all the leftover letters and ghost scraps from the gallery walls that we had swept up last night. We then pressed the paper, and later this evening, we visited the underground car park and attached them to the walls and ceilings to let them dry against the concrete and pick up any texture from the lines and holes (we are not sure if this is a normal way to spend a Friday night but it worked well). Tomorrow morning we will retrieve them and take them back to POP gallery for the final clear up and share out, as we will all take some home to make into books to return to Tim as a complete set.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

How to Make Friends and Influence People (or, the Writing is off the Wall)

Tonight we launched our exhibition/ happening at POP gallery. Tim gave a speech and invited visitors to choose a weapon and start scraping the gallery walls. This could have been a bit confusing as everyone who came in thought there was nothing on the walls. We had spent a few days before covering the letters in white spray and then white paint, so that when you walked in it looked like there was absolutely nothing on the walls.  

Our video of the process was playing to explain our procedure for the last 8 days, so people could see how we had arrived at nothing. Once all the walls had been scraped off, we swept up the abandoned letters, and tomorrow afternoon we will float all the ghostly scraps in water so that they sink into the paper sheets that we will then dry and use to make books from.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Pitch: A Show About Nothing

Just as George advised Jerry Seinfeld, a good show can be about nothing.

Our show isn’t actually about nothing, but it might look like that until we open tomorrow night. Actually today felt a bit like an episode of Seinfeld, as we sat around making notes and talking about what we had done and how we felt it had gone, with extra cast members popping in. A whole day spent thinking and writing about nothing.

It was really good fun, and probably our last chance to really talk about our plans at leisure as Tim is teaching tomorrow and we are packing books and then going back to the gallery before the event kicks off at 6pm. And after that, we will be busy again on Friday and Saturday, making something out of nothing.

Black in Back

Today we painted the gallery walls white again, ready for our opening (or project closing party) launch on Thursday evening. We still have tomorrow and Thursday to get our video together, but in the meantime enjoyed some local shopping thanks to Jo, the POP gallery manager, and later finally found a bar where we could afford to eat and drink without taking out a second mortgage each. As for what we show in the gallery on Thursday, well you will just have to wait and see!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Ghost World

We started spraying over some of the texts with white paint today, to make them slowly disappear bit by bit before we do the final ghost work on Thursday.

As we had to wait for the spray paint to dry, Tim gave us the afternoon off, although we were thwarted at every turn. We walked along the riverbank to visit GoMA, Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (above), but when we got inside, all of the exhibitions were closed for changeover. After a mooch around the (well stocked but very expensive) bookshop we walked back around to the fake sand and water at Streets Beach in the park which would have been great for a swim to cool down but was closed for a corporate volleyball function. So, back to work then!