Monday, July 21, 2014

Park raving mad

Hey! Hop in, let's get this show on the road. I have something terrific to tell you; are you ready? ok, here goes; the other day, while driving my car Rudolph, I did a really good parallel park.

I do a lot of parallel parking, and because Rudolph's a big car I had to get good at it or I'd never find a spot in the city, but this parallel park was parkticularly good, I wish you could've seen it. 

Actually, you can see it, look, I took a picture.
I did the park on the right side of the road, (a.k.a. the wrong side of the road), which feels backwards but means it was very cultured and European. What's more I pulled it off in one simple motion, perfectly leaving my car the perfect distance from the curb and also the perfect distance from the two luxury cars that were now perfectly spaced in front and behind me. It was perfect. 

Now before you tell me to quit going on about a boring park, hear me out, as I think it's justified if only because this is an artist blog and that park was certainly a work of art.

Actually come to think of it maybe what I like about doing a good park is I can pat myself on the back over it and have a happy feeling of pride that I don't really ever let myself experience with my art. It's a pure celebration, a bit like a Matisse painting.

Maybe one day for an exhibition I'll have a piece that just consists of me parking my car really well in front of the gallery. It'll be a performance and I'll do it at some point during the opening. It'll be the best thing I've ever done. Ha, but anyway this is an excellent example as to why I've listed "parallel parking" amongst my skills on my LinkedIn page, right there next to Video Editing and Taxidermy.
On a side note, I have LinkedIn, do you have LinkedIn? Should I delete LinkedIn? I thought having a LinkedIn would make me feel professional but it kind of makes me feel a tiny bit like a kid playing dress ups and pretending to a grown up. Having said that though if you are on LinkedIn though please "connect with me" so I don't feel quite as much like LinkedIn's weakest link.

Another skill I should add to my LinkedIn profile is "Changing flat tyres", here's a photo taken the day after my great parallel park where in the rain I rescued my pal Cherie's car.

There's no real reason to show you this accept that it makes me look like a wheely great guy.
Well actually maybe it doesn't, I did change the tyre but it turned out there was more wrong with the wheel than just that, so we called RACV and they were the wheel heroes. 

I was a little heroic too though, when I noticed everyone was hungry I rescued the group's blood sugar levels by going to the chemist and getting us all Vegie Chips. So maybe there's room in the story for more than one hero.
On a side note, have you ever had Vegie Chips? I hadn't. They're amazing. They're a bit like prawn crackers, except even better, and I didn't think that was possible.

Anyway at 6am the next morning I was heroically driving a friend to the airport when unheroically I was in a car accident. Nobody was hurt, and it wasn't me at fault, and everyone's insured, and my friend made the plane. So everything was fine. But my car was towed and I ended up freezing cold in a car impound somewhere near the airport, sitting by myself in a tea room at a table of mechanics.

As I flipped through a newspaper I landed on a page with an article about Rolf Harris. I really wanted to read it but out of shyness I kept on flipping because I didn't want the mechanics to think I was looking at the big photo of some pretty women that was also on the page.
I then realised how silly it was for me to be worried the mechanics would think I'm looking at a photo of women (that I'm not even looking at) when the people I'm worried would think that are the kind of people who decorate their kitchen with images of girls in bikinis.
(Ha, it's not what it looks like Mr. Mechanic, I wasn't looking at the beautiful women, I was looking at the alleged pedophile I swear. You gotta believe me!)
Despite their questionable calendars and framed posters the mechanics were great guys, and they said it'd take 3 to 5 days before they knew whether or not Rudolph was written off. In the meantime the insurance company gave me a rental car. A silver sedan Toyota Corolla. I didn't think to take a photo but here's an image I found of it on Google.
I didn't feel comfortable in the rental, I was too scared to even drink coffee in it in case I spilled any, let alone eat a sandwich. Plus it felt like Rudolph was in a coma and I should be respectful and not out in other cars.

Poor Rudolph, he's my brother, and he's been a beloved member of this blog since the early days, here's a photo of when he appeared in a post back in March, 2012, when I documented the first time I drove the him to Sydney, (click here for the link to that).
But so yeah, despite 3 to 5 days of successfully convincing myself that they'd fix Rudolph and everything would be ok eventually I was told the very sad news that he had gone to automobiley heaven, and that I needed to use the last week of my rental car to find a new car.

Trying to find a new car sucks, especially when you have to do it in a hurry. I had my Dad helping me though so I'm very fortunate for that. Even still I spent so much dead time looking on the internet and driving for hours to stand with strangers in their driveways and ask questions about their run down cars. It's really disheartening. Plus all I wanted to do was be in the studio, or see friends or go swimming, but instead I spent my whole life in peak hour traffic somewhere in Essendon, driving from one car I wasn't keen on to another and thinking "well I need a car, I'm gonna have to settle on something".

And then a hero came along, with the strength to carry on, and amazingly, I found something really special! No car will ever replace Rudolph. Of course not. Don't be crazy. But I tell you what, if I weren't so sentimental about Rudolph I'd tell you that this new car is even better. It's a little bit like how I thought nothing could improve on prawn crackers but then I tried Vegie chips. Or that episode of The Simpsons where Bart replaces Santas Little Helper with Laddie.

Anyway, let me introduce you to my new car, I think his name is Blitzen, either that or Donna. I'd name it Dasher but that sounds like a car that would run a red light and cleaned up. Either way though that's me sitting on the hood, looking like I'm straight out of the hood, with my cap backwards like Fred Durst and making the F symbol, (F for Fred, and F for Ford).
One of the perks of Blitzen is he has a real antenna, no more coat hanger for me. (Although now I have no idea where I'm supposed to store my jacket while I'm driving).

Another perk is Blitzen came with these stickers.

That's me playing golf, obviously. That's so me. And I already have chooks and a dog. Sure I could take off the other stickers, but I think the smarter thing to do is just hang out in front of the sticker at the petrol until destiny brings me a woman with a golf club and a young girl who lifts weights.
A keen observer to that last photo will have noticed that as well as a new car I also have a new coffee size. It was super, in every sense of the word.
Among the infinite reasons that it's sad to lose Rudolph, one is that I'd just gotten it a new CD player. I bought it myself on last years boxing day sales. In fact that CD player, as well a pair of Collingwood socks, were the only two things I got last year for Christmas.Fortunately I still have the socks.

Speaking of CD's, the CD player in this car came free with a burnt copy of Mumford & Sons second album Babel. So if anyone wants to play frisbee... Ha, no just joking, I'm sure I'll get around to listening to it sons time soon in the next mumf or so.
But ok, enough about cars, it's way past my bed time so I need to wrap this up, before I do though I wanted to quickly mention that this week and last week I've been running ceramic and painting workshops at the VCA high school. I'll talk about it more another time but yeah, I'm so grateful to have been asked to do it, they're a really great bunch of people and I'm really loving working with them.

The main thing this means though is move over drivers license, because I've got a new ID to get me into the clubs. 
As an experiment I tried to use the ID to get into the Irish bar at Knox last night and sadly they would not accept it.
Oh and hey the last thing I'll say tonight is that I'm going to be in Perth for a few days next week, (the hometown of Rolf Harris, someone who has certainly been revoked of his working with children license), and so if you're in Perth around then send me an email and let's get a coffee. We can get it anywhere you like, it doesn't even have to be from 7-11!

But ok, thanks heaps for reading, be safe on them roads, see you soon, and to nicely bookend this blogpost my pal Cherie got another flat tyre last night, fortunately this time it was just the tyre, and I got to be a hero after all. No RACV or Vegie Chips were required.
When you have a car accident, or any kind of accident, it can be enough to drive you crazy, but if I've learnt one thing from all this it's that sometimes the only way to deal with things is to parallel park your cap on backwards and take some advice from your main man Fred Durst, and just keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin' what? keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin' yeah. 
In loving memory of Rudolph. 2000-2014.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Every blog has its day

Hey pal, here's some very exciting news; today I published a new blog post!

"Well der..." I hear you saying, "I'm reading it right now".

Oh yeah, good point. So ok, hey pal, here's some very exciting news; today I published TWO new blog posts!

And by that I mean, today I published this post that you're reading right now, but also I'm incredibly thrilled to announce that I was invited to write a guest post for the ACCA blog!

(Pssst.. Just in case you're an overseas reader, ACCA is the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.)

And so yeah, here's a photo of me giving my ACCA blog piece one last quick edit, sitting with the wonderful Ali, while deep inside the heart of ACCA Headquarters.
As a fun-fact side-note: To get inside of ACCA Headquarters you have to pull down on a mystery book that's hidden amidst all the other books within the ACCA bookstand. Once the mystery book is pulled from the shelf a pretend wall will spin around and at this point you'll have exactly two seconds to duck in through the secret entrance.

Please don't bother asking me which book is the mystery book, as I'm not at liberty to say. One hint I will give you though is that the mystery book may or may not be the NEW14 exhibition catalogue, but I guess if you want to find out for sure you'll need to head into the ACCA bookstand and pick up a copy.

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh right, so here's Ali and I going over my ACCA post one last time, just checking to see if we've missed any grammatical errors, clunky sentences or any other general sloppiness that I might be allowed to get away with on my own blog but is certainly not acceptable when writing for someone else's.
Miraculously my writing somehow passed the ACCA test, and so the only thing that was left for me to do was close my eyes, hope I hadn't acca-cidentally written anything too dumb, and click "publish".
The 2200 word writing/image thing that I just published on the ACCA blog is titled New sen-station; A drawn out day on the train, and is the resulting work from about a month ago, on the day before I turned 26, which was also the day before the NEW14 exhibition finished.

For the day I stayed on the train from the first train in the morning until the last train that night, travelling on every line and drawing people along the way. 

I'll write more about the piece soon but for now I just kind of wanted to tell you about it, so that you can go and have a look, if you'd like to, and hopefully it can speak for itself. 

To find the piece go to, or even easier just google "ACCA blog", or, easiest of all, just click on any part of the second half of this sentence!

So yeah, I'd love it if you'd have a look!

In the meantime though you've already at least read this blog post, and so thanks heaps for that, I really appreciate it. Hi.

Before I finish up I also want to say a ginormous thank you to ACCA for giving me the tremendous joy of publishing on their blog, it's such an honour, and in particular a huge thank you to Alison Lasek, Kyla McFarlane, Jane Rhodes and Cherie Peele. 

And ok great, I think that's it. All I really wanted to say here tonight was to please have a look at the ACCA blog, and so now that I've said that I guess it's time for me to click "publish" on this post. 

Clicking "Publish" on my own blog is just slightly less scary than clicking it on ACCA's, so rather than cover my eyes for this one I've decided to instead click "Publish" while enjoying a delicious, nutritious dinner courtesy of the sandwich artists down at Subway.
Getting into the spirit of NEW the sandwich artist even insisted that we bust open a brand NEW bag of fresh lettuce.
and so lettuce all be grateful for that. (You know, grate-full, because the lettuce is grated...Goodnight everybody, I'll be here all week, try the subs!)

Monday, July 07, 2014

You've got a Friend in me

Hey friend, this is just a friendly reminder that today is the last day to see my work in the Future Now exhibition on at Substation.

Future Now is a travelling prize, curated by Will Foster, that seven 2013 Honours graduates were invited to be a part of. The show will travel to three Regional Galleries around Victoria over the next 6 months, I'll let you know more about those dates when they're a bit closer.

Essentially Future Now is an exhibition of work from the recent VCA Honours Graduate exhibition, but because I'd already been in a show of Grad show work at West Space earlier in the year, and also because I figured that most people who'll come to see Substation will have already seen that work, instead I asked if for this part of the show I could make new work.

The piece I made is called FRIENDS, and it's basically a kind of site-specific solo show within the exhibition, I think. 

FRIENDS was exhibited in it's own little room within the gallery. From the doorway as you walk into the room you see a sculpture on the floor of a blu-ray DVD of the American sitcom Friends, (season two). 
Friends (season two), acrylic on kiln fired clay, 17 x 14 x 1.5cm. 2014.

When you then look to the wall on the right you see six A3 drawings; a portrait of each of the artists in the exhibition, (plus, you know, the same amount of friends that are in the sitcom Friends).  
Photo credit- Kristy Milliken
Six drawings, acrylic on 225gsm paper, each 42 x 29cm, from left to right they are titled Alex, Christina, Dan, Isabelle, Daniel and Sarah.

In each of the drawings the subject is smiling happily like a headshot photograph of a sitcom star.
Dan. Acrylic on 225gsm paper. 42 x 29cm. 2014.

There's also an audio element to the show, as repeating throughout the gallery space is a one minute long looped recording of me singing the theme song to Friends. 

If you'd like to hear my version of the song from the show I have previously used it as the audio to this video, that originally I made to accompany a slideshow of me and my friend Dan, that I made for Dan's sister when she was putting on a mini film festival.
The audio is coming from a CD player on the ground, (the cd player, of course, was the listening device of choice in 1995, the year of Friends season two). 
So yeah, obviously I have the voice of an angel, but even still, that angelic song repeating all day long turns the experience of spending time with the work into a little bit of a friendzy.

Anyway the show is meant to be fun, but also I wanted to pay a genuine little tribute to all six people in the show I went through university with and am lucky enough to call my friends. 

The work is also meant to draw a reference to the idea of group shows that feature a selection of only artists who are all friends, which I think is a pretty common thing in Australian artist run spaces.

The other thing I liked about the show is that to get to my FRIENDS room you have to have gone through most of the other artists rooms in the show, and so having just experienced their work I liked the idea that the viewer could now put a face behind the art. 

For instance, here's a drawing I did of a detail of one of Christina Hayes' paintings from Future Now.
And now, exhibited fifteen meters away from Christina's painting, here's the face behind the work.
Christina. Acrylic on 225gsm paper. 42 x 29cm. 2014.

Ha, anyway, thanks heaps for reading, and I hope you know dear reader, that even though no one told you life was gonna be this way, and even if your job's a joke, your broke or your love life's D.O.A. And maybe it's like you're always stuck in second gear, and if you feel like it hasn't been your day, your week, your month or even your year. Well, just write me an email cause I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour, yeah I'll be there for you, like I've been there before. I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

LEGO of me you creep!

Hey movie star, what's the goss?

A couple of months ago I entered a competition on the very cool website TheThousands and very cooly I was lucky enough to win a double pass to go to the movies and see The Grand Budapest Hotel!

I was pretty excited, I never go to the movies, I guess mostly because it costs a thousand dollars, which made the fact that this particular screening was courtesy of TheThousands all the more sweet. (Not quite as sweet as my Boysenberry choc-top, but still very sweet none the less.)

Anyway I loved Budapest Hotel. One of my favourite movies is Fantastic Mr. Fox and for a lot of reasons Budapest felt a lot like a real life version. But this isn't a film review, the reason I've brought it up is to show you this drawing I did while I kicked off my shoes, chomped the choc off the top of my choc-top and waited for the film to start.
It was really dark once the lights went down but I kept drawing until eventually LEGO Batman came onto the screen and told me to turn my phone off.
And so yeah, here's the result, away from all of the movie magic. 
I'm pretty sure the only other movie I've seen at the cinema this year was the LEGO Movie. Unfortunately I had to pay for my ticket to this one myself, but that's ok, I'm a grown up, I can afford it, (plus I went on cheap Tuesday), all the same though... um... er... I'm trying to come up with a joke, something along the lines of "the only thing more expensive than going to see the LEGO Movie is buying actual LEGO". It's not the best joke but well, there's no way out of this paragraph, I'm stuck between a block and a hard place. Ha, anyway, I'll LEGO of that idea, let's move on.

I've always loved LEGO, and so the LEGO Movie coming out was pretty exciting, it certainly made the arrival of my trams a lot more fun than usual.
But it wasn't just me excited about the LEGO Movie, even the newspaper turned the head of this sexual predator into blocks.
It wasn't all waiting for delayed trams and reading about horrible, horrible predators though, eventually I got to actually see the LEGO Movie, here's a photo of me in the audience.
And here's a drawing I did while waiting for it to start.
I think the LEGO drawing turned out a Thousands times better than the Budapest did, I guess I blocked it out a bit better.
But ok, I better get going as my dinner isn't going to cook itself. Maybe I should just head back to the cinema and get a choc-top. It's not too unhealthy, I mean boysenberry, that's a fruit.

Anyway thanks heaps for reading, hope you're having a night of glitz and glamour, and here's a drawing of the blockhead from the newspaper.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mistakes were made

Hey, so you know about "Throwback Thursday" yeah? It's a thing people say when they put something from a while ago onto social media. Often it's a photo of them as a kid, and then I think the point of it is for everyone who sees the photo to comment on it saying how adorable the person was.

I've never done a #ThrowbackThursday, (or #tbt), but just so you get an idea of what it might look like, here's a photo of me washing the dishes, taken a couple of months before I turned two years old.
Now compare that with a photo taken today of me at 26 unloading a dishwasher, and it's pretty clear I'm a lot less cute now. That's why #ThrowbackThursday is so effective.
The reason I bring it up is because a few days ago I was included in a kind of #ThrowbackThursday, well nobody actually labelled it as "Throwback Thursday", but I'm pretty sure the only reason for that is because it was on a Tuesday. 

So yeah, last Tuesday the legend Jon Campbell posted a photo of the big novelty cheque painting that my buddy Dan and I made for him back in 2012. 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-cheque it out.
(For more context on the cheque painting I wrote a thing all about it back on November 1st, 2012, so #ThrowbackSaturday, click here if you'd like to read it.)
Anyway the reason I bring it up is because I really enjoyed being a part of a #ThrowbackThursday, so much so that I thought for todays blog post I might try and come up with something vaguely similar; it's called "#DraftblogSaturday". 

So basically #dbs is a blog post within a blog post, and what you're about to read is a post that's been saved in my draft folder since the end of 2012. It was never good enough to post at the time I wrote it but I'm going to post it now, that's how #DraftblogSaturday works.

And so without further adu, here's one from the vault, it's called "I made a Mistake", and it goes a little something like this;

I made a mistake
Every single day I spend my time making mistakes and being upset about it, this week however I made a mistake that doesn't seem to eat at me the way the others do.
It's acrylic on kiln fired ceramic, and is 21.5cm x 3cm x 3cm. 
The chocolate bar it's based on is called a Flake, but I've changed the text on the sculpture to Mistake.. Ha, I'm sure you already know that but I figure I should say it anyway just in case you don't have Flake's where you live. 
If you don't know what a Flake is they're essentially the same thing as a Twirl chocolate bar, except without the outer layer of chocolate coating. I guess though if you don't know what a Flake is you probably don't know what a Twirl is either.
Anyway I also changed the wrapper tagline to THE CRUMBLIEST HIT YOU WON'T LAST A DAY WITHOUT and changed the logo from Cadbury to Sadbury. I think we can all agree that satire doesn't get much more biting than that.
Here's a study I did of it before I made the sculpture. It's acrylic on 21 x 29cm 225 gsm paper.
And here's a couple of photos from earlier today when I took the Mistake to the supermarket.
The woman at the register was so great, she picked up the Mistake sculpture and we had a little conversation about mistakes. When I told her how I'm always pulling at my hair over my mistakes she told me she has a poster of Jim Morrison with a quote of his saying that says "Some of the greatest mistakes I ever made were haircuts".
It was particularly apt as I'd already planned for my pal Cherie to give me a haircut that afternoon. The haircut was no mistake, although what was a mistake was having the haircut while sitting in a tiny chair that I'd found in hard rubbish. I leaned back on the chair and it broke.
This blog post is ridiculous, and probably another mistake, maybe I should've just shown a photo of the Mistake sculpture and left it at that.

Ha, and so that's where it ended. I probably should've posted it at the time, I've posted up a lot worse blog posts than that one. Anyway thanks for indulging me in the first ever #DraftblogSaturday. 

Before I wrap this up though I've got another Throwback to mention; do you remember me telling you how I put Rudolph's red nose onto the front of my car last December?
Well I still haven't taken the nose off, in fact here I am right now writing this blog post out in the cold while sitting next to it.
Usually I feel a bit silly with the red nose on the car, but yesterday I didn't because yesterday was Red Nose Day.

But Red Nose Day is one thing, it turns out that yesterday was also Red Walls Day, as around about lunch time I went to go see the new show on at West Space and while walking past the Starbucks on Bourke Street I spotted a wall that was straight out of a horror movie.
It was pretty shocking and terrible but nobody around seemed to have noticed, it's only because I happened to be looking in the window that I spotted it. I guess if you'd wanted coffee you'd have found out though because the store was police taped off, and inside was police, paramedics, and security.
Pretty scary yeah? How do you even get blood to splatter like that? I asked one security guards what'd happened, he said he didn't know, but I guess he has to say that.
The blood looked thin, the same kind of hue and consistency as the blood I saw from that guy who cracked his skull open at Flinders Street Station. (Another #ThrowbackThursday, here's where I wrote about that).
Pretty soon a real life true detective turned up, unfortunately it wasn't Matthew McConaughey, it wasn't even Ice-T from Law And Order, but even still, he looked just like a detective from TV.
Ice-T might not have been there but I did spot one wrapper, which made me a bit sad to see that my beloved Subway had somehow been roped into all this mess.
I couldn't stick around too long, and so I left with no answers. I've since tried to Google it and found no results, if you've heard anything let me know as I'd love to hear what went down. 

One thing I did spot as I turned the corner from Bourke Street onto Swanston was a handcuffed man standing next a canvas Tote bag that was also splattered with blood. So I don't know, if I was a true detective I'd probably start my investigation by speaking with him.
Earlier tonight I made my way back to the crime scene just to see if all the evidence of the day before was well and truly gone. It was, of course, and I ordered myself a Grande cup of chai latte.

And so yeah, I made a mistake using ceramics, Jim Morrison made his mistakes at the hairdressers and I don't know how, but I guess that handcuffed guy had most likely made some kind of mistake as well. 

Anyway here's a photo of me leaning on the wall that yesterday was covered in blood, feeling like I'm in an Edward Hopper painting and dunking a Flake bar in my chai. Ain't life Grande.