When one of the four kids would whine, my favourite line was, ” the complaints department, is closed for the day”
It’s time to apply through VTAC, if my training in Visual Arts is to continue.
The cinema was packed, the viewing time sped by, and I left the cinema feeling strangely optimistic about human nature.
A chance conversation in the lift at VU, led to a visit to ACMI, to see the much feted Bowie show. My niece, an artist, from Hobart, and I plunged into the abyss, preparing to be dazzled, and we were.
Its a comprehensive show exported from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and is exuberant, cunningly staged and encapsulates the man, his art, and life’s work, in an easy to view format.
I loved Bowie as a teen and was mightily impressed by his vision, and body of work. My highly prized ” Diamond Dogs” vinyl LP was on permanent rotation in our lounge room, only being marginally louder than the racket coming from the ladies lounge below us, as we lived above the family run pub. It was the heady days of the 70’s, sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and I adored the music of the Stones, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Led Zeppelin and Hendrix, to name a few. My 16 year old self would gyrate to Rebel, Rebel, in in my crushed velvet, turquoise, bellbottoms, tottering on my green patent leather wedges, under the scornful eye of my elder brother. He would run to his room and play the Beatles, White Album, hoping to drown Bowie out.
A cacophony of sound rang across the rooftops of South Melbourne, Bowie and the Beatles providing the soundtrack of my youth, whilst the ladies swilled sweet sherry and shandies, in the saloon below. The hair was always problematic, my wild unruly curls refused to be tamed into the regulation bowiesque, red dyed, bristled, dunny brush look, and I had to content myself with the Hendrix Afro.
The afro has subsided, the bellbottoms, and patent leather wedgies are long gone, as is the pub, but my son has purloined my vinyl. I caught him smuggling it put of the house, and one day I will return it to its rightful owner. Go and see Bowie’s show. The paintings and linocuts of his Berlin period are particularly poignant and powerfully executed, providing a record of his and Iggy Pop’s, battle with drug addiction. I particularly loved his Union Jack ensemble, up close its torn,
pockmarked, distressed and purposefully aged appearance, is an aesthetic I love, and use in my own visual art practice. An innovative, enquiring, multi talented, visual and sound artist across many fields of creative output, his work remains highly relevant, stimulating and stunning to this day.
The time, venue, date and artist were set. Our lunch date with TV Moore was confirmed, a hasty walk to Southbank ensued, and three of our number strode boldly into the tightly packed, largely VCA held, lunchtime forum. PV Styler, Sungyole and deniseahonan were not daunted, single seats were quickly secured, and we sat attuned to the great man, waiting for pearls of wisdom to drop from his mouth.
TV Moore, is a complex, multifaceted, Australian artist, classically trained in Sydney, who has completed residencies in Finland, and Los Angeles, and now resides, and works in NYC. He discussed his work candidly and expansively, and managed to answer the subversive questions, asked by the VCA students very deftly. His practice embraces many areas of the visual arts, and he is attuned to trends, developments and influences stateside, whilst stamping his own uniquely, iconic Aussie signature on his work, specifically the Disney figures, of popular culture.
A brisk Question and Answer forum ended the talk. A third year VCA sculpture student, sitting next to me, who I questioned at the previous weeks Open Day, asked the question about his influences, claiming , ” its all very LA “. TV replied, well yes I lived and worked in LA, and have long been interested in Disney, and animation. The response was self effacing but the inference personal, and I believe indicative that artists are like human sponges, soaking in much, re- processing, fashioning and discarding, to meet our own personal aesthetic.
I took a very valuable line away from the forum, that ” the gallery space, particularly the ACCA
space,with its no right angles owns you, and you work with it to extend your work”. It in essence becomes a part of your work, an extension to your exhibition.
Quote by TV Moore, 1pm lunchtime forum, ACCA, Southbank, Melbourne, 20/08/2015.
It made me think about where I live.
I too live in an inspiring part of the world and enjoy its beauty, diversity, and value the daily inspiration I derive from my surroundings.
Today our Victoria University Artspace class, visited Paul Borg‘s studio. Based at home, in St Albans, he runs a workshop and studio out of his converted garage. The yard and surrounds are a plethora of found objects, recycled items and gathered paraphernalia. I got lost several times enroute, the VW’s nose not used to being pointed in a westerly direction.
Inside the studio boasts a cornucopia of work. Vast, skilfully executed oil paintings of his, and surrounding backyards, local landscapes, religious icons, and unique portraiture. An exemplary brushman, he taught at VU Flinders Campus for many years, and showed us a series of drawings he completed on his daily train commute. Application to his craft, long working hours, self discipline, and inspiration from unlikely sources, are all building blocks of his creative practice.
An informative Q&A session rounded off the interview, and we left his studio feeling privileged to be granted an expose to his work, specifically the family portraiture, which comprises a large part of his creative practice.