In the past month I have been lucky enough to visit two capital cities in Australia – Sydney and Adelaide, and a few places in between. I love to travel but having three small children makes it harder. Having said that, it is getting easier – hence the Sydney and Adelaide trips.
Going to new places sparks something in the imagination. It refreshes and energises. Hanging out somewhere that you don’t normally go makes you see things differently; look at things in a new way.
Here are a few things that I saw, and some of the thoughts that this tripping around triggered.
Let’s Abandon The Beige
In Sydney I was fortunate enough to attend the Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera exhibition (which has been extended to October 23rd, by popular demand, so if you get a chance to go, it really is worthwhile). Looking at Frida Kahlo’s work got me thinking about her; her beauty, her exuberance, her talent. It made me wonder why women today (including me) are so set on making ourselves disappear. We are the greys, blacks and beige – we choose those colours, and variations of them to represent and express ourselves. Frida reminded me to bring back the colour – abandon the grey scale, abandon the beige.
There is only one you, there is only one me – we have only one life. We must show ourselves. Colour is a way to do it.
Art Is Everywhere If You Care To Look
I was also lucky enough to view the Archibald Prize exhibition, and the Telling Tales – Excursions in Narrative Form exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Being a writer, of course, I am deeply interested in story telling and alternative and unique ways to do it.
Often personal stories are complex and not at all linear. We are are used to straight forward story telling but modern art challenges this: it can be the perfect channel for these meandering, non-linear, but deeply moving tales. Here is one of the installations from the Telling Tales exhibition that appealed to me both aesthetically and narratively.
But you don’t need to seek it out, it’s in the streets, public places, and in nature.
We followed the sign to the Cave Gardens and this is what we found!
It Is Worth Creating A Monument To Someone You Love
On the way to Adelaide we stopped in a cute country town, called Smythesdale, to stretch our legs and grab a coffee. I encountered this beautiful bench seat when the others had gone to use the loo. I saw it in the distance and was so intrigued by this beautiful seat, standing alone on a grassy verge, painted in maroon-red, that I went to investigate. Beautifully ornate, it also had a plaque that said ‘Joyce’s Seat’. I thought this was so lovely.
I don’t know who Joyce was. I’ve tried to find out since I’ve been home. But have turned up nothing. I should have asked the lady who made the coffee; but I also quite like not knowing. I like the idea that Joyce is who ever I want her to be. But also, she must have had an impact on someone, for them to buy her a gorgeous seat and put her name on it. Joyce must have been some kind of lady. Whoever organised that seat for Joyce must have loved her and by creating that place to sit, Joyce remains. She touches strangers, like me, if only for a moment, when we take a rest on her very inviting seat, or wonder for a while, who she might have been.
I love the idea that without these little trips of exploration I wouldn’t have experienced these enriching moments, thought processes or things of beauty. Exploring the world enriches my life in monumental ways, that are really the small ways. Going to see some art, moseying down the street, stopping to stretch your legs – ordinary things making life extraordinary, in small ordinary ways.