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The Transition Weekend

23rd June

My last day in the cottage! It was also the day I met Rebecca Owens, the Arts Officer who deals with the artist residency programme at the Mornington Shire Council. We had a great chat, and I made sure she knew how law-abiding I had been in not putting any blue-tack on the walls! It was a lovely afternoon, but it felt hard to settle knowing I had to pack, so after a few bits and pieces, and making sure I left something in the guest book, I packed up the studio and loaded what I could into the car.

24th June

I was certainly warm by the time I finished packing up, and set off just after 8 for the Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, to see the work of incredible textile artist, Annemieke Mein. The gallery has a dedicated gallery space to honour this local artist, and regularly has exhibitions of her work, drawn from their own and private collections. I realise there are many I have never seen, and I was certainly thrilled to see new work from the artist, who has struggled for years with loss of feeling in her hands, yet has managed to keep creating with no loss of skill. It was wonderful to see the works up close, especially those without glass, and see every detail – and photograph them! It was her work I saw thirty years ago that inspired me with it’s beauty and reverence of nature, and showed me that you could make artwork out of materials by dyeing and stitching.

FYI - these photo galleries show cropped images -to see the whole photo, just click on them. Highly recommended for all the gallery shots in this post.

There was a great story about the Emperor Moth work - that it had been languishing in the artist's garage and had to be restored, and now sports new antennae and shoulders - I can't wait to dig up an image and compare! The were some other interesting work on exhibition, and I was very happy to see this very beautiful James Gleeson – the colours were just spectacular.

I left Sale around 1, still trying to get instructions on how to access my Air BnB in Melbourne. I always had a funny feeling about it, and sadly, this proved correct. I managed to arrive just after 4 – perfect time for settling in. Except I couldn’t get in, and I couldn’t get on to them. The detailed instructions that had finally arrived over about 6 messages that afternoon, proved unhelpful – the lock box was not where it was supposed to be. Was it the one locked to the lamp-post? They wouldn’t answer the phone, but kept replying through Air BnB. Try this code. No go. Oh, that was a typo – try this code. By now I had been hanging around in the cold for an hour, and was getting impatient. Get me in now! But although apologetic, they didn’t really seem too concerned. I should have quit earlier, but I knew it was a new listing and was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. You would think that in that case they would be all the more attentive, but no. So then I had to find a hotel. On a Saturday night. With a car park. I ended up not far away in the Crest on Barkly, but by now, at quarter past six, I was just hanging on, and started to lose it trying to park the canopied ute in a tiny underground car park. I had so much to unload, I politely demanded help and they brought a trolley and got me to my room. Such relief. It’s not what I was planning – I’ve come with all my own food and there’s no microwave, I can’t do my laundry, but hey – my beer fit in the fridge and someone makes my bed each day!

25th June

I was so pleased I had found the energy to tidy up last night and set everything up for this morning – I just flicked the coffee machine on. Luckily the vessel I had picked up as a makeshift milk jug yesterday at an op-shop was a steel mug! So it was kind of reverse coffee – milk frothed in the cup and coffee poured in on top. Three of those, and then my smoothie, three layers of clothing, and I was good to go. Just a walk down the block and I was onto the tram into town, arriving a bit before 10, so I headed to the Ian Potter Centre NGV. (The laneway across the road was full of people taking photos – the graffiti was not really fabulous, though). There are some very groovy pieces hanging in the foyer – really fun and engaging, and I thought they fit really well there.

As usual, I saw many pieces that made me roll my eyes, even more so once I read the explanation for them…. But, I actually saw quite a few works that I really appreciated, both visually and in the light of the extra information from the didactic. It was also great to see a few old favourites, from Fred Williams and John Olsen, and the giant McCubbin triptych. I spent about an hour in the gallery – I felt a little overwhelmed by all the sounds from the many audiovisual works – I kind of miss the old style quiet art gallery.

This light installation provided me with an opportunity to see the difference of shooting in different modes, as did the UV works.

I then visited the Arts Centre Markets, before jumping on a tram up to the Queen Victoria Markets. It was bitterly cold, and even though I was wearing a beautiful headband made by my King Island friend June, I was really missing my earmuffs, so was searching for replacements, however, none were to be found. Then, at my next stop, the St Kilda Markets, where only the staunch were braving the cold and wind, I found the perfect new warmz, making both mine and the stallholder’s afternoon.

(After my morning of 'art', I thought this collection of pallets, toilet, and empty stubby of VB was possibly a contender as an installation piece ...) Walking down Ackland Street, it was pretty deserted and dismal, unless you wanted cake, so I chose The Vineyard and their inviting offer of half price cocktails. I’m so glad I did, as not only were the Cosmos deliciously well made and the meatballs delicious, I got adopted by a lovely group who were off to a blues gig across the road. We had a merry time, enjoyed a lovely gift of a cheesecake slice from the chef, and departed as new friends. Happy, warm, and full, I headed back to my digs to get to work catching up on all this. I’m thinking Fitzroy tomorrow.

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