Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Nice things

This afternoon I was contacted by Megalo (the gallery where I'm showing my work) who wanted to know if I could drop everything and go on the radio. Apparently the local ABC had a bit of a cancellation and thought they'd fill it with some Local Art. Hooray!

So here I am in me working gear*, holding a couple of 'nice things made out of old books and recycled paper', just before I went into the studio to talk to the lovely Louise Maher. We had a great conversation, and they've promised to send it to me as an MP3 so that I can cringe along in the privacy of my own studio.

It was absolute gold putting the word 'recycled' into my title. I'm actually recycling papers I've created with my own printing work, but Louise was really more interested in my use of old books, and we talked at length about the Lifeline Bookfair and the way I plunder its treasures only after I've given people every chance to buy the books. I rattled on about how books aren't our primary source of information anymore, and therefore have even more become objects of desire, so extending the life of old books by transforming their initial design makes lots of sense. I also talked about books as primal symbols, and that when you use books in art, you're bringing the viewer halfway towards your art, because they understand what a book should be, and you can work with or against that. (In that line of thinking you can also substitute the word 'painting' and it works well too.) She also got interested in my letterpress work, and we talked a bit about the instant gratification of manual typewriters.

I don't know how those 'radio hosts' (don't think they're called DJs anymore) can concentrate with all the paraphenalia around them. When I was doing some community radio (way back when John Howard was in opposition), we just had a couple of CD decks, a turntable, ads on tape(!) spools and a few buttons and twinking lights. Now there's computers and banks of flashy things and multiple tvs running with the sound turned down. I'd be unable to think straight with all the distraction. I was very impressed.

Everything is ready. I've put the numbers on the works, had some more invites printed (I ran out of the meagre amount I printed in a vague attempt to keep things emailable, forgetting that people love hard copy souvenirs), and have bought a load of yummies for the opening. I didn't go the catering route -- just decided to bung on some cheeses and chips and fruit. I did take some time tonight to make some little savoury baked ricotta thingies, just because I had nothing else to do. Luxury!

Now I need my beauty sleep so that I can actually hear what people are saying to me at the opening. Ooh, bum, just remembered that I forgot to book the restaurant for afterwards. Oh well, I'll have to do it at the last minute and cross my fingers! Can't be totally organised, can one?

*Actually, the research chick told me they were going to take a photo for their blog, and I was dressed in my scraggiest flannie shirt, printing with red ink at the time (which makes me look like I've been gashed all up my arms, or like I've slashed someone else), so I dashed home on the way to the radio station and cleaned up and changed into what would ordinarily be my working clothes, anything BUT the flannie! I have standards, you know ;)


genevieve said...

That's great about das Radio!! go you.

Carol said...

Lovely photo. Of course you have standards! And by now the Opening has happened and I'm sure all is well and better than well. All the best...

Anonymous said...

Reading your impowering comments about books always brings me back to happy memories of the legend Nana Geekie. I loved shopping with her in the old Moores Shop in Perth, it always had a huge table of books in the middle of their shop. Nana used to stand there look at the books,pick one up RUB IT UP AND DOWN ON HER DRESS OR USE A HANKY.No dust thank you! she would have the look on her face "Now which grandchild could this book be for?)" We always got books for our birthday and christmas. David got the Famous Five for his 16th Birthday! You have wonderful powerful gene pool from bothsides of your family for education and information.If you look at anyone in the family they have a book tucked somewere that they are reading, Love Aunty Lou