Sunday, March 03, 2013

Requests for CATZ

Man, this is harder than I expected. How many times a day do I think 'I must blog that' and then just Facebook it? I guess it's the actual sitting down to compose something, tracking down the photos I want to use, resizing them, and all that.

I've had a few requests for more cats. I presume that means more cat photos, but I seriously almost took a cat home from the recent Bega Show. She was GORGEOUS, black and white and fluffy but not too fluffy. Her name was Emma, but we would have changed that pretty quickly. I mean, we couldn't have Mr Padge, Mr Pooter and Emma, could we? She would have to be a Ms or Miss at the very least, and probably have to have a similarly 'Diary of a Nobody' name, like Daisy Muttler or something. She was 6 months old, desexed, micro-chipped, toilet-trained and completely mellow around all the kids and adults patting her in the animal pavilion. I fell in love. We've always wanted three cats, but we've never been sure about how to go about it. It would be easier if our two cats weren't litter siblings and completely co-dependent.

I didn't end up taking Emma home. Best Beloved was also tempted when he met her, but he has a slightly clearer head than I and he, unbeknownst to me until that conversation, had worked out a strategy and so unveiled it for me: wait until one of our cat-boys dies and then buy two cats to fill the gaping hole that will be left. I found the thought almost too painful to hold for even a few minutes, but he has a good point. The remaining cat will be so bereft and lonely that he will welcome the company, and with any luck he'll be too old to put up much of a fight against two new kittens.

I suppose I should put some photos in now. Speaking of one cat, Pooter very rarely seems to be in front of my camera. Padge, however, is always in the studio under or beside my feet.

 I love his big bum, it's such a lovely catty shape.

It does however make it hard to sit on small seats. All ladies with generous proportions (like myself) know this pain.

Let's change the subject, it's making me sad.

I'm very excited about a couple of new albums out or coming out. The first is the new David Bowie album, the first for YEARS. I'm not much of a hero worshipper, but if I had to pick one person I admire it would be him, just because he has proved himself to be a continually inventive person who comes up with the goods. I love the latest single from the album (The Stars (are out tonight)), mainly because it is damn fine and has a video clip with Tilda Swinton and David being bizarre together, but also because it will soon be released on WHITE VINYL, peoples. I am going to queue for one if I have to, and it will join my red Beatles vinyl and my pale pink Elvis vinyl (yes, Colonel Duck, both of which were/are yours. But this will be MINE).

The other album, which I have already and have been playing on high rotation, is the latest from Deborah Conway and Willy Zeigler, Stories of Ghosts. How many ways do I love Deborah Conway? She has always been there; every time she releases a track it's in tune with my own time of life and emotions. I guess we're roughly the same age, give or take five years or so. As a forty-something woman (entering the latter part of '40-something' :) ), when I heard the track 'Nothing Tastes the Same' on ABC RN, it had the same emotional impact as 'Man Overboard' did when I was 18.

She and Willy have been given a lot of airplay on ABC RN lately, (and so they bloody well should) and they've been pitching the album as an atheistic exploration of Old Testament themes. But it's more than that. The CD cover and printed song-words (the material object!) reveal an underlying preoccupation with questioning the treatment of Jewish people through history. It's done beautifully; the music and the lyrics are just wonderful. The songs are so multi-layered that I'm sure people can find multiple readings that are all equally valid.

I've got a couple of my graduate residencies in swing at the moment. One is Merryn Sommerville, who is working with woodcuts and wood type. I'll show more of her soon. The other, who is almost finished, is Eadie Newman. Eadie studied in the Printmedia & Drawing Workshop and came out more as a drawer than a printer, but I loved the way she combines her drawings with imaginative and elaborate titles. So she came and looked at the type, and like the resident before her, painter Louise Upshall, proved to be a dab hand at type-setting. Here she is:

She wasn't quite sure what to do, so I sent her home with a book of Stevie Smith poems (I love matching artistic minds with the right texts) and she came up with this for the poem 'In My Dreams':

Isn't it wonderful? Of course, that image is just the proof, but we've now printed them and after a session of cleaning them up and signing, they will be unleashed on my website for sale, along with all the other wonderful prints made by my EASS residents (EASS is an emerging artists' support scheme run by my art school). Later in the year, in August, I'm putting up an exhibition of all the work made so far. I'll keep you all informed of that one.

 If you're in Melbourne, pop over to the Caulfield campus of Monash and see the most wonderful print exhibition, called Community and Context, up until March 12. If you can't get to it, you can at least look at the catalogue, and maybe even buy one. I'm in it, and so are a lot of very interesting people.

Enough! My email inbox is pinging madly; I'm in the thick of curating an exhibition of artist's books made by Canberra artists, opening April 11. I'm guessing the next post will be all about that.


The Elephant's Child said...

Wonderful post. Welcome back. I also love Padge's shape though my vet would mutter 'fat pads' with disdain. Bah.

Wuss that I am, the solution to your three cat yearning set tears pricking at my eyes. And don't count on the remaining boy welcoming invaders either. When we were left with one cat and another moved in on us the original took it very, very badly and continued protesting until she died four years later.

Ampersand Duck said...

Fat pads. Love handles. Meh. I put Padge on a diet last year, and it worked a treat, except that he was consistently miserable. He was thin and sleek, and just not himself. So we added a teeny bit more food, less than he was having before the diet, and this is the result. He just has to look at food and his fat pads thrive.

I do think that either of our cats would accommodate new cats. They grew up with a dog, and I think they can share space if they know that we want it to happen. Of course, any dog not approved by us gets very short shrift :)

Mindy said...

Personally I think the obvious answer is 4 cats, so two new mates to keep each other company if the boys are being aloof. *runs*

Cat Drawings said...

Welcome back.

I've never heard of weird old cat couples. I've been working on being a weird old cat woman and need to acquire some more.

Get yourself some Burmese. They are lots of fun.

Peter said...

That's an Ampersand Cat!
(pic. 1 that is)

Julie Mia Holmes said...

I too am VERY excited about the WHITE vinyl!!! I didn't even know about it until I read your post.
Thanks Caren! :)

Julie Mia Holmes said...
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