Friday, December 19, 2008

Tito's Vodka

I hadn't done any posting about my favourite subject vodka of late, why? I'm not really sure, I have been drinking it but just not writing about it.

I've gone off my usual dirty belvedere vodka martini with 3 olives lately. I've gone back to one of my other classic favourites, the Vodka Gibson. What's that? Well it's kinda like a martini, belvedere based, spray of vermouth but instead of olives it has cocktail onions. There's something quite beautiful about the Gibson, they way the onions glisten in the premium vodka, the way they run around the glass easily in their spherical manner. I think aesthetically that the Gibson is one hell of a beautiful drink, simple and perfect.

People who know me well know about my ultimate dream, to own a vodka distillery and be one of the first women in Australia to create a perfect premium vodka. I was flicking through a recent copy of Black Book magazine and came across an advert for 'Titos Vodka'. What the hell is that I thought? Tito? Doesn't particularly sound like a good eastern european vodka. Hmmm...

Tito's Vodka

This is Tito and he's dog, I imagine his name to be Yella.

Well, apparently it is made in TEXAS!! Weird. It does have a pretty and simple label, think back to when Zubrowka had a simple, green, black and gold label, it was perfection. I haven't tasted this vodka yet but yes I will give it a go. Maybe I'll even write Tito a letter to see how he went about this. Visit here for more info on Tito's vodka. He has a labrador too, you got to trust a man who makes vodka, who's named Tito and who has a dog. So Texas.

All this talk of vodka is making me think of the stock up I need to do prior to Christmas and New Years. If anyone is thinking of gifts for me, bring on either the Belvedere vodka or Zubrowka. Just bring it on.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

tapestry, tapestry and some more tapestry

Listening in: Stasi

melbourne weekly article

I thought that I would finally put up a decent photograph of the Listening In: Stasi tapestry that was completed this year. Also a small article was in the Melbourne Weekly on the show, nice to see that they mentioned the term politics! That's what we like to see.

I've had an interesting week this week, an art critic from the AGE came by yesterday to check out the exhibition for a review, he was going on about how he didn't like the I Wanted To Start A Revolution tapestry, until I told him that it was my work then he kinda back peddled a bit. I'm not fazed by people's critical comments of my artwork, I think I actually get more peeved when people bag out my curating! Artwork is for people to take or leave and generally I prefer them to either be so moved that they hate it than to be indifferent to it. I'm keeping my eyes open for the review, be interesting to see what he says.

I've also been dealing with a serial pest at the gallery. I won't mention names but when you work in the arts you get the joys of many things; artists with delusions of grandeur, visitors who feel that attending the gallery seems to give them a higher social standing and crazy people who come to the launches for free wine and free food. Sometimes you get a combo of all three. I swear that some of them will be the death of me!!!

I'm starting to plan my long service leave for next year too. I think doing the stuff in San Jose and maybe a residency in the USA as well will give my the kick in the butt to focus on my art again before doing a solo show in 2010. Plus my main aim is to be in San Jose for the annual tattoo convention - nice!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Curator as Indiana Jones

I was watching this doco last night on SBS (yep, it's a 2 parter too!) about Hitler's museum. It talked about how he employed a previous gallery/museum director to search for and make a list of all the most amazing artworks in the world that they would then buy for the museum in Hitlers name. I think this was back in the late 1930s.

Then as we all know, war breaks out and instead of buying these amazing artworks, the Nazis decide that they can just take whatever they want for this 'super gallery'. Except they didn't plan on some of the most clever and cunning of gallery curators to tear the works from their frames, crate them up and hide them all over Europe! There was a story of the Louvre packing all of their most culturally valuable works up and taking them to a unused castle in the south of France. They had to find a building that had huge windows and doors so they could get some of the huge sculptures and monuments in. They travelled by night with the works so they wouldn't be found. The most amusing part was that the curator of paintings was in the truck with the works with their most prized work on his lap - the Mona Lisa.

This was something that I hadn't really thought about, I knew about the looting of works by the Nazi's during that time and how difficult it has been to find all the works taken and return them to their rightful owners. I thought it was fantastic, the lengths these curators went to to keep these significant works out of the Nazi's hands! It was a very Indiana Jones, except of saying "this belongs in a museum", they were moving them out of the museum and hiding them for safety.

Can't wait to see the second part of the series, though it did give me weird Nazi dreams last night... very bizarre.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Manipulate: Construct exhibition

Well after much craziness, I managed to get the works up for the Manipulate: Construct exhibition at Town Hall Gallery. (The gallery I manage) Above are some images of my work in the exhibition and I thought I would talk a little bit about the philosophy of the show.
There are 9 artists involved and each artist has a wall and a table to display works. All artists work with woven tapestry but also with other media as well. I took the opportunity to show 3 larger works that have been woven over the last few years. They haven't been woven in sequence but cover an aesthetic and themes that are recurring for me.
On my table I decided to show items and books that relate to me and my work and also influence my practice. Others had small works and drawings on their table but I like the idea of other objects being on display as my studio is full of books, magazines and all sorts of weird items that I've picked up over the years and thought, "that's a cool image" or "I like that font" etc.
I find it sometimes difficult to talk about the meaning of these works, I've always worked intuitively and my works really are an extension of my persona. I decided upon this as an explanation:

This body of work explores my fascination with ideas of strong women and a romanticism for revolutionary ideals. I am an avid collector of military regalia and also read widely about various periods of conflict. After visiting Cuba in 2007, I have been working on creating my own ‘political aesthetic’ that combines my passion for the everyday. The works themselves portray a personal sense of self while situating themselves within this aesthetic.
I like the term 'political aesthetic' my partner came up with that for me as the works themselves aren't politically charged, more take on the looks and are influenced by propaganda posters and Communist regalia. The idea of control v's strength is important to me also. As is my romantic view of Communist life, I like to situate and create my own narratives for these situations.
The exhibition is on at Town Hall Gallery from 3-20 December.
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