30 May 2005

Last week

I had quite an art filled week last week.

On Monday I went along to the last ever Chris Moore opening. My brother Ben is in London of course, and we had to email him to let him know his dealer was closing the gallery. A bit piss poor really. My friend Scott had to do a sudden mission up from Dunners to pick up his work from Chris and go round the dealers.

On Tuesday I went along to a Hamish McKay opening, and then to Enjoy's opening at their new place (next to Peter McLeavey's where New Work Studio used to be). They also launched Paper Fountain, and I discovered I'd made the front cover with my (hopefully) inflammatory polemic 'In defence of painting' (an earlier version of which appeared here).

Wednesday and Thursday evenings were spent doing my cards (see previous post). I had Friday off work and went to the Holbein to Hockney show at Te Papa with Matt and Scott. It had a few really good things in it, but quite a lot of padding. Scott had more appointments, so Matt and I went to Janne's to check out a fantastic Jeffrey Harris crucifixion painting she has in stock and then back to his place to have a look at books and do some user testing with the cards. On Friday night Stephen played at the Bridget Riley show. He was really good, but the guy who played after him kind of ruined the mood.

I gessoed up some more canvases on Saturday, and we had people round for dinner (and more user testing) on Saturday night. On Sunday I went to check out Scott's stuff to complete a swap. On reflection I think I did better out of the deal than he did.

I have the day off today as well and am about to go up to the garage and do some underpainting on the gessoed canvases.

28 May 2005

Some more pics

This is the thing I did round at my friend's studio a while ago:

This is my first deck of painting language cards:

These are the only two where I specifically matched the image to the card. They're the joker (the skull) and the ace of spades:

I'm going to use them in the composition-generation process of course, but I've been trying to think of some multi-person games to play as well.

22 May 2005

Just because I've been so slack...

...I thought I'd get another post in today.

I got new glasses on Friday, and they're taking some getting used to. The optometrist reckoned the prescription hadn't changed that much. I really noticed it when I wandered out on to the street though. I felt about a metre tall cos the ground seemed so close. It was like I could reach out and touch it.

In a possibly misguided attempt to help the adjustment process I've mostly spent the weekend reading Francis Wheen's How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World and Michael King's Being Pakeha Now.

The Wheen book was a fun read, even though it was preaching to the converted. It's nice to have your prejudices confirmed every now and then, as long as that's not all you do. The King book was a bit of a disappointment - it was made up of bits and pieces from a variety of sources and the seams showed a little too much. Maybe because it was so autobiographical, it made me reflect on my own situation.

When I was a kid I didn't really feel like a New Zealander (I'm the first Cauchi born here). In a funny kind of way, I'm a direct product of British imperialism. My Maltese grandfather probably wouldn't have married my English grandmother if Britain hadn't taken Malta off the French during the Napoleonic wars, and my parents wouldn't have met if New Zealand hadn't been a British colony for them to emigrate to. I think I had a funny idea about being more British than New Zealander until I actually met some British people and realised how foreign they were - and not at all like the image I'd formed.

When I left school I had no interest in going on the traditional OE, but travelled extensively around the country instead, much more than most people I know. I've lived in Auckland (though not since I was seven), Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin. I've driven down all of the main roads and many a back road between Cape Reinga and Bluff. My whakapapa might be Maltese and English, but this is my turangawaewae - my place to stand.

Photo London

My brother Ben and his partner are over in London at the moment. Ben's one of the artists Paul McNamara took to Photo London (the official website is crap - but this site has some images to peruse). You can also have a look at the NZ contingent Paul's taken over here. Not that you'd be able to find your way there from the official website but.

With the wonders of modern technology (text messages and email) Ben's been keeping us up to date with his adventures - lots of galleries and the odd swanky party. Sounds bloody good. Bastards.

15 May 2005


I've moved most of my stuff now. Steve came round with his van and Matt with his car yesterday, and we did most of it in one fell swoop. There's just a car load of miscellaneous shit remaining at the old place. I've still got a bit of sorting out to do, especially somewhere to paint, but we're pretty sussed.

09 May 2005

Ho hum

I haven't done much painting since the last thing up on here, just a small thing over the weekend. I'm gearing up to do a whole string of canvases in a row. I want to try grouping them together in various forms to see what they look like. At the moment I'm drawing glyphs on small pieces of paper. When I have a sufficient number I will add some blank pieces of paper and then deal them out in a three by three grid and use that as a basis for a composition. I can't just use it straight though, for several reasons. The most important one is that the glyphs need to have some conceptual relationship to each other. The random lay out will (I sincerely hope) provoke connections that can be worked up to a finished composition.

There were a couple of things that lead me to this. I've been thinking about tarot cards ever since a session at Sandra and Stephen's listening to a krautrock concept album based on the tarot and playing round with a deck designed by the same guy. I knew there was something there that could be useful but couldn't put my finger on it. The other thing was something someone said when I was talking about the grouped canvas thing. They reckoned they functioned like Killeen's cut-outs, which just hit me like being slapped round the head with a wet fish. I can be pretty dense and hadn't seen the link.

Of course some people might sneer that I'm just 'copying' Killeen, but it's too late in the evening to go into the seriously large amount of things wrong with that idea.

In other news, I've started the process of moving in with Rose. I need to do a mission to rescue my art books one evening later this week (the rest have been stashed at Rose's in the interim anyway) and then a friend with a van has nicely agreed to move my larger items over the weekend.
visitors since 29 March 2004.