27 May 2010

Matt Hunt at the City Gallery

Tomorrow night is the opening of Ready to roll, which includes some paintings by Matt Hunt among others. What's with the name for this show? Are they saying it's a manufactured pop hit parade?

I tend not to go along to City Gallery openings (but then I tend not to get invited). The ones I've gone to have been uniformly dire. There's an odd civil service office worker feel to them that's quite off-putting, and the gallery is controlling to a ludicrous extreme. And then there's the speeches...

Still, they've actually managed to put a decent Wellington artist into the main galleries for once (as opposed to the Hirschfield ghetto) and should be commended for that.

Right now, I'm off to hand in some shit for school, then will watch some Doctor Who before heading off to the opening at Robert's this evening.

Time for a change

Yep, it's time for a new banner picture. I reckon this one's pretty appropriate.

24 May 2010

My grandmother

I've been thinking about my grandmother, Dorothy Wight, a lot recently. She died a couple of years ago, and I miss her very much. She was really fucking cool.

She was seriously English working class. She grew up in the Potteries in the north of England. Her father marched in the miners' strike during the first world war. What was very nice at her funeral was that a whole lot of the workers from the rest home came along, which I believe is unusual. Apparently, she was on their side right till the end, urging them to organise and not take any shit. They liked that.

I remember her talking about growing up just after the first world war, and living in these terrace houses with an alleyway out the back, and how all these working class veterans who were mutilated by the war and didn't have any support from the government would come knocking on the back doors wanting to do some odd jobs so they could eat. The fucking establishment sent them off to war and left them to fend for themselves from scraps from the other people who had nothing. Good eh?

Not so long ago, I made some offhand remark about the 'hoi polloi' and Nana smacked me on the back of the head. Quite fucking right.

Nana had a scholarship to go to secondary school but couldn't afford it. Her daughter, my mother, had to get bonded to the libraries to afford university. I fucked around and dropped out of varsity my first time around. That's how the years turn.

22 May 2010

Something in Wellington to go to

21 May 2010


It's annoying enough when I stuff up a picture at the last minute and have to do it again. It's even more annoying when the bloody dog does it.

Though I suppose it was really my fault for leaving wet gouache and a recently completed picture on a low-lying table where the dog's waggy tail could transfer one to the other.

This happened a couple of days ago, and I'm still not over it.

17 May 2010

Erik Satie

We've been listening to some piano pieces by Erik Satie recently. I'm not very familiar with him. I knew he'd done the music for Picabia's ballet Relache and the associated film Entr'acte (in which he also acted), and wrote for 391. There's quite a nice portrait of him by Picabia as well.

Today, I had him on random shuffle, with a few Fall tracks in there for laughs. I think he'd've approved.

14 May 2010

The crit

So we had our crits yesterday. It was just the PGDip(stick)s presenting, but the Masters students came along to make up numbers and contribute their considered opinions. They didn't contribute much. All but two of them sat their expressionless and silent for the entire duration. A poor showing.

I ended up going last. I had two of the three staff members present suggest that I do some video. The one who didn't had already suggested the same a few weeks ago, so that's a clean sweep of the bonuses.

One staff member suggested last week that I was in danger of becoming formulaic, and repeated this almost word for word yesterday. Yes, like anything, there is such a danger, and if I'm still doing the same kind of drawings in five years' time someone please shoot me. However, I haven't been doing them for that long, and I think they've still got some legs in them yet.

At the start of each crit, we gave a short intro, which included saying what kind of feedback we'd like and how we'd like the discussion to go. All I said was that I didn't want to hear the phrase 'the space between', which one staff member had used in every single crit so far – as in 'You should examine the space between X and Y.'

And they said I'm in danger of becoming formulaic!

The main thing to come out of it for me is that they need to get some new lines. Oh, and I am considering doing a video.

07 May 2010

Something in Wellington to go to

On Wednesday 12 May, Liz Maw's show Evil genius miscellaneous will open at Peter McLeavey's gallery.

She has the best titles.

05 May 2010

Quote of the day

The lecturer, moreover, resembles an actor – an errand boy of Art, a figure despised by any good artist.

– Fernando Pessoa, The book of disquiet

04 May 2010

Oh yeah

Speaking of the good modernist writers, here's a recent picture I'm quite pleased with:

Fernando Pessoa

This is more so I remember than anything else. I'm probably about to get quite pissed, and this is the kind of thing I'd forget under these circumstances.

I was talking with a friend today, and he was reading The book of disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. It ties in with a number of things I've been thinking about. It's very exciting. I love how these things come along just when they are needed.

He had as many as 75 heteronyms (as opposed to pseudonyms – see here), who each had their own biography, interests, styles, and even horoscopes. My favourite is the one who died from TB in 1915, but who kept on producing poetry until 1930.

Funnily enough, I'd just been chatting to another friend, and in the course of that wide-ranging discussion had mentioned that we are not singular, unified selves, but a conglomeration of warring factions. And then along comes Pessoa, who took that idea to its logical extreme.

The book of disquiet looks like a good read. It's made up of fragments, originally written on scraps of paper and not in any particular order. Flicking through it, I came across quite a number of quotable quotes. Being an idiot, however, I didn't note any down.

Unfortunately, even if the library has it, I owe them too much money to take it out right now. This is probably a good thing, come to think of it, as I should really be concentrating on my essay at the moment – and getting ready for our crit next week, the only one we have this semester.

03 May 2010

Doctor Who

The new Doctor Who started on the telly last night. I really like both the new guy and his companion. They're both quite mad – she's 'four psychiatrists' mad no less.

I must admit I was quite ready to like the new guy. I'd got heartily sick of David Tennant playing the Doctor as a cross between an 80s pop star and Jesus.

When I saw the trailer for the new series, I thought 'oh no, they've made the companion a cop!' But no, she's a stripper instead. Phew!

My only quibbles are with the theme tune, which has been butchered badly, and one feature of the new Tardis set. Is it just me or does the time rotor (the central column that goes up and down when the Tardis is in flight) look like some kind of sex toy? Sure, it's always been phallic, but this is ridiculous:

And they call this a kids' show!

01 May 2010

More school

On Wednesday, I had a meeting with my supervisor for the studio paper. First thing Thursday, I got an email suggesting we have a coffee to 'talk through some things a bit further as I feel that our conversation yesterday was not one of our best'.

Then on Thursday afternoon, we got our essay proposals back. 'What I would challenge you with at this juncture,' read the comment on mine, 'is how to relate this research directly to your practice (i.e. book project).'
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