Monday 10th September 2018
Wooh, where did the last month go. August flashed by in a blur and before I knew it I hadn’t posted or ‘galleried’ in over a month. But not this weekend, as a visual non-fattening treat to myself I’m off to the Sydney Contemporary art fair at Carriageworks. I am pumped, this will be the artistic saturation I have been waiting for. A festival of art, accessible and concentrated in one space.
No midweek wait for my other half to arrive home to mind the little critter. No high five ‘tag out’ in the hallway on the way to the front door. No dash to the city to view an opening during a 2hour window. All because the Sydney Contemporary promises a collectors paradise, even if said collector is broke, has rego due and said critter needs new shoes for its growing feet.
My insta feed has been going berserk with posts from gallery owners, curators and artists excitedly planning for the event. Tantalizing images of making and bumping in make me mourn my 9 to 5’s hold over me. I bought a lotto ticket with my last 15 bucks today, I want what they are having in a ‘Harry met Sally’ hard-on kinda way.
Carriageworks, Wilson St, Eveleigh.
Sunday 16th September 2018
So yesterday I headed to the Sydney Contemporary with my critter in tow. I wasn’t sure how long I could guarantee her patience so I bribed her with the promise of Sushi Train and Gelato Blue for dinner and dessert. I had also appealed to her interests and mentioned that there would be cat themed art to view, she was in.
I went planning to be bowled over, to wander lustfully, to maybe even buy something, after all my birthday is coming up. But the over saturation of my Insta feed had sated me. I’d seen a lot of the work online, my excitement had been warranted but my social feed had acted as an intense visual foreplay and instead of greedily consuming all that I surveyed I wandered the space in a state of ‘afterglow.’ I had cum too soon.
In saying that I had a fantastic time and we spent over 2 hours wandering stall to stall, sometimes talking with artists and gallery folk, mostly chatting with each other. I was able to share and show my mini-me all kinds of art and she surprised me with her interest, questioning and clever associations. I pointed out art works by people I had once studied with, or who had taught me. She questioned the purpose and messages represented while I supplied her with the art history that explained the artists’ choices. She hunted out the cats distributed throughout the show and she relished in pointing out rude bits and naughty words. I continually nudged her as we wandered past artists of renown and whispered titbits of art world gossip as we passed movers and shakers from all walks of Sydney life.
Unexpectedly most of my titillation came from people spotting, overheard conversations and interpreting body language. While my menial budget excluded me from making any artistic investment the experience left me pondering the commercial art world. I was expecting to come away feeling jealous or full of yearning but instead I left feeling a deep empathy for all the hard work of the gallery hosts and their stable.
Fatigue was definitely setting in by 4pm Saturday afternoon and I felt for all of them. Stall holders greasing the wheel, sussing viable customers, some willing to chat to all interested parties, valuing anyone who values art. Others exhausted, faces glued with a welcoming bone-tired smile, heads down and focused on website updates, looking for a little solitude in the thronging space. Meanwhile various artists were compelled to share their inner thoughts to enquiring strangers, plying their wares, bobbing up and down on the Carriageworks circuit gym of meet and greet. Thank you Sydney Contemporary for a most excellent show, but more importantly a massive thank you to the gallery staff and artists who wore their hearts on their sleeve and shared. xxx