i have peeps (whose identities shall remain anonymous) from interstate staying at the moment, who remind me of myself when i was their age (18) - a bit overwhelmed, questioning everything and as a result more than happy to sit around getting high as a kite and eating a rainbow of delicious, nutritionally unsound crud. as much as ive been enjoying reliving those years, i decided it was time to drag them out for some “culture” last night.
after checking in at my first port of call for all things Melbourne i decided upon a local exhibition opening. these events can be a bit hit and miss, but when I read that the evening involved an overlap of art and writing, i knew i had to check it out. and im so glad we trekked out into the dark winters night because it was AMAZING. a lovely young artist lady in a mustard jacket named Tai Snaith put the event together, asking 8 of her favourite local writers (Benjamin Law, Lorelei Vashti, Alicia Sometimes, Leanne Hall, Richard Watts, Sean M Whelan, Anna Krien and Geoff Lemon) to write about something dear to them. she then painted 8 pieces based on the written works.
these included a big yellow dress (that was cursed, according to Ms. Vashti), and the word LUFF spelled out with boxes of Ventolin (because according to Mr. Law, it used to be cool to have asthma and wear prescription glasses in primary school?!). for the opening, Tai had some of the writers read out their pieces, and yet other writers read pieces based on the finished paintings. it was just one big biblio-visual 69er. Mr Lemon’s reading was heartfelt and moving - he managed to memorise an epic piece delivered slam-poetry style about a night out with a friend who works in the army, and all the heavy emotion that comes from knowing each catch up may be your last.
I have to admit that my favourite pieces from Tai weren’t the writing-based ones. down a little corridor I found 5 small framed illustrations of vegetables with tiny faces on them. my heart was stolen by a spud that looked like a junkie and reminded me of my all time favourite cartoon. the tired, depressed looking avocado next to it was also pretty cute.
the opening was at helen gory galerie in Prahran, which in addition to Tai’s art had some wicked pieces by Tim Moore hanging - an entire room of framed, lace-edged handkerchiefs upon which were stitched male figures with enormous pink boners wearing pastel coloured hoods, figure skating.
the evening was capped off by a sweet girl singing Paper Planes with the assistance of an amazing instrument/machine called a carimba, that recorded sounds as she made them and then replayed whem whilst she continued to sing.
we then moseyed back home via some tell tale signs there were artists about:
and of course, via the confectionery aisle in Safeway (this being a second cultural immersion - it’s called Woolworths north of the border. crazy.)
for more on Tai, go here. the exhi is open till 23rd July.