Monday, March 29, 2010

tradesman's entrance, communications ramped up and congrats to Jay Dee!

On the weekend I was reading a most enjoyable memoir by Eugenia Jenny Williams titled 'Jenny's Coffee House'. In 1968 she and her family escaped Soviet occupied Czechoslovakia for Vienna and  a year later arrived in Tasmania to settle into a new life. Her fascinating account of this reminded me of many things - like the curious tradition alive in Australia decades ago of visiting friends via the back door of their homes - what perhaps the English might have called 'the trademan's entrance' but in australia was often the preferred point of connection. This European woman described her amazement at her new neighbours coming into her messy laundry at the back of her house to introduce themselves for the first time, past the dirty washing and chaos of jobs 'to do'! Times have changed for many. Doors are locked and bolted, fences have become high walls and communities are often a lot less relaxed that they used to be! One still comes across neighbourliness and people who's idea of community is alive and strong!

The photo below triggered these thoughts... I was leaving the Seed Lab at the Gardens the other day by the back entrance and spotted this wheelbarrow parked idly beside the potting area at the day's end.
I was reminded of the fact hat the most interesting finds are often out the back, through the tradies' entrance so to speak.

Below is the new header for my Homage to the Seed blog. 

OH NO! Thats old hat now! A day later I have gone for the very minimal look of this subdued pale header below: sketches of seeds and pods carried out quickly in the Seed lab whilst cleaning seeds last year. The lab is the most amazing centre of activity... often tiny seeds being carefully, sometimes painstakingly released from their capsules with rather fascinating methods needing to be employed at times. You can hardly see it here... but as a header its quite fitting for the homage image. Whoever is in the lab is usually pointing out something absorbing for the others to see!

I got a little carried away after Blogger emailed new template designs. Weary of the chaotic, crowded look I had been going with a spruce up felt timely. It was a weekend of writing artist statements, brochures, letters, planning events - all kinds of communications - so why not rethink templates at the same time. I also had a few visitors through giving thoughts and impressions of recent studio work... feed back can be SO valuable!
Sunday's event at the Gardens went really well and I'll have photos to post soon. I was joined there by some familiar faces - and new - so it was a most delightful day completed with birthday dinner for a family member at the wonderful Mecca Bah with its middle eastern flavours, warm ambience in an outdoor setting looking onto frangipani trees and a fountain.

22 by Mecca Bah Brisbane.

Here is the Residency artist's statement reworked into a brochure below with contact details. Click to enlarge if you wish to read it properly. I'm starting to get my head around running workshops again soon and the details are getting fine tuned for the exhibition next month at Noosa. Stay tuned and if you think a trip to Noosa the weekend of April 17th  and 18th is on the cards then let me get back to you with more information VERY SOON!

I must not forget to mention the lovely Jay Dee Dearness has opened her fabulous Myrtle St Studio to the public as of last friday night's exciting launch. Congratulations Jay Dee! Its an impressive multi-purpose space, so cleverly designed to be many things for all purposes. Printmakers especially will adore what will be available at this artist-run-facility!
Read more here about Jay Dee and Myrtle Street Studio.  

Article courtesy of Jorja Orreal and images courtesy of paul Guy - City North News
Oh...I spy Sandra Pearce's prints in the backgound!


Dragonfly said...

Wow! You have been busy too!
I like the new look - very nice :-)
The wheelbarrow show is great!
Have a lovely week!!

Candice Herne said...

Hi Sophie
Your new look is great. Love the old type! So productive. I'm so glad your workshop went well.It's all go enjoy the ride! I'm in the middle of Tassie. I am wrestling with my new printer which worked yesterday, on electricity. Now on battery and invertor power the %&&^^&&&RGTT thing won't work. ah the joy.Take care. Candyxx

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Karen/dragonfly!
what is it about Wheelbarrows... I had to photograph this one!
Have an excellent trip to China... cannot believe that hello Kitty phenomenon you posted about!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Candy,

Tassie...I must have conjured you up - reading that lovely memoir set in Tassie got me thinking about the place.

Old type is very appealing I agree. About 2000 a friend down south heard me say how much I love old typewriters and found me a cheapie at a market. I loved to use it... everyone else was getting deeper and deeper into computers and there i was tapping away!

So this type is a lovely compromise!

You, my dear, are mastering the art of attempting to live in the 21st century from a mobile home travelling Australia, with 4 people (2 kids!) before you even get round to computing/printing etc you have impressed me with your flexibility and can-do-it-ness.

Now maybe you can teach me a few tricks - I was trying to resize images today and.. JOKE - you have better things to do! You see - I have stuff ups all the time and I cant blame batteries and inverter power!

Good travelling and life on the road Candy!

S x

janis said...

I love your new template Sophie, it has a newspaper quality - wonderful!

Oh and that wheel barrow, what a find... what is it about an old rusted wheel barrow (red too) I find so irresistible ?? Lovely, lovely ...

Thank you for your good thoughts and wishes. I feel them coming through from you ... xo, j.

Sophie Munns said...

Hello my friend Janis,
thank you ... lovely comments... the newspaper quality idea I like very much.
I'm glad to find another admirer of this old red wheelbarrow! Perhaps its not that old... just well used ... evocative though!
Sending more warm wishes your way...take care.
S x

Mlle Paradis said...

Hi Sophie! As always - so refreshing and invigorating to stop by here! Love both new headers AND the new layout. Blogger WOULD introduce new templates just as soon as I've spent a week fiddling around with the old one! As you say, I should just jump right on it since I'm already warmed up to the job. Your explanation to me about being a substitute teacher was a scream. My parents were both teachers and both clever people but not as quick as you, I think. (I'm married to an energizer bunny - i can explain this if you need me to - so I spot the type fairly readily - i'm thinking you might be one whereas i'm inclined to be a fallover bunny) of course my parents weren't subs either so different set of challenges.

anyway! love to see what you're doing. and the lovely drawings of the seeds and just the mention of the word "Kew" gives me the warm and fuzzies. i once wanted to be buried there. i think it's still in my will too! but at 8 or 12 pounds entrance fee per person and that was ages ago maybe they don't need my money! so just waffling a bit with you here on a sunny day in l.a. i'll be back! xoxo

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you and thank you Mlle Paradis!
So good to have you draw surprising points to the fore and get me thinking anew!
Let me just say firstly I had never seen images of Hong Kong that left really went beyond that dense restaurant/shopping/high rise I was quite delighted to visit the village with you - the florist, small shops, eating houses -charming indeed! jump in to the new is easier now you have been swimming around in all the blogger gadgets. Isn't that a great word...gadget!
I'm about to dive right out and dry off and go back to the paints after a few days musing on the canvases!
Oh....yes ...your parents would know the story well but like you say permanent and subs have different demands. I tell you MP I learnt to be a whole lot quicker for survival reasons b/w 2001-07 than I was required to be previously. Lets just say I was ready for a change of pace and that it was a jolly good thing I found I had it in me!
Yes...I will be writing to find out about these bunny types... sounds like a bit of fun actually!
Thanks for lovely comments re drawings.... always I keep it light and quite simple for my purposes! I am surprised about the fee to Kew these days!
I have very vague 23 yr old memories of visiting there briefly - 'twould be nice to go back to London and see where I used to live and my old haunts!
Oh well...time to go...lovely to have a chat with you!
ciao bella,

Jay Dee said...

Hi Sophie! Thanks so much for your mention of the studio in your lovely post. Am so sorry to have missed the event on Sunday but will hopefully be able to attend the next one. So great to see you Friday night but we must catch up as it was so busy there was no time to talk!! xx Jay Dee

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you Jay Dee!
I'm sure you are run off your feet right now!
I had a wonderful chat with the architect who explained all the clever ideas and I wish you great times with this wonderful venture.
I'll be sure to see you at the gardens and look forward to more happenings at the fabulous Myrtle St!

Altoon Sultan said...

I love the new look of your blogs, Sophie.

As for the "tradesman's entrance", here in Vermont many people use a door through the "mudroom" into the house and not the front door, as I do. The mudroom is a necessity in our rural area; it's a room where you can store your muddy boots and shoes and hang your outdoor clothing, the transition between outdoors and indoors. I only use my front door during the warmer months; it is shut all winter.

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you for the compliment Altoon.
The sense of spaciousness is the improvement I'm most liking!
Ah yes... I recall seeing images of mud rooms.Some farm houses here would go for a somewhat similar space - or perhaps the verandah would serve that purpose.
Having observed the months of snow that surrounded your home the necessity is very evident.

em said...

love the new banner and look, and like the way you are displaying your work at the right. enticing!

oh, i can't get past the mention of frangipani trees! wish i could see them!

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you Em!
I was so pleased that right when I was getting very frustrated with the template functions i was using suddenly blogger sent new designs.
Much needed space and the sidebar with double columns which I have not even got round to using.
It feels a lot better to use so glad to have positive feedback!
The scent of frangipani is such a delight too. I have cutting form a beautiful magenta tahitian frangipani to plant before long.
Sadly I sold up and moved house a few years back where I planted my first frangipani and it had not grown too much - so one day I must pop by and look over the fence - hopefully it will be thriving!
I do think of all my gardening efforts of the past...many in rented places. I still used to get very attached and work with the garden where possible.
I imagine the potager is coming back to life in a way that is beginning to make you really happy about this time of year Em.
Good gardening!