Images posted here below are from the just opened Homage to the Seed Exhibition at Embiggen Books and Gallery at Noosaville, 2 hours north of Brisbane. Friday I drove through heavy rain on the road up the coast - squalls of rain continued till today ... but did not dampen spirits. My charming hosts at the Gallery soon had order made of various artworks, lists of titles, prices and such and I put my mind to visiting local places to drop off flyers and seeing what was happening about town.
A beeline was made next morning to the Eumundi Market - a delightful excursion. I made a point of visiting stalls where local people were selling organic produce, some even selling seeds they'd collected from their harvest. I collected names, stories and contact details and decided I must return. For the gallery opening I bought lemon myrtle-infused olive oil to go with artisan bread from Brewbakers (fav Brisbane bakery) my home made dukkah (seed-food!), a bunch of fresh lemon myrtle, thai coriander which smelt fabulous, small orange persimmon, rosella branches with fruit still on, beetroot flavoured cornchips, wasabi crisps, tiny dried figs, pumpkin seeds plus my own labneh - yoghurt cheese - rolled in dukkah). Dont ask me why I did not photograph this colourful spread with flora and pods arranged on a handprinted cloth !
Conversations with growers and producers led to invites being issued to the exhibition and subsequent offers on their part to promote the Homage to the Seed project through their networks. With this exilarating start to the day the up-tempo mood remained over the entire weekend really. The 3pm opening Saturday was well attended by friends and new connections from afar ( special thank you Laney!) and some wonderful people from the local area whom I was delighted to meet. Even some of my young students from last year were able to come along as they were up for a weekend trip to the coast! It was excellent to have Phil Cameron from Brisbane Botanic Gardens in attendance as he was able respond to queries on the Millenium Seedbank Project which was an important stimulus for this particular show.
There are so many things I could add about the amazing chance connections on the weekend. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had showing work to date - the animated discussion, particularly after the artist's talk Saturday, led to wonderful ideas being cooked up and addresses exchanged.
Sunday morning catering was left to the excellent neighbouring cafes - Organica on the left and the German Bakery on the right kept everyone happy. I was getting reports on the amazing range of goods at Organica, but never made it in ... although I did enjoy an excellent coffee from there ! The easy atmosphere of people coming by for an hour or two over the day offered the chance to get to know new people and catch up with friends and family. Others are invaluable in helping one see ones own work more laterally. After an intense month or so in the studio where I was spending more and more time towards the end - barely talking, maybe listening to a little Radio National, it was the reverse situation all weekend where lack of sleep and adrenalin kept me talking rather a lot more than usual.... and of course the wonderful visitors who brought great stories and experiences of their own to share.
Its getting late so I am leaving with you with a series of art works which should enlarge on clicking for your perusal - sorry about the lack of titles and such. I must retire.
Warm thankyous to those able to come along either Saturday or Sunday - I dont think I missed out on a decent chat with any of you...and wasn't this Gallery/bookstore the perfect destination for the weekend!!!
To my blogosphere well-wishers...you were missed but not forgotten...thank you for your kind words all!
...the tired but happy artist with sister Jana (right) Sunday afternoon
... this last image was snapped at the end of 2 wonderful days of visitors to the show. Books and journals had been put to much use whilst talking to the viewers about work and ideas behind various paintings. The bookshop atmosphere was so conducive to this... with quiet browsing areas where some took the journals for a quiet read. This for me was a highlight of showing in this wonderful venue. Unorthodox perhaps but satisfying by all accounts, especially anyone seeking an introduction to the work or a look into the ideas around it. With the Homage journal containing many small and quick scribblings and sketches from the Seed Lab at the Botanic Gardens this mode of presentation allowed for far greater insight into the residency project which was the central purpose of this exhibition.
Photos courtesy Warren Bonnet at Embiggen Books with additional images courtesy Steve Kozak.