Mel working on her anodised aluminium range of earrings and neckpieces. Why have her hands gone all GREEN??
BK’s off to Japan!!! Poor Mel, I wish I could pack her in my suitcase. I booked the flight today. Am looking forward to Tokyo and discovering all the art galleries and visiting Deux Poisson Gallery. Was at an artist friends place for a bbq on the weekend and Daniel Goettin was there (he currently has a wonderful show on at Connie Dietzschold Gallery)…turns out he is a big fan of Tokyo, so I have a very long scrawled list of places to see, things to eat, and trains to catch (happy for more ideas from anyone out there)……am very excited, but before that we have our BIG LAUNCH of Studio 20/17 —– lots to do!! Mel and I discovered the difference between normal glass (green tinge) and Star Fire Glass today (much clearer and more expensive)….we now have to decided which one to get to put in our drawer units that we’re having made for the gallery space (do we want all the work to have a slight green tinge? Will anyone really notice?)……….fingers crossed they’ll be ready before the Launch and Emma’s opening!
We realise we’re in a fabulous location and that there are lots of wonderfully creative artist/designer/makers out there….so we’d like to offer our space for exhibition of your gorgeous and adventurous work………we’re putting out a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for exhibitions of work for a few exhibitions each year (we’re still nutting out how many we can deal with…argh, the admin!!! – we want to make our own work too)!! The people that wander in and out of the Danks St Arts Complex are an interesting and fascinating bunch, either interested in the arts, artists, or involved in the arts in some other way. Whilst we realise our space is a small one, it’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase your work to this audience. So, for anyone interested , please drop us an email at studio2017(at)optusnet.com.au, and a couple of images of your work you and we’ll send you out some info….
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the best plan to have organised a trip to the Philippines to visit the inlaws only 6 weeks after we moved into the studio but Mel’s been doing a fantastic job keeping on top of everything while I’ve been eating lots of home cooked meals at the house of Lola Flora in Sagada, Mountain Province.
We’ve celebrated her 95th Birthday, spent time with all the cousins and extended family (many had travelled from the USA to participate in the Birthday party), jogged up & down a mountain in an 8km fun run, gone for hikes, wandered around rice terraces & had a few relaxing San Miguels in a local taverna.
I’ve collected some seeds from the Bistacao plant and Grandma Flora gave me an old, broken belt that she had made from seeds. This is going to be used as material in a series of work based on my visits to the area.
Sagada is located high up in the mountains north of Bagiou (it was an 8 hour bus trip from Manila to Bagiou). After a one night stopover in Bagiou, we caught another bus up the winding, rocky, road to Sagada. The trip has shortened since 2001. When I first visited it took 7.5 hours, but with continual work on the road (paving and building of retaining walls to minimise landslides and erosion..the trip can be a bit nerve wracking) it takes about 5.5 hours…..this is to travel all of 120km!
Meanwhile…. back at the Studio, Mel is designing the invite for our next exhibition – beautiful work by Emma Fielden, which coincides with our offical launch! She’s also been getting quotes on getting some display/drawer units made (fingers crossed – they’ll be ready for the launch), and designing our studio card! I took the laptop along and sat on top of a mountain updating our mailing list…. and wrote a small article for Filings…some time after 2001, remote Sagada had a mobile phone tower installed and now has internet access (but there are no land lines at all in the town, or television)…..this I think, is both good and bad……
After being caught up in the distractions of admin around the setup of the space…things like installing a phone line (phew -that was a trial and a half), merchant facilities, bank accounts, machinery setup and location, sourcing of a fridge (to store the milk for our daily expresso coffee), creation of a press release (thank you Tara! – and also for your help with setting up this blog!), design of studio card, design of display units, contracts for exhibitions by invited artists, insurance, door signs, wall signs, lighting, fixing up the door, working out where the garbage bins are (and ladders and air con switches and, and, and!) and having our alarm system installed, we’re almost there and itching to get back to the bench to get stuck into creating some work! We’ll be updating you with photos as we go.