Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mixing It Up Down Under

The Sydney Biennale Part II

What does it mean when I forgo seeing the prime work of my creative hero? I went to Sydney at Biennale time to see the work of William Kentridge, specifically the exhibition Telegrams from the Nose at Annandale Galleries. While not a Biennale event in itself the exhibition had been timed to support Kentridge’s work that was the Biennale ‘highlight’ at the Cockatoo Island exhibitions. William Kentridge has enthralled me ever since I first ‘discovered’ him at the MCA several years ago. I’ve seen as much of his work as is possible here in Australia, quite some distance from his homeland, South Africa.

This visit to Annandale Galleries I saw his stationary movie - the viewer moves not the image, his stereographs - prints viewed through eyeglasses that develop amazing 3D depth, and an animation - images drawn in charcoal on paper are erased and redrawn to create movement and tell the story. I was elated.

The day to go to Cockatoo Island dawned. Yes, it was cold and a little drizzly, but would I let that stop me? No, I let the word ‘Island’ stop me. My seasickness is legendary. I’ve been sea sick in a dugout canoe on a sea that was a flat as glass, on a boat on a river, and once on a yacht I jumped overboard and swam to shore to get away from it. I know from first hand experience why they don’t have guns on boats because on a 2 hour cruise I would have gladly chosen death over the final hour of unbearable … (I won’t use words!) I let a 30 minute ferry ride defeat me.

Currently I’m going through a period of stretching my limits both artistically and personally. Why did I choose physical comfort over William Kentridge’s best? I like to think it has something to do with being true to myself and a possible beginning of the end of my insatiable need to consume others art in desperate search for inspiration. Do I detect a settling acceptance of my own inspiration from within?

Mixing it up Down Under: Jan Allsopp is a visual artist living in Coffs Harbour, Australia. Jan will be keeping us in touch with the art scene in coastal New South Wales as well sharing her exploits, as mid-career and mid-life, she decides to change art forms. View Jan's art and browse her shop at www.janallsopp.com.au

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