Sunday, July 5, 2020

A cinema in waiting

The cinema on the first floor of our house is as close to resolved as it will ever be, except for one crucial element. It lacks a projector.* Pictured above is the stage as viewed from the rear of the cinema. We grew tired of staring at an empty screen, so retrieved Shane's painting, Untitled #67, from storage and placed it on the stage. I never tire of looking at it.

Our friend Ross, whose generosity and technical knowledge know no bounds, is gifting us his old projector. It took nothing less than a pandemic for us to place this final stage of our cinema’s development on hold.

I took these photographs several weeks ago to send to Ross, who is based in Melbourne and never had the opportunity to visit before lockdown was introduced.

Even as things cautiously began to open up again here in Victoria, there has been a dramatic spike in new cases, so it will be awhile yet before we can welcome him here. In the meantime, I realised that copies of the photos I sent to Ross were still in a folder on my desktop, and thought I'd share them here.

The Art Deco lounge suite shown above and in other views is our pride and joy. We bought it on Gumtree last year during the long lead-up to our move. It was originally intended for the downstairs living area, but proved to be too chunky for the long, narrow room. I'll be forever grateful to the furniture delivery men who managed to get it up our fairly narrow staircase with boundless skill, patience and good humour. I can't imagine a more ideal setting for it. Alice, our Groucho Marx-lookalike cat, photobombed this shot just as I pressed the shutter.

The view from the stage is pictured above. We had a ball collecting furniture and other items especially for this room. The small Art Deco table, foreground centre, was purchased from a local Ballarat shop, Antique Effects. Sadly, the shop is in the process of closing its doors, but will continue operating online. 

The mirrored fire screen directly below was also purchased locally, at Rocket and Belle, a source of several of our treasures.

To the left of the fireplace is a trompe l’oeil painting by Shane Jones. Above the mantelpiece
are a selection of my Film Noir-inspired linocuts from the 1990s.

The entrance to my studio is to the left of the stage (see below). The framed ‘DVD covers’ on the right of the doorway are paintings by Shane, based on (from top) Picnic at Hanging Rock, Orson Welles’s F for Fake, and Phar Lap. 

To the right of the stage, directly below, are three trompe l’oeil paintings by Shane. I’ve renamed the middle work Stage Door. Also in this view are four treasured photos of the Marx Brothers, purchased many years ago in London. 

In recent weeks, we've introduced rituals of meeting here for afternoon tea and a quiet drink at the end of the day. It’s a world unto itself, a comforting a refuge in these tumultuous times.

*An update on our cinema room will feature in my next post.