Friday, August 6, 2021

Mercy dash

When I switched on the news early yesterday afternoon, it soon became clear where things were heading. With another lockdown imminent, Shane and I decided to do a mercy dash to Melbourne and have one last look at my solo show, BACKSTORIES. (1)

I’m so glad we did, because we bumped into our old friends, Lesley Duxbury and Michael Young. Lesley has exhibited with Stephen McLaughlan Gallery for many years and once upon a time was my boss when I taught in the Printmaking Department at RMIT University. (Pictured top: Stephen McLaughlan, Lesley Duxbury, myself and Michael Young. Photo credit: Shane Jones).

We also spent some quality time hanging out with Stephen. His knowledge of Melbourne’s architecture, including the heritage-listed Nicholas Building, his gallery’s home for the past 27 years, is astounding. As many of you know, this iconic building is on the market and the future of its many creative tenants has been in doubt. It was heartening to hear Stephen is optimistic that a positive outcome can ultimately be achieved.

L-R: Stephen McLaughlan and Shane Jones

Swanston Street entrance to the Nicholas Building

8th floor directory of tenants, Nicholas Building  

Above and below: Flinders Lane entrance to the Nicholas Building 

I won’t pretend I’m not sad and disappointed to have lost the last three days of my show, but in every other way, it has been one of my happiest exhibiting experiences. (2)

Technically, BACKSTORIES is still on until Sunday - it’s just that no one can visit the gallery. In an effort to bring the exhibition to you, I’ve made a little film. Unfortunately my handheld camera work leaves a lot to be desired. Seasick pills are highly recommended - it appears to have been photographed during a storm at sea. I love film and have friends who are talented filmmakers, but clearly none of it has rubbed off on me. It’s proved impossible to download the footage on this blog, but you can view it on my Instagram Artist Page HERE.

Fortunately photographer Tim Gresham took some installation views on Wednesday, which I’ll post as soon as they become available.

(1) A seven-day lockdown from 8 pm yesterday evening was later announced.

(2) Since writing the above, I’ve received an update about BACKSTORIES. Stay tuned for further announcements.