Monday, July 19, 2010

Hermannsburg Pics

Sorry not sure which order these come up in,

One is me drinking the holy water from the tap

The small house is Albert Namijerias house just outside of hermannsburg

Inside the potters studio.

One of a half finished pot.

the sun rock

You can check out the lovely work that they do there here:


Gary and Chris had to go to the dr in Alice so I opened up the centre on the Thursday and half the Friday – as they artists had sold some work the day before they were all humbugging me for their money – it was a little frustrating as they know who sold works and then other artists were coming in asking for money that hadn’t sold anything and others who I told that they would be paid on Friday keep on asking me over….and over….
Sat was a lazy day and spent most of my time reading in the sun – onto my last book so have been rationing it.
On Sunday Gary Chris and I went for a driver to Hermannsburg which is about 2hrs or so drive away – We spent the first 2hrs driving back and forth the 14k out from Ikuntji to the turnoff ferrying people who had gotten bogged. Finally on our way we stopped on the way at Albert Namajina’s house – who was a famous water colourist who did a lot of landscapes of the surrounding country. It was a tiny 2 room hut for some reason painted bright yellow outside and bright pink inside (apparently there was a whoo haha about the colour choice)
We met up with Victoria and John who look after the Hermannsburg Potters which is a well known group. Had a lovely lunch and went out to look at the town which is much bigger than Ikunji – it was the site of the first mission in the desert and still has lots of the mission buildings around. Its much more set up for tourists there with tea rooms etc.
I drank some holy water out of a tap which apparently has some healing properties so says the locals and filled up my bottle.
We then went for a walk to the river nearby which is very beautiful and has some rock formations in the boulders such as ‘jesus’s footprint’ and ‘Sun’ - there was supposed to be a moon but we couldn’t find it. Had a good ride back very pretty country as the sun was setting and went to bed exhausted.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

inside the art centre

Pictures of the art centre - where we store all the rolls of artwork after they have come off the stretchers.

The computers

Where we sort out the works and wrap.

Where we prime canvas.

Manager for a day

The HUGE bus 4 wheel drive - Ken Duncan is the man in the black with the grey hair.

Gary and Chris have gone into alice springs to see the Dr so I opened the art centre today so that the artists can finish up any paintings that they want to submit to Desert Mob.

The tour was intresting. Ken Duncan the landscape photographer brought a group of people on his photography tour into the centre - to buy work and to take photos of the artists - there were about 15 or so of them and it was all a bit crazy - all of them crammed in the ladies painting shed clicking away - people are very keen to get their photo taken with the artist - espically the artist and the painting together.
There was a lot of crazy clicking away - I'm not sure if it annoyed the ladies. Many of them are elderly and don't speak english very well but also many people here are shy so probably wouldn't say anything even if they were upset.

Still getting to know all the artists and knowing names and how people are related. It's tricky!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Preparing for tourists

It rained and rained last night - it woke me up a couple of times in the night as the roof is tin. The ground looks like red muddy soup today which doesn’t bode too well for the tourists coming over tomorrow.

They have a few exhibitions coming up at the moment - the Darwin art fair and desert mob which is an art fair in Darwin which also has a market place which we are sorting out all the smaller pieces here.

Amy is one of the locals on the payroll that comes in and helps out. I showed her how to stretch a canvas and we did a few and then she disappeared. Maybe she will come back after lunch.

Much less stressful here than at my old job at emergent. Phone only rings a couple of times in the hour rather than 30 times.

I'm not missing alcohol as much as I thought that i would - while the community can go outside of ikunji to alice springs etc to get booze /d it seems the overall response of the community is that they don’t want alcohol here as it causes too many problems. They have a primary school here but they are on holidays (1 month holidays in NT) and they also have a pre school .

Monday, July 12, 2010

more pics

the mountains behind my house - it's been raining the last couple of days.

the football field

outside of my house

Some pics!

The general store at rush hour

I am alive and well.

Sorry a bit of an update of the past week:

6th July
Had a bit of a to do with my luggage somehow it has become heavier and more cumbersome despite me purchasing a sports bag to store everything together – over my limit at check in but luckily they were running late with check in and let it go.
Met by Gary and Chris at the airport and then back to the hotel in Alice and a meal out before heading out the next morning. Stopped at Coles to get supplies – in a bit of a daze while shopping so bought lots of things to make soup with…for some reason… Ham bones for pea and ham soup.
Had rained and rained – so roads wet and muddy but Gary had some new Wiz bang tires so we ploughed though. Very pretty place – Amazing hills and amazing colours, the night sky is wonderful and you can see the full Milky Way.
It was VERY cold when I arrived – the coldest day on record. Got the key for my accommodation which is nice. Realized today when Paul and Sophiere two optometrist that were stopping by for the night that the key also opened the other building which is much posher AND has Austar – where as my TV only has the shopping network so moving in there tomorrow. Have a washer, dryer TV DVD fridge. All very nice.
Had my first day in the arts centre today where I met some of the artists that worked there and there was talk of heading out with the women one day for a bush outing which will be fantastic. The art centre is very neat – not like my honours studio at all. Spent the day battling with the art centre computer system – AMS which is a system that allows all the centres to catalogue all the information that they need for each painting. Create invoices and also among many other things print out certificates of authenticity. Once a painting has been finished it is catalogued and then (if it’s not going to a client or exhibition where it needs to be stretched) pulled off the stretcher so it can be used again.
Roast dinner at Gary and Chris’s and then back to find the two optometrists there had a nice chat and as I mentioned earlier that they had checked out the other house they watched the Netherlands v Spain match and I read some trashy mags.

9th July
Spent the morning at the centre priming canvass ready for the artists.
After lunch we drove up to Paypanya – which is another community about 40ks north that has an art centre also.
There we met Cassie – who was one of the mangers there – she was about my age and had been there for 2 years. We were introduced to her art centre workers Isabelle and Patrick who both work at the centre as part of a paths to work programme. It was an impressive centre with some great artworks. We also went to check out their hanging system – at the moment in our centre we roll everything onto big rolls which makes it hard to find anything without pulling out the rolls and unraveling everything.
Papunya has a hanging system with racks and hangers which makes it easier to flip through all the paintings that they have.
Spent the evening in my new digs but slept in the old lodgings.

Had a morning filled with ideas but haven’t really got to doing any of them.
Moved everything into the new place – the only real issue with it is that it dosen’t have any big windows unlike the other. I went for a walk to the shops to get a pepsi and it was packed with people. The shop is small and expensive – it’s a completely forigen environment and I’m a little perplexed on how to approach people as there is a bit of a language barrier and of course a huge cultural barrier.
Gary did warn me that people were shy so I am guessing that it will take a little while to get more friendly with people. While I am missing Ryan and everyone else – it’s nice to have some time alone.
Went for a little walk sketchbook in hand to do some drawings but as I sat down to do a lovely landscape and it started to rain so back home.
Went for a walk with Chris around the town checking everything out – its pretty dead round here at the moment got chased by some small jack russels – lots of the locals here have dogs which tend to run in packs which even though they were little it still was a little bit scary – so knowing which area is their turf and where I can and can not go – there are certain parts of the local area that are for “men’s business” only so can’t go there.
It’s been pretty warm here – I think the locals find it very cold – Gary and Christine are from Darwin so they aren’t used to the cold but it’s a nice temp – no real need for all my thermals that I bought.
Ken Duncan – the landscape photographer that does all the diarys and prints is bringing a tour though on Wednesday so tomorrow will be making more canvass and getting ready for the tour.
In terms of artwork I had a bit of a doddle in that respect – I drew some of the dogs that chased me – all be it more of a caraiciture the little bruts. Thinking of doing a series of works based on all the telegraph poles and man made things that protrude into the sky and ground.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Perth and onwards

Tickets are booked for tuesday the 6th - bags packed and all ready - Meeting Gary and christine who run the arts centre in Alice Springs and spending the night there so can stock up on everything. Staying with my sister and her family which is very nice!