Sunday, October 29, 2006


I decided to paint something without any thought of idea, concept or significance. I decided to experiment because I've noticed that attention currently seems to be given to art which is about the everyday, the ordinary and the mundane. Eg: images of animals, cars, everyday objects and almost cartoon-like spoofs on fashion etc and even some depicting war but in an obvious way. I've thought that maybe it is a reaction to the exhausting images of destruction, death and war which we all see daily in the media. The sense of powerlessness the ordinary person feels in the face of such enormous suffering and danger is palpable. Maybe a focus on the ordinary, everyday and the cartoonish reassures people that life is ok?

My work tends to be symbolic and layered. I get the impression some people find it difficult to understand or they feel anxious about it. I always say that each person can bring their own story...and people do. Those who have bought my paintings tell me they see something new every time they look. This is music to my ears. Many of these people have returned to buy more paintings. I love this too!

So, to Woman With Long Hair. Whilst I was painting I realised the woman was probably me. I have a long plait which falls down my back. My hair is extrordinarily frizzy. It drives me nuts and has always driven me nuts. Doing my hair before school used to take ages. I was always late for the school bus [I lived on a farm]. I remember my Mother chasing the bus in the car or me running carrying my heavy school bag with the big high school boys yelling out the bus windows, "Come on Titless!". And even at the age of 11 I was not titless....!!!! Of course that's why the boys teased me. I was 180 cm tall at 10 and well developed. So trying to run carrying a heavy bag in one hand and covering my chest with the other arm was extremely awkward. I'm sure I looked like an Amazonian goose.

Now to the present-In the morning I wake up and look into the mirror only to see Marge Simpson [Homer's long suffering wife]. Yep, my hair stands up on end and just won't fall flat. That's why I wear it in a least it is controlled. My hairdresser told me that as hair goes grey it gets even more wirey. This totally freaked me out, but over the last couple of years her words have come true. My 46 year old hair is going grey and Marge Simpson peers back at me from my mirror on a daily basis. Thank goodness there is no Homer character to complete the picture!

I go to the hairdresser about once every 12-18 months to get a trim...and get talked into various very expensive treatments which offer promises of silken hair. It never happens or if it does it lasts until the first wash. I visit the hairdresser when I cannot get my arms back far enough to finish my plait and I start to have chronic lower back aches because I'm bending backwards. This hair thing is a major health and identity issue in my life! I envy women who confidently visit the hairdresser regularly and seem to enjoy it!!!!!

Now that I have written all of this about my hair I think maybe it is quite funny....but it is also mundane and very ordinary. However, there maybe some seeds for another extraordinary ordinary one!

Woman With Long Hair and other paintings by me and other artists will be shown at the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas Exhibition on the night of Friday 15th December. 85 Doggett Street, Newstead, Brisbane. All the paintings in the exhibition will be 30 x 30 cm.

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