Sunday, November 05, 2006


I picked up my eldest teenage daughter and a friend from yet another party last night. Fortunately this finished before Midnight and I was at home in bed by 11.45 pm. At 10.15 pm I bundled my nine year old into the car to make the long treck out to semi rural Brisbane where all the parties seem to be held! I had to do this because I cannot leave her home alone in bed and her older sister was at a sleepover. There is something heart wrenching about a young child awakened and slumped in the front seat of the car with a dazed look, thumb in mouth staring out at the night lights.

Last night I only needed to make one phone call to alert my daughter of my arrival at the party...often it takes a few attempts because she cannot hear her phone. You see, I am not allowed to get out of the car. That would be far too embarrassing! Apparently I am a 'Hippy'!!! I did get out at one party and ventured through the crowds of 15-18 year olds. Really, it just reminded me of parties I went to...but when I was at University.

When my eldest daughter was born I never imagined life as a single Mum. I am not going to go on and on about this life, but I will say that until it is experienced day in and day out , year after year no-one can imagine what it is like.

I painted the painting above Do You Know? Have We Met? when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I used to speak to her and imagine her. My grandmother died only a couple of months before the birth and I was sad because my child would have been her first great grandchild. I was also my grandmother's only grand-daughter. However, her death while pregnant with a new life reinforced my observations of the cycles and patterns of existence.

I think I am considered to be a 'hippy' because I am an artist, drive a bomb of a car, wear clothes which often have paint on them and sometimes even have paint on my face [which I am unaware of]. It is apparently really embarrassing when I arrive at the school with a large painting strapped to the roof racks because no other parents have strange objects on top of their cars. Did I mention the bull bar? This is a remnant of a married life in the country where kangaroos, feral pigs and wayward livestock could be huge problems on lonely roads particularly at dusk. A bull bar is beyond embarrassing...apparently. I tell the children that I must be so much more interesting than the other Mums! Problem is that teenagers don't want interesting parents, they want the kind that blend in. My time will come.

This painting is one of a series I did in 1991. They are all gouache, oil stick and pastel on paper.

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