Day 2 started grey and noisily with the resident rooster doing his thing about 5.30 am…a dawn greeting that could equally have been Hanoi but no, it’s Grong Grong and a wonderful thing that is…
Each day begins with breakfast in the Dining room – ideas revised overnight as we ease into the second day of planning. With 4 full days ahead this is luxury time – yet still enough space to re-think and tinker, fuelled by 3 delicious meals a day – 12noon and 6pm prompt. All provided by our ever attentive, wonderfully generous hosts – John and Sandra Kooper. I’ll definitely long remember John’s patience despite all our requests for ‘is it possible to….? Or “do you think we could?” Followed by a prompt, “Follow me….” And sure enough everything is sorted just so…better solutions than we might otherwise have invented ourselves. Best residency ever as far as I am concerned…and not one long haul flight required!! Sandra and John are making this already remarkable event even more so – 6 days of time to transform our individual rooms, to make, sit, read, think and collaborate with each other and the community.
Vic has been busy keeping us all on track and between conversations turning the trailer into a percussion instrument complete with mics and harpsichord strings for bowing for a piece for Saturday night. Today was spent helping Darrin with the tech issues for his screen in the room…’pre-finessed’ was the report at dinner so all good there. The white paint is sorted thanks to John’s help, ready for the install and projection testing tomorrow (Weds.)
With the tech sorted it’s time to focus on the content now…Tonight Darrin’s typewriter is set to go and we are all on call to add our contribution and respond to what Darrin has prepared…so the typewriter awaits. There’s something quite wonderful about the rhythm and ‘clatter and ding’ of a return carriage. The typewriter will be here as part of Saturday night’s grand event that kicks off at 6.30 pm with much more besides. Darrin’s day 2 truck video
Sarah’s drawing video is near the full minute mark with the aim of another 2 min 50 seconds to go. On track and very satisfying it seems. She has also rounded up the fabrics for the Grog Grong Prayer flag making session for Thursday afternoon with the women from the Monday Tai Chi group and I will gladly join in for that! Any excuse to stitch some new Grong Grong fragile flags Saturday nights’ grand event. Sarah and Sandra made a raw food cake today extending the new vegan culinary skills Sandra is building this week. Hazelnuts, coconut, agave, avocado and no sugar – tomorrow is a long way off waiting for that treat.
Clytie’s conjuring yet more Museum artefacts and steadily the room grows more stories to accompany the Museum transformation – lights, labels and all. She’s threatening to take down yesterday’s Collection and replace them anew – or perhaps just extend the bicycle wheel with the floating rocks across the room. I for one hope they all stay. John’s on stand-by for another ceiling suspension and consultation – ‘hammer drills and rigger, ahoy!’
Scott had a slower day of re-thinking the cemetery imagery – ‘all too American Beauty’ he thinks. He also reminds us about time being finite and tomorrow we all start the ‘half-way there’ stage with a tad anxious eye on the clock – the luxury of time to spare is running out fast. A week is an interesting pressure-point-process to navigate a plan and see something satisfying at the end. Through all this the grand old man-puppet sleeps, watchful and quiet as Howie figures out how best to manage the awkward space with three separate works in the Motel room – as are we all…
I think at times that my room is resisting my invasion – brick walls, fittings, fridge and blank-faced flat screen TV are stubbornly difficult to inveigle as part of a new work. Unsurprisingly this real world space really sets up obstacles at every turn. I’m not the usual inhabitant here for an overnight rest beside the Newell’s long haul to the Queensland border-land north some 1060 kms away or a quick hour south to the Murray. I sense the many lives and short-stay stories despite the still order of the sensible space and my first plans to encircle the room in ribbon-bandages of repeating horizon-lines were soon ditched. But the growling B-Doubles let you know all night long that you are ‘somewhere’ along that ribbon: the fact of life in regional Australia – you’re always down-the-road- from somewhere …else. This isn’t the easy white-box refuge of museum and gallery space. I’m reminded of Grayson-Perry’s observation that things are given a spurious significance by being in a gallery, ‘It used to be that you built a gallery to put the significant objects in. Now you put insignificant objects in the Gallery to give them significance.’ Here in this Motel room, there’s no white-cube safety zone, the work I make will have to totter the high-wire without a safety-net in this no nonsense ever-ready room and its real world community that will come to see it. Paper tree roots now meander across the brick walls down from the ceiling and a colony of odd objects are gathering on a table, perched atop one another, some balancing, some awry waiting for their shadow-play to come. A kind-of Plato’s cave in reverse with sincere thanks to William Kentridge.
A few trips were made today and more tomorrow to Wagga, Narrandera and the Grongie shops to ease the BluTac crisis… (there’s never enough BluTac to go around!) …. But I am yet to venture beyond the Motel grounds. For now this is a haven and a luxury all too rare….the privilege of time for making art works in such good company.