I’m shocked, shocked at how long it is since I last posted. That’s what a bit of paid work and visitors from out of town will do to a blogger’s practice. I’ve signed a confidentiality agreement about at least part of the paid work, but I can blab about the visitors.
Will Owen and his partner Harvey live in North Carolina and are enthusiastic collectors of Aboriginal art. I met Will almost exactly seven years ago when he emailed me after reading my blog post about an exhibition of art from Aurukun, from which he and Harvey had purchased a piece, and we’ve met a number of times in the non-Web world since. Will’s blog, Aboriginal Art and Culture: an American eye, is fabulously erudite, funny, insightful, and broad-ranging. Will in person is all of that and much more ( for example, he can quote slabs of Ezra Pound and knows a lot about Finnegan’s Wake). He and Harvey are in Australia just now, and were in Sydney for nearly a week, flying out this morning. The Art Student and I managed to see quite a bit of them, and it would be hard to imagine two more delightful visitors.
Will gave a brilliant talk about his and Harvey’s collection at the Art Student’s TAFE. We ate at Revolver. We went to Bangarra’s Belonging at the Opera House (Will has already posted a characteristically thoughtful review) and Roxanne McDonald in Windmill Baby at the Belvoir. We ate Italian in Newtown and Lebanese in Surry Hills. We accompanied them to Danks Street where Christopher Hodges of Utopia Gallery took us to the back room and showed us (well, showed Harvey and Will, with the Art Student and I as open-mouthed collateral beneficiaries) more than a score of brilliant work from Papunya Tula artists, rolling the canvases out on the floor. Last night we dragged them off to see Red Dog, a genial outing, though reviews might have warned us that if it’s not a children’s film it could easily pass for one.
After the cold, wet, dull and unprofitable weather of recent weeks, Sydney managed four or five days a deep blue skies and T-shirt weather for their visit (thanks for that, Hughie!). Today it’s grey again.
Welcome back, Jonathan. I’d been missing you. And nice to read about Will, whom I remember you talking about.
You’re too hard on Red Dog, Jonathan. We had a lovely conversation about it with a woman in an Alice bookshop this afternoon and we all agreed it’s wonderful. You are too generous about most everything else. We had a wonderful, relaxing, entertaining, uplifting time and ate better than ever before in Sydney.
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