Thursday, May 23, 2013

Artist in Residence - the first 2 days

Yesterday I flew into Blackall to start my 2 week Artist Residency.  3 suitcases was only just enough to carry all of my art supplies, exhibition prints, items for sale, as well as my personal gear.  I looked like I was moving house I'm sure, but I must admit that my studio at home looks VERY empty....!

Surprisingly my flight in a small plane (well small by my standards!) was very smooth, although due to rain clouds unfortunately I didn't get a birds eye view of the landscape.

The wheels are in the wings AND there's a very
big propeller.....hmmmm

On arrival at Blackall airport I was met by Sally and Ros, both from Blackall Cultural Association.

at the Blackall Airport, rather casual....
My home for the residency is the Living Arts Centre, I am occupying a very comfy and cosy ensuite room called the 'flat'.  I've moved a small table in so I can work in my room at night (and keep warm!).

Sally has also very kindly provided me with a bike and helmet, so I am very happily cycling around the streets of Blackall, beats walking anytime.

a bit unloved but it'll do the trick!

I've set up my art studio at the Living Arts Centre, but alas, I am yet to spend any time in it!  I have been busy helping out with the setup of the Art Exhibition for the upcoming Heartland Festival.

I'm feature artist so I've got a small display of prints and artists books. I also assisted Jenny with the judging of the prizes today, an opportunity to put my art experience to the test.  The exhibition opening is tomorrow (Friday night), I'm looking forward to it!

The Art Exhibition at the Cultural Centre

My feature artist display

Being a city girl, I've learnt some very interesting things about rural living and Blackall -

1.  The hot water comes from the artesian basin.  One needs to run the hot water tap for a VERY long time before its up to shower temperature, so don't step into the shower until its hot.  Otherwise its rather cold.... and when I mean a long time, I mean both the shower and vanity taps on at full flow for at least 5 minutes or more....!
2.  Peak hour in Blackall equates to the freeway at midnight.
3.  There are no 'real' cappuccino machines in Blackall, just push button ones.  And DECAF?????  I also got a strange look when I asked for quarter strength.   Tasted OK though... will do for me for the next 2 weeks.
4.  Dust = mud when it rains (not often) but lucky for me it rained yesterday.  So there's mud everywhere.  And dust is inside the cars as well as on the outside.
5.  Everyone is excited about rain and how much is a subject of excited conversation, almost a competition to see how many 'points' they got.
6.  Its so true that everyone knows everyone, but seeing it in practice is just amazing!

So tomorrow the plans are…. well pretty casual which is nice change from my home routine!  I’m definitely heading to the studio and starting some art, I’m feeling rather twitchy from carting all that gear and not having time to start working.  The local charity shop is open 3 mornings a week so a visit to them is on the cards, maybe in time to drop into the bakery for my 'coffee'.  And I believe Sally is taking me to lunch at Daisys which is only open 2 days a week for lunch, so it’s a well-timed treat for all.

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