My parents had sex and I happened aka my birthday.
My birthday is spent in Sydney. It was very nearly not though as there was a slight communication mishap between my partner and I. A month before my birthday they texted me to ask if they could book me for my birthday weekend. I had replied with my usual sardonic humour with something about being unsure and wanting to play it loose. They took it seriously and didn’t book the excellent flight and hotel deal they had wanted to. The lesson here is simple: Some people should be better at reading sub text. Or I should not be sarcastic via text when it comes to my birthday.
It all worked out in the end anyway because on the morning before my birthday we got a 7am flight to Sydney with nothing but a Kanken backpack each as luggage.
It turns out that even at 6am I am more than happy to eat two Krispy Kream doughnuts. Other delicious things I ate while in Sydney for 48 hours include: crepes, delicious dense multi grain toast with peanut butter and honey, cherry ripe ice cream in a waffle cone, pad tai and crap rice at a fancy restaurant after drinking wine at our hotel. So being tipsy made the food all the more enjoyable. We ate fried noodles, soup dumplings and deep fried egg plant with one of my Sydney based friends. Chips and chocolate that were purchased at inflated prices due to them being purchased at a store near the hotel. These were cravings I had after a glass of wine. It was my birthday so my silly whim was indulged. This is love as paying too much for cheap cadbury chocolate is something that truly pains my partner due to their contempt for cheap and nasty chocolate. I love cheap and nasty chocolate.
It was a nice novelty to sit at outside areas of a resaurant and eat food after dark without feeling freezing.
The hotel room was not just a room it was two levels! there was a kitchen and living area and upstairs there was a bedroom and bathroom. Like a mini house.
There is an exhibit of carnivorous plants that is on at the botanic gardens. The exhibit is called Plants With Bite so it hooked my imagination. I wanted to see plants big enough to eat humans if one got too close like in Little Shop Of Horrors. In the line to enter the green house full of carnivorous plants the two guys in front are chatting and one of them is excitedly explaining the premise of the film Little Shop Of Horrors to his friend who is perplexed and disinterested. ”What a stupid premise for a film.” The friend says.I am glad the exhibit was free as there were no carnivorous plants like in Little Shop Of Horrors. The green house was pretty though and I did learn there are 850 different types of carnivorous plants around the world and Australia is considered an epicentre for them. You got to wander around heaps of foliage and plants that eat flies and other bugs. There was mist falling which gave the whole space a magical ambience.
While in the place of almost endless sun I actually managed to walk in some for a little while. We walked around in between the water and the gardens on a sun splashed path. I did wear my hat and prescription sunglasses. Please note if you are hard of seeing to the extreme that I am then just know how life changing prescription sunglasses are. I can see around me while not having the sun in my eyes. There was talk of a ferry ride but honestly I dont see the point. sitting in the sun while on a boat and having things pointed out to me that are too far for me to see, is not my idea of a good time.
Escaping the sunshine to wander around an air conditioned art gallery ( The MCA) is my idea of fun. The free exhibition entitled Today Tomorrow Yesterday presents work by more than forty artists from the 1960s to the present acknowledging their interest in different social, cultural and artistic histories. The title of the exhibition is taken from a collection of 26 prose poetry essays by the Lebanese artist and philosopher Kahil Gibron who wrote ”…yesterday is but todays memory , and tomorrow is todays dream.” A fitting exhibition to experience on my birthday. As it made me experience the art exhibit on a more contemplative manner than I normally would. It make me think about my own life line and how it has made me experience many different kinds of time. Time in hospital is experienced differently to time outside that environment. Time spent writing compared to time spent watching netflix and eating dinner alone.
There was a giant clock face with roman numerals that ticked loudly as you walked around it. At the back of the clock face you could see the mechanisms that made the clock hands move and the tick sound work. I stand in front of a canvas with an image made from ochre and pigment that resembles a dark starless night sky with two abstract shapes. Its by an artist called Mabel Juli a member of the Gija people who lives and works in Warmun, Western Australia. The art work entitled Garnkiny Ngarranggarni 2016. It speaks of what consequences can occur when we love the wrong person. The work speaks of a story of forbidden love represented by the moon and stars. In the story a man rejects his betrothed bride because he is in love with her mother. A woman with dark hair who later transforms into a serpent called Dawool. I mean we have all been there: loved someone who transforms into a serpent or some similiar weird creature so in contrast to the person we wanted to bone so badly at one time.
I really liked the Sally Smart 1994 ( pictured above) work The Craftiest Of Eyes (borrowed dress) created using oil, synthetic polymer paint on canvas. It shows three cut up shapes resembling three women with a bright red back round. The figures seem cut up. Sally said ”I have always seen the act of cutting as political, which i refer to as the politics of cutting. This approach developed in the 1990s, along with ideas of identity and gender politics, referencing the unstable nature of identity. I used the technique of cutting and pinning to emphasise this, a pin away from dismantling…” I also really loved the way I could read a subtext of female coven like solidarity amongst the red back round. Three figures looked like they could be having a meeting while having their mensuration cycles all alined. A beautiful blood coven. The figures could be dancing amongst the blood of men who have disrespected and hurt women. Oh this could be just because im a bit pissed at how many woman have been killed by men recently and throughout the entire history of time.
Amyl 2015-16 by Gareth Sansom caught my eye due to the bright abstract shapes framed in bright blue. It reminded me of what the inside of a robots brain might look like blown up and bright coloured. The title of the art work is actually incorporated into the painting. Is that lame or a clue? It turns out its a clue as the painting was created to attempt to represent a psychedelic experience- the short lived high thats comes from the party drug Amyl Nitrate. It is the controlled chaos of the work that caught my eye and enticed it to stay a while so I could take in every inch of the artistic space and use of colour. The artist says he created the work to evoke the memory of him taking the drug for the first time in San Fransisco in 1976. Yeah I was disappointed by the artwork’s back story as well. Such a white dude artist cliche.
I am ecstatic when I find a book that I’ve been secretly pining for for ages amongst the shelves: A hard cover picture book that has paintings by the late great artist Jean-Michel Basquait as the book’s illustrations and an edited poem by Maya Angelou called Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. The illustrations are heavy in abstract imagery and dark thick lines. They are one hundred percent pure Basquait artistic glory. The images paired with Maya Angelou’s declarations and descriptions of things that don’t scare her: Panthers in the park, strangers in the dark. No, they don’t frighten me at all. The images by Basquait may be a bit too scary for very young children but I didn’t buy it for any kids. I purchased it for me. At the back of the book there is a short and easy to understand write up about the writer and the artist. The write up does not shy away from explaining how Basquait struggled with his artistic fame and died of an accidental drug overdose. This book is about perseverance and pride. It is about being fearless in the face of scary life itself. A strong and enduring theme in all of the writing by Maya Angelou, a woman who after a violent assault at age seven did not speak a word for five years. I read and reread the book from cover to cover and drank in the images on each page with my tired eyes on the 10pm flight back to Melbourne.
Things not to say in a boarding cue when your asked if you can handle sitting in the seats closest to emergency exits. ”No way. My upper and lower body strength is slim to non existent. If I sit there and there is an emergency we will all die.”
I am so sorry. I had had a cider with high alcohol content in the airport bar with my partner and my friends who ended up coming with us to the airport so we could talk together more.