Shameless Name Dropping

It’s Sunday night and I’m a little peckish. Mind you, I’ve certainly eaten well over the last few days, including going out for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. I suspect tonight might be just a tomato, cucumber and fetta salad, if only to balance out some of the excess of the last few days. Mind you, I did have a very health lunch of felafel pita yesterday at the Bondi Junction shopping centre (my first time there), enjoying the spectacular views from the Food Court. Great food, slightly higher than average food court prices, but a very nice setting with spectacular views.

I had also enjoyed spectacular views the night before from the 31st floor (or was it the 32nd?) of the Intercontinental Hotel. A few of us ended up at a pretty amazing “after party”, giving all of us the kind of A-list experience none of us had ever experienced before, as we sat outside (even in the light misty rain), and enjoyed good conversation, views, and drinks. Sweetie, darling!

Definitely a highlight in an otherwise reasonably busy work week where I’ve been “the boss”, as our regular manager took a week away. From what I could see, there were no disasters. In fact, there were a couple of highlights including meeting former Prime Minister, Paul Keating who seemed like a genuinely nice man. There was even a bit of the “common touch” about him, as he arrived and left by hailing a taxi.

This weekend, I caught up with Kate and her friend Tony, as we went to see a couple of exhibitions, and to have dinner at BBQ King. We started off at the Damien Minton Gallery on Great Buckingham Street, Redfern, featuring an exhibition of works by Reg Mombassa, Euan McLeod and others, detailing their responses to Central Australian landscapes. Unfortunately, the exhibition was so popular that I found the opening a little crowded and wasn’t able to fully enjoy the works, and so left pretty quickly. I’ll pop back in next weekend for a proper look, especially now that I’ve given Damien a lecture about why he needs a website.

From there, we wandered to the National Trust’s S.H. Ervin Gallery (at Observatory Hill) for the annual Salon des Refuses which contains a selection of works “rejected” from the Archibald and Wynne Prizes. According to the organisers, “the exhibition follows in the tradition and spirit of an alternative salon – art that guarantees to be witty, controversial and engaging”.

There were four or five works that I really liked for a variety of reasons. I think my favourite was probably the work by Ian Smith, entitled, Gluttonous Self Portrait (Self Portrait with Ray Hughes), partly because it was so well done, and partly because I live near the Ray Hughes Gallery and often see this larger than life figure in the neighbourhood. I think knowing the subject of work was also partly the reason why I liked the portrait of Virginia Trioli by Jon Campbell, though (please forgive me), I thought she looked a little “colder” than the more outgoing, vivacious person I’ve recently come to know. As for landscapes, my favourite was a piece called “Cotton Country” by Scott Baker, featuring an aerial representation of intensive agriculture, created from the perspective of Scott who describes himself as the son of farmers, so both aware of the reasons for the impact of intensive agriculture on the land, but not necessarily happy with it.

As is often the case with Kate, we wandered off for dinner in Chinatown, at one of Kate’s particular favourites, BBQ King. If you’ve never been there, it’s worth it. Although you may find the decor and service sometimes a little off-putting, the food is very good, and as usual we ate far too much.

P.S. A note this website may go briefly offline sometime soon as I endeavour to transfer the hosting from Netregistry.

  1. Hi James,
    You mentioned my work a few years ago (“Cotton country” in the Salon des Refuses) and I would like to send you an invitation to my exhibition at Depot Gallery in Danks Street in September. What is the best address for you? regards, Scott

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    1. Hi Scott, that’s very sweet of you to remember. Easiest is probably c/- work which is ABC GPO Box 9994, Sydney.

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      1. Thanks James. I’ll get one in the post. BTW I have a piece in this years Salon also. Also your comments re ambivalence weren’t so far off the mark, particularly in relation to cotton. Nice fabric. Dirty crop (inputs wise – chemicals/sprays, water requirements etc)

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