Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Art and ANZAC

face detail of Still Life
I've been working all week but feeling frustrated and anxious because I'm not getting the results I want from the art. Still Life is finished and I've entered the work in the local Murrurundi Art Prize, which opens Friday 3rd of May. I have also entered 2 other works in the Currububula Art Prize, opening Thursday May 10th. I sold 2 of the 3 works I entered into the Currububula last year.

Still Life, the whole picture

Still Life measures 40cm x 95cm

During the week Rodney and I went away for a day to Nelson Bay and stayed overnight in Newcastle so I could visit my son, daughter in law and granddaughter. My one darling granddaughter Trinity Pearl turned 5 in January, so has just started school and had lots to tell Grandma and Grandpa. Rodney and I both needed to buy more art supplies so we did lots of shopping and returned home with a carload by Saturday night.

Above is a picture of the current work in progress which is what I'm really struggling with at the moment. I want to enter it in the Murrurundi Art Prize and because I don't have enough time to start and complete  another work (unless I do it in acrylic) this is the main reason I haven't set it aside and started something less challenging. The face is much larger than life size, on a canvas measuring 60x80cm.  I regret doing the head scarf. It's not intended to be a muslim woman but this is what viewers tend to assume.

I'm following my usual routine for ANZAC day, which means ignoring the whole thing. I think my grandad may have served very briefly in New Guinea for a few weeks before the war ended but never saw any action. I don't have any significant memories of my own relatives or any people I know who fought or were involved in any way with the second World War. War commemorations, whether they are purportedly to honour the "dead" and their "sacrifices" make me feel uneasy and ambivalent. I always wonder what the "losers" do and say on their days of remembrance... I would assume they probably do similar rituals and observances, i.e. god was on our side, we did the right thing, they died for their country and our freedom, etc. To me wars are the worst excesses of our species and at the basis of every single one of them is racism, greed, ignorance and/or nationalism. I would rather hear and celebrate the stories of the conscientious objectors and the people who "fought" for peace.

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