Friday, August 28, 2009

Alice in Wonderland-day 2

Miss Italy - Digital enhanced image from collage self portrait from series 'Sticks and Stones' by Candice Herne

I woke early in a slight dehydrated, morning-after haze. It's been along time between drinks, I had forgotten what effects wine had on me and that I was so used to getting up early. I was quietly trying not to wake the house. I wasn't too successful as Belinda woke soon after. We mossied around and planned our day. Melbourne University was our first stop. Belinda is studying Environment and hopes to get into a consultation role when completed.

While she was at her lecture, I wandered around Lygon St and the outskirts of Fitzroy. Gravitating towards the book stores, I browsed away the time and spotted the book, Handmade in Melbourne presented beautifully on a 'look at me' shelf. Alyssa Milton's label Lyssy May is featured in the book. I walked out of the store with a new companion in a book called 'How To Be An Explorer Of The World: Portable Art Life Museum' by Keri Smith - very appropriate given my current circumstances and it didn't disappoint. I highly recommend this little treasure/art, creative book to start you on your way, where ever you may be.

I had a fun conversation about fashion, art and design with a little gay Greek god in a cute contemporary fashion boutique. The shop was closed, so I was peering intensely, nose squashed up against the glass, breathing in all the interior decor (I find that interiors and what shops have on their walls is what really draws me into a store). He - the gay Greek god - kindly and so politely opened up early to satisfy my nosiness. I felt like we were instant best friends chatting freely about art. I had to cut our rendezvous short as I had to rush back to uni to put more money in the parking meter.

I stopped by the student union info counter outside the uni to ask for directions to the galleries. Ian Potter Museum of Art was only 100m up the block so I made my way there and wandered around. There was a great selection of traditional, historical and contemporary art on show. My mobile woke me up from my enchanting encounter - lecture complete!

Next stop was Alyssa's studio in Kensington. Did you know iPhones have street directories? Who knew? Belinda has an iPhone; technology! Phones do so much these days - yes, I don't get out much.

It was lovely to catch up with Alyssa and unexpectedly her Mum, at her studio. Her studio is very bohemian and romantic from a visual perspective. It's one of those places that as an artist you may dream about; having a studio space in a beautiful, rundown, old European architectural warehouse-type building with other artists. Actually, 'Alice in Wonderland' is not far from the truth. As you enter Alyssa's studio building up some stairs, through the tiniest of doors, covered with worn out writing, stooping down low to climb inside. And inside her studio the space is packed with beautiful fabrics scattered all around the place, bags, and pictures. Juicy for the artist's eye. Alyssa is out there doing her thing, making headway bit by bit, getting involved and working hard.

I was also there to pick out a handbag and choose one of her handmade felted brooches, as the winner of a competition she held a few months ago. After much deliberation I chose the black and red peacock satchel and a cute yellow and blue felted brooch for Suki. It's so inspiring and re-assuring for me as a artist to actually go outside the studio and connect with other artists and the general public. That's what I love about BAD - it's not only a meeting place, but a place to practice being a holistic artist (from conception through to completion and beyond). I find it's the in-between where many of us stall; from writing and talking about our work, to exhibition, marketing, PR and the rest - it all can be so daunting at times. When I hear how other people accomplish things, it some how takes the myth out of it all and becomes more achievable for me.

Next stop (not the last!) was back home for a nap to sleep off the red wine and the pound of blue cheese and fig jam I ate the night before. Now that's a combination divine! Try it! Mild blue cheese with fig jam on water crackers - yum!

"Oh do we have to go?" I moaned. I needed more sleep. We had plans to meet up with some friends at the Transport Bar in Federation Square. A quick makeover and we were cute explorers once again!

Walking across the bridge with the Victorian street lamps to Federation square, with the wind blowing the cold night air, transported me back about 12 years and the joyous feelings I had walking around London. Those were the days.

The Transport bar was the chosen meeting place as apparently it's good for the 'perv'- talent watch, cute guy spotting. This was critical on our agenda as both Angela and Jade our girlfriends had 'a room at the Inn' they were single. As for Belinda and I our rooms had no Vacancy, we were both married. However window shopping and shopping for others is always fun. Can't say anything was as half as attractive as the Haute Couture dress I saw at Euro Trash.

The evening was fun, flowy, chatty, girly and tasty as we talked about favourite food and nibbled on nachos, fat chips and wasabi mayonnaise. At one point in the evening one of girls said, 'Do we want to go to another bar?' instantly someone replied, No, you know what it's like when you move bars, you loose the MoJo-spirit of the night. We all agreed spontaneously, with a little laugh. On reflection, I find this very amusing as I feel it is one of realisations that
A. I am growing up or B. I am getting old. 15 years ago we all would have been zipping around from bar to bar, with the energy and vigor of a springbok (deer like animal)-yes I'm getting old who would use the word Springbok ha!.

Time for more beauty sleep, it was way past all the Cinderella's bed times, kiss kiss, hug hug, home we go with a Jigity Jig. Got home to Bel's where the boy's, John and his mates were having a night in watching sport, having a few wines and eating chocolate. I joined them for a night cap and chunk of coconut chocolate and went to bed for more sleep.

The Dandenongs tomorrow!
more trip coming soon.............................................................................


Nicola Moss said...

Great writing Candice...and what a fab trip.

Looking forward to the next installment!

Katrina said...

I'm so glad I had a squiz at your blog and found out about your adventures, all that in one day! Looking forward to next instalment.

Lyssy May said...

So pleased you had time to visit - thank you for the lovely write up about my little studio too! Hope you enjoy the bag.x

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.