Monday 12 February 2018

Australian Residency - First Week!

Well. Where to begin? I can’t believe that we’ve been in Australia for over 3 weeks already.

John and I had a holiday at the beach for our first fortnight, enjoying the sunshine at Peaceful Bay and not missing the cold, wet, dark winter at home at all. I did these sketches there. 

Then we caught the bus to Perth and got settled into our home for the next 2 months – a lovely, old house with a pretty picket fence and a little back garden complete with a lemon tree. 

Then last Tuesday was the 1st official day of my residency. Really exciting. I got to meet all the team at the Work Design research centre (part of the University of Western Australia), who all seem lovely and really excited about the work we will be doing. I was shown to my very own office and a lovely pile of art materials, just waiting for me. 

There was no sketching for a while though - I spent most of that first day working out how to get the best out of the two huge rolls of watercolour paper they bought for me, and setting up a temporary workstation in the lobby, because you need such a big space to make the sketchbooks

It then took John and myself 3 solid days to wrestle with the watercolour paper (it’s VERY springy when it’s rolled), to cut it into strips and laboriously fold them all into the concertina sketchbooks I am going to use. 

Then I made the detachable cover. I actually used my own blog post from when I was preparing for the Manchester residency, to remind myself how to do it! As well as helping to make the sketchbooks, John filmed the whole process. He is not allowed to be paid for his work, because he doesn’t have a work visa, but he is going to accompany me on lots of the sketching trips, as the informal camera-man, keeping a video record, so we can cut together a film at the end.

Making the books was surprisingly physically demanding and we went home every night feeling pretty shattered. That was fine though – we loved every minute. It is a really gorgeous place to work too: all huge glass windows looking out on bright blue skies and the wide river. We had a tour of the campus on Friday afternoon. It’s huge and equally lovely: wonderfully green and alive with exotic birds.

I began the sketching part of the residency bright and early on Monday morning, but I’m going to keep you in suspense for a day or two and show you how I got on next time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful place to be working and so good that you have all your other experience behind you to do this without having a heart attack at all the new things!! Love that very top image.