“To have your future all mapped out”
Oct 19 – Nov 2, 2012
When I was a little girl of about ten my “Claytons” Grandmother gave me two Collins Street Directories. One was from the 1940’s and the other from the 1950’s. It was hard to believe that all of the suburbs could fit into these tiny books. I instantly tried to find the street I lived in, and all the streets I had ever lived in. Yes! I was only ten, but I had already moved four times. To discover that my suburb, my world at that age, was not even a thought back then was a strange concept. It’s was the same as thinking your parents didn’t have a life until you came along. As I grew up, moved house, changed states, these old fragile street directories stayed with me.
Now grown up I roam the second hand stores looking for old maps, atlases and recently have included old sheet music in my search. It is quite silly the excitement and anticipation that washes over me as I scan the stores bookshelves. When my gaze lands on an old disregarded atlas or street directory it’s as if it has been silently waiting for me to arrive. I can’t wait to get home and add it to a growing pile of books that eventually work their way onto my canvas. I love the hunt for my materials as much as the creation of the work.
It is ironic that I should be drawn to maps and atlases as I have never had a good sense of direction, or been overly adventurous. My husband excels in both these activities and as a result I have a list of places I have been, things I have seen and done that make me appear like a super adventurous Indiana Jones women. Visited the Amazon…tick, hiked the Inca Trail…tick, walked the Great Wall of China….tick, seen the Moai on Easter Island …tick. Yet, if travel plans were left to me I would go nowhere. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy my trips when I am there because I do, I would just never instigate them. I would be quite happy to never leave my house and a conversation with one other adult once a week would suit me fine. I have my studio and my books so what more could I really want.
When it comes to putting my ideas on paper, I transform into a possessed person focused on what is in front of me. As the work progresses time just flies. This transfixed state that overtakes my body has made me forget to pick up my children from school…once. Yes! I did completely loose track of time. My eldest daughter’s response was “it better be a good piece Mum,” which was followed by the mandatory rolling of the eyes.
Getting completely lost in what I am creating lets me know that it’s the right thing for me to be doing.