Rain, unease and friendly north westerners

The rain and wind continued overnight. I managed to stop the window and blinds from rattling but again it felt like the house might blow away. The weather continues like this all day as I commence some writing and thinking about the day ahead. I read a little more about Peter Doig making particular note of the following.

Stormy weather

“Journeys real and metaphorical, places of arrival and departure, no man’s land’s between waking and sleeping, and the slippage between the present and the past, the real and the imaginary, are the territories of Doig’s art. A painting can be layered in the same that a view or a story has layers.”

“A painting may be filled with things but still record an emptiness, a hollow unease, a kind of blankness. This too is a feeling, and one that the painter makes palpable and concrete. To the viewer looking at Doig’s paintings, it is a sense of exclusion, even one of exile.”

“Stories are irresistible, but they can lead us away from what is in front of us. A story is not the same thing as a painting, which resists the closure of a narrative. Yet Doig’s paintings present us with just such a narrative, one that is continuing, and ongoing: ‘as if all these images will one day turn out to be part of the same story…’”

I’m finding some intriguing ideas going on within the interpretation of Doig. I’ve been interested in this notion of emptiness for a while. It really came to the fore after an exhibition I viewed whilst in Slovenia about 18 months ago titled in fact ‘emptiness’. It was an extraordinary show and had a great impact, however I always wondered where this notion would take me and kind of left it mulling around in the back of my mind. More recently, the films of Ozu have bought this notion back to the fore again, and now Doig. Emptiness will not escape me now and I look forward to exploring what it really means in more detail.

It’s 10.20 and I must depart for Wynyard and a coffee with Michelle and members of ArtsCape at Bruce’s Café on the Old Bass Highway. We have a really nice warm meeting, talking art, landscape, drawing, Raymond Arnold, Godwin Bradbeer and John Wolseley as well as a bunch of other stuff. I agree to do an artist talk with them next week, which should be fun.

My next stop, after an hour or so of chatting with the ArtsCape crew, is to Karl’s place in Somerset. I first met Karl, and his partner Jo, last year in April on Tasman Island and I instantly liked his personality and demeanour. Karl was once a light keeper on Tasman Island and at Table Cape and much of the decor around his place shows evidence of this including my place mat that has a lighthouse on it. He lives up the hill and has a great view over Somerset and Bass Strait and instantly I feel at home. Unfortunately Jo is doing some work so midway through lunch we plan a dinner so we can all catch up together. We talk a lot about the north west, Table Cape, Tasman Island, people, our parents, life and death and before I know it lunch has been washed down with a cup of tea and I’m on the wet roads again heading towards nearby Makers Workshop and an afternoon setting up a drawing for tomorrow and some writing.

The weather outside is still terrible and it’s forecast to get worse rather than better over the next 2 days. Which is good, as I will therefore spend my time working through some drawing.