Last Friday we held another OCA get-together, again to the Manly Art Gallery & Museum but this time with a 50% increase in student numbers! Jacky, who started her OCA textile studies quite recently and generally lives in Shropshire UK, is in Sydney for a couple of months and shook off her jetlag to explore with us.
Claire and I visited the Regeneration exhibition in Manly last May (Claire’s post about it is http://tactualtextiles.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/regeneration-exhibition/, mine was here on 20-May-2012).
This time we were visiting QUARANTA AUSTRALIS: Gwen Harrison and Sue Anderson (this link is to current exhibitions, so you may need to do a search on the gallery site for the correct information). The exhibition is the result of a long collaboration between the artists. There are four artist books and a series of prints. The subject matter was Cockatoo Island and the former Quarantine Station, the historical treatment of Australia’s unwanted and marginalized, and parallels in current events. I felt very challenged by the material, especially following my recent visit to Wybalenna on Flinders Island (blogged 7-Oct-2012).
Also being exhibited in the centre were photographs – “light paintings” – by Peter Solness, plus part of the Manly historical swim-wear collection, which altogether gave us lots to talk about.
And talk is the main thing we did. After the exhibitions was lunch – Thai, and our pink drinks are watermelon juice. Jacky is on the left, Claire in the middle, and I’m that vacant spot. A lot was about OCA – why we each signed up, our hopes and aspirations, interpreting project requirements, assignments, assessments and the post. Jacky’s background is in painting and printmaking, so I think it’s a brave and exciting thing to enrol in a textile course.
After lunch we strolled along the Manly Corso to the beach on the ocean side (Manly is on a narrow neck of land leading up to North Head, with a harbour beach on one side and the ocean beach on the other). It was school holidays and up to 35 °C in parts of Sydney (crazy this early), so there were lots of people enjoying the day. We sat on the steps, looking out at beautiful Sydney… and talked 🙂 .
It’s a great benefit of OCA, to interact with other students in forums and blogs, and now in person. It’s also fun to show-off Sydney to like-minded people. A really good day.