Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Escape Artist

I love my new-found home on the water – and I am determined to settle here for a couple of years – but I find myself longing to explore the rest of the world. I've traveled to a lot of places within Australia but other than a brief sojourn in Japan, in Tokyo and Osaka, I have yet to spend much time anywhere else.
When I was five, I dreamed of Paris. I loved the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and I thought Paris would be like his paintings and prints brought to life. During my teens I read the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell and The Naked Lunch by Wiliam S. Burroughs then dreamed of Morocco and further east, Egypt and the shores of the Red Sea.
I never went. As an adult, I didn't want to wander aimlessly. I wanted to focus on making art and to a large extent, to make the art I wanted to then required me to stay in one place. Now I'm a lot more secure, in every sense of the word. I am ready to take some time out to explore
I'm hoping to go to the Philippines soon with
my boyfriend. A seaman by trade, he plans to visit a specialised boat builder on Panglao Island, not far from Cebu. South-east Asia has always fascinated me with its complex history, both ancient and colonial, its extremes of poverty and privilege, the contrast between its polluted, crowded cities and the serene natural beauty of its rural areas, not to mention its sordid under-belly of exploitation and violence.
I want to live in Mexico. I've wanted to go there ever since I saw bits of the Day of the Dead celebrations in the'60s 'shock' documentary Mondo Cane. I also want to live in Brazil, in part because any country that has the musician and activist, Gilberto Gil, as its cultural minister has to be somewhere special. There was a brief article about him in The Guardian newspaper, in which he talks of his belief that poverty can be challenged if ideas are shared for free. He has put his money where his mouth is and released a number of his own songs under a Creative Commons Sampling License. I can't imagine an elected official – or any kind of government figure – in Australia or the USA having a CV like his.
I could write thousands of words about all the places I want to visit and explore but right now, I have to get back to painting – and exploring inside my head.


Umpire said...

Paris. Escape is well recommended. I'm a cartoonist. Paris was just like a Toulouse-Lautrec painting but with a few more burnt out cars from recent riots. I preferred looking at Picasso's work in the Jewish quarter after a cherry liquer. It was his goats I was taken by and the way the lady in the ticket booth said 11. Anyway we stayed in the hotel in the Latin quarter where Audrey shot part of Charade and I busked under a bridge near Notre Dame with my block flute. We spent a week wandering and wondering. Ah, Rodin's garden hidden behind a wall. Hazel, I met Tommy today. My wife kidnapped his cat, Le Tigra. He gave her a funky CD for her effort and I found your site after checking out the artwork on the cover and his tattoos. I like your work and struggle. Go to Paris and wander.

Jet Girl said...

Try NEW Mexico, its much cleaner, prettier and 99% less drug lords with machine guns than real Mexico. Plus you can go see O'Keeffe's house.