Monday, January 24, 2011
A Moment, Too Soon Passed
It is now more than five years since I packed up my belongings into a rented station wagon and left my father's home in Melbourne to drive more than 500 miles north to a fashionable beachside suburb on the Barrenjoey Peninisula, not far from Sydney. There, I rented a ramshackle weatherboard cottage with a view of the wide Pacific Ocean – it belonged to the actors Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward – and set up my first real studio in its leaky garage. I've had half a dozen other studios since but I will always have the fondest memories of that tiny secluded cottage. When I wasn't painting, I immersed myself in books I'd been planning to read for years. I photographed myself in the overgrown garden with a clunky 35mm panoramic camera given to me by Lomo. I swam naked in the palm-shaded, heated pool. And I learned to fuck, allowing myself to be open to everything two bodies could do – and came harder than I ever had before. Maybe for the first time in my life, I felt utterly free.