Sunday, March 13, 2011
I arrive in Brisbane on a Saturday evening. The airport is quiet, slow, warm and humid. I wait for my suitcase, overstuffed with mail and new art materials. I'd half expected it to burst, but it's intact. I think I hear someone call my name but it's just a tour operator doing a roll-call for a group of senior citizens. I watch an elderly Hazel being herded into the shuffling group. They all have the same red bags, all emblazoned with the company's logo. It's like watching my own private nightmare-of-the-future played out in front of me. I'm not staying in Brisbane long. I'm leaving again in a couple of weeks. These days, the best opportunities I'm offered are elsewhere. Even the process of my well-organised studio has been disrupted by the El Niño-influenced weather and the increasingly slow response of local suppliers. In recent weeks, the art materials I've needed most urgently have been delivered from inter-state. I will probably produced the last of my enamels in Brisbane but there's not reason for my work to be done only in one place – or for it to be done here at all.