Monthly Archives: December, 2019

Letters Gone, 2019, for the exhibition Companionship in the age of Loneliness
7 metres

While the art world goes bananas over a banana in Miami, Peter and I are strolling through another kind of shopping spree in Melbourne. Here, Brian Donnelly, a.k.a. KAWS, has mounted a survey of his output-to-date at the National Gallery of Victoria, packaging his beginnings as a ’90s New Jersey graffiti tagger, his “interventions” with bus stop posters, billboards and cartoon icons and his present-day collaborations with Japanese toy manufacturers, global clothing retailers, a luxury brand of cognac and Paris fashion week. If it’s an object of consumer lust, KAWS has x’ed out its eyes, re-appropriated it as art and re-merchandised it as a top echelon consumer good in his adjoining pop-up shop.

Letters Startled (owl), 1984
sugarlift aquatint, printed in black ink on ivory wove paper
75.9 x 56.8 cm 
by Brett Whiteley (1939-1992)

It’s been noted that young twins, left alone together, sometimes develop unique and original words and even sentence structures to communicate with each other. An idiosyncratic language, a condition known as “ideoglossia,” is also sometimes found in only one person. I’ve noticed it myself when I’ve been confined for long periods on my own in remote places. At one time I started calling my large soft brush a “spleeb.”

Letters Ned Kelly Holding up a Kangaroo, 2009
Gouache on textured paper
56 × 83 cm
by Adam Cullen (1965-2012)

Since my father’s death, my mum and I have engaged in an activity I’ll call, “anecdotes you may not have heard before.” In it, we tell each other stories about my dad — mine usually involve things he taught and told me, while hers are about her husband, the Human Artist. Our activity always honours an unspoken understanding that keeps his heroic role in our family — and my creative universe — intact. My mother continues to mother me at her highest expression. I honour her with my dedication to my work and gratitude for her vital role.

Letters Purple Haze
acrylic on canvas 
75 x 75 cm
by Brian Crawford Young

Yesterday, Brian Crawford Young of Inverness, Scotland, wrote, “I’ve been having a crisis since I got back from a wonderful residency at the Art Students’ League, Vytlacil Campus in Rockland County, New York. The ambience was great, the staff helpful, the scenery brilliant, and the quick access to Manhattan exciting. But when I got home to the Highlands of Scotland everything crunched to a halt. All my fears and self-doubts emerged and creativity stopped. Any thoughts on this sort of blues?”