Tuesday 21 November 2023

Dogwood Crossing @ Miles

Last week we strapped on the big pink box for the final trip with Algalrhythms, and probably the final trip for the box itself! Since Matt built it in 2010, it has shipped many WOW entries back and forth, and taken Algalrhythms to five galleries. Shipping is a brutal practice, and there have been many repairs, but the last run-in with a forklift is almost fatal.

We arrived just before midday and got straight into the unload, then placement of works. We went with the mobile wall set-up as it was – it created some nice separate spaces. 

Easiest of all to place was the Kelp Cluster digital print series, which I knew were going to look absolutely lush on the black wall.

This whole little ‘room’ became quite rich, as lots of greens ended up there as well. There were a few moments of having too many works, then not enough, then it all came together! Prints were last, as always, and I used the other black wall to showcase my plain, inked, lino prints for the first time. This open back corner had three walls of prints, and one back wall of textile works, as well as housing the screen of photographic images of the King Island Residency. It was actually pretty lovely to see all the work again, as they have been packed up since earlier in the year. By the end of Thursday we had most of the works hung and levelled, and by then I was desperate for a cold beer – in my defence, I think that controlled temperature in the gallery really dries you out! We enjoyed a few at the bar, where a local won the $700 jackpot on the wheel, and had to buy the bar a round – don’t they look thrilled about that!

  The Australian Hotel was by no means salubrious, but I actually really enjoyed it’s dinginess! Before heading to bed I enjoyed some time on the verandah watching the trucks passing on the Warrego Highway.

In the morning I had planned to go for an exploratory walk, but it felt so hot in the hallway when I got up that I didn’t. My loss – it was actually just the hotel, and outside was beautifully cool and breezy. Unlike many of our travel destinations, caf├ęs in Miles open at 4am – and this one had Merlo- YASSS!
Back at the gallery, staff and volunteers were back in action and we sorted out labels, and getting the prints up with the fabulous Magnart system ( which I have now purchased).
 It was great for me to learn the technique for using templates to assist with easy, correct placement of a row of prints. I’ve never done so much in an install before! Dogwood Crossing @ Miles had also put together a wee catalogue, as all my works are for sale at this final exhibition – it was much appreciated.

I was able to get away for a bit in the afternoon to do a little writing work, and may have shut my eyes for a few moments…. Then it was time to glam up and start the show! There was a great crowd there, no doubt mainly for the community exhibition in the foyer, but I’m not complaining. 

With the main gallery, they keep it shut and covered up until all the official speeches are done – it’s great, it really feels like an ‘opening’! I enjoyed chatting with people, some who were even familiar with King Island, and others who bought some work! It is lovely also to receive appreciation for your work, and I love explaining my materials and techniques to people.

It was a great night, and all who made it happen are to be congratulated and thanked for their hard work. A big thanks to my driver and companion Matt, who also made it possible for me to catch a few more zzz’s on the way home on Saturday morning!

Algalrhythms, for the final time.

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