You give me that funny feeling in my tummy.

I have been working on The T7 Project for 13 years. 13 years! It may be safe to say that this is one project settled in for the long haul.  For those of you who have been following my attempt to document the first few weeks of the project, I apologize that there has not been much action on that front of late.

There are several drafts of the next couple of chapters waiting in the wings, but I am finding it difficult to finish them. It seems so important to get it right.

So in lieu of another chapter I thought that you may enjoy this image. Terry is in the cluster of trolleys in the foreground, the one zooming(love that word) off in front.

A very dirty boy.

The construction industry, which is were I earn the bread and butter for my family, is going through a rough patch. Economic uncertainty, carbon-tax, normal end of financial year slow down among other factors have contributed to this. As a result I, along with hundreds of others was retrenched due to lack of work.  I have have managed to find work, several jobs in fact, over the past six months, steel-fixer/concreting/form-worker/pipe-fitter/farm-hand/machine operator.  All of which have been temporary, contracted to perform a specific task. One such contract was for two days but I ended up with six weeks work. How? Whenever I finished one task I quickly found more work that needed to be done even if it was not in my “scope of work”. The foreman approached me and told me to keep coming in until further notice. One day he asked me if I could assemble a network of pipes and valves. My reply? “Sure”. Now this was being a bit liberal with the truth, yes I can read plans and can use a spanner, but assembling all of this from scratch? It was a bit of a stretch but as you can see below it all came together.

I not writing about this to tell you all what a clever boy I am but to share with you some thoughts about being self-reliant.

self-reliance

n

reliance on one’s own abilities, decisions, etc.

self-reliant  adj
self-reliantly  adv

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins

When searching for further explanations and others thoughts on the notion of self-reliance you will find lots of rhetoric about standing on your own, not being anyone’s bitch (OK they probably don’t say exactly that) and relying on ones own resources rather than those of others. All of which is cool with me. I am all for it and pretty much live my life that way.

So you understand your own skill set, your tool-box, your strengths and weaknesses and you can use them to move through life. Relying not on others but yourself as master of your own destiny.

I have a question. “If, when faced with a problem that you realise is far beyond you, you seek help does this mean that you are not being self-reliant?

I have an answer too.

In your tool box you have a favorite hammer(or whatever tool you wish it is a symbol for what you excel at. Everyone has something they just rock at) this hammer has gotten you through all kinds of problems, but now you need to undo a nut. Bash it with your hammer and you will wreck the nut, no two ways about it, your hammer won’t work. So you understand you limitations and having prepared for such an eventuality, you have in your tool-box a very special tool.

That tool is a network of friends, family and associates. Now rather than just asking for help or paying someone to fix said problem you go on a journey with that person, you labour for them, pass them a screw driver, clean the grease off, do all the little things all the while learning a new skill, casting a new tool.  Displaying adaptability and remaining self-reliant.

While not exactly on topic this video I found of Mike Rowe and his speech to congress, contains a message that is gold. Enjoy your day.

 

 

57 Variations and a little from the forge

I had a busy day yesterday working on a new piece for a sculpture in the winery exhibition. This is version 1. The straight bars when viewed at just the right angle (not shown here) trace a curve. I thought it might work well in conjunction with 57 variations, not so sure now.

This is 57 variations without the extra bits.

Also did a bit of blacksmithing in the morning working with the new scroll jigs I made last week. They work great, saving a tonne of time. It’s nice when you invest time and effort into something and then that something just works. Doesn’t seem to happen all that often.

Close up of the base of the stand. I split the feet so that I could curl them or twist them individually at a later date but so far have left them alone. Above that are some scrolls made on the new jig. I made six in total just to prove the concept and used three here. The bottom of the scroll has been drawn out to a point and waits for something, perhaps a curl up or whatever.

This is the top where the poker, broom and shovel will hang. After getting all the other bends nice and even I allowed myself to play a little with the top. I could probably do some more to them, but am just taking things slowly for now.

So over all it was a productive Sunday. Had heaps of fun and made some progress.

WARNING STRONG WINDS

It has been an interesting few days in our neck of the woods. Big storms have been raging through the region. Trees have been uprooted, the Yinnar Bowls club roof was ripped off and ended up in the front yard of the primary school across the road.  As much as it has been “inconvenient” to be without power for a couple of days/nights, it was nice in the evening to just sit in front of the fire with the family.  Wind howling, rain pelting and us warm and safe inside.  Thankful for what we have. Very thankful.

Amid all these excitements I have been a busy boy, work was cancelled so into the shed I went bursting with ideas for a new project. Last weekend while hanging out with Super Kate at GREENworks Press, I was not having fun with a print that I was working on. 2D is not my most comfortable format to work in. I was having a little sook when a lovely lady asked me what I did like doing.  3D! Yeah Yeah 3D! That’s me gotta love the 3D! Anyhow we got to chatting and after some show and tell and shameless promotion of The T7 Project, I received a phone call inviting me to enter a sculpture in the winery exhibition.

New work!! So much else I should be doing. New work! Yeah Yeah!

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. I AM A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL.

I want something dramatic, theatrical, something with a bang!

The trial continues.

That which occurs when a lizards tail grows so long it breaks off and grows a new lizard

Pataphor.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Pataphysics

While I was researching for my exhibition “By my green candlestick” I came across a pataphor.  As is my wont to stumble into dark alleys during my research this led me into a labyrinth in which I became hopelessly lost.  Luckily I found a red thread. It was a bitterly cold day and so I used the thread to knit (I had some knitting needles in my bag) myself a jumper. When the jumper leapt over the walls and left me alone I was again lost and cold. I had left home that day quite early and skipped breakfast which made me tired, lost, cold and now hungry.  Pushing on through gritted golden teeth I saw a lamp that illuminated the way. Out.

Just a bit of ridiculous to start the day. Hope you enjoyed it.

 

The Tortoise and Achilles with some of those strange acting smart-stupids: A meta-metaphorical fugue.

 

 

 

 

When I was approached about exhibiting my work in Latrobe Regional Gallery’s revamped sculpture courtyard I was doubly excited. Not only is it a ravishing space but it’s also my hometown gallery.  I had a strong body of work from my 2006 show at the Gippsland Art Gallery and I was busting for the opportunity to revisit and ‘re-tune’ that work.  However, after discussions with the Gallery I decided to change tack.  This new space was deserving of new work, and I was interested in developing this in a more capricious and whimsical manner.

57 Variations – variation 33.

This suite of component based assemblages and spatial interventions was developed from a need for an activity that I can just grab on a sunny day, get away from other projects, gain perspective, and most importantly, play.  It has become a form of three-dimensional or sculptural doodling.   Traditional ‘back-of-the-envelope’ doodling is great to help to clear one’s mind but doesn’t stretch the physical body.  The nature of this new work allows me to challenge both.

57 Variations – variation 33. Shown here spilling out the back door and into the car park.