I’m reminded of how important it is to take time out from the humdrum of everyday life and recharge. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a whirlwind holiday in Europe recently. As an artist, taking in new cities, galleries and cultures is invaluable in terms of growth and inspiration. My trek took me to Zurich, Berlin, Amsterdam and London. Apart from a hike up the stunning Uetliberg, a mountain in the Swiss plateau, the majority of the time was spent within cities. When venturing overseas, I am always reminded of just how small and quiet by comparison Perth is. I found London in particular awash with noise, people, activity… the streets gritty and dirty, laden with rubbish. The walls of Shoreditch and surrounds colourfully adorned with graff and murals. The streets of Camden filled with dodgy vendors, markets, overpriced souvenir shops, hot dog stands and the homeless. This latest visit to London reaffirmed my fascination with and love of England’s capital.
Trying to choose which galleries to visit on a short trip is a daunting task, but I managed to fit in a variety…
- From Chagall, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Picasso and Eames at the Stedelijk; to Koons, Warhol, Banksy and Basquiat at the Moco in Amsterdam.
- To the modern contemporary Urban Nation in Berlin an ‘international institution for art, creative projects and social exchange’, the surrounding streets filled with impressive large-scale murals.
- The open-air East Side Gallery in Berlin with murals painted directly on a 1,316m long remnant of the Berlin Wall. The art itself hardly visible behind the throng of beer-drinking, pot-smoking, selfie-taking tourists.
- The well-curated Kubrick exhibition at The Design Museum in London offered an insight into the mind of the meticulous genius in addition to showing original art and props.
- The mammoth Tate Modern displayed an eclectic mix, my faves being a mixed media work Colour Cycle III by Peter Sedgley and an impressive (and massive) work by Hargue Yang comprised of aluminium venetian blinds and fluro tubes. A room full of Rothko’s, the odd Pollack and Dali completed the mix at the Tate.
- Numerous smaller galleries were visited, some of the best art discovered unexpectedly in back streets and alleys.
People watching and eavesdropping conversations were a second favourite pastime. Relaxing with a beer, the locals and tourists become eye candy and free entertainment.
Currently the post-holiday blues are in full swing, but I’m sure this will soon transform into frenetic studio time. My mind is full of holiday snapshots, my diary laden with snippets. All of which will no doubt sneak its way into creative output. “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Take Benjamin Franklin’s advice and enjoy time out, no matter where nor how short.