Melody Smith is running a great new gallery space just near the Carlise train station and over the road from the poly technic west campus on Oats St ...and who'd have thought 25 years ago there would be anything like this along the railway line out to Armadale! All so close to my beloved East Victoria Park - how exciting!
So I was thrilled to attend an art exhibition opening at the gallery space on Friday 3rd June, of paintings by Roxanne Cox, an emerging Perth artist.
On arrival offered a decent red and provided a detailed artist statement about what the exhibition was aiming to achieve and a price list of the paintings. But that is where I was left .....hanging....so to speak..... in an art space on a Friday night .....and it is not such a comfortable situation to be in. Don't get me wrong, Melody Smith is a smooth operator, talented artist in her own right, and she is running a serious contender for the "great new gallery space near Jacsbac's house" award -so it is a boon for the artistically inclined in the local area. But I was left hanging waiting for the "Art exhibition opening night speech?.
I love those speeches! Let me hear the journey, let me hear about the paintings from the artist (or nominated patron)
If I am going to part with some of my hard earned art investment dollars - (as I have been known to do.... much to the fear and puzzlement of the beanie-wearing defacto-ed one; "you bought what? For how much?") then I feel I need to hear about the exhibition from the mouth of the creative artist themselves (or a nominated patron as I keep saying - that is fine too - I don't want to force any artist who is greatly daunted about speaking publicly to do so) - but as a live event, I want an opening night exhibition speech! I want to hear about the artworks on the night - particularly as this was Cox's first exhibition - who is she? Why should I care about her paintings? give me an insight that I can't get simply by looking at the paintings on-line? Talk to me about your special brand of creativity!
An opening night art exhibition speech also is important to set the opening of an exhibition apart from any other of the exhibition dates. I realised fairly quickly into the Friday night gathering, that without an opening night speech, I could have stayed at home under the feather doona and visited the gallery - sans wine and nibbles - on-line! Which I like to do too - but sometimes the need to see and attend to the works in real space, is also vital to their appreciation.
An opening demands a separation from the rest of the exhibition run - and I think this is done via an opening speech for the exhibition!
Whilst we were treated to a lovely array of nibbles and wine - all enjoyed while surrounded by other guests, including gender blurring artist Mathew Jackson, dressed as a cross between the flying nun and an aging Balinese hawker - I really hope for his exhibition opening he finds a better outfit! Call me, Mathew - lets do lunch - we can go pick outfits together afterwards. He seriously needs some good girlfren' advise!
Anyway....all I am saying is that I think the exhibition needed a good opening night speech - something to bring the gathered together, something for us to ruminate over and perhaps bond with the paintings through, all wrapped up in the shared intimacy of a Friday night art exhibition opening event.
....so apart from the lack of a rousing speech or even a proud friend's enthusiastic words at the opening - everything else felt like a real art exhibition opening. I hope to make a few more exhibition openings at the very swish Oatsfactory - just next time I will not expect a talk, from anyone
- just some serious post-modern milling about!