It is Equancourt, 22 September, 1916. A party of men are launching an observation balloon. With one exception, each man is holding a tether, like a child who has just been handed a balloon at a party. The exception is the man clambering into the gondola, who is about to float up into the clouds. When he gets there he will face other men who will want to send him flailing to earth. This painting is based on a photo of this extraordinary yet commonplace event.
This is an abstract work … well, actually, it is the headlight and blinker of a 2015 KIA Carnival people mover, upended to point to the sky. Mundane things have their beauty, and even car blinkers have their turn.
I would like to say I painted this distorted shadow of an absinthe glass in Montmarte. I really would. Alas, it would not be true. It is washing up detergent (Fairy Liquid to be precise) in a shot glass from Daiso. And it is on our kitchen table.
There is a prominent Royal Warrant on the Fairy Liquid bottle that proclaims “By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, Manufacturers of Soap and Detergents”. I am nothing but questions. Does the Queen do her own washing up? If she Appoints the makers of Fairy Liquid to supply Soap and Detergents, does this mean she does not have to pay for these? If I Appoint suppliers, can I get things for free, too?
I hope you enjoy this picture of the Green Fairy (Liquid).
Samuel Johnson tells me that ‘gobble’ means ‘to swallow hastily with tumult and noise.’ This is a silver wine goblet I saw at the National Gallery of Victoria. I like to think that many a beaded bubble winked at its brim, to be swallowed hastily and with much tumult and noise. Elegant things are often put to inelegant purposes.
This is an Arts and Crafts copper charger I saw hanging on a wall in Tasmania. It was a cold grim day, full of misty rain, but the copper caught the Sun and warmed the room.
“I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung my eager craft through footless halls of the air …”
John Gillespie Magee
The brake lights on a Mark I Ford Cortina look good enough to eat. They are known for their ‘ban the bomb’ shape, but I have always thought they look like a rather delicious neenish tart.