Saturday, 21 April 2018

Thoughts on contemporary/modern art and immersion

The highlight of the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art – Divided Worlds (the sections held in the South Australian Gallery) for me were two walls. 2018 by Nike Savvas, a wall of mirrored strips, and the textured metallic surface of the opposing wall, which I assumed was just part of the setting for the exhibition as it had no identifying card. The thing about these two walls is that they were fun.

While I wasn’t as taken by the rest of the exhibition (with a few exceptions), I happily came back again and again to the two walls. It occurred to me that it was because they engaged with me, the viewer, in a way the rest of the art did not.

The thing with contemporary or modern art is that it can often seem a bit out there or, in some cases, just plain odd. Of course this can be interesting and thought provoking, but the art that I really enjoy from this broad category is the type that engages or allows you to immerse yourself in the art. Art that is odd or challenging proves more effective when it allows you to interact with the art in some way. This interaction creates a door into which a viewer can step to better understand the art, rather than being held at a distance.

The two walls interacted not just with the viewers but with the environment. Savvas’ mirrors reflected fragments of the room and the viewer, allowing you to see different things as you looked, while the opposite wall turned everything into an impressionist painting. These two pieces weren’t necessarily the most thought provoking at first glance (although a thousand words of academic or poetic prose could be written after consideration), they were the most fun.
This fun invites longer looks and greater consideration, it breaks down the barrier between the meaning of the work and the viewer.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Adelaide Writers’ Week 2018

I absolutely love Writers’ Week, I always feel inspired and motivated to be productive after listening to the various author talks.

This year I volunteered at the event, assisting at the stages, signing table and keeping the plants alive. I really enjoyed getting more involved. 
But even with the volunteering keeping me busy, I managed to catch a fair few of the talks and got some ideas about the writing process to take with me as I continue along the very long road of novel writing.
Here they are:
  • put your first draft aside for a month (or more) to let yourself come back to it fresh 
  • make the story as good as you can before giving it to readers so you don’t waste their valuable first impression 
  • it’s okay if it takes several reworkings to get the story to place you’re happy with (and it might even become something totally different than you originally planned)
  • historical facts are not the be all and end all, creating a sense of the time and place is more important 

Those are just a few things that have really stuck with me. If you want to read more about my thoughts on the 2018 Writers’ Week, I was asked by the Adelaide Uni Literature club to write about my experience, so you can read about that here!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Currently (re)reading…The Eyre Affair

I started Wuthering Heights the other week and, although I really want to read it, I was having trouble getting into it and thought maybe I needed something a bit easier to read and a bit more fun for while I’m using all my brainpower on a major writing project.

Since I’d been meaning to reread The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde since I read Jane Eyre and my sister own a copy, I decided it was a perfect place to start. I’d read it before so I knew it would be great fun.
The Thursday Next books are full of bookish, literary outrageousness. Like Terry Pratchett plays and parodies our world in the Discworld, Fforde brings the world of books (and their characters) to life in unique, entertaining, humorous fashion.

It’s interesting rereading a book I haven’t read for a decade, I thought I remembered it perfectly well but there’s so much I didn’t remember, which makes it almost like reading it for the first time. There’s things I thought featured more that are less prominent and plot points I completely forgot about.
It’s just so much fun!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

TBR | finding the next read…

Choosing what to read next is often hard, there are so many books to choose from. Especially if, like me, you have one or two books sitting on your shelf waiting to be read. I hope to make a dent in my unread shelf in the next seven months before I head back to uni, currently there are eleven books of varying genres on the shelf.
For the past two years my reading has been dictated by uni studies, so I’m still trying to sort out how to make the most of my momentary freedom.

I recently read and enjoyed Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – it was thought-provoking and encouraging (as feminist lit often is, it’s nice to know you’re not crazy), but I think I’m ready for some fiction. The problem is, there are too many options on my TBR shelf to choose from, let alone the library...

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Quote | a goal is not always meant to be reached

Happy New Year!! I can’t believe it’s actually 2018! Not just in the normal, New Year sort of way, but because I’ve been anticipating this year for the past three. 2018 is the year I travel overseas for the first time! I’ll be heading off later this year on a year-long university exchange, which is both super exciting and completely terrifying.

Meanwhile, the New Year is also an exciting time because it’s the time of goal setting and list making, two of my greatest loves. I prefer shorter term goal periods (six months or so) because whenever I use to make year lists, it would came to November and I’d realise I put way too much on and hadn’t started nearly early enough. Having said that, if I didn’t have my exchange breaking up my year this year, I probably would make a year list AND a shorter term list because I love a good list, so the more the merrier.
I like to strike a balance between challenging but still within the realms of achievability, which can be tricky. For the next six or so months, I’m really exciting to have the time and space, thanks to my semester off, to work on a major writing project, plan my exchange, sew something and lots of other things, big and small.

2018 is going to be a productive, adventurous, exciting year!

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