Friday, September 9, 2011

The past week

This week we’ve gone into the city (Brisbane) every day for “classes” with Peter Breen, a former pastor who now runs Jugglers Art Space.  According to the website, "Jugglers Art Space Inc. is an Artist Run Initiative that is committed to supporting emerging artists across a broad range of genres. It was founded in 2002 to address the critical shortage of exhibition and studio spaces available in Brisbane." PB wanted graffiti artists, especially kids, to have a place where they could do their art legally.  Now artists have shows there, and Jugglers has rented property from Queensland rail which they in turn rent to artists to use as studios.

So anyway, we’ve been going in and basically chatting with Peter Breen.  He’s talked about the church and art and about loving and serving people.  Monday we just stayed at Jugglers and talked.  Tuesday we visited two of the studios Jugglers rents out and the artists talked to us about their work.  One man was part Aborigine, and he makes and plays dijeridoos.  (He played one for us, and it was amazing.  Then some of us tried, and it wasn’t so amazing.  You have to do this weird circular breathing thing, which takes a while to learn.)  He also paints, and his work is inspired by Aboriginal stories.  You can see some of his paintings here:  Then we went and talked to Nic Plowman, who also paints.  His most recent work, some of which he showed us, has been inspired by his recovery from a bad fall.  It was really interesting to talk to both of these men and hear the stories behind their art.

On Wednesday we talked with Peter Breen more and also Terry Fitzpatrick, someone Peter knows (I forget exactly how…).  He and Peter both have some ideas about God and Christianity that are very different from everything I’ve heard before, such as, in Peter's words, that "love is an end in itself"--you don't necessarily have to evangelize to people; it's okay just to love them.  It’s been great to hear a completely different perspective, especially when I agree with a lot of it.

Yesterday, Thursday, we went to the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art.  We didn’t have any instructions or assignments, we just got to wander through the Australian art area at the QAG and the surrealism exhibit at GOMA.  Surrealism can be pretty disturbing, especially when you’re seeing so much of it at once.  But it was really interesting, and it was nice to just be able to go through at our own pace.

~An interjection--I wrote this post yesterday, so we've been to Jugglers and back today, but I'm really tired, so for now I'll leave the paragraph that I wrote yesterday about today as it is, and write about today another time.~

Tomorrow there’s a new art show opening, so we’re going to help with that if our help is needed and also just participate in it (we’re going to be throwing paint balloons at the currently white tunnel walls).  It’s been a good week; it’s been nice to get out of the NTC and see a little more of the city and hear from a cool Australian guy.  And not having traditional classes is really nice.  There’s also not really been any homework; we do have to write two papers, though, one four-page one having something to do with this past week and one one-page reflection on the sculpture we’re building.  Oh, yeah, another part of this week is that we have to build a sculpture out of objects we’ve found.  It’s kind of hard for 12 people to build one sculpture, though, so it seems like a few people have been doing most of it.  So it’ll be interesting writing a reflection on it…

We don’t have to be at Jugglers till 2 tomorrow; we’ve been getting there at 8:30, meaning I’ve had to get up at 7 (although twice I slept through my alarm and my roommates had to wake me up), so it’s going to be really, really nice to sleep in.

My flying horse

Earlier this week I had a dream that I flew to America to visit for the weekend on a flying horse.  It was really quick and easy.  I stopped at Houghton and then I went home, where I asked Mom, “Want to know how I got here?” because I was really excited to tell her I flew in on a flying horse.  But she never answered me, and I was disappointed.  Then I was thinking about how it wasn’t possible for me to actually have gotten there on a flying horse, so I decided I must just be imagining that I was there, but it felt so real.  Then I thought I would just imagine myself flying back to Australia, and I knew that would feel real too, but then I thought how everything that happened in Australia after that would only be in my imagination, and that I would eventually wake up and have to live all that time over again.