how quickly a fortnight goes by. well. how quickly four weeks goes by — the time we were away, and then yes, how quickly the two weeks since we returned have whizzed by too. it’s not a great feeling being back. i’d rather be… anywhere but here i guess, a situation not so easily remedied because here is a state of mind, not escapable by simply shutting the door behind me past midnight and walking a quick stretch of my street, in pyjamas and socks, in the new cold. how can i extricate myself from this tangle?
fuck it. let us go back to where it was all colour and light…
…art and play.
behold. a pompom workshop, at artplay, housed inside the handsome brick building on birrarung marr. moomba weekend, there was a queue up the ramp to get in, and no wonder. when we finally made it inside, it was like the aladdin’s cave of yarn. there were balls of it everywhere, and people winding it all around the most high-tech pompom machines i’ve ever seen. whatever happened to two flimsy rings cut out of cardboard?
the kid spent… an hour? is that possible? in perpetual motion, building layers and layers of wool around her plastic bits, and made a magnificent pompom that she wore strung around her neck for the rest of the afternoon. by the end of the day, it had unravelled into an armful of string… but it’s all in the process, no?
the first time we came to artplay, last spring, it was the weekend of the big draw. there were stations set out around the room, each one offering a different drawing material and exercise: tracing a maze with pastels, or filling a grid with pencilled patterns, that sort of thing. and then, in the centre of the room, there was sticky tape.
here was the objective: to create drawings by taping and stickering the floor.
it was quite compelling! we do like sticky tape!
and then last weekend, we worked our way through a visiting maze from singapore…
…an exploration in pattern and textiles.
there were buckets of textas, and sheets of calico, and once you tired of making pattern, you could customise the maze by rearranging the removable fabric panels. the kid fashioned herself a little cubicle and kept on drawing.
while on my knees, i walked harlan through sunlit polka dots.
that afternoon i felt better, then worse, and by midweek, well, so there is a place that’s worse than worse.
but right now i have a pot of green soup to last me days, and work deadlines that will take me through the next fortnight, and maybe it’ll be ok, for now.
we should all be so lucky, should we not, to have a big, light space in which to hide away, with warm floorboards, and balls of yarn, and buckets of markers, and endless rolls of sticky tape? sometimes you need it, even if you are not a kid anymore. if you are looking to lose yourself, transforming passages — the maze — is on again this weekend.