The weather in the South West of Western Australia has been unseasonable and unpredictable. But, the morning of Wednesday, October 9 held promise. Although it was breezy, the sun was peeking through the cloud cover and there was reason to be optimistic.
The Art Partners team had planned an ambitious contribution to the Mental Health Week 2013 Exhibition which was scheduled for that morning in Bunbury’s Paisley Square. Eight works had been prepared for exhibition including contributions by two partnerships. This was the first time since the launch of the program that protégés and mentors would be exhibiting work of similar style. The eight works by the Art Partners were to be part of a much larger outdoor exhibition including work by other contributors.
Shadow Puppets Escape the Glare
The shadow puppets by Zoe Hogan and mentor Anne-Marie Hastwell were perhaps the most intriguing of the Art Partners offerings. The puppets, along with their makers, were the subject of an article the day before in the Bunbury Herald newspaper.
As exhibition organisers were hanging the works that morning on the edge of Paisley Square, a rather violent gust of wind swept down Prinsep Street and took several of the works crashing down. The shadow puppets, in their beautiful box frames, bore the brunt of the gust. No glass was broken, but the frames were damaged and would need to be repaired. Perhaps the shadow puppets were not keen on the public glare and simply wanted to be reunited with their makers. Unfortunately for them, they had to make a pit stop at Southern Picture Framers prior to finding their way home.
Organisers then decided that it was simply too dangerous to stage the exhibition. The works were packed up and plans were made to transport the works to safety.
However, as the Art Partners team was shuffling across Paisley Square with heads bowed in disappointment, the weather seemed to calm and the prospect of the protégés and mentors showing up and not finding their work on exhibition was rather deflating.
Picking up the Pieces
Thus, the display frames were relocated to another side of the square where there was perhaps a little more shelter from the breeze. The works by the Art Partners were hung and the morning was salvaged. Almost everyone who was exhibiting did stop by for a visit and enjoyed high-quality engagements.
Janine Egan exhibited Tropical Morning, a work she created in the company of her term-three mentor Julie McKie in their class at The Red Mill Gallery. Janine accepted an offer to sell her work.
Roslyn Burns had Blossoms in Japan on exhibition. This is a work she painted in 2012 in her class at the Stirling Street Arts Centre. She paints there every Tuesday of the school term in the company of her mentor Billie Griffiths and her friend and support worker Tracey Musham. Roslyn received an expression of interest from a potential buyer.
Daniel Marinovich was represented by his 2012 work Frogs Jumped on the Lily Pads. Daniel’s work was really well received, and he was encouraged by Art Partners organisers to enter it in the upcoming As We Are Art Award & Exhibition in Perth.
Spider Goes on Holiday and other Intrigues
Emma Matthews had her beautifully framed Spider Goes on Holiday on display. She adorned her face with a spider (courtesy of the face painting team), and watched as several people stopped by to have a look and have animated exchanges about her work. Emma also had a bit of an informal exhibition going on. She was exchanging (with the Art Partners team) her Self-Portrait (which had been on exhibition for two months) for Tim and Tom (which is scheduled for an upcoming exhibition). Thus, Self-Portrait gained a few new fans (including Tracey Piper), and Enable’s Adam Johnson was given a private viewing of Tim and Tom.
And so, after nearly being undone by the South West’s unpredictable weather, sticking it out and getting the surviving works on display proved worthwhile. Several reaped rewards which included artwork sales and quality engagements. It just goes to show that persistence can pay off.
And, by the way, the shadow puppets were repaired thanks to our friends at Southern Picture Framers and are now in the safe hands of Zoe and Anne-Marie.