Holidays with Rosalie


We are now on ‘School’ Holidays. LM is all like ‘Yeah. I love the holidays.’ She appears to be oblivious to the fact that our days aren’t that different. I even woke up to her making an early start on today’s ‘project’. Actually… maybe that’s the difference… in the holidays I call our daily activities ‘projects’ instead of ‘classes’ even though they are essentially the same thing. I’m thinking/typing out loud here, but maybe there is power in working on a project that isn’t associated with being in a class.

Last week we received our eagerly awaited copy of World Monopoly (which we now agree is not as fun as the original) but it did come packaged in a dream art material – foamcore hazard signs! So, yesterday LM was introduced to the legendary Australian Artist Rosalie Gascoigne. Not literally, as she died in 1999, but through replicating one of her most recognised methods (pictured above).

Every day we walk around our gorgeous little hometown: getting to know it’s back lanes by taking photos of the structures and details, collecting moss, fallen succulents, feathers, scraps of metal, pieces of timber and bush flowers (aka weeds). In this regard Rosalie’s work seems particularly relevant to us as she once said “The countryside’s discards … no longer suggest themselves but evoke experiences, particularly of landscape.” We too have strong responses to many of our found pieces. We also live in similar landscapes and have a shared love of poetry, specifically William Wordsworth, whom I often read to LM to get her to sleep as a little one.

LM seemed very interested in the discussion about Rosalie’s late start making art. And that it seems to us that she didn’t intend to be an artist but instead become one as a way of healing and immersing herself in the landscape. Rosalie didn’t go to art school and she didn’t want to. Yet she went on to become the first female artist to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale. This has now added to more excursions to our list: go and see Rosalie’s work in person… and go to the Venice Biennale. The former is a little easier.

We also talked about the link between this project and our codes and symbols day. Realising that we are breaking down the symbols (words) and making them into a new ‘language’ (art).

To make our tribute. I cut the squares as the blade work took a lot of force. I cut 8cm x 8cm squares because LM is 8 years old. I then handed them on to LM who created the ‘assemblage’. Simple really. This led to another idea by LM though. She asked me to neatly cut the word ‘safe’ from a remaining piece and not to look at what she was doing. What she was doing was making a bus that was soon filled with cute little soft toy ‘children’ ready for a tour of the ‘Gallery’. It seems they came specifically to see the newest work by Rosalie Gascoigne but were then eager for a tour of the rest of the gallery’, allowing me to say wonderful things about the artists whose works we own and ridiculous things about our own creations. LM is the celebrated French artist of her generation.

As I write this I am babysitting the soft toy children while their bus driver busily works on a new creation (that I am again not allowed to see).



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