A Day Off from Moving

It’s now just over 18 months since our daughter Cathy has been on her own with her two girls, but this week everything seemed to start to come together for her in a much more positive way. We are so happy for her and very proud of her ability to handle stress, difficulties and c. This week, not only did she receive formal acceptance of her qualification as a medical specialist (Geriatrics), but she also moved into her own new house. We wish her all the best for this new beginning in her life.

Over the last few days we have helped Cathy to move from her previously rented house in Collingwood to her new one in Fitzroy North. I guess that everyone knows that this type of move is a logistical nightmare. It takes an enormous effort to get everything to happen – removalists, connection of utilities, cleaning, transferring clothes, packing up the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms etc, arrange parking permits, signing documents  and then unpacking everything at the other end. Along with all of this there is still the need to take care of two little girls (and the cat).

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My knees are sore from a day of crawling around the floor while assembling Ikea furniture and my fingers are sore from building shelves in the new laundry. Hiowever, a good night’s sleep has repaired my joints and I am more than ready for another final day of work tomorrow.

Today, we took the day off from helping Cathy move, to visit the Mornington Peninsular Art Gallery to see the travelling exhibition of the 2014 Archibald Prize. This annual competition for Australian portrait painters is always interesting and It seems to me that the finalists entries range from pure crap to outstanding masterpieces. I guess that art is a very personal thing, but sometimes I am amazed at how the judges include some art works in the final  list.

For once, I think that the judges made the correct decision in selecting the winner. This portrait of architect, Penolope Seidler, by Fiona Lowry was exceptional. When I first looked at it, I just saw a low-key grey coloured, faint painting, But the more i looked, the more detail and colour I saw. What a great piece of art.

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The unofficial prize winner as awarded by the staff who pack the paintings for the tour of the exhibition was a very true-to-life painting of Sir Les Patterson as played by Barry Humphries. Instead, I rather liked this portrait by An Dho of his father. An Dho was a Vietnamese refugee who arrived in Australia in 1977 and has a well deserved and remarkable series of successes since he arrived. Not only is he a successful comedian and the author of a well regarded book called ‘The Happiest Refugee, he is now a highly established artist. He is truly a man of great talent and ability!

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The painting that I was most interested to see was this one by Abdul Abdullah. He has been a finalist now on three occasions and is the son of my good friend Ibrahim with whom I worked at Control  Data back in the 1980’s.  I enjoyed a coffee with Ibrahim a few weeks ago when we were in Perth. Many of Abdul’s paintings have a link to some form of social consciousness and this one is no exception. It is a painting of Richard Bell, a high-profile Aboriginal artist and political activist. Abdul said ‘I see him as mountainous; the type of person who fills a room when he enters it. From there it was a small step to visualising him in a space suit, casting a discerning, critical gaze on this country from space as if to say, “you’ve messed it all up”.

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Enough of art and culture. Tomorrow, I’m back to Cathy’s place to assemble some more furniture, install some shelving in wardrobes and reseal the kitchen sink into the bench top. Our timing is very good as on Wednesday, next week, Jill and I are leaving for a short trip to Europe. It will be good to know that Cathy’s place is all set up before we leave.