Last week, I caught some sort of throat-alien-lurgy-cobweb head-congestion-sleeping illness, and I’ve spent the past week sicker than I’ve been in years. Coughing sneezing coughing sleeping coughing sleeping sleeping sleeping… Not very productive, unless you count getting well as being productive (and, for the record, I kinda do!)
But while I was sleeping, my guest post for Gillian Polack’s Women’s History Month series went up. Such a great project, and I was delighted to be included. I wrote about South Australian artist Rita Hall (one of my favourites, whose paintings I adore and covet):
Beauty often appears in unexpected places. Not just in famous galleries, or on Parisian runways, or spread across the landscape in breathtaking vistas — sometimes really beautiful things can be found in drab, infrequently used university tearooms, hung in a corner where busy academics are least likely to notice them.
An image of two crows, for example, rendered in thick black lines and deep grooves. One a flurry of motion, feathers scribbled upwards, winging its charcoal way toward the edge of a large rectangular frame; the other quiet, a beige echo of the bird above it, sharp beak and wings gouged into the rust-coloured background. A composition so simple — the wood bisected into two sections: above and below, day and night, before and after, presence and absence — and yet so striking. While working on my PhD, this picture drew me to that god-awful tearoom every day, despite its lack of spoons, its pervasive scent of microwave dinners. The crows were part of the university’s collection — all the artworks on campus were — but unlike the rest of them, there was no identifying plaque on the wall, no indication of who had made these frenzied creatures, this incredible expression of flight and stillness. Just a name scrawled in the corner: Rita Hall.
Read the rest here.