Sunday, July 23, 2006

Me exists

I never thought of putting posters on my walls until I was about 11 or 12 years old. Until then I had one framed picture hanging on my peach coloured plasterboard wall - it was a painting of an angel overlooking a little boy and a little girl playing in a small garden. Above it always hung a dried small olive branch. Roman Catholic: Are you jealous? hmph!

When I got to high school I realised that hey, people actually hung stuff on their walls. I credit the poster revolution that went on in my bedroom in the next few years to my devotion to Smash Hits and TV Hits Magazines. First I tentatively put up posters of New Kids on the Block and Madonna up there but soon I realised that if I had 10 posters up, I might as well have 100 posters up. So that's what I did. I collected together all my copies of Smash Hits, TV Hits, Dolly Magazine and anything else I could find and plastered every bit of avaliable space with a poster. It looked fetching. I didn't discriminate who I put up there btw. There was Kylie hanging alongside Alice Cooper hanging alongside Corey Haim, Motley Crue and Milli Vanilli. I wish I had a photo of it - it looked craptastic. People would come over just to stare at my poster collection like it was an art gallery.

After a year I got sick of it and tore all of them down and switched back to my New Kids on the Block fetish. That lasted until I saw the movie Heathers and all my New Kids on the Block posters were quickly replaced by Christian Slater ones. My obsession was so famed that I had people I hardly knew donating their Christian Slater pictures to me! I picked a new poster to kiss each night before I went to sleep. To quote the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer All I wanted to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater and die. yeah, that about summed it up.

Then I became interested in AFL football. I will call this the dark period of my life. Obviously if you live in Melbourne you have to have to follow an AFL team. It's the rules. My dad went for Fitzroy Lions (who merged with the Brisbane Bears and became the Brisbane Lions), my mum half heartedly followed the Carlton Blues and after a visit to the primary school by the great (if not slightly psychotic) Alan Jeans, bro and I soon became a devout Mighty Hawks supporters. Okay, devout was not the right word, more like I just followed them like any girl follows a footy team (with a yahyahyah whatever philosophy). Then I got hormones and discovered Shane Crawford - who back before he became a dickhead was a rookie for the Hawks. I'm ashamed to admit it but soon I became one of those girls that knew ALL the stats - heights, weights, goals kicked, premierships lost and won, home and away games - everything. I put posters of my beloved Hawks on my wall alongside the Christian Slater ones and prayed to god to let the Hawks win and to let me please, please, please marry Christian Slater when I grew up. Later, after I denounced god; the Hawks have finished in the bottom 8 ever since and Christian Slater has proven himself the world's biggest loser. woo.

When I hit year 11 and Interview with The Vampire came out at the movies I put a big IWTV poster up on my wall and became obessed with vampires (I still have that poster folded up somewhere). To be fair, I actually became obessed with vampires in year 2 at school. I remember the very moment. I came across this book at the library that was all about vampires (it was a picture book) and I don't know what happened, but as I turned each page I realised my destiny was to become the mistress to a vampire. What the hell kind of 7-8 year old thinks up stuff like that? I hope that if I ever have my sperm doner baby she doesn't turn out like that. Anyway, E and I would sit in out shared Lit class quoting Interview with the Vampire all lesson (much to the dismay of Mr M who would have liked it better had we quoted King Lear). Of course, Christian Slater was in the movie so that helped fuel that fetish along further.

After that came the 60s phase. I changed the theme to all B/W Elvis, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and other assorted icons. I framed a lot of them. I drew some of them also and put those up. I had a little cut out picture of Andy Warhol from a magazine, I put on my mirror. When the Warhol exhibit came out here a year or so ago I was fascinated looking through all his bits and pieces. He was a hoarder - On a level, I can relate.

When I hit uni I didn't have posters on the walls I had photos. Pictures of my friends and family. Funny tongue poking out photos of trips down to the beach and arms around eachother singing type drunken snapshots of half faces.

As you grow up things get more personal, I guess. The precious photos go into frames the people you're mad and and never want to see again get put back into the albums or torn up, like you're trying to erase memories. Things that are meaningful remain.

I have a postcard picture of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday speeding down A Roman side street on her scooter stuck somewhere on the edge of bookshelf. It's one of my all time favourite scenes in one of my all time favourite movies. I've always identified with wanting to escape and be someone totally new. The postcard came courtesy of friend S during 1998 when she went to Rome for a holiday. She sent it back with a message saying that she knew I would love that photo. I did. I do.

I also have a postcard sized picture of Van Gogh's Almond Blossom - apart from Stary Night, one of my favourite paintings of his. When I went to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam I tried in vain to look for a print to take home but couldn't. I can't find one accessable here either. In any case, until I can afford to get a canvas reproduction of it, the postcard will have to do.

A birthday card (a few years old) with Mae West on the front looking sultry as usual. "I used to be Snow White but I drifted" is the quote on the front. When G handed it to me a couple of years ago she said exclaimed that when she saw it she knew I had to have it. lol. I don't know about that, but it's a little piece of inspiration for me anyway.

Then there is the painting of John Waterhouses The Lady of Shallot, which is also one of my favourite poems (Tennyson). I wouldn't say I'm a Arthurian nut but I love the King Arthur mythology and especially the story of the lady of the lake. Such a sad, sad tale about love and loss.

There are so many more, little memoirs of trips and excursions where I picked up bits and pieces. A tin plaque of an Absynthe Robette poster - a present from Fashion and Artist Cousin. A Venetian mask from an overpriced store in Piazza San Marco that is now hanging on a wall. A card on a bookshelf of John Travolta - not because of him but because of the quote "don't touch the hair". Perfect. A small faerie pendant with an amethyst inside - because it reminds me of a day out with my friend S when I was 15 to a country market where a young man totally surprised me by giving me such a sexy look that I actually realised right then in that moment that I wasn't a kid anymore. A cut out of Audrey from Breakfast and Tiffanys - because I love that movie, A tiny Salvador Dali because I like surrealism, A miniscule Pollock to remind me of a trip to the Tate, A Tori Amos cut out from a mag because she is divine, and not to mention Van Gogh's Bedroom - again one of my favourites. There's A picture from The Beatles' Abbey Road, because they are wonderful and a map of the London underground, because I never thought I would get it, but I did! All these small bits and pieces are scattered everywhere, on the fridge or on a bookshelf or on a wall somewhere.

So many memories wrapped up in stuff. I don't think I'll ever be one of those minimalist girls who have white walls and with nothing on them. I need to be surrounded by vital reminders of who I was and am and want to be. I don't know if that's a weakness of character, and mostly I don't even think about it that way. But once in a while I'll walk past the pendant and smile or dust over the Waterhouse and remind myself to always be true. I don't keep me all inside. Me exists everywhere.

It probably doesn't hang in a gallery anywhere and that's what makes it special. So what's your you-art?