M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D
Mike's Pith & Wind (cont.)
..educated in the arts, whereas I attended Art School for a couple of years more or less as to score the mandatory rock muso CV entry i.e. I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention. Anyway, of the many manifestations of Art I continue to struggle with ballet - and sculpture.
I may’ve mentioned ballet before so I’ll concentrate on my persistent lack of affection for sculpture. The Pt Leo Estate is the Gandel family’s $50 million sculpture park, winery and restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula and is set up for the appreciation of fine food (Rockpool’s Phil Wood has been snapped up by the Gandels), wine and sculpture. The finest of Australian and a sprinkling of international sculptors are represented in a space that you’d think would encourage scale, an invitation to which most, but not all the artists responded.
Like gambling in Las Vegas, sculpture is set up as a theme very early in the piece at the Pt Leo Estate. Visitors/diners are greeted by a strikingly architectural example even before they enter the restaurant. Inge King’s Grand Arch is not only very large and very striking, it invites, well, compels visitors to be photographed standing huddled under its arch. The compulsion is utterly irresistible and I would defy anybody not to require to be photographed there before they enter the restaurant or, perhaps after some consideration and a few reds, as they are leaving.
Perhaps half of the exhibits are visible from the restaurant’s enormous 180 degree view windows and so one has time to absorb what’s on display as food is masticated and wine sipped. The cineramic view of vineyards and Westernport Bay taking in Phillip Island would be perfectly acceptable with no sculptures at all, and indeed some of them could be removed on the basis of simply cluttering the landscape in my opinion, but I’m sure there would be animated discussion about which ones should stay or go, and I would posit that that discussion is almost the entire rationale for the existence of modern painting and sculpture.
On both occasions M&M took the opportunity to inspect the sculptures, on the second occasion with our Canberra guests, Ange and Nick. I assume there was a range of responses, but because I prefer to take my art neat and tend to want to look at things on my own, I missed a lot of the discussion as to preferences or otherwise.
Even though we saw quite a number more sculptures the second time around, Maria and I were both in agreement as to the ‘best’ sculpture in the park (excluding the Grand Arch sculpture at the entrance).
Our favourite sculpture is by Spaniard Jaume Plensa (Laura) and as it isn’t observable from the restaurant we were both taken unawares when we first came upon it. It’s an eight metre tall black shard-like shape reminding me of the enigmatic black slab in 2001, A Space Odyssey, although it probably has more in common with the Easter Island statues, because when you get around to the front of the sculpture you realise that you are looking at a giant head. With a pony tail.
The face itself is distorted by anamorphic perspective in a sculptural equivalent to the Holbein’s ‘hidden’ skulls that M is so fond of, but when you finally comprehend that you’re looking at the image of a young woman’s face, it’s almost unbearably poignant and you cannot fail to be moved.
Or maybe you can. Maybe your favourites will lie elsewhere, but I was just pleased that I was finally able to respond so viscerally to a piece of sculpture. Now for the BALLET…

With the upcoming second concert in the Spectrum / Madder Lake double bill series at The Flying Saucer Club next weekend almost upon us, I had a small cluster - well, alright two - radio interviews to contend with today. I was wondering if I should let my Facebook audience know about them but decided that it was too difficult to get an accurate fix on when the actual interviewing process would begin and you also never know how long you might be on the air.
The first interview was slotted for 2.45 with Denis Walter on 3AW. I’ve done two or three with the easy-going Denis in the past, but they were in person, not ‘phonies’ as they’re so tellingly called.
I did a bit of preparation to make sure I had the salient facts in front of me just in case I lost the point of it all in the excitement and resumed writing (this P&W in fact) while I waited for the call.
At about 2.55 I finally get the call and have to listen to Heather talking about the forthcoming primary school parents’ footy final coming up this weekend. Then suddenly it’s Denis, sounding slightly more urgent than usual, asking me what Spectrum and Madder Lake were doing and I muttered something about us ‘making love on the same stage’ – and KAPOW! Ten seconds and I was holding the mute receiver in my hand hoping that I’d said something remotely useful to the cause.
At 3.30 I got the second interview on the line, this time Greg Webb from 3MDR, these days based in Belgrave rather than Emerald. I was still so hyped up from the first experience that I crammed in about an hour’s worth of info in the fifteen or so minutes he generously allowed me.
As a postscript Greg said he’d love to have me play at the studio some time and that he might even be able to offer the band a gig at the Emerald RSL for real money. Alright!
Of the two shows Denis’ is clearly the more important from the publicity point of view, being on a top rating station like 3AW, but in the end I’m glad I didn’t tell my FB audience that it was happening, because if they’d sneezed they might have missed it.
M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D