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
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
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
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
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