A sort of fiction

(Post) French Connections

Australian Print Workshop
Paris study tour
May – June 2018


9th June (continued):
Walking through other people’s fictions (@sandrajuto at @lotsixtyonecoffee) and collections (@stedelijkmuseum), and noting how “through the positioning of the colours [new] meaning and the relationships between them [arise]. How does one shade of green or red become altered when it is placed next to a light beige, a dirty orange or even a dark black? Do the height and width of a colour field effect the perception of colour?” (Förg as a Colourist)

* * *

Farewell Amsterdam. We leave with a happy store of memories (bursting) and geese (if only). (In reference to a chromogenic colour print by Iosif Király, Matasari_I Love Europe 2, 2007–2009, from the Reconstructions series.)


11th June:
Last night, this morning, in Amsterdam, at home, now, today, the 11th of June, or last century or the one before it or the one before it, I awoke in a dark room, and tried to establish my bearings. The bedside lamp is to my right now? The window, it is on the left!? But where is the one at the foot of the bed? Did I draw the curtains? Is that the street before me? I can’t hear it. Where am I? The furniture has moved. I’m in Amsterdam, aren’t I? At no. 377 house. No?! I’m in a Vermeer, feeling the dark lacquer ware edges, searching for a corridor. That way leads to the woman in her yellow jacket with the ermine trim, so the other way must be the milkmaid, fixed in action and yet steadily holding position. I am inside a Vermeer. Stepped through like Alice. And everything looks different before sunrise. I hear distant traffic. Twenty-first century! I’m home. Home. Home, in Melbourne. In my own composition. The familiar will never look like this again. I am both a tourist in my own city, in my own abode, trying to draw forms in the dark. Is that a chair, is that the doorway, is this an oil painting or life? Never turn on the light. Stay muddled, explore the lucid state, barefoot and in search of the bathroom. I am home. We’re home. And at 4am on the 11th of June, nothing looks as we knew it to look. Mind Lenni at the heel, now swanning between the legs, reclaiming them. We’re home, physically, but not the upstairs and not the core with all the bits that feel, register, and store. Still overseas. Now fragmented. In the best possible way. It’s not jet lag. It is jet lag. It’s more like the insides catching up with the outside husk. Still processing all we’ve seen. Filtering dreams, spinning ideas, sorting ideas. In a painting. A part of a painting. 1658 or 2018, it dissolves. It is arbitrary. It’s the feeling that counts. Right to the chest. I’m going to hope it stays, like an animal on a branch within me, for a long while yet. Holiday gloss removal: not yet. Keeping this.

* * *

Space and time and the “aesthetics of delay” saturating our palette, altering our tempo, overlapping our narratives. Once more awakening from a nap on the floor of a foyer-like area in Amsterdam with the thought ‘I’d better not drift off in a public space’, before registering that I am curled up at home, confused in the mind and body overlap, in the gloaming, with Olive near to my head.


17th June:
Home to a new colour palette, a new season, and a new kind of pretty. Home to early morning barre classes in place of walking from the Pompidou to the Musée d’Orsay, to keep things moving. Home, but trying to keep a sense of wonder.

25th June:
Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.”
— Marcel Proust, Swann's Way (Book One of 'Remembrance of Things Past’ / ‘In Search of Lost Time’)
Looking over photos from several weeks ago now (in the process of lightening the iPhone), and wondering why we never thought to post them at the time. Perhaps so that they could be our “blue sky overhead, my young friend”, on a chilly Monday evening. To provide warmth “.... when the woods are black, when night is fast falling”, our consolation, “looking up at the sky”.


Image credit: Pieter de Hooch, Interior with Women beside a Linen Cupboard, 1663, oil on canvas, in the collection of the Rijksmuseum