In truth, I hung around at work so that I could go straight from there to the opening of an exhibition of the best 2004 graduates of the city's various art schools. There's nothing more relaxing after a hard day at work than sauntering around an art gallery, taking in the works and swilling wine like there's no tomorrow. They were serving a very good white, but it went straight to my head because the canapes were few and far between, dammit, and largely being monopolised by a handful of art sprogs.
The exhibition was interesting. Not thrilling, but definitely interesting. The friend of a friend who invited me had contributed a series of exquisitely detailed life-sized moths, rendered in fabric and feathers, and so realisic that one had to be repaired earlier in the day after a cleaner tried to kill it with a rolled-up newspaper. Another artist had fashioned something akin to a monstrous dream-catcher/spiderweb out of copper wire and fabric, and suspended it over a series of mandalas made from loose poppy seeds and sea salt... a brave choice given the number of roaming toddlers and the occasional liquored up arts patron.
The centrepiece to the exhibition was a classic Victa lawnmower, hotted up with chrome plated exhausts and engine housings, and with its catcher refashioned to resemble an enormous powder-blue scrotum. It wasn't a new take on gender stereotypes, but it was cute. According to the blurb the mower still worked, although whether the asking price of $8,800 is worth it just to terrify your neighbours and make your mates feel inadequate is open to discussion.
My favourite works were a couple of paintings hanging in the mezzanine level. They were very simple portraits, in monotonal acrylics on canvas. Both of them were the size of one of the walls of my office, and I am a firm devotee of Big Art. If it's not big enough to cause serious injury or death if it falls on you, I'm not interested. In my opinion you need space to say anything worth saying.
Ever since the exhibition, I've been thinking. Hmmm. Big Art. $1,100 each. Not unreasonable. Good technique. A certain haunting beauty. Do I have room for it? No. Don't I already have a lot of monotonal art? Yes. Aren't I supposed to be saving money for other projects? Yes. Still. Big Art. Big Affordable Art. Hmmm.
*I take this opportunity to point out that Microsoft Word abbreviates the Research Quality Assessments document to Research Quality Ass when it's minimised. Tee hee hee. I are teh mature.