Archive | September 2006

The gains 1

29 September 2006

Last week the day of our move to New Zealand was 1 year ago and someone asked us if we had gone through the ‘gains’. Of course I first had to look up that word. I thought it were the rugby results or something, but it means benefits or profits. In other words; Did the emigration enriched our lives?

Old immigrants say that you first have to go through all the seasons to know if the emigration is successful. They also say that the homesickness mercilessly will strike after 1 year. The latter I don’t think so … During my life people always have said too that ‘later’ I certainly would have children. Or that I would be sorry when I drop out of school to work in a restaurant (and never went back to the classroom again). well, I still feel nothing. No homesickness, no baby wish and no career-remorse.

But back to the gains; There are a few things that troubles me in New Zealand. After 40 years on birth ground someone exactly knows where to go for any wish or any question that comes to him. Even for things that I had nothing to do with ever in my life, I knew to find special stores or agencies in the Netherlands. Also all within a range of 1 hour driving. That’s a difference over here. In New Zealand I have spent hours to search for the most silly things.

About the language problem I’ve ranted a few times, but before the emigration I knew that would be a stumbling block. Beforehand I was not eager to spend much time learning the language properly and today in daily life I barely speak English, so I don’t make any progress. This implies that when I’m in front of new people, I can not present myself as how I am. I’m not able to make nuances during a conversation. For example I can’t use funny theatrical old-fashioned words like I loved to do in my own language.
During last year I even more realized how much a language is connected to your roots and connected to the history of your birth country. The same old immigrants always say: “Ah dear, don’t worry, it will grow on you.” But I know that’s not going to happen. Maybe still possible if you emigrated as a teenager, but not as a mid-ager.
I miss the essential foundation where the contact with my own Dutch peers is based on. I’m not talking about the foundation in the history books, but the foundation of the people living in the same place as you. A place thoroughly known by everyone else around you.

Another important connection to your own language is everything that has been on television during your life. Every Dutchman knows what I mean by “My Dad the Magician” (it’s a well-known children’s tv show in the seventies). Every Dutchman knows who are the Hennies (two Dutchies unjust locked in a Turkish jail). Everyone knows the difference between ‘the It’ (a nightclub) and It’s (an appliance store). Anyone immediately sings along when they hear the melody of: “Sauerkraut with fatty gravy” (an alternative comedy show). And no Dutchie once will use the phrase ‘the realm of thoughts’ anymore with a serious face (a phrase too much used after the murder of a controversial politician). I could make jokes and wits with these shared knowledge. Here in New Zealand this kind of things are a huge empty spot in my expression.
So … there are thousands of wires in a language, which I never can catch up with. And I’m talking about me, because there are immigrants out there, who perfectly can blend in. But they are a lot more social and perhaps a lot more laid-back than me. Less uptight.
It’s all frustrating, but let’s be honest; I do not want it badly enough. So actually … the language has a large impact on me and is a bit of a negative consequence, but it doesn’t fall under the ‘disgains’. Because I had anticipated.
No … disgains wasn’t a real existing word 🙂

Well, did the immigration enriches our lives, or not ???
I don’t often talk about that. If I write down something positive about New Zealand, it looks like I down thumb the Netherlands. If I find something better here, I’ve obviously seen worse, isn’t it?

the gains 1

My first herbs.

It is like I mean that I don’t understand that you guys are still living in that stupid country. Well, of course that isn’t the case … it’s just too dark there. The grey Dutch weather doesn’t particularly made me sad, but the reverse is; nice weather makes me more lighthearted over all. That’s an umbrella gain.

Wally 2

25 September 2006

Two weeks later, on our way to Auckland, I was getting nervous; one moment I was sure I had won, based on a series of pictures that I had found on the internet of other artists who participated in earlier years (and I was not really impressed). The next moment I was sure I impossible could win, because that would be too easy.

Wally had asked me if I would be present in person and extra reminded me that my name was on the ‘door list’ … Would these concerns mean something?
We quickly booked a hotel. A bit of a chic hotel, because you never know if I will belong to a different breed of people after the weekend. Than I can affably wave from my suite …

wally 2

Found !!! (Frank the photographer) was standing with his back to the dead-end corner, where the fire extinguisher and some piled up chairs are located)

As it is for areas not intended to hang paintings on the walls, it was full of those moveable panels. To my stupefaction my painting hung on the back of such a panel as the only one in a death lane of the labyrinth. A kind of; at the back of the exhibition … I don’t think more than two people (we!) have checked that far corner.

A photo impression:

A knit hedge trimmer
Glue and lolly sticks
Painted pieces of polyurethane foam
Jeff Koons inspires a lot
And some paintings, just on the wall

I was among that 50 (the ‘good’ part) that may exhibit further in Wellington, but not among the winners.

The winner a kind of man-sized lump of plastic, dangling from a gallows.
The second prize a painting of a dress.
The third prize a stepladder covered with pieces of paper.
The fourth prize a small chinese portrait.
The fifth prize a collage of painted … things.
The sixth prize a white canvas with 13 colored shapes

wally 2

For the Salon de Refuse; go through that door to the left of those orange things. Then at the end of the hallway you will find a door left again …

Now we had become very curious about what misery to see in Salon de Refuse. You know; that consolation exhibition in the main street of Auckland. Sounds good, huh? In real it were some hidden rooms behind the Citizen Advice Bureau at the end of Queen Street where actually are located no shops anymore. From the outside you see a shared hallway with no signs there is an art show going on. No window, no sign on the pavement. You really have to know where you have to be.

After finding the show of the rejectamenta’s, it confuses me that there were quite a few good artworks!!! More my kind of thing …

The wooden head, did have some sympathetic.
Molded plastic is rubbish. Painted plastic is not.
Mickey is a bit out dated, but because it was painted neatly within the lines it was ok.
I rarely shoot sharp photos. Sorry for that.
And of course there were some … eh … incomprehensible things (save your click).

After all, obviously I’m deeply offended, but also relieved, lol.
Because I did not win, next year I can participate again. I will try with a larger painting, and I won’t be nervous anymore.
In any case; my goal has been achieved; The painting is on tour and will be seen.

Wally 1

9 September 2006

Today we went to Auckland and stay there for 1 night. There were still some of my paintings pining away in the broom closet at Fisher’s gallery. Paintings which are urgently needed to ‘go on with their life’.
Today’s date was not randomly picked, but part of a larger logistic plan; A few weeks ago I had sent a photo to an art contest. There were 472 photos entered and a jury has selected 100 finalists, who can participate the contest with 1 artwork. The painting that I had in mind, now directly could be transported from Fisher’s to … James Wallace Art Trust, which is located a few blocks away. Let’s call him Wally.

The 50 best artworks will be exhibited along with the winning artworks, for 4 months in Auckland and Wellington. The other 50 artworks may hang a couple of weeks in ‘Salon de Refuse’. Hm, the name says it all.
In any case, there is an exhibition with all the 100 works, in the main street of Auckland. So, that is always better than catching dust on the attic.

Immediately after arrival in Auckland, we went to Fisher’s. To have that got off my back as quickly as possible. I had sent him an e-mail what time he could expect me, so he could put the unsold paintings ready at the front door. And so he had ample opportunity to hide away from me.
The whole visit was done in a few minutes. The assistant still stammered a bit that it was no problem to continue to exhibit without being in their stable, that it would cost me no opening money … Hm, well … luckily lately I became very old & wise and I don’t feel the need anymore to preach my view on these kind of business. Also, being understood bothers me less and less over time.
Entirely in line with the expectations … at the hotel I saw that there were some damages on 2 of the paintings. But … what else can you expect from a gallery that exists just only 130 years?
Even older and wiser than an hour earlier, I wasn’t even angry. It is the same as it doesn’t make sense to be angry on rain.

Patricia Van Lubeck, wally 1, wallace art trustBefore we went to deliver the chosen painting to Wally, we first picked up a travel/bullet-proof box at the brothers PicPac. Not because I’m counting on a world tour, but because I learned that people can be incredibly sloppy when dealing with other people’s stuff. The only thing I can do is make them as easy as possible for packing the painting. The Picpac brothers -who also sponsor the contest were already deeply impressed by my painting. Whooo.
In 2 weeks we will hear the judgements of the jury at the gathering with all the artists, in which the Minister of Culture is going to do the opening talk.