Saturday, 5 May 2012

A Thing to Behold

The down-side of creativity is that I am forever trying (or pretending) to 'tidy the craft room'. Looking at Francis Bacon’s studio always makes me feel a lot better. It has been described as 'as a thing to behold'. After his death in 1992, he bequeathed his studio, located at 7 Reece Mews, to John Edward Edwards. In return, the contents of the chaotic studio were taken apart section, by section and then reassembled in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
Francis Bacon's studio.
Our National Treasure artist, the late Margaret Olley (OBE) also thought the way I do, for sure
I love her, and her work so much.

Here's what the Australian newspaper had to say about hers, and the fact that no-one who works at BHP will ever get an offer to get their desks moved to an Art Gallery sometime soon.

IT'S just as well Margaret Olley didn't work for BHP Billiton.   
Apart from the fact her artistic skills wouldn't have been much use in the whole global mining caper, there's the small -- and extremely messy -- matter of her work station.
Since Olley's death last month, much has been made of the cluttered and chaotic Sydney terrace in which she lived and painted.
Posthumous photos of her beloved bower show a delightful dishevelment of rotting pomegranates, mummified flowers, overflowing ashtrays, decanting turps, snarls of pink wrapping ribbon and something that may or may not be a boar wearing an embroidered saddle.
The "sublime jungle" (as one curator put it) of Olley's home radiates personality and is regarded as so significant, there is talk of preserving it as a living museum. Mess, it seems, was the old bohemians muse.
But it would have landed her in Big Trouble if she'd ever had to earn a crust at BHP.
The mining giant -- which has just reported a record-breaking $22.5 billion profit -- has instituted an "Office Environment Standard" that bans workers from outrageous activities such as: sticking Post-It notes on their monitors and keyboards; hanging jackets on the backs of their chairs; consuming food at their desks (rather than in designated toaster and microwave-free club rooms); and consuming food anywhere if it "emits strong odours".
Cleaners have been ordered to inspect desks each night and neutralise anything that isn't a computer monitor, docking station, keyboard, mouse or phone.
Employees are permitted to display a single framed photograph -- though they'd probably be pushing their luck if these depicted a steaming prawn curry or rakishly un-coathangered skivvy.
BHP is defending its ultra-sanitised, uber-depersonalised strategy as a straightforward and effective plan to ensure people can "work happily and co-cooperatively in a clean space".
But the policy has been widely pilloried, with one commentator suggesting that the pongs associated with some of BHP's mining operations are far more offensive than the fragrant aroma of lunchtime vindaloo.
It's also worth noting that -- contrary to popular mythology -- neat offices aren't necessarily efficient ones.

Margaret Olley's studio is going to be carefully relocated to its own purpose built space,
 in the Tweed River Art Gallery, New South Wales, some time next year. This Gallery is near where she grew up.
I do want to point out that I keep my work desk pretty minimal. No room for frippery there!
I am hoping my studio might be 'worth the move' down the track?
This poses a good excuse for not tidying it, doesn't it?

 Planning ideas.

 An old tassel and a shop-bought pink corsage.
  Hoarding  collected over the years, and a balsa Eiffel Tower that myself and Mr Fascinata built.
I also have the Taj Mahal in heavy duty marble-look cardboard pieces, but that build has proven to be quite difficult. That craft activity almost caused a marital rift, ironic really!
  Stuff, waiting for a new life.
 The Poupees, getting impatient, waiting to be finished off!

Flora's studio, in all its glory; note the deluxe steam iron is Mr Fascinata's for his business shirts' dealings, and I have to be very careful with any Flora actions it undertakes. Point taken.
 Don't panic, I haven't spent all the Flora profits on Champagne. Those boxes have gathered over a few years!
 Some semblance of organisation from Mr Fascinata, who came home one day with the drawered unit!
The 35 year old Bernina. Pride of place.

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