Chilling in Newtown at an Air BNB While Visiting Sydney for a Solo Show at Scratch Space Marrickville

Essay by Luke Foster

“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.” 
― Edward de Bono

Edward De Bono

My first solo exhibition in almost twenty years in Sydney opened at Scratch Space in Marrickville last Thursday night and my little crew of friends from art school turned up to the opening and some other artists I know and a few others.

Me at Scratch Space

To be honest I couldn’t think of anything to write about today so I just decided to make this not so serious essay about my experience so far in Sydney.

I flew in on Wednesday night from up north and got a taxi straight to the gallery and Carmel the gallery owner and my friend Duncan helped me set up. I met Duncan decades ago as preparators at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney. A preparator is just someone who sets up and packs up the shows at the museum.

While here I have eaten dinner twice at the Marrickville bowls club where I went with friends and had great veggie burgers and chips.

Then last night for dinner I had a veggie Thai dish at a restaurant on King Street Newtown. So, yum.

My show featured four big photos and three artist books and a DVD video projection. I won’t write much about my show as I already have in the sculpture, installation art, and performance art section of my website under the title The Dalai Lamas Stray Cat. I took the title of the show from the book titled: The Dalai Lamas Cat and added a comic twist.

“It’s wonderful what becomes possible when we start to accept ourselves,” he told me. “Others find it easier to accept us, too, when we don’t keep engaging in negative thoughts about ourselves.” 

― David Michie, The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Power of Meow

While in Sydney I have been thinking what I shall do at my coming month-long studio residency at the Big Ci in Bilpin/the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. This shall be my fifth residency there as I go once a year to meet new artists both from abroad and Australian and work on ambitious size drawings and installations.

The next photo/video artwork I want to do is me dressing up as Chewbacca from Star Wars in the mountains gum tree forest reading a book of drawings, I have had a book bound called: Studying the Teachings of the Dalai Lama. I want to call it who wants to be my Han Solo? However as much as I like the Sar Wars series it’s not a reflection of the way the world is. As there is no good and bad. For example, one of my favourite musicians is Regina Spektor a amazing musician from Moscow who now resides in America and New York, I think. So, this is a classic example of how art in all its forms can take the edge off conflicts in the world.

Chewbacca from Star Wars
Regina Spektor

In conclusion it’s great to visit Sydney and catch up with friends as this is my home town and check out contemporary art galleries and great restaurants and cafes and of course my favourite book shop Kinokunya in the CBD.