A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
I’m having one of those weeks where I feel full to the point of bursting with passion for what I do. Yesterday I sat down at 8am and just wrote and wrote and wrote until a whole chapter was done, and I could write no more. But still, I went to pick up Olive from crèche and we went out for an early dinner together around 5 o’clock (James was out with friends) and then I put her to bed, before sitting down to find I still needed to write more. I love my characters. I love this novel I’m working on. And I feel extremely lucky to have the space and the energy to explore them.
A couple of nights ago I visited the Anish Kapoor exhibition with my friend Kristy, followed by dinner and drinks at the MCA art bar. God, I heart it there – a band was playing haunting covers of The House of the Rising Sun and Something for Emma, the sun was setting, and we drank a smashing rosé to views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Recently I went to see the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Art Gallery as well and was so moved by some of his pieces – particularly the earlier, darker works from the 50s. They were visceral and twisted and had the feeling of nightmares transferred to canvas. By comparison, Kapoor’s installations were just as affecting but in a completely different way. Rather than feeling on the edge of a dark precipice like I had with Bacon, all of Kapoor’s pieces were playing with my sense of space and grip on reality, making me wonder where the universe ends.
Whereas Bacon made one feel deep and full, Kapoor conveyed that speck-of-dust insignificance of being human through the creation of gaping spaces, trick-of-the-eye convex and concave shapes, and depth of colour – so much more than mere optical illusions.
Just seeing these exhibitions inspired a whole new set of characters for my novel that I’m now familiarising myself with. They’re almost like living, breathing people inhabiting my world – I dreamt about one the other night, and we had a whole conversation. She was riffing on her life, telling me about herself. Trippy, I know, but true. I’m still getting to know her, even as I sleep.
Sunday was cool and overcast so instead of heading to the beach as planned, we visited the Olafur Eliasson exhibition Take Your Time at the MCA instead. I’ve seen some of Eliasson’s work before at the Tate Modern in London and found it very moving (particularly the artificial sun installed in the Tate’s turbine hall in the middle of winter). Playing with light and depth, it’s a really potent example of how colour and shadow so affects our mood and perception – at least, that’s what I got from it.
My three favourite installations were the ‘Room for One Colour’ (above), ’360-degree Room for All Colours’ (a round light installation which constantly changes to cover the full colour spectrum) and the prismatic ‘One-Way Colour Tunnel’. Go see it if you can – it’s mesmerizing.