I’m a restrained op shopper compared to the Vanessa Berry of the past. To ensure I am able to move around my home and don’t get trapped under piles of teatowels, vintage ceramics, crockery and weird books I have strict rules for op shop viewing and purchasing. Rather than completely deprive myself of my most favourite hobby (leading to dangerous binges) however, I make a once-weekly op shop stop on the way to work.
Recently, on one of these stops, I found the world’s ugliest teapot.
I spend my days advising students to be careful when making bold, general claims. However I believe this teapot is in fact the world’s ugliest, with its perplexing aesthetic combination of onions and haemorrhoids. Upon Googling “world’s ugliest teapot” a number of other candidates arose, but while the toilet teapot, the Adolf Hitler teapot and the obese rhinocerous teapot are all hideous, I believe there is something in the form of this teapot that works subconsciously upon the human mind to produce revulsion.
I bought the teapot, but not straight away. First I was so horrified I left it on the shelf. I then spent all morning thinking about it. What was wrong with me: I’d left the world’s ugliest teapot on the shelf! I consulted with Simon, who assured me it would be a “conversation piece”, and then skulked out at lunchtime, returned to the shop, and bought it.
“Isn’t this cute?” the woman at the counter said.
“I don’t know – is it?” I asked, bemused, as I handed over my $8.
As an interesting co-discovery I now have a new travel goal, to visit the Meitan Tea Museum in China which is housed in the world’s largest teapot, 73.8 metres tall and with a capacity of 28,360.23 cubic metres. We can only be thankful it is of a conventional shape and not modelled on my newest op shop acquisition.
It has been a while since I’ve made a new zine, but in the weeks before Other Worlds I took up the glue stick and put together the zine that Chiara (of Rhetorical zine) and I have been putting together since the start of the year. It’s about our favourite band, Throwing Muses. The Muses and zines brought us together, so we decided we’d bring everything together and make a fanzine.
We made much of the zine over one weekend and some of the stories in it relate to our various Muses themed adventures: beaches, wigs, lolly shops, summer rain and a party full of people with elaborate headwear. The majority of the zine is stories about the band, from how we encountered them to stories about particular songs and seeing the band live in exotic places like Glasgow and Portland.
We also made a map of Muses song themes, for which we paid studious attention to every album, took notes, made charts, and drank red ice tea.
Other Worlds zine fair is back for a second year with an expanded program of talks, workshops and of course the zine fair, which is on Saturday 23rd May, 11am – 4pm. I’ll be there with some new zines and maps as well as some favourites from the past.
On Tuesday 26th May I’ll be in conversation with Jessica Kirkness at the Randwick Literary Institute for the monthly meeting of the Memoir Club for Readers and Writers. I’ll be speaking about my memoir Ninety9, tips for writing lives, and the possibilities of memoir. The details are:
Tuesday 26 May 2015 6.00—9.00pm
Randwick Literary Institute
60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031
RSVP by 24 May: email@example.com
More information on the Institute can be found here.
The Dexter Fletcher-curated exhibition Second Circulation is in its last week at Verge Gallery, featuring artworks that relate to and expand upon the practice of making zines. There are maps, totems and dogs in space to see. Artists in the show are: Samantha Penelope Riegl, Tim Ungaro, The Thomas Ferguson Band, Luke You, The Newport Dolls, Vanessa Berry, Miss Helen, and Emma D. Davidson
Across the footbridge, in the Fisher Library is another zine-related exhibition, Zeen, curated by Leigh Rigozzi, featuring zine and comic artists and associated ephemera. Read the correspondence of zine makers! Artists in the show include Tim Danko, Keg De Souza, Pat Grant, Simon Hanselmann, Lachlan Conn, Mandy Ord and me.
Also coming up in the zine-related future is the Other Worlds zine fair on Saturday 23 May at the Glebe Town Hall, which is a beautiful venue, it looks like this:
Good for ballroom dancing and zine browsing!
Originally posted on Take Care:
Come along to Verge Gallerythis Saturday for a day of zine related fun, including a mini zine fair, YOU zine-making marathon, DISCOnference (discussion on zines), and live performances from Ideal Type, Plastic Knife and the Newport Dolls!
Full program at secondcirculation.tumlr.com.
The crepe myrtles are out, the days are still long, and the year presses onwards. Here are a few things coming up in March that I’m involved with or recommend.
Firstly I’m taking a tour of Surry Hills for Art Month on March 14th. It’s sold out but you can download the map that the tour is based on at the Art Month website.
For those in Canberra for the You Are Here Festival, I have an artwork in the East Row Museum, which opens on March 18th and runs throughout the festival, until the 22nd.
I’ve written a text for the Emily Hunt exhibition Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, which is showing at The Commercial gallery in Redfern from 20th March to 4th April. It features a weird ceramic wonderland traversed by a model train.
In zine news, the Other Worlds zine fair is on again this year in May, with an expanded program of talks and workshops as well as the zine fair. Apply for a stall by March 22nd.
Peeking over into April, I have an artwork in Second Circulation at Verge Gallery, a show curated by mysterious art gang Dexter Fletcher. It opens on April 2nd and has a program of events to go with it, including a DISCOnfernce, a YOU zine making marathon and the Dexter Fletchers doing a talk on the social history of Blu-Tack.
And finally, for those who have asked about Lost Sydney patches, there are still some available at The Felt Underground.