Arthur Russell, Sunshine Bros, Kangaroo with All the Trimmings
Dub'n'ska outfit The Sunshine Brothers are off on tour. Poor Art will have to make his own dinner. No more succulent kangaroo roasts with pumpkin, sweet potato, and all the trimmings for a while. No more homemade apple'n'rhubarb crumble. Art's flatmate Jo19 is arguably an even better musician than he is a roaster of roos, and is, therefore, in high demand, particularly amongst the discerning clientéle of the Reggaetown Festival Cairns. That's Cairns, not Cannes, although here in Australia we pronounce it much the same. "Air yagarn mate oim orf to ken's for the festival." Early 2007 you will find Jo19 and band in the Big Apple recording their new album at the Dap King's studio on Broadway. And I'm sure they are going to require the services of a good photographer. Current Sunshine Brothers soundz Rebel Yellow out soon on Hubba Dubba.
Did you know Skywest have changed the Western Australian airline's name to Air Yagan, to honour of the famed black warrior of this state's occluded indigenous past, Yagan? They will now begin all inflight announcements with "Air Yagan."
Yagan's story is an interesting one. He was a man of great spirit. Escaping from the aboriginal prison colony on the holiday resort (well, it is these days, but i'm sure it was no picnic back then) of Rottnest, he swam 18km back to the mainland. After he was murdered by two white youths, whom he trusted, his skin was flayed from his body and his skull cut off and sent to England. Still under attack in the 21st century, Yagan's head is periodically cut off his statue on Heirrison Island by stupid twats who should know better. Read more about Yagan here.
Last week saw the opening of Arthur Russell's exhibition "Two Shades of Man" at Soto Café in Beaufort Street, Highgate. Arthur has been a respected figure on the Perth art scene for quite a few decades. I believe he is over eighty, but thought it impolite to enquire.
Soto Café owner David Barber brought some of Arthur's illustrations in when I was working at Code Red Art's imaging enterprise, Code Ice, in Brisbane Street. The drawings were small, A5 to A4 in size, but quite stunning. Some were black and white pen and ink sketches; nude figures amongst the rocks, others were in colour and more abstract in design. The drawings were recent, but reminiscent of the clean '60s aesthetic; the composition and design was clearly modernist, in spite of their being merely sketches rather than works of great scale and hubris. David and I set to work to fix that. "We can rebuild them, make them bigger than before. We have the technology." The original drawings were scanned extremely high res on a virtual drum scanner and output using archival inks and canvas on an Epson 9600 7 ink printer. I removed the texture of the original media from the scans, as canvas has its own texture, but kept the definition of the fine pen lines. Matching colour is tricky when using a different set of inks and media to the original but hey, that's the day job. The resulting canvasses were stretched onto thick stretcher bars and look quite stunning. Love your work, Arthur.
Speaking of Code Red Art, David Spencer's exhibition Finding Emily is on there until September 1. Spencer's colourful, grid-like works are pretty darn collectible. Described in Insite Magazine as an artist to collect under $5000. (Mind you, if i had that kind of money in a sock under the bed, i'd be the first plane out of here. Fuck art! Let's travel!)
Mr Russell's drawings are reproduced in editions of one only. While most sold on opening night, the show is on for a month. Have a squizz - i'm quite proud of my printing. Saturdays from 10-12 cinematographer Sebastian Craig and Art Director have an informal chess tournament at Soto. Come down for the best coffee in town and pit your wits. You feeling lucky, punk?
After the Russell opening, David Barber dragged Mayhem and i to Luxe Bar for some downright dangerous cocktails. It seems he has found us the perfect vehicle for our upcoming documentary on Rino, the 85 year old Sicilian mechanic, who will soon be hanging up his ring spanners for the last time. A '60s Ford Mustang, red leather interior; black duco. Did i mention Mayhem and i got the gig (and the five grand) to make a film for the Town of Vincent? No? More on that later...
We'll be back at Luxe on Wednesday, to cover the Cocktail Making Competition, which will be running concurrently with our own private Cocktail Drinking Competition.
As always, binge drink responsibly. AD out.