How are you now?

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'How are you Feeling' installation at NERAM group exhibition. Self portrait, 2005.When I was living in Armidale, NSW, Australia, until 4 months ago, I had the pleasure to meet Andrea Gledhill, the Curator of The New England Regional Art Museum. I showed her my work and she liked it. Some time later I was invited to participate in a 'local artist's exhibition' with as theme something like: 'How are you now or feeling'. Could have been: 'How do you see yourself now'. I cannot remember the exact description.

But I had been in Armidale maybe two months and was feeling very good. So I did a portrait of a stifled man holding his 'fear' symbolised by the cat and the creature illustrating the sadness on his shoulder. Then I had a family in front of the canvas, made out of old bed sheets, as if they had stepped out of the painting into the world. The real world, with a nicer cat, the bunny still there but not threatening, a kid, mum and dad. In other words: a real world. I did this 'project painting?' with the help of some of the kids in Freeman House. What amazed me was how shy these otherwise pretty worldly people were because they were naked bodies. To think they sometimes used language that would make a sailor blush. I tell you, my vocabulary widened that year. Look at the self portrait I did in 2005, only a month before I went to Armidale and Freeman House and look at the difference.

What an empty and sad man I was then.

Well, that is all in the past.

Today I met a very kind lady, now the person on the curatorial staff of the Cairns Regional Gallery.

We had a very nice and long talk and I promised Susan I'll send her my biography and wishes for a possible show there in the future. Like so many museums and galleries they are fully booked for the near future but we'll see. I am ready.

paul