Tropical Meetings

Printer-friendly versionSend by email'Tropical Meeting', acrylic on canvas, 500x700. I have been obsessed with meeting new peoples of cultures I am still ignorant of. Manners and etiquette are so important to new cultures first contact. Imagine you are invited to have dinner at Buckingham Palace. You would try and not make too many mistakes. It would be important to know if you are having dinner with Elizabeth Rex or her footman, no? Why? You want to make sure your tribe is recognisable. Not to feel like a pork chop in a synagogue as I once heard. I had a dream some time ago, in Armidale, NSW, in 2007. I entered a large house. A grey stone house and had to get to the attic. I ran through a room full of people. Like a cocktail party. Indira Gandhi was there too. As I ran to the back of the house I passed a door into a very large space. All wooden floors and brown/greenish colours. I was aware somebody else was there too but I wasn't intrested in knowing who. I ran up a small wooden flight of stairs and in the attic I saw a double bed with a kitten and a puppy. I tidied the room up. The 'other' was in the attic now too. I took the puppy and he took the kitten. As I left the attic I thought for the first time: 'who is he?' He spoke, but told me not to forget to turn off the lights. Asshole. I finally looked him in the face and it was me. Myself. Me/him with a kitten and me with a pup. I walked up to him and kissed him on the mouth. He tasted like licorice. I thought: 'I want to taste that again.' so I did. 'The Rooms', acrylic on canvas, 3000x1000. But the important thing was I liked myself. Better than not, no? I painted not what I had seen but only empty rooms. I was going to put in bodies later but so many people like the painting empty as an ode to perspectives. Some day I might put two bodies in the painting, kissing or not? But why was I so weak to leave the painting as it is? Because I wanted to please? Let's face it: two 'identicals' kissing would be too much maybe? As a teenager, I worked in an Indonesian restaurant kitchen as a 'help' to one or other of the all female team of chefs (kokkies in Indonesian) and the old girls would habitually embarrass me by touching my 'giggle' places. You know, slapping on your bum etc. Also, never touch edible food with your left hand. In Portugal you are always offered of the food the person has. A Shepperd cannot eat without 'permission'. Asked and granted. Nothing special but imagine the first meeting of the Indians and the Spanish. Or the Australian Aboriginal and White Man. Smell is one thing and dress or the lack of it another. Bodies are all decorated with some recognisable sign to members of the same clan etc., etc., etc. I saw a clip on Australian TV made by bunch of young and sexy Aboriginal dancers from the Northern Territory. Tall, skinny and black with white painted patterns. To start with you see a nice 'mob' of bodies moving in a way you would expect. Then these clever guys introduce 'European' movements and some are so recognisably the 'fat drunk white man' or the 'silly empty headed disco movers'. It is so good and so terribly funny I hope you can click on the link and have a look on YouTube. I have learned from these guys a fresh look on looking! Click here: Zorba the Greek Yolngu style The painting above I made a few months ago and is entitled simply a 'Tropical Meeting'. But these guys know each other. I was telling Clemens I feel I see the world moving in front of my eyes but I am sitting on a fence. I feel I can see history in the making but I am more than ever impressed we have so many people, thus so many ways of looking at something, anything. Even the big GOD thing, we all have our opinion, some people like to form a group of so called likewise thinkers. Same with painting. I don't know if I belong to anything but the 21st Century. Don't know but please have a look at the dancers. phb