Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Me and the APT

Gav and I visited the  Asia Pacific Triennial Exhibition at The Gallery of Modern Art  on Tuesday. It was fantastic.

I realised I have been to every single APT since it's first incarnation in 1993...

In January 1993, I had just finished my first year of my Bachelor of Visual Arts degree at QUT. Let's call it my first year, anyway. It is also known as My Only Year. I dropped out. Well, I think I dropped out. I actually just stopped going. I may still be enrolled. Who knows. There may be a Wednesday morning Art Theory Lecturer STILL calling out my name on the roll. (I know.. lecturers don't call out names on a roll like in Primary School. They don't know or care whether you exist.)

My year at Uni had been very tumultuous. I had left home, straight out of school, at seventeen to move into an inner city flat with a friend. My parents moved to the Sunshine Coast and both my sisters were interstate. I was kind of alone for the first time in my life. And I wasn't very good at it. Responsibility and being a grown up all at once was a lot. Coupled with a few very traumatic and stressful events, I kinda messed it all up.

So I dropped out. I have always regretted that decision. Although, in my younger years, I didn't really MAKE decisions... I kinda just let life bat me around like a ball in a pinball machine. I have always wished I could go back and say to my young self- stick it out. It will be OK. This will be worth it if you just hang in there.  My leaving was never because I didn't like my course. Or because I wasn't good at it. I think I would have loved it if I hadn't been to scared to let myself. I dropped out of Uni, and of life, because I didn't know how to do anything else.

That January in 1993, I walked through the old Art Gallery with my mum and my Aunty Margie. I remember being inspired and feeling a part of this universe- this world of art and creation and expression. But then I let it go... I languished on the dole. I made bad choices. I let myself forget who I was. I let my art be silenced.

So this January when I walked through that exhibition once again, I am a grown woman. I am an artist. I am loved and secure and although I am still a little crazy and unbalanced (as I was all those years ago) I am (mostly) the person I think I was meant to be... I just went the hard way round....

x x x

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