Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dishes & fishes




Just a follow up on the dishes & fishes. Here they are in all their glazed & fired glory. The fishes are pen rests just in case you didn't notice. Five of us gathered on International Women's Day for a celebration in clay. Thank you wonderful friend Carolyn Canty!










Today's brief message.



A brief message:

Well that didn't go very well. I tried the Glover, I tried to sell a good work here but to no avail on either. Not to worry, we are well and that's the important thing. I am in the studio working and David is practicing for some small (three peeps) ensembles and interviews to be recorded by the TSO during the covid-19. Marvellous!

Though here in Australia we do not have a total lockdown we, like so many others, are staying at home only to go out to the market and the pharmacy as short five minute walk for both. We check on our neighbours and we practice social distancing.

I feel a bit more positive, more than I have over the past few days. Let's hope that continues.

Covid-19 sucks!




Monday, March 23, 2020

L I S T E N









Watercolour painting: 300gsm Arches cold press H 83cm x W 57cm

Cost: $800 AUD

I created this work as a response to the Australia bushfires earlier this year. The colours are of course more rich and sumptuous as appears here. The texture is almost tactile.

If you are interested please contact me.



Tasmania closes borders






Tasmanian Mercury Newspaper 20th March 2020


This happened a few days ago but I would like to save this photo here so that a visual record will remain of this time. When I first saw this it actually shocked me, I think because it was a blatant "in-your-face" message which of course was what the public needed to hear. As I mentioned in my facebook post on this it jolted me to think "no room at the inn". Sad, needed and real.

To be honest I am sick and tired of all the fun jokes and memes about the virus. I am normally not a doom and gloom person rather quite the opposite. And, I'd be one of the first people to raise the spirits of someone in trouble. I am bitterly annoyed though, at the the number of people particularly the young in Britain & Australia flouting the regulations to stay away and self-isolate. These are the very people who will either get sick or worst still carry the virus to their families and the elderly. Selfish selfish selfish individuals. I have always had faith in humankind, always, through one disaster or another. I feel that faith slipping but ...

... I have one daughter who works in the National Incident Room in Canberra and she has worked long hours sixteen days straight this past fortnight. My heart goes out to her. I have another daughter who works in foetal medicine and as women will continue to give birth regardless of pandemics she is also essential hospital staff. Both of my girls have compromised immune systems and yet there they are on the frontline. I think of these two remarkable women daily and they buoy my spirits.

My heart goes out to those who are not in a position to help themselves around the world. The poor communities, the homeless, the sick. After my recent trip to South Africa and my first hand experience of "informal settlements" I can't help but imagine the wretched devastation that would occur if these homes got even a whiff of the virus.

I am on overload and need to start occupying myself in a more proactive and creative manner.









Sunday, March 22, 2020

Cancellation of all classes.





Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

all of my international and

Australian workshops have been cancelled.




For me this will mean a loss of that arts practice and teaching income. I hope to be able to change tactics in a creative way to keep a small amount of money coming in. I just need a small amount and I'll be happier than I am feeling right now. I know many in the arts sector are feeling this right now. I'm working on it!




Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 two weeks later




Well, it has been a whirlwind of a fortnight with the virus spiralling out of control with more cases diagnosed in Australia.  Two nights ago the Tasmanian Government took the step to close our island borders only allowing a short period of time to receive returning citizens and residents and those returnees have to self-isolate for fourteen days.

I was to teach in Sydney today and tomorrow and as of Tuesday past I was still going, then all of a sudden the spiral began. By Thursday I had cancelled my workshop with notice from Jetstar that my flight had also been cancelled. The workshop has been rescheduled to November 21 & 22 and my flight credit will be available "if" airline is still in business.

Australia's borders have now been closed isolating us from the rest of the world but is it too late? Only time will tell.  Many people here in Australia are flaunting the rules of "social distancing" of course in some cases spreading the virus further.  My feelings are that while the Government is serious in it's advice and actions they have failed to act strongly enough to advise the general population acutely and accurately.

Social media is full of false information, scare tactics causing unwarranted panic, trolls and opinions it almost make me want to distance myself from social media full stop.  I am so fortunate to live here in Tasmania far far from the madding crowd and with David who is just a skeptical of peoples behaviour as I am. People are fickle and selfish and when someone uses the phase "they are not using their common sense" I get so riled this is no such thing as common sense!

I guess having travelled so much in my lifetime I have connected with many people from many walks of life. Thankfully I can keep in touch with them and am saddened by the trauma some of them are going through. Italy for instance, so wretchedly sad, thousands of deaths, churches used for keeping the coffins before people can be buried with no funerals. The United Kingdom is in lockdown. My Californian friends the same. Unprecedented actions all over the world. Needless to say the next six months of my world tour has been cancelled. I did that on Sunday just past and I am glad to put all the worry and stress of it behind me.

I am enjoying studio time and I am laying down skeleton plans for what creative adventure I can go on with here that will make some sense of the pestilence at our door. Hopefully I shall be able to help others along the way in some capacity or other.

Go well and be safe anyone who reads this message.



Saturday, March 7, 2020

COVID-19 interesting times




I don't think there is anyone left in the world, perhaps with the exception of some refugees in war torn areas of the globe, who have not heard about the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. It is a new influenza with no vaccine at this stage. We are four months into the spread of this new virus and right now the world is indeed a wretched place. It is wholely up to each individual to keep themselves free of the virus to the best of their ability. through personal hygiene and cleanliness. The stories and visual images of cities emptied of people & traffic, closed businesses and schools, people working from home and so on are compelling. Hospitals are gearing up for one of the worst epidemics we have seen since 1918 with the Spanish Flu, which if I remember correctly had nothing to do with originating Spain. The WHO has not called it a pandemic yet. Many in government and health circles believe it is just a matter of time.

It is not funny but oh how fickle and selfish people are.  With our medical experts pleading people not to panic buy they raid the shops buying up toilet paper, long-life milk, pasta & rice  You have to either laugh or cry. A fight broke out over toilet paper between three women in a Woolworths supermarket yesterday. It was video recorded and the clip went viral. The police were called and two of the women have since been charged. How foolish they are. How will they feel when we finally come out of this epidemic after it peaks.

In the meantime there are things I need to think seriously about and then either take action or not.  There are travel bans in various countries at present they are China, South Korea & Iran. Many other countries have travel restriction and there are COVID-19 testing stations set up all around the general flight and travel community.  As you know I have a very hefty calligraphy international travel itinerary ahead this 2020. Here are the countries I have on my schedule and in this order:  Hong Kong, Singapore, England, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Belgium, Canada and the USA.  Every one of these places has COVID-19.

The strange thing is I am not afraid. I feel I am healthy enough that if I contract the virus like others, I may well survive as I am not at high risk and my immune system is not compromised. David's would be as he is asthmatic. I would certainly need to take this into consideration.

My problem with this travel schedule is the likelihood that I shall be detained and placed in quarantine for fourteen days at any point on my journey. Perhaps multiple times. This would disrupt my schedule and subsequently the place I am teaching next and then the next. I feel however, the worst situation will be the quarantine or self-isolation. For me it will come at a huge monetary cost perhaps many times. Where do I go, who do I stay with, how can I afford two weeks of B&B or hotel costs etc. etc. etc. Would anyone put up their hand to host me or at least offer help. Should I expect someone will? No methinks not. Would I if the situation was reversed?  All of these questions need to be well thought out and a decision made.

I feel I have already made my decision for the situation at this time, but if the coronavirus rapidly decreases it's infection rate in the coming two weeks I may reconsider. I need to write emails to all my hosts and see what their feelings are on our gatherings. Interesting times, watch this space.





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Something about Gemma

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Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia
I am an Australian, a letter designer & calligrapher. I enjoy working with letters and grounds, teaching and mixing with like-minded people.

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