Kitchen Garden Guides

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Discovering art at Watermark

My life seems to be full of the joys of growing and cooking food and sharing this joy with others so when Frances said "Are you going to the opening of the Watermark Exhibition on Friday night?" I had no idea what she was talking about. Luckily, after a brief discussion, I agreed to meet up there at 6.30 last night. The Cygnet Town Hall was the venue.... a lovely old building in the main street. Watermark is a biennial art exhibition of local, new art with a water theme.

Now, I lack all artistic ability and, in the past, have avoided art exhibitions and felt no connection with art at all. I love to look at nature and I feel a great connection with it but, just like I do not enjoy shopping, I have never enjoyed looking at art. Shocking thing to admit, I know. I also prefer the sounds of nature and the peace between the sounds, to music of any kind. So there we have it.

So it was a first for me, to walk into the opening of an art exhibition. Most of the rest of the Cygnet and the surrounding population was there but luckily I was one of the first to enter the door. I saw something immediately that drew me to look more closely. At the far end of the hall, as if made just for my eyes, was a most beautiful, very large bronze abalone shell.... and as I walked closer I read the little sign on it.... please touch. Now this, I discovered, was what was lacking in my connecting with art previously. I touched the shell and it was wonderful.... I turned around when someone tapped my shoulder and there was Todd, who used to live in my house with Tonia, who made my garden some years ago. Todd was beaming.... this beautiful creation was his! Suddenly there was a connection.... out of the soul of this big, strong, young man came big, strong but delicate art.... that actually spoke to me.

The rest of the evening was similar. So many of the people I have met here in this last year had something entered in this exhibition. Do not for a moment think this was an amateurish show; far from it. Southern Tasmania is full of artists of the highest caliber. Some of my Garden Shed customers pointed out their paintings, sculptures and photographs and I was lost for words at their skill and creativity.

Maybe I will begin to enjoy art in this artistic community where you can touch things and know the artists as friends. One day while it is quiet I will go back again and take a photo of the abalone shell but the look of pride on Todd's face I will have to keep in my own head.

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