Art events for the socially curious

One of the last month’s adventures was a trip to the Golden Age cinema in Surry Hills as part of Contemporaries: Art events for the socially curious.

Things I had no eyed deer I’d do or see at Contemporaries:

  • Become an expert on matching wine with art
  • Commission my first piece of art
  • Breathe future air
  • See someone accidentally stuck to the floor in an artist’s studio

Contemporaries was set up late last year to bring people closer to contemporary art and artists in a social, fun and unique way. I joined on the recommendation of a friend. I think she recognised that although I have always wanted to be an artist there is actually no beginning to my talents, so instead I could mingle with creative and interesting people and pretend.

Photo courtesy Contemporaries
Photo courtesy Contemporaries: Matching wine and art

My membership so far has included enjoying canapés by the pool at the home of Dinosaur Designs cofounder Liane Rossler and architect Sam Marshall (designer of the MCA’s amazing extension), hobnobbing with Lisa McGuigan on a wine tasting gallery crawl, and expanding my horizons at the latest event at the Golden Age cinema.

It wasn’t hard to find the Golden Age cinema. Firstly because I had accidentally turned up a week early the Wednesday before, but also because of the stunning Art Deco Paramount building that the cinema sits in. The tiny cinema used to be the screening room for Paramount Pictures and it wasn’t hard to visualise myself going back in time, watching such a preview, whilst holding one of those long sticks with a cigarette on the end. This week’s event was a conversation with artist Ramesh Mario and film critic Kate Jinx, followed by Ramesh’s choice of film: Pasolini’s Arabian Nights. The choice of film was what my mum refers to as “interesting”, and not the type of movie that I would advise you to look up on your work computer. I have to admit that I haven’t seen so many willies in one night before. A bit of a contrast to his alternative choice of Labyrinth!

Photo courtesy Contemporaries
Photo courtesy Contemporaries: Emily Parsons-Lord

There have been a number of fab moments from the last few months’ events but I have to say that my favourite (but the one that proved the most expensive) was the wine tasting gallery crawl – matching art to wine. The night started at Stills Gallery sucking recreated air from different eras in the Earth’s evolution through a straw from a plastic bag…. as you do. When I was a teenager I helped my dad out at a charity event by filling balloons with helium and selling them. Unknown to him I was also selling one breath of helium from the tap for 10 pence a pop to other teenagers – so they could all know what it feels like to be (or at least sound like) David Beckham. The air in Emily Parsons-Lord’s exhibition has the opposite effect – lowering the voice and giving a really heavy feeling – leaving me a great video of my well spoken friend holding a straw singing happy birthday with a voice that Barry White would be envious of.

Photo courtesy Contemporaries: artist Anton Pulvirenti
Photo courtesy Contemporaries: Artist Anton Pulvirenti

The matching of Lisa McGuigan wines and art and the great company of Lisa McGuigan herself, (she even tolerated my favourite question – why do some wines make your lips go black?), extended across Rushcutters bay from Stills gallery and Arthouse gallery to Dominik Mersch gallery. The next morning I woke up with a jolt and the sudden memory that I had not just bought a piece of art, but commissioned one. Thankfully it is a great charcoal piece by Anton Pulvirenti. I fell in love with one of the pieces on the night, but it had the dreaded red pin underneath, so after he explained the pain and angst that had gone into the piece to give such depth, I sympathetically asked if he could do another in that style for the benefit of my living room. Thankfully he agreed.

Photo courtesy Contemporaries: at Neil Frazer’s studio

One of my other favourite moments was when someone whilst listening to painter Neil Frazer in his studio, slipped her foot out of her high heel shoes for a moment and then suffered the bonding effect of stockings and not quite dry oil paints on the floor. The stocking definitely got longer and longer, (visualise pulling chewing gum off something) in an attempt to put her foot back in her expensive shoe and retain her dignity.

All the events have been fun, I love my new work of art, and I’m definitely looking forward to the forthcoming weekend in Orange for more art and wine!

This is not a sponsored post. This represents my personal opinion.

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