Inspired and invited by Roughsea’s Art for arts sake (2) post, I gathered a selection of photos of pictures (taken for posterity in case the house burns down) which have found their home with the G.O. & I over many years, and each have their own story.
I confess, this isn’t even close to all we have, as ‘stuff’ finds us both, and we can’t bear to part with it. Our house at Taylors Arm has been referred to as “the museum”… I think that’s over-dignifying it. If it resembles anything, it’s a second hand shop…
This Japanese paper creation was the start of it for me. I found it at a market on Sydney’s Northern Beaches 20 years ago and paid $15. It hangs in our TA bedroom.
This lovely came from the same Northern Beaches market for $8 and needed a clean up & small repair to the frame which I carried out with a butter knife, wall putty & house paint. It hangs over the TA kitchen fireplace.
The gladdies was a $12 find a dozen years ago while diverting myself browsing [yet another] second hand shop during a stay at my ex-in-laws at Colac in Victoria. I didn’t bother fixing the frame, and it hangs in the TA kitchen to remind me of my Nanna’s garden of gladioli’s.
The round picture was picked up for $20 on the way back to Sydney from a family reunion at Port Macquarie about 15 years ago when I stopped at a shed set off the highway at Coolongolook, operated by an interesting old bloke for many years as permanent garage sale, and was a great repository of treasures, junk and dust. It hangs also in the TA kitchen.
My red roses was a birthday gift from the G.O. a few years ago, spied by me in a trendy Glebe second hand shop window but at $60, not purchased. The G.O. snuck back and parted with the cash. Another one for the TA kitchen.
Don’t imagine all these flowery things are only mine. This picture is the G.O.’s, and currently sits on his beside table in the Sydney apartment. He found it in a second hand shop in Newtown, and wouldn’t be dissuaded from taking it home. It’s grown on me.
Something new! This piece was a souvenir from Broome purchased from the artist David Edward Conolan’s gallery. The G.O. was worried, I think, I’d leave him for D.E.C. (you will laugh if you click on the link & view the 4 page story), so much did I love the gallery I couldn’t be persuaded to leave. Only with the picture to take home could I be lured away. It sits on my bedside table.
We have 3 of these in different forms. Anecdotally, they were decorative fibreglass panels crafted in the 1970’s in a factory unit in Blacktown by a old Italian man. The first one I ever saw was in a retro shop in Redfern in the form of a bathroom screen done in tiny fish, coral, starfish & seaweed, for $250. Fortuitously, when carrying out a demo the G.O. saved from the tip 3 similar pieces in a butterfly variation (we lied to my sister for a while that they weren’t real). We have another small piece and a wider screen that reaches to the ceiling. This one I ‘up-cycled’ into a floor light for the apartment by placing a lamp behind it.
Behind the poppy picture picked up for $20 from an op-shop in Waterloo is a tablecloth crocheted by my Nanna which I had framed. It is so heavy I can’t lift it, and is attached to the back of the dresser with 2 huge pieces of timber. (In front is an assembly of glassware, and bottles, marbles & stuff the G.O. brings home off job sites, plus Lunara our apartment goddess/altar, all of which I couldn’t be bothered moving to take the photo.)
This is my Nanna & lamb picture, a tinted photo from the 1920’s. It hangs in the hallway at TA and looks over my side of the bed.
Are you still with me?… Before I recount the history of the paintings, let me tell you the story of the couch.
It’s a Night ‘n Day (folds out to a bed). My grandparents had a green vinyl version in the living room, and I had been searching for my own but to no avail. On a road trip north to a wedding in Tamworth in November 2009 we called in at a second hand shop in the not-even-a-village of Wingen. There it was. My Night ‘n Day. For $60. The G.O. wasn’t having a bar of it. There was no way we were buying that thing and carting it back to the apartment in Sydney where we had nowhere to store it anyway. So I cast it a reluctant glance, and spent the next 10 months wistfully reminiscing… “that Night ‘n Day at Wingen”.
In October 2010 we decided to take the scenic route to TA via Tamworth which meant driving once again through Wingen. After a month of not-so-quietly ruminating, I began wondering out louder “what if it’s still there?”. Confident it wouldn’t be he later admitted, the G.O. said “just ring them”. Now by one those twists of fate, the shop owners are known to me from another life. I called… “Oh, yes, it’s still here. We put it out the back for the dogs to sleep on”. I paid the $60 with my credit card on the spot and let them know we’d be picking it up. 2 weeks later we whipped off the dog hair coated sheet, and it was perfect. The G.O. reluctant to admit he was wrong maintained his belief in its unattractiveness until he hung the paintings, also in the back of the ute, above it. Only then did he pronounced it worthy.
The paintings came from my grandparent’s farmhouse living room. From 1975 – 2010 they adorned the walls of my uncle & aunt’s living room, with me uttering very quietly to myself upon seeing them, “I’d wish I’d chosen those”… but at 9 years old, I chose a tall blue & purple vase which is still mine, and would be the first item I grabbed if I had to evacuate.
In September 2010 I received a call from Dad who when it counts is quick on the uptake. My aunt was renovating and wanted fresh unadorned walls, so my uncle rang Dad to obtain details of the Murrurundi Historical Society. The paintings were painted in the early 1900’s by Aunt Emma on Nanna’s side who was a seamstress in Murrurundi, so my uncle thought they would be of local historic interest. They were. To me. Quick as a flash I was on the phone and organised to pick them up that weekend. So complacent had my uncle, aunt & cousins become that none of them wanted the pictures and were bemused I did. They now hang in the back room at TA. I think it was at this time my Dad christened our house “the museum”.
Does anyone else want to share something(s) special they have hanging on their walls, via comment and/or link to post?
*$ are Australian.
** If you wonder about my taste, refer to About.