I wish I could have got a photo of this: two young fairywrens sitting on fence wire in cold weather, one with its wing around the other. Their father was hopping around, looking anxious — you could hear him saying “Get off that bloody fence and come inside where it’s warm!” — and indeed they all flew back to the nest.
I’m back after a great time at Conflux, the Canberra speculative fiction convention. I haven’t been to many conventions, and this was my first small one — quite a contrast from Loncon! It was friendly and relaxed and there was plenty of opportunity to chat to people.
My big news is that “Under Construction”, the sculpture of the little minotaur building a maze, won the E.G. Harvey Award for Australian Speculative Fiction Art, sponsored by the Harvey Australia Foundation. The award came with a beautiful glass trophy (pic below). I’d like to thank the foundation for its generosity, the judges of the award, and the organisers of the convention for all their great efforts!!
Another utterly unexpected outcome of the convention was that I sold all the pieces I exhibited. More thanks to all the people who bought something or who just liked the work. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the positive response to the art I’ve made so far, and in consequence of being overwhelmed am also feeling inarticulate, but basically I’m happy, grateful, and hopeful for the future!
ETA: It seems to be the little fella’s lucky week. He just won equal 2nd prize at the Lot 19 Spring Sculpture Prize in Castlemaine, Vic. Lot 19 is a wonderful art space with studios currently hosting 26 artists, and as well as the Lot 19 prize there are several prizes donated by sponsors. I’m a bit knocked over as it was an excellent show and I didn’t really rate myself with a chance. The winning piece was the delicate, tender abstract work “New Life Hanging in the Balance” by Domenica Wallace, and Jane Creenaune won the other second prize with her bronze “Semaphore III”.
Finally got home yesterday morning.
On my last day in BKK I made two more snails: Sir Pass, a fast and determined snail, and Flying Sir Cus, who is currently Sir Falling Over, though the foundry might be able to fix that by making the metal thicker on one side. I really wanted to give Cus a helmet like this, but it wouldn’t fit, though I’ll try again when I get back. Anyway, that’s all the snail knights for now (though I have ideas for more!) All these ones need finishing properly. The snail bodies are easy to make, but to get the shellmets looking good could be a bit fiddly.
Delayed by another day. Problem with the hyperdrive or something. Supposed to leave tonight.
Thought: Life as a process of lowering one’s expectations.
I should have been in Australia by now, but my flight last night got cancelled. Something went wrong with one of the computers in the plane, and we sat on the tarmac for 3 hours or so while they tried to fix it. They turned the plane off and turned it on again, but no joy. Eventually we had to disembark, go through immigration and collect our luggage. As the flight is rescheduled for this evening I went home rather than stay in the hotel provided.
Yesterday morning I took care of some gardening — repotting, and stringing a wire across the porch for the jade vine, which has grown beyond the top of its trellis on the porch post.
This snail was in our garden (and might still be; I just don’t know where). I could hear it eating the crunchy dead leaf.
Since I’ve had a free day I made another snail knight. Please welcome Sir Liloquy, the introspective:
It’s my pleasure to introduce the Snail Knights* of Castle Shellf. Wearing their shellmets, they seek the Holy Snail, rumoured to dwell in the Spiral Castle in the Great Safe Garden beyond the World of Giants** and Dragons***…
*Who are also Ladies, snails being hermaphroknights. **Us, of course. ***Birds.
From left to right: Sir Cumnavigator (whose shellmet comb, I failed to notice when taking the photo, is squashed due to brave and chivalrous falling to the floor), Sir Vivor, Sir Enity, Sir Priseparty, and Sir Ender. Two more coming!
Had a great time at Loncon. Caught up with old friends and met delightful people, had fun on panels, and played with a giant balloon.
The art show was wonderful, and having gone there with no expectations, I did well with sales, and “Looking for Aldebaran”, below (the one at the show had a darker patina) even won the award for best 3D work, which blew me away!
The figurative workshop taught by Andrew Sinclair at the Sculpture School in Wendover was excellent, with lots of useful instruction on anatomy and design. Hopefully I’ll be making more human figures now! As we worked in clay, I wasn’t able to bring my figure home, but here’s a picture (it was a static pose so that we could concentrate on the basics):
I did some walking in the Chilterns between Loncon and the workshop, and enjoyed nibbling on blackberries growing along roads and tracks. (In Australia you can’t eat wild blackberries as they are noxious weeds and are sprayed.) Marginalia: A legend says that you shouldn’t pick blackberries after Old Michaelmas Day (October 10 or 11), since that was when Satan was kicked out of heaven and landed on a blackberry bush, and now commemorates his fall by spitting on blackberries — or peeing on them, if you’re in Cornwall — on that date.
Also, my phone was convinced that Hounslow was Gondor. I can only say that they have good noodles in Gondor.
Anyway, I’ve got plenty of ideas for new pieces, so it’s full steam ahead. I’ll be at the Conflux convention in Canberra (3-6 October), but only as a supporting member, which means I’ll be in the art show or dealers room, or the bar or cafe, or at book launches, or any other areas/events that are open to the public.
An Alphabet of Embers — submissions
This anthology by Rose Lemberg — “an anthology of unclassifiables – lyrical, surreal, magical, experimental pieces that straddle the border between poetry and prose” — looks great. Wish I could come up with something, but I don’t seem to have any words in me right now. Submissions close September 30, so this is rather a belated link!
What I do have, I confess, is a crush on my new shoes:
I’ve given up giving up coffee. I like it too much. And jetlag seems to have cured my early-waking insomnia. I’ve now got a sleep schedule I like, which hopefully I can maintain after this trip to Australia.
Snapped! Shot! Thanks Jason!