Old Self, New Self, Other Self

Warning. This blog post contains nepotism and a dose of nostalgia.

Tinning Street Gallery is a funky ex-factory turned gallery tucked away in a back street in Brunswick. On Friday night they opened a new show entitled ‘Your Old Self’. The invitation to the opening was on our fridge for a couple of weeks because the inimitable Elwyn Murray (okay, my son, I have to admit my bias) has a work in the exhibition. The concept for the show was each artist had to create a new work based on a an artwork from their childhood. The artist on the invitation (below) is Lauz Rigbe. Every time I looked at the invitation I felt nostalgic for all my kid’s childhoods.

I’ve squirrelled away mountains of artwork from my children’s growing up. Cracked ceramics, foxed scraps decorated with scribbled drawings, yellowing butcher paper splashed with poster paint and chipped ceramics are all tucked away in boxes for the moment one of my kids want to come and unearth the archive. I was really pleased when Elwyn dug through the treasure trove for an image to inspire his new work. His childhood drawings were intricate, bold and sometimes bewildering.

Apart from Elwyn & Lauz, there were about twenty artists represented in the show, including Shaun Tan. Some of the work was distrubing, some of it beautiful, all of it intriguing. As we grow older are we always our old self reformed or do we become someone else again?

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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