29 July 2012

and around

Researching the novel, I have been reading Wei Jingsheng's astonishing letters. Which include his letters to Hu Yaobang in the early 1980s... delivered or not at the time, they will have been received in the novel, they will be discussed, as the liberal minded leaders n Beijing struggle with the ideal and the possible, between dinosaurs and impatient reformers. Informed by He Yuhuai's wonderful Dictionary of Political Thought of the People's Republic of China, plus my knowledge of the Hu Yaobang and Hu Qili... albeit knowing so little at the time of what they were doing behind the scenes.

Drawing remains an important balance, a mental diversion. I recall hearing the incomparable Joni Mitchell say she needed a second art form (painting plus poetry, she said: perhaps, just perhaps, she has three?) for balance and creative energy. And drawing requires some courage, the plunging in is like the plunging into fiction.

I have a dislike of the rigidities of rectangles, hence some preference along the way for painting objects. But having some time ago picked up in someone's kerbside chuckout in Sydney (how to furnish your house well and interestingly for cost of travel) about 20 old canvases, I have just done a life-size drawing over three canvases, something of a triptych, not a rectangle, nor separation between the canvases. The textures of the three canvases differ and thus the mood of the three parts, impacting on the three figures. In total about 150cm wide, 135 high.

Fun, light relief...Title is:

"No, he's not here, but we're looking for a soprano"