Over the first part of this year, as part of my then job, I did a few overnight stays in Horsham and visited it's surrounding areas. I took my camera and here are a few shots from my trips. I really love the vastness of the Wimmera. I am in awe by the low horizon, which seems to go on forever with it's flat fields of grain. It also seemed a very lonely place, maybe because often there was nothing for as far as your eye could see?
'The Wimmera #105'
'Silos in the Wimmera #111'
'Twilight in the Wimmera #159'
'Dusk in the Wimmera #201'
"Sundown at Mount Arapiles #51"
'Dimboola's pink salt lake at the close of day #206'
'Dimboola's pink salt lake at the close of day #190'
'Somewhere along the Wimmera Highway at dusk #147'
All photographs, copyright matthew schiavello 2014
I am attracted to maturity. More specifically, emotional maturity. In my folly I have connected this with maturity of years, which is not always the case. I cannot count the number of men I have met or dated who where older than me in age, yet behaved like a person who was much, much younger. This has led to many an interesting experience. Because these men have been older, it has meant that some of them came from a time where they have felt it was not possible to be openly gay. Some took a path of heterosexual marriage, some have been single for as long as they could recall, some have embraced a recently new found life of very gay abandon, others had never dated or known the touch of a lover....and then there was me.
Me, who should have known better. Me who is as confused as the next man. Me who is as immature as those I judge. Me who over-thinks EVERYTHING. What is my search for maturity really about? What am I lacking or needing in my life that I hope this mature other may fulfill? Am I really looking for a strong mature male role model or father figure to succeed where my father and step father didn't? Surely that is too obvious and clichéd to be true. Me, the boy who never stood on the shoulder of the giant, or lay in the giant's warm loving arms. Me who never felt safe that my father was there to protect me. Me, who was abandoned emotionally and left to fend for myself... Is this the answer then? After all these years, am I simply wanting a surrogate father, a mature man to love and accept the boy in me?
Maybe I am distracted by my past failings with the fathers in my early life, maybe it has nothing to do with that. Maybe I am over-thinking things and maybe, just maybe this is simply about wanting emotional maturity in a partner. Even saying that, my experiences show that I have been looking in the wrong places for it, as well as in the wrong people. In my actively seeking, searching and expecting, I have found only disappointment. How could it be otherwise? None can raise themselves up to the bar my expectations have set, how can they? Why should they? Besides, everyone I meet thinks that they are mature, yes, everyone... even me.
'You're twenty years younger than me', he said with a big grin and an ego the size of something way too big for it's own good. I realised then that this wasn't his humility expressing gratitude that he was loved for who he was, regardless of age, no, this was him stating I was a trophy of sorts for his ego to proudly show off. The younger lover. It dawned on me that I had become an unwitting victim to my own misguided desire. Even though I had realised a long time ago that maturity of age does not equal emotional maturity, here I still was, left feeling cheap, used and that I only had myself to blame...and then there was me. Yes, me, here, now and wondering what the next step is and over-thinking it as usual.
Maybe it is time to throw away all of my preconceived idea's about age and maturity. After all, doesn't the cliché go something like: Age is just a number and it is what's inside that counts. My next step could be to meet people, get to know them and then see what happens. It might finally be time to just take things as they come and 'roll with' life, without my preconceived idea's, expectations or my over thinking. For how can you be disappointed when you don't have expectations?
I recently did some experimenting on film from my camera, that was not processed properly. Ok, small fib, truth be told, I did not correctly load the film into my camera. I then went about and shot the whole roll of film, thinking I had some great shots and later discovered it was all blank.... So rather than mope about, I decided to experiment with the failed film negative and scan the results. I used a combination of acetone and watercolour paints to get these results.
During my time in Amsterdam, not only did I spent a bit of time visiting the larger art galleries and museums, but I also visited some amazing smaller photographic galleries.
A couple of interesting ones in particular were, Foam (or Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) and Huis Marseille. For some reason, rather then refer to these places as 'galleries' my understanding was they were seen as 'museums'! Foam had a great cafe to sit at and sip a latte or beer as you surfed on the free wifi! Huis Marseille was much larger and such a lovely building to lose yourself in. Apparently I had arrived at Huis Marseille at the right time, as it had been linked it to the adjacent canal house by new doorways on three floors. There were now 10 galleries/rooms!
There were some great images on show, but I recall particularly being captivated by some of Juul Kraijer's works!
Here is something from her exhibition:
Ilona Plaum also exhibited during my visit. Here is something of hers:
'Horizon as reproduction (17)', (2010)
Speaking of art and culture, by chance, I came across a lovely man who kindly provided me with tickets to the Dutch National Ballet! It was the first and so far only, time I had been to the ballet. The Piece was titled 'Corps' and was amazing. The Corps are the group of dancers who provide a backdrop for the principle dancers. The three pieces in the performance were; the second act of "La Sylphide", "Corps", and "The body of the national ballet". I took along a Alberto, a Cuban man I met on holiday who sounded like Ricky Ricardo when he spoke. He was quite sweet and quite tender... but perhaps more about him another time?... anyway, Alberto and I really enjoyed our evening at the ballet! I should add that Alberto also accompanied me to Huis Marseille.
Here is a trailer for Corps:
Here is an abstract image I took during my time at Foam (or Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam):
Some of my images from Huis Marseille.
Looking out the window:
all photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2014, except 'untitled' (2013) which is copyright Juul Kraijer and 'Horizon as reproduction (17)', (2010) which is copyright of Ilona Plaum.
Continuing on my irregular blog posts about my holiday late last year to the Netherlands and Belgium are a couple of posts on the art I saw. During my visit to Amsterdam, I went to a handful of beautiful galleries and museums. The Rijksmuseum, which is the State Museum, was one such museum. It is such a beautiful building and has a huge and varied collection. As I love modern art, I was a little disappointed with it's small modern art collection, but that is ok, as I later visited the Stedelijk Museum. This was a favourite of mine, as it is a museum of modern art and had a lovely collection. I could have stayed there forever! In fact, if I ever visit Amsterdam again, I will definitely revisit the Stedelijk Museum.
Being in Amsterdam, of course I had to visit the Van Gogh Museum! Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with the pieces on show. I much preferred my visit to the Musée d'Orsay in Paris in 2010 and the beautiful Van Gogh paintings I had seen there. On that same trip overseas, on my way back home, I stopped off at New York and went to the Museum of Modern Art, where I saw some more beautiful Van Gogh's! As such, I shouldn't really complain. It wasn't all art museum's though, I also visited Anne Frank's house and yes, I became emotional!
In the next blog post I will talk about some of the photographic galleries/museums I visited. Below are some photos from some of my visit's to the museum's mentioned above. I was too overwhelmed at the Frank House to take any photographs and from memory, you may not have been allowed to.
Images from the Rijksmuseum:
Looking through the coloured glass panels at some structural part of the building.. yes I know, I should have been looking at the art that surrounded me, But I can't help myself:
Some famous painting everyone wanted to see...something about Night Watchmen. I can never understand the queues for certain images (which we are all told are 'masterpieces' and we must see them), while so many other beautiful images are left with no one appreciating them...
I was drawn to something that caught my eye in the stairwell, but I can't recall what it was I photographed:
Images from the Stedelijk Museum:
I have posted this image on my tumblr account and titled it: 'The moment the viewer of art, becomes art.'
This next one was also recently shared on my tumblr account: 'Above us, around us, within us'
Images from the Van Gogh Museum.
I was taking photos of the details of the building, the lighting, corners, parts of the framing that held the paintings/exhibits and was told by security to stop because it was not allowed. I explained what I was doing, but to no avail. Still I managed to snap a few things before they had spoken to me.
I currently have an exhibition on until June the 3rd. It is titled 'Amsterdam and Abstracts' and is at APTE cafe. The cafe is open 7 days a week during the day. The hours are:
8am-4pm Monday to Saturday and 8am- 3.30pm Sundays. The address is: 538
Heidelberg rd, Alphington!
If you are in the area, please pop in. If you know of someone whom you think would enjoy the exhibition, please let them know about it.
I usually exhibit abstract work, but felt that this cafe exhibition was an opportunity to show another side of my photography.
One of two versions of the flyer:
Some images of me hanging the framed prints:
A sneak peak:
All photographs copyright 2014 Matthew Schiavello and Tomboy Bill
It has been a while since I posted about my holiday to the Netherlands and Belgium late last year. Here is the next installment, a short pictorial post about the bicycles of Amsterdam.
Everywhere you go in the Netherlands you will find bicycles. In Amsterdam the city has special bike paths that put Melbourne's to shame. Visitors to the city need to quickly get their heads around these paths, otherwise you will be run over by a bicycle and I kid you not.
Graffiti above a bicycle reminding me which city I was in.
Even the posher suburbs have bicycles chained to their lovely faux period lamp posts!
Somewhere in Jordaan:
Did I incorrectly give you the impression that bicycles are neatly chained up one per post?:
So many places have signs stating not to leave or chain your bicycle near or against walls/windows.. This person ignored the sign and the neighbourhood cat was not impressed!
The thing that struck me about Amsterdam was the variety of styles of bike:
Using a milk crate on your bike as storage must be a universal idea?
When I arrived back home I was inspired to buy a dutch style bike. The bike shop I went to was run by a Dutch man..what are the odds? He advised that the heavy frames on these bikes are fine for the flat Netherlands, but not so good for bike riding in Melbourne...So I left empty handed, what a shame!
Maybe I will simply have to move to the Netherlands?
All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2013-2014