Drove 2.5 hours to Cessnock. Great going over the Harbour Bridge, the gorgeous stretch with Spectacle island and Dangar island on the Hawkesbury. The dried trees, like upright witches’ brooms and the canopies of eucaplyptus trees breaking like waves over the heat below. It was so hot. Saw a kangaroo resting in the grass when I went for a walk near a service station.
The exhibition was excellent, really blew us away as we walked in, so vibrant. I knew Michèle Heibel from when we worked at ACP for the Packers, around 1995. A couple of other friends from those days had turned up too, Ashlea and Fi, and thanks to Facebook, we’d all been in touch again.
Michèle was renowned in the office for having a black belt in karate and took up ballroom dancing; a dangerous, yet potentially graceful, combination.
The artworks were very different: Michèle’s where black and white and her mother’s were very colourful. Both inspired good cheer. We asked if they took commissions, but no.
A bloke spoke about how he’d used some of Dorothée’s works as product labels, and they’d been accepted by the US, but rejected by the Swedes as being “too promiscuous”. “The Chinese accepted them — but we’re not sure what they think, we couldn”t really understand what they’re saying.”
Many liked Dorothée’s self-portrait, which looked a little like Margaret Olley. Michèle’s On The Grapevine silhouette was a big favourite too.
I was astounded at how beautiful Cessnock was.