My friend Tania and I go back a l-o-n-g way. We've had years when we've not seen each other (very difficult keeping in touch when she's living at least a 20 hour flight away) but whenever we do catch up we manage to just pick up right where we left off.
Tania restarted her art practice, seriously, after a long break, about a year or so ago. A selection of the past year's work is currently on show at the Ku-ring-gai Art Centre in Roseville - with the opening last Friday night.
Tania asked me to do the official opening of the exhibition for her because I am one of the few people around who really understands where she started from. What a thrill for me!
Tania had a wonderful opportunity to focus on her art work again last year while on a two week break (on her own) on Achill Island - the largest island off the coast of Ireland, in County Mayo. Over the past year since that intense experience she's worked like a demon producing sketches, paintings and 3D works, exploring her connection to that place.
Tania grew up in Belfast (during troubled times for that city) and childhood holidays on Achill were always associated with a great sense of freedom and escape.
This large monochrome work was one of my favourites.
And this was one of Tania's favourites.
Tania has two beautiful daughters. M is studying at the London School of Economics and the brilliant A (in year 9 this year) is one of the most gorgeous girls you'd ever meet. Tania and A came down from Sydney for the Turner from the Tate exhibition recently and I really enjoyed my time with A as we explored the gallery.
Tania and her Allan hosted celebration drinks after the opening at their gorgeous old rambling home in Roseville- so it was a late night for us, but a happy one, with no time for regrets about the long drive back to Canberra the next morning.