The email announcing my image "Kolossoi I" was one of 50 selected out of 800 entries for this year's BSG $10,000 Art Prize arrived at dinner time last Wednesday tonight.
That was delirious news. Not so fun was this ... I had just seven days to get the image printed, framed and in Melbourne for the exhibition!
Now, if you're a fellow photographer, you'll know that we don't make hard copies of our pictures until we need them for a show — in the meantime, they sit on our hard drives — which makes getting the above done in a week no mean feat.
What did I do? Grovel. That's right ... my lovely printer, Stephen Best of Macquarie Editions, who happens to live a couple of hours away, did the print and delivered it to Canberra overnight. Then, the folks at The Exhibition Centre, who are always keen to help artists, managed to make a cool, minimal perspex frame for me in just over one working day. The result is that the artwork is now with a courier, waiting to be delivered to Melbourne tomorrow morning.
Are there quiet moments in a hectic week? I obviously found some because I finished two more images in my series exploring the use of dolls in ancient Greek folk religion and rituals ("Kolossoi I" is also part of this series).
"Kolossoi II" follows the same lines as its predecessor, exploring the practise of making, mutilating and burying dolls to protect both public spaces and private homes from evil, ranging from ghosts to invading armies.
"Daidala" explores the use of dolls in a girl's transition to womanhood. Girls sacrificed their dolls (Daidala) to Hera in the lead-up to marriage. As brides were as young as 14 (and married to men up to twice their age), marriage was literally a transition from childhood to adulthood, making this sacrifice incredibly poignant. Marriage in ancient Greek was not about love and romance as it is in our society — it was about procreation and the preservation of the male line, and was essentially about transferring the ownership of a girl from her father and a husband as soon as a she was considered fertile. In this sense, she was a commercial product, a baby-making machine.
I hate to be flippant, but does anyone else see a bit of Britney Spears in my image?