On the 9th March I'm taking part in a mixed exhibition called "Viva la Frida" at The Circle Gallery, Westend. It will run for a week, and features the work of more than 25 local artists and craftspeople. Associated workshops are being organized by The Art Shed.
This show has generated enormous excitement amongst those I know who are involved. Everyone knows, or should know, Frida Kahlo - that Mexican artist with the monobrow who painted many portraits of herself in a part naïve part surrealist style, often incorporating animals, flowers, fruit and other symbolic embellishments in her work.
Working with Frida as inspiration has been like a license to embrace colour, pattern, and exotic imagery. Others in the project have spoken of feeling like they are channelling the muse and it is a bit like that. Kahlo is admirable for her feminist attitudes, her political activism and her stoicism in the face of considerable physical pain and ill-health. Her work is distinctive, beautifully structured, always interesting, heart-felt, and undeniably strong.
As a person she was attractive (the famous mono-brow not withstanding), sensual, nymph-like (especially when seen in the company of her husband, fellow-painter Diego Rivera, and a charged-up representative of her culture, making a fashion statement of frills, beads, shawls and colour.
I'm contributing a variety of pieces: clothing, accessories, and a painting. At this stage my only complete work is a heavily embroidered, beaded and appliqued soft sculpture: Monkey Magic.
If you are a Brisbane local join the fiesta frenzy at The Circle - from 6 p.m. on the 9th there'll be Mexican music, wine, and nibbles, with gold coin donations benefitting the women's legal service (in the Frida spirit) so that we can all get in on the chic-a channelling process.
Until next time: ¡adiós!