[And apologies to anyone who tried to make sense of my post this week. I would like to blame the gremlins, but I suspect it was me deleting the right post and publishing a draft. Hopefully all is restored now.]
Well, Adam Goodes played football on Sunday. His team, the Sydney Swans were playing the Geelong Cats down in Geelong. Usually the teams run through their own banners, made by the cheer squads. This game they jointly went through the same one. The racist booing that had followed Goodes in past matches was not heard. Hooray for common decency! Unfortunately it wasn’t a complete fairy tale ending for Goodes, as they lost to the Cats!
A comment made about Indigenous players struck a chord with me. Someone said that footballers and officials probably have a better understanding of Indigenous culture than most people. You would get to know everyone in the close environment of a football club. For a team to function well there has to be inclusion; divisions that may drive the team apart can have no place if the team is to be a team. To win the ultimate prize, the Grand Final, all the players must be unified and supportive of each other.
I am not saying that footballers are not racist. That is certainly not true, and there have been many public battles over this issue arising on the footy field. I am making the analogy that just as a team can’t afford divisions neither can society as a whole. Societies that are riven by racism, sexism and homophobia are ones that breed suspicion of the “other”; they are ones that are easier for right-wing nationalism to gain hold. It is in everyone’s interests to stand up against oppression.
That’s the wider reason why the support for Adam Goodes was so important.
Secondly, and off my soapbox!……
A couple of posts ago I wrote about my method for stretching watercolour paper. Laura wrote this in the comments
Simply laying it on a flat surface on a towel with a piece of Gator Board on the back and weighting the “sandwich” with books works fine. Billy Showell places hers inside a large pad of paper without a towel then weights it all down with books, encyclopedias I think.
The key is to let it dry slowly.
I have done this with a few paintings now, and I am very happy with the results. The works are just as flat as when I taped them and I save time not having to fiddle around with the tape. So a big thank you to Laura. Jump over to her website and have a look at her art.
And lastly…..I will leave you with some images from John Wolseley’s exhibition, Heartlands and Headwaters currently on at the Ian Potter campus of the NGV. He is the most wonderful, inspirational painter and if you are anywhere near Melbourne before 20th September, go and see it. These images are just small parts of larger works. Each part is a jewel.