Quick Bathurst Update

I think it must have been the biggest weekend of the year in Bathurst. Not only were there quite a number of crazy Sydney-based artists in town, but there was also the Royal Bathurst Show, a debutante ball and a car rally at Mt Panorama! There was not a hotel room available in the whole town.

I usually avoid going to exhibition openings if I can because so much chi-chi “love your work, darling” insincerity goes on, but even I have to admit that Saturday’s opening was a sucess and managed to avoid too much of that. The director of theMCA, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, opened Terrain (as well as two other exhibitions that were opening that night) and had some very positive things to say. We then joined her, the BRAG gallery director and the other curators for dinner which was also very positive…but was a teensy bit more chi-chi than I would like. Still one has to sacrifice oneself for the sake of one’s partner’s art career, doesn’t one?

Once the dinner finished, it was time for the real party of the evening and so we hooked up with the other artists at a delightful establishment known as the Family Hotel. And such a family it was, ranging from farmers and stockmen for whom a trip into Bathurst once a year is going to the Big Smoke to the local to the local Bathurst hoons and their not-so-delicate girl friends. The womens’ loos were a pubs-are-for-men-why-do-we-need-facilities-for-women afterthought. The pub was such a microcosm of rural life that I was tempted to take out my camera and snap away…except that I thought that it might act as the trigger to set off the powder-keg of aggression that was Thankfully we found our way to a tamer pub before the powder-keg went up.

The following day, a group of us went to the Bathurst Show where saw my first rodeo ever (opened by the the runner-up Miss Rodeo Queen Australia on horseback). We wandered around the exhibits of prize-winning cakes, needlework and livestock. John got badly sunburnt and developed sun stroke, poor thing, and spent the night in bed, while I discovered that there was only one restaurant in the whole of Bathurst that was open after 8.30pm on a Sunday.

I took quite a lot of photos, and when I get a chance, will post some of them here.


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May 2003
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