Bizarre Days and Exhibitions...

A Quick entry from T.P!

Bizarre Days

The last couple of days have been kind of strange for us, I don't think that either of us realized just how many Japanese people, (family and friends), we had in our lives until we decided to email and ring around, just to see if everyone was okay. It feels odd to know that we live in the same region and yet on a day like today everything can be so sunny and calm down here and yet, just a short flight away, everything is not as it should be. To everyone reading this blog in Japan we send you our best wishes and please know that our thoughts are with you.

And now to exhibitions

Well do I have a story to tell you! And it's all true... really it is!! Today, as previously mentioned, was warm and sunny and so we decided to go bush and head out walking. On the way home we snaked our way through a place called Northbridge. Northbridge is the nightlife district, located just across the railway line from the city of Perth, and in a way it's a sort of weird gauge for Ash and me because this is where we used to hang out when we were teenagers. The reason it's a gauge for us is because every time we take off overseas for any length of time, we come back and Northbridge in particular has noticeably changed somehow.

Today we got stuck in traffic on one of the main drags in front of the new Heath Ledger theatre. Needless to say it wasn't there last time we had an occasion to cruise through Northbridge.

And speaking of ghosts... we come to the main crux of my drop in post today - what used to be on the other side of the street before the new theatre ever existed - a small art gallery that used to specialize in breaking new artists! (Alas not there any more), but here comes the real ghost story...

Once upon a time there was there was a young couple consisting of Ashley and Paula who lived in an apartment on the edge of the city and in this apartment strange things used to occur. Shadows, bumps in the night, electricity being cut off cause we forgot to pay the bill... spooky stuff, stupid stuff... arty stuff, really arty stuff because we had no money and had to make do with substandard art equipment when...

Ashley inherited an artist's canvas!

Then out of the blue a certain gallery owner in Northbridge suggested that he might actually be a fine artist, Ash said: "Hey you know what? I think I'm going to have to have my first real gallery exhibition!"

We were so young and bright eyed and bushy tailed and so gung ho - neither of us yet 21! And Ash used everything we had to make the art for this exhibition, all the ink, all the paint, every last scrap of paper and at the very last minute - he used the inherited artist's canvas. Do, do, do, do...

The painting was called Battleship Gray 451. The canvas was primarily gray in color and roughly 48x36 in size. Now Ash was strung out preparing for his exhibition, the apartment was weird and the painting just really reflected that. Basically the picture was of a side of a battleship with a woman looking out of a porthole and excuse my French, but the only way to describe this woman's face is... fucking evil.

The painting was finished late in the evening, like 1 or 2 AM and when we got up in the morning we both took a look at it and went: "WTF?" Spooked by the realistic face we turned the painting around backwards to the wall, several times, and each time it would fall over and end up face up. We weren't going to hang it at the exhibition but in the end we just did because we didn't want it in our already weird apartment anymore.

We took the painting to the gallery, the gallery owner said: "Okaaayyy." and placed it in back. Twenty five pieces went up and to everyone's shock and amazement, twenty five pieces all sold in under an hour. It was a two week long exhibition and so hoping to sell something else the gallery owner finally hung Battleship Gray 451.

The exhibition ended and life went back to a relative normal, the gallery owner settled up for the twenty five pieces but there was no mention of the 451 painting and it was determined that during the moving process the painting had been stolen.

One week after the theft, the gallery which had been in the same spot for a decade, mysteriously went broke.

Three months went by and we scraped together some cash to go to see a movie at an art house cinema and surprise, surprise there on the wall in the entry way was Battleship Gray 451. We asked for the manager and told him the painting was stolen, he said it was borrowed, we told him all over again that it was stolen. They said come back tomorrow and we'll work it out. The next day we turned up and the painting was long gone.

Two weeks later the art house cinema, which had been in the same spot forever, mysteriously went out of business.

A friend called us on the phone maybe another three months later to tell us that he'd just been to one of these new upmarket cafe's taking over Northbridge and what was on the wall but Battleship Gray 451.

Leave it alone now! Ash couldn't be bothered chasing it. Less than a month later the cafe mysteriously shut up shop and moved on.

We later heard it had been returned to the thief, who had rehung it on his living room wall, we might have gone around to see him but by the time we thought about it, we heard that his house had burned down...

To this day we don't know what became of the painting, and if you have it, we don't want to know. The moral of this story being, you're a shit heel if you steal art anyway but if you steal the evil looking pieces then you're a double moron.

Happy Sunday ya'll

ashley wood