I have a long running obsession with Australian trucks and off road camping vehicles. On this last trip I also saw some great flat-beds that are manufactured to fit on smaller trucks – each one comes with different sorts of attachments, work boxes etc. We didn’t have much time to scout trucks, but I managed a few sightings while on a drive to a camping store with Lucina and Charlie.
Here are a few other Australian camping rigs that it’s easy to become obsessed with: The Earthcruiser, the Wothahellizat, and trailers like the Conqueror series or another vehicle also called the Conqueror that looks a bit like a sci-fi motorhome.
Here is the Homestead as it was being installed in the sculpture garden of the National Gallery. The rest of the installation proceeded with a few other challenges that were all resolved by an extremely patient crew.
And by the end of Thursday the Unit was spit polished and ready for it’s new resident Charlie Sofo – an Australian artist who will be living in the sculpture garden and conducting his practice for two periods over the next month. You can follow Charlie’s blog here. Charlie is an awesome guy and a very good pick as a Homestead resident. The first day of his inhabitation, his friends Joyce and Michael (who coincidentally have a daughter who lives in 29 Palms!) and his brother Liv who works with them, brought fresh vegetables from their organic garden in Camberra. The next morning, feeling a bit like a stalker, I checked on the unit and discovered traces of Charlie’s inhabitation….
I’ve just spent the last week installing a new Homestead Unit at the National Gallery of Australia. Little did we realize that a stump that I acquired from a, friend who reclaims trees in Idylwild, and then turned into a stool for the homestead, would be ferrying a few boring beetle passengers. The sea air must have rejuvenated the beetles, and when we unpacked the unit in Canberra there was a bunch of sawdust in the packing blanket.
Since Australia is a essentially a giant island with it’s own unique ecosystem they are super strict about marauding pestilence – so a team of conservators worked with Australian Department of Quarantine to assess the invaders and and to check if they had spread to other parts of the artwork or shipping crates. Ultimately it was decided that the stump would spend two weeks in deep freeze chamber that the National Gallery has set up for exactly these sorts of situations.
Richard Rigg, a wonderfully well mannered and willowy artist from Newcastle (UK) has been our guest here at AZ West for the last week while he works on a project “Inhabitant of the Watchtower” – a collaboration with CIRCA Projects that coincides with his exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. After working tirelessly all week to assemble the transmitter in the sweltering August heat, he finally headed out to the hottest and most remote edge of Wonder Valley to install – working quickly to get everything set up during the brief cooling sunset hours.
Yesterday we said goodbye to our awesome summer intern Lucas Wrench (shown shrouded in mystery in this photoshoot that we just did with one of the amazing blankets woven by Sheila Shanti for our fall show). Lucas was such a good sport about the heat and all of the crazy grunt work that had to go down at AZ West this summer – After wrapping things up here in Joshua Tree he has one more year of undergrad and then fantasizes about moving to Detroit. If anyone in Detroit is reading this let us know so we can put you in touch with Lucas.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work – we are going to miss you!