Today is Saturday, August 25, 2018.
Today MURDER IN THE MAIL: A BLOODY BIRTHDAY was officially launched with the beginning of a week-long art installation at The Front cafe & gallery (1 Wattle St, Lyneham, Canberra).
It featured all eight pieces of story art (you can see them here), plus several bonus pieces (three Octopus pics/puns from Annabelle Lee, who designed both the MURDER and MAGIC logos; a Ditmar Award-winning piece by Shauna O’Meara; a second portrait by Jane Virgo—of the famous writer Isobel Carmody; and one sneak preview of the MAGIC IN THE MAIL exhibition which will run at The Front on precisely this weekend in 2019).
And cake, by Cassie’s Custom Creations, based on the cake drawing by Shauna.
All the Canberra MURDER artists attended—Annabelle Lee, Adam Lee (yes, they’re husband and wife as well as being two extremely different visual artists), Jane Virgo, and Shauna O’Meara. (Tash Turgoose lives in Brisbane and Keely Van Order lives in Melbourne.)
I very much enjoyed having several of “my” artists in the same room, and although all the artists are scattered about Australia and the world, I was able to gather all but one of their books (Phil Hore’s book is soon to be published by Odyssey Books) which was awfully enjoyable for me too.
You can see them all rather more clearly here, of course. It’s rather a respectable bookshelf—and all Odyssey and Obscura authors, naturally.
But of course you want to see the cake, don’t you?
Well… you can’t.
The above (and below) photos were taken on my phone just before I packed up. My good friend (and printer) Jason Tankard was the official photographer, and he took about a billion photos, especially of the cake… so I knew it would be most thoroughly documented… and didn’t take a single pic of it myself.
Here’s the art by Shauna O’Meara, if that’s any comfort:
And here are some lollies. That’s Lindt on the table, and the mini trifle dish has Kool Mints, dark chocolate Maltesers, and Jaffas.
But of course it’s the art you really want to see. This is a terrible picture, but it’s better than nothing:
The art will stay at The Front for at least a week. If you like coffee, art, or cafes in general, go and check it out!
The food is rather good too (I was careful to test it, because I’m a professional in such matters).
That’s ginger and sweet potato hotcakes on the left, and “AVOCADO” on the right (with sourdough bread, beetroot hummus, etc).
The crucial questions:
Did I sell billions of dollars’ worth of stories, books, and art?
Did I have fun?
So, so much yes.
Was the cake good?
UPDATED: Here is the cake!
I realised alarmingly recently that everything I know about running an art installation I learned from Ocean’s Eight. So there were certainly some bumps along the road (to this day I don’t know what percentage the cafe gets from my sales… somewhere in the vast gulf between 20% and 60%) but the art is in a great public space, MURDER IN THE MAIL: A BLOODY BIRTHDAY is on sale there, and it was an incredible day.
Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling debrief of the Antipodean Queen 3: Iron Lights book launch at Kings Hall, Old Parliament House (aka the Museum of Australian Democracy) 2:45-3:15pm.
Or, you know, just come 🙂