We’re back in Australia for another visit, having landed in Melbourne yesterday, just about 24 hours ago, and still trying to get grounded, so to speak. But the adventure began even before leaving the USA, when we spent an exciting 36 hours in Los Angeles. I managed to spend most of that time reunited with the West Coast contingent on the US art mob that I traveled with a year ago on the Austrade mission to 24 remote art centres.

It’s amazing: you put 8 people in a small plane, a small Aboriginal art centre, or a small roadhouse/motel for 24 hours a day for 14 days, and if everyone survives (and we mob not only survived but thrived), there’s a certain degree of imprinting that must go on. Because within minutes of being reunited with the crew, I found that the intervening thirteen months seemed to evaporate. It felt less like a renewal of old friendships than a re-instatement of them.

We had the chance to visit two superb American collections of Aboriginal art while in town, though we missed the Regina Wilson exhibition that’s on in Santa Monica at the moment. 

Standing, l. to r. Richard, Joel, Wolf, Larry; seated, Harvey, Gretchen Will, Kerry.

As I said, we haven’t had much of a chance to do anything in Melbourne yet apart from sleep. The town in abuzz with anticipation of the Melbourne Art Fair, and we’re looking forward to the opening night next week. A short visit with Samantha Pizzi yesterday to see the riot of color coming out of Tjala Arts in Amata, SA and the opening of a new show from Balgo at Alcaston Gallery featuring Christine and Imelda Yukenbarri and Tossie and Miriam Baadjo is all we’ve managed to do so far, but adventures await.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep to my regular posting schedule–so much depends on internet connections, but I hope to do better at keeping a diary of events this time around than on the previous trip through the Outback. Somehow that sounds like famous last words. So please keep checking in on me…and hope to see man of you in the days ahead, here in Melbourne, in Sydney, Alice, or Darwin.

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