The Day of the Jackhole

The Day of the Jackhole

Celebrating 40 years on this earth

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1999. To discover, divine.

September 16, 2011

I’m at an art gallery in Melbourne. It’s the first time I’ve been to an art gallery that didn’t have the word ‘National’ in front of it.

Up to this point in life, I’ve liked art that people have told me I should like. I’ve liked artists because everyone says they’re good. But on this day, I walk into a tiny gallery in amongst the gum trees and it’s crowded and warm and I am floored. A tingle in my spine. I’m grinning on the inside because I don’t want people to see how absolutely affected by this.

I have found Jeffery Smart.

There is no greater moment than the moment when you discover something for yourself. When you love a thing because YOU found it. It’s your little secret. Nobody told you to love it, nobody planted a pre-conception of the idea in your brain. You found it, and by doing so, you discovered something about yourself.

Jeffery Smart. It doesn’t matter that he’s actually an icon of Australian art and I’m just a hick who never knew about it. It doesn’t matter what you think of his work – love it or hate it or don’t really think about it. What matters is that on this day, I looked up at a wall as a hick and was able to say to myself:

“Now this. This I love.”

 


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