Pauline Bailey BLUES PORTRAIT Book Launch
The Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy, Melbourne. Opening speech by Kerri Simpson.
Photos courtesy of Max Crawdaddy, Stuart Anderson and Andrew Marshall.
Kerri Simpson Blues Portrait Speech 10.11.2019
First, I would like to say how honoured I am to speak at Pauline’s book launch. On behalf of the blues community, I would sincerely like to thank Pauline Bailey for making the huge commitment and effort to write “Blues Portrait”.
I got my copy last week and it truly is a milestone for Australian blues.
Writing any kind of book is no small task, but this book took endless hours of researching, phone calls, emails, messages, recordings and transcriptions. Not to mention wrangling musicians.
A book like Blues Portrait is a labour of love. I am a librarian by day, so books are of great importance to me. This book is important because it is a documentation of an art and culture unique to Australia. I am so glad that the Australian blues scene has finally been captured and documented so well, and can now take its place in Australian entertainment history.
I kinda see Pauline as a bit of an Alan Lomax type figure with the publishing of this book. If not for her, artists who have made significant contributions both nationally and internationally for decades would have remained unheralded.
It took me a few trips to New Orleans, Chicago, London and Europe to realise that the quality and standard of musicians and artists that we have here in Melbourne is genuinely equal to anywhere else in the world.
There is a saying that you are as good as your last gig, which in many respects is true. But a book, like a recording remains, lasts far longer. And what is even better, you can come back to a book over and again. The lives and contributions of everyone included in the book remain there to explore at will.
In reading the stories of the 40 odd featured musicians, you quickly realise what a large and thriving blues scene has existed across the country for decades.
What a dedicated and diverse bunch of musicians. You see a picture of just how far blues transcends into other genres. You get a feel for the people and places that created a haven for musicians to work and entertain in. You get a sense of how much community is involved in the scene. How much love, appreciation and respect is held for blues music and musicians.
Blues Portrait is dedicated to Chris Wilson, who features prominently in the book. In many ways Chris personified the blues scene in Australia. The hard graft, the absolute commitment, devotion, and the immersion into the community; the emotions blues evokes in people.
The way that the blues community across the country came together in support of Chris when he became ill was overwhelming and astonishing. It demonstrated just how widely blues music touches so many people, as Chris did.
I am really proud to be part of this ground-breaking book and, on behalf of all of us, I thank Pauline Bailey from the bottom of my heart for taking the time and making the commitment to write it.
I ask you to raise your glasses and drink to Pauline and “Blues Portrait”… Best of luck with it Pauline.
And people, please buy up plenty of copies cos writing books is financially even harder than making recordings.
10th November 2019
Bailey, Masin and Roberts THREE PALETTES Launch
City Library Gallery, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
7th June 2018
Kim Volkman and Pauline Bailey THE DEVIL WON’T TAKE CHARITY Book Launch
Robarta, 109 Fitzroy St. St Kilda – 3rd September 2017
Pauline Bailey FACADE Exhibition – Opening night
Marios Café, 303 Brunswick St. Fitzroy
25th February 2015
Pauline Bailey URBAN DETAIL Exhibition – Opening night
Tacit Contemporary Art, 323 Johnston St. Abbotsford
19th March 2013
When Pauline asked me to do this, for as long as I can remember rock n roll, art and music have been intrinsic and so important to each other.
When we first came down here with X it was the art community that really opened up the doors for us, we patronised the openings, all the studio guys would come to the gigs, have a beer, have a great time and slag off everyone else!
And that’s what it’s all about. The music is the soundtrack to the pictures you see on the wall and these things, they’re iconic images and they stay in your head just as much as a catchy riff or a middle 8 in a chorus and that’s what it’s all about.
When you get things that are perhaps in decay, it’s about preserving the decay, preserving those iconic images that you see that are Melbourne, or are Sydney like the Basement; you’ve got the Cherry, you’ve got Richmond railway station, it’s just real. Today everyone’s got mobile phones, they snap snap snap everywhere and it’s disposable, you throw it away. When someone commits themselves to embracing an image, putting themselves into it and bringing it out, committing it to canvas with love, dedication and passion it’s not gratuitous, it’s there because it means something. And because it means something to her, and I think it has affected me and everyone else and that’s what art is all about, it’s about expression and that’s what Pauline has done here, she has expressed herself, in fact Joey and I have already bought a couple of paintings and it’s not just discussion, we’ve put the money where the mouth is and so I was very honoured that Pauline asked me to say a few words.
LAND SEA STRUCTURE Exhibition Bailey and Masin – Opening night
1st February 2013
Gippsland Art Gallery, 68 – 70 Foster St. Sale, Victoria
Guest speaker Gippsland artist William Young.
INTRODUCTION BY ANTON VARDY:
Pauline Bailey and Helen Masin are together again linking their exhibitions by examining the urban and natural landscapes together. The speaker for this exhibition is William (Bill) Young. Bill is well known to everyone as a longstanding career artist in the region, he has previously lectured at the Gippsland School Of Art and Monash University and more recently at the art school at the East Gippsland Institute Of Tafe which it was very recently until it’s closure. Bill is an artist in residence at the Cowwarr Art Space and is responsible for encouraging and nurturing many young or emerging artists to keep striving despite setbacks and struggles. I’ll now invite Bill to open Land Sea Structure.
OPENING SPEECH BY BILL YOUNG:
There’s a little bit of drama associated with this show. You would be familiar with the Gippsland fires that occurred a couple of weeks ago, most of you are locals. Pauline, you and your son were in Melbourne at the time and the fires came pretty close to your property, is that correct? So Pauline had to ring up Helen to get the paintings out and I can just imagine Pauline saying to Helen “don’t worry about the plasma TV just get the paintings!” And it kind of shows they’re mates. Actually I’m not going to talk about the show because Pauline and Helen will spend the rest of the night talking to you individually about their work, I’m going to talk about their journey to this space and it’s an interesting one. Pauline and Helen met through the local Tafe rest in peace, or pieces I should say, as mature age students and, like a lot of mature age students the assumption is that they got through what we call personal expression for a couple of years until they are satisfied.
But Pauline and Helen were quite different, they were very, very ambitious besides having a lot of talent and a little bit of breaking the mould there. We finally kicked them out in 2010; I think and they had their first show at the Maffra Art Space in 2010 which I opened. This is now their fifth show together, five significant shows in 2 ½ years and not only that I counted something like about twenty spaces they’ve exhibited in collectively. Twenty venues they’ve exhibited in over that journey. I’ll actually read some of them out. Brisbane, Warrnambool, Bairnsdale, Latrobe Valley, Warragul, Collingwood, St. Kilda, Sale, Sale, Sale, you’re getting the picture. These two are very energetic partners as well as maintaining families, jobs and in Pauline’s case personal trauma. Helen was in the selection for the John Leslie Art Prize in 2010, unfortunately she can’t do it this year because she’s now working part time for the Gallery. So you can see the activity and the energy that they both have.
Pauline has a show coming up this year in March at Tacit Contemporary Art in Abbotsford, you should all go and see it. As I’ve got here it’s a simple formula, as emerging artists the more their work is seen the more it can be evaluated. The more visible they are the easier it is to build networks and develop a presence. What I’m trying to do here with this catalogue of their achievements is to present a picture of two committed, local regional Gippsland artists with talent and ambition and drive. Putting this exhibition in place indicated all this.
So I’m going to finish by saying this, congratulate them and keep them busy all night!
PLACE Exhibition – Opening night, Bailey, Masin & Roberts
Tacit Contemporary Art, 323 Johnston St. Abbotsford
14th August 2012
Watch the opening speech by Brian Nankervis here:
Opening speech by Brian Nankervis
Now, what a wonderful thing this is to be doing a job where you are meeting people and becoming part of their world.
And you know there were various health adventures that I’m sure many of you went through and it’s been a wonderful result, I was a tiny, tiny little part of that and felt like I was brought into this family and when I was asked to be here it was absolutely something I didn’t have to think about. We met for lunch at a funny little cafe in Prahran and I met Ken and Helen. We had a beautiful lunch, we chatted, we discussed all manner of things, we discussed art, we discussed the country, we discussed that tug of war between city and country. And then about a day or so ago I got an email from a dear friend who said: “You are performing at Ken’s opening, I grew up with Ken in Maffra. Ken was a bloody beauty”. And I felt like I could absolutely agree. So look I’m delighted to be here, as you can see there is some beautiful artwork on the walls. I haven’t seen many red dots at this stage but no, they’re not red! Why would they be red that’s almost a chocolate colour! It’s a black dot. So check your programs, obviously it’s a great privilege to have a piece of beautiful, original art in your home so in a moment I’m going to let you move around. I won’t be watching closely but we’d love you to have a look.
I want to finish with a music quiz, it feels only fitting that we do a little quiz, we decided that we would do a music quiz based on Place and I threw in people as well, so all the songs are people or place oriented.