The drawing “Inanimate Objects” has won me some short-term fame recently. Andy Warhol said that everyone in the world will experience 15 minutes of fame at some time in their lives. I think this may be mine. I have never been in an art competition and decided to enter the 2010 Sunshine Coast Art Prize with this work.
It was 6.30pm, Friday the 14th of May when I went to the Post Office and picked up an A4 envelope. Inside was a letter from the Sunshine Coast Regional Gallery which in part read, “We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected as a finalist and we invite you to submit the work (Inanimate Objects) for the Prize exhibition” It was sent on the 11th of May, my birthday. I was so, so chuffed!
For a while there I was flavour of the month. The local Hinterland Times did an article on me and the other successful entrants from up on the “Range” and again, I was quite chuffed. Then a weekly paper down on the coast with a circulation of 70,000 rang and asked if they could do a feature on my work. They even sent a photographer up to my Maleny studio, with all the lights and paraphernalia, and my head began to swirl with all sorts of exotic notions of what fame and wealth might look like. When the final edition of Weekender went to press, they had used my art strikingly as the front cover. The work features a large self portrait, peering through spreading fingers at an inanimate object (a small, mocking porcelain lion).
As I walked the streets on the day of the papers delivery, there in the front yards, lying face-up on the grass, wrapped in plastic, was the imposing black and white image of Peter Hollard. 70,000 thousand of them stalking me and peering back at me, in the ultimate collective mock by an inanimate object. (But after that, I swear, the people of the Sunshine Coast recognised me as I moved amongst them and probably stopped, whispered and pointed as I passed)
I went to the opening night, confident. I left a little disillusioned. (Does anyone really get abstraction?) I hung the work for two months in that gallery, and only asked enough to cover a return airfare to Europe. The work was returned to my place the other day.
It’s many weeks later now. Consigned to the world of inanimate objects, it sits, still covered in bubble wrap, in a quiet corner of my house. I’ve decided that the work has had its 15 minutes, but I’m yet to have mine.