I am now a high school graduate!
Well, technically, my graduation ceremony is next week. (For the uninitiated, I am Australian, so our school calendar mimics, in accordance with our reversed seasons, the calendar year.) But yesterday afternoon, I finished my final high school exam, so for all intents and purposes, I am now free!
It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I won’t have to stay up until midnight reading textbooks anymore (or for the next few months, at least), and that, to quote Alice Cooper, “School’s out, forever!” But I am feeling an incredible sense of relief, and am very excited for what my future may bring… And, I have a whole 4 months of Summer holidays (much longer than the usual Australian break for the younger year levels) to muse over these things, and to begin planning for the next stage of my life! The next month will be nervous, however, as I eagerly await the release of final Year 12 results in mid-December and, on the basis of our final scores, the emailing of university offers in late December…fingers crossed that I am admitted into the prestigious Advanced Arts course I’ve applied for!
I first set this blog up in middle school, and it’s become such a huge part of my identity across my teenage years. It feels rather appropriate to be spending my first morning as a post-compulsory education being composing a post for it! Thank you to everyone that has stuck with me over the past few years, as my school commitments reached a crazy, stressful intensity that prevented me from interacting on here as much as I wished, and for reading my writings whilst I have worked at developing my passions and my written voice. I assure you that I will now, for better or worse, be back with a vengeance!
For those whose attention I haven’t yet lost with all of my school-related ramblings, I thought I’d begin the next era of both my life and All You Needs Is The Beatles with a quick detailing of two projects that I’ve been hard at work at over this year!
The first such project is a poem. Whilst it wasn’t strictly written for school-related purposes, I submitted it to a poetry competition run by my state’s English teachers’ association, and it was consequently published into their annual anthology this Spring! A semi-related note: I believe I have mentioned on here before that I have been playing violin since I was six, and that I am currently very serious in my studies. My career goal is to work with my instrument in contemporary classical music, in a performance and/or compositional capacity — and my dream is to compose a contemporary ballet someday!
Ode To The Violin
The first time I fell in love was with her.
Her perfect, hourglass body,
Tenderly melded into mine.
My arms assumed the sensual curvature of a slur to embrace her,
And my fingertips softly caressed her scrolled neck.
She sung with legato, crescendoing passion,
As the horse hairs of my bow darted across her delicate strings;
And she played the strings of my heart,
With più mosso, palpitating pizzicato.
Her symmetrical beauty marks of cursive “F”,
Whispered celestially pianissimo harmonics into my ears;
And her wooden figure richly resonated with molto marcato wavelengths,
Echoing with ecstasy and intimacy against my shoulder.
My desire was fortississimo, presto, vivacissimo;
We spent hours — days — on end together.
I did not care that her mesmeric, dolce magnetism,
Strained ligaments in my wrist,
Squashed nerves in my spine,
Deformed each one of fingers.
She is the Odette to my Prince Sigfried.
When my hand drifts along her fingerboard,
And we recite solos from Swan Lake with poco espressivo precision,
I am certain:
Our romance is my destiny.
Death — or chronic injuries — be damned.
Another project I have worked on this year was my final Art project! I won’t talk about it too much because I don’t currently have my final Art grade back, and thus, the thought of it makes me nervous… But I still wanted to share it! I was very taken with Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood when it came out, earlier this year, reigniting a long-held love that I have for everything about the sixties! Additionally, my impending adulthood has inspired a lot of thought and nostalgia for my childhood, and I’ve been thinking about how I grew up almost displaced from time. I spent far more time watching The Brady Bunch and listening to Dusty Springfield than anything relating to my actual generation, and my first crush was even on Davy Jones from The Monkees! I aimed to explore my nostalgia for a time that was thirty years before my birth in my body of work, creating a series of photographs and mixed-media craft pieces that interpreted my current context through a “period” lens.
I began by conducting a photoshoot, where I costumed one of my best friends and myself in era-appropriate items from my vintage clothing collection, and photographed against a backdrop of record shops, 1960s furniture, and notable examples of Mid Century architecture in my city! These were then colour-tinted on Photoshop to evoke the warmth of nostalgia and the era’s aesthetics. Additionally, nine of the twenty-six photographs I used were manipulated by hand using techniques like embroidery, painting, and collage, with motifs appropriated from textiles by famous 1960s designers such as Pucci and Oscar de la Renta — this further aesthetically evoked the era! The juxtaposition of historical craft techniques and retro imagery, with contemporary, digital photographic practices and my own contemporary context, creates an intriguing link between past and present, and suggests their interchangeability. It’s also named after the title a Joan Didion essay, about how the 1960s influenced her future perception of social norms, additionally suggesting this theme. Unfortunately I don’t have a high quality image of the entire work, but please enjoy these excerpts!
On The Morning After The Sixties
(Special thanks to my mum for all her help, as well!)
So that’s all for now! But rest assured, I’ll be back soon with so many of the things I wished I had time to post over the past couple of years! I look forward to reconnecting with you all in the comments — I now have time to properly reply! — and I can’t wait to get back into my writing! If anyone has any suggestions for some songs I should listen to, films I should watch, and books I should read as a graduate, your input will be much appreciated as well!