AussieCon4 . Melbourne . 2010

Aussiecon 4, otherwise known as Worldcon 68, the largest and oldest science fiction convention on the circuit was in Melbourne this year and as such no excuse for me not to go as I’m only 850km away. I almost didn’t make it due to a mural job I was painting for the Historic Houses Trust here in Sydney, but more about that in the next post.

Aussiecon was my first convention since SiggraphLA in 95 and it was a welcome respite from grinding away at a computer or furiously painting the mural. I entered four paintings into the Art Show and came away with best SF painting in the show. That would be the more overtly SF themed paintings as opposed to something more fantasy oriented. I am still in the dark as to who determines the winners so if anyone knows who votes/selects, I’d love to know. I’m assuming it’s the Art Show staff. Either way, I was quiet chuffed!

Here are the four paintings I hung in the show.

Buddha Returns . oils on linen 40" x 16"
Best SF painting at Aussiecon 4 . 40" x 15" oils on linen
Inspired by John Harris.. 30" x 12" oils on canvas

Now someone wanted to buy the painting above but we missed each other on the Monday morning.. If you’re reading this, please contact me and we can sort something out!

Oil sketch . 30" x 12" oils on canvas

Speaking of which, a huge THANKS to Jannie Shea and her staff for organising the art show and keeping everything running smoothly.

I met an artist named Patrick Jones who is not only insanely talented but is also Irish and lives in Australia, loved a good laugh and spent most of the con looking for water.. I dont get it either! This is one of his beautiful paintings.

┬ęPatrick J Jones

Also had a great chat about painting with Bob Eggleton and wished I’d bumped into him a lot more than I did.

Overall I was a little disappointed in the turn out for the Art Show, I was expecting, or hoping to see a lot more local talent. I’m sure there are hundreds of Australian artists that could have done with the exposure. Where are you guys?? Artist of the con was of course the super talented Shuan Tan!

Shuan Tan & Patrick Jones @ Aussiecon 4

I would also have liked to see large format artworks around the Melbourne Convention Centre to spice things up a bit. I know it’s all volunteers and no money but the con felt rather lacking in visual pizazz! Not having visited other WorldCon’s, I’m not sure if this is normal or not. A couple of stormtroopers wandering about just didn’t quite cut it for me.

Big big thanks to collector Sebastian Rice for bringing along a real life John Berkey painting.. drool drool … mater of fact his whole collection of sf art rocks! Check it out here.

The great John Berkey..

And speaking of collectors, another huge thanks to Joe Siclari for sharing his insights about the state of the ‘collecting’ art! His fantastic collection can also be seen here.

Unfortunately I missed large chunks of the con due to last minute work issues and missed some great talks. Overall I had a great time being immersed in the world of science fiction for a long weekend and being home in Melbourne is always good!

Next Worldcon here I come!

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