SWANCON & NAFF III
by Edwina Harvey
(First published in Edwina's LiveJournal on 24 June 2008.)
So, it was Thursday night at the con. After the opening ceremony where I met Steve and Sue Smith, the DUFF delegates who'd travelled to Australia from Kentucky, USA (while their luggage took the scenic route!), [info]asimmum invited Lucy and I and a lot of other people to a room party.
I had a chance to catch up with Claire McKenna again. I think it's been a few years since we chatted. She seems to be doing very well for herself writing film scripts, and I think also working in the film industry.
Ben Payne, Dirk Flinthart & Alyssa Krasnostein were also in attendance, along with Russell Farr and Jonathan Strahan.
There was some very lively discussion about Ditmar awards.
There were also jugs of Seabreeze cocktails, and snacks and pizza (for a balanced diet!). At one point (sometime after the first Seabreeze) I got a little too enthusiastic while talking to Dirk, forgot which hand was holding the drink and which hand I wanted to use to point with and managed to send Seabreeze in all directions, including over my name tag. This proved very useful. I could suck the dried alcohol off my name tag to re-inebriate myself in the coming days. (Who says I'm a cheap drunk? ; - ))
Lily Chrywenstrom offered me chocolate, though I didn't realize it was Lily at the time, just some kind person being friendly...and this leads me to a True Confession!
I could blame the eye thing, but truth be told, I've had this problem for years. Recently I saw a piece on Catalyst that made me feel I'm not so alone, so I thought I'd come out of the closet: I seem to be one of those people who doesn't readilly recognise people if encountering them again after a few years abscence,(As is often the case at SF cons.) To my mind people should look *exactly* as they did last time I saw them. No, I don't know why this is. I mean, I regularly change my hair colour, length, design, my weight fluctuates, my taste in clothes changes (and I even change my clothes!) I'm flat out looking the same from one day to the next, so why I expect people to look the same years later is really beyond me, but I do, and as a result, it often takes me a while to realize who I'm talking to (especially when I can't read their name tags!). I've also been known to confuse people and bowl up to person A to chat about something thinking they were person B...mind you, I was pretty sleep deprived when I did that.
All I can say in my defense is that all you humans look so much alike!
Or maybe SF fans are all clones?
I went to a Hitch-hikers con in England back in the mid-80's and quietly spent a lot of my time thinking: "You look like ... in Aus fandom. "
Back to the party... it was good, crowded, rowdy and fun, and eventually I decided to toddle off to bed, so I left.
Lucy, wild social butterfly that she is, stayed on to party.
Half her luck! Half her stamina! And I think I was still awake when she staggered in, so we probably spent the next hour or two having a girly gossip.
Good Friday morning we breakfasted on yummy dried fruit Lucy's Mum had given her and she'd kindly shared with me, and scotch finger biscuits (my contribution!) and hotel room coffee. Look! Another balanced meal! ; - ) .
In order to save the hotel lifts from breaking down (an old con tradition, one that I'm keen to avoid as I become an old conner with dickie knees!) the Swancon committee had asked attendees to use the stairs wherever possible. A reasonable request.
Once I got the layout of the hotel sorted, I was happy to use the stairs to go *down* floors, and tried using the stairs to go *up* floors *for the first day*. The novelty wore off after that, so I opted for using the lift when going up in the world and no one seemed to mind. The lifts were never crowded, and they kept working all weekend.
I had brought 3 pieces of my art work with me to Perth to put in the Swancon artshow which was being very capably managed by Emma Hawkes, I paid my entry fee and dropped my pieces off with Emma, who even had time for a chat amongst all the organizing bussle. I came back later to view the artshow once everything was set up.
I've got to say I really like Swancon art shows! For one thing, as a craftsperson, I really feel welcomed and accepted when I enter something into a Swancon aft show. For another thing, they've got so many damn fine arts and crafts people over there and it's really nice to admire their work.
For this Swancon I took over a pair of Tardis salt & pepper shakers, a T-shirt I had hand-painted a unicorn onto using silk paints as a background and a silk evening purse with a witch flying a broom infront of the moon I'd painted on it. All of them were for sale in the hope of earning myself a bit of meal money.
There seems to be a trend away from holding artshows at SF cons both in Australia, and overseas (so I'm told.) I can understand this from the convention committee's point of view: it costs money to rent a room/secure space, and an artshow needs volunteers to run it, and volunteers are often thin on the ground.
But from the artist's point of view, an art show offers the chance to show your work, maybe win a prize and get a bit of name for yourself. It gives artists the chance to network with each other, buyers the chance to purchase art, and people involved in magazine - editors etc - the chance to network with artists. (I know I tend to view art with my ASIM hat on, always wondering if we can entice an artist to freelance with us.)
Artshows at SF cons is where well renowned artists, Bob Eggleton, Lewis Morley, Marilyn Pride and Nick Stathopoulis among them, got their initial encouragement to pursue their artistic dreams. We should continue to encourage upcoming artists, I reckon, and I think artists who use computers as their pallette and canvas are just as entitled to show their original creations as more traditional artists.
And because I'm not a traditional artist myself - dabbling as I do in ceramics and silk painting, naturally I'm all in favour of non-traditional art being shown at SF artshows.