Friday, April 02, 2010

Previews and going off on a tangent

Well I've broken even before the exhibition officially opens. Sigh of relief. Can pay off credit card. Two paintings sold yesterday. I find the previews quite a trial. Everyone wants to talk to you and you are constantly aware of not being able to do that. So many friends come and go without my even being able to acknowledge them. This is one of the reasons I was never any good at politics because I not only let myself get monopolised by people, I enjoy it. I get easily engrossed in conversations. But frequently about stuff other than my paintings.

There are always people who will walk up and say, "Are you the Lindsay Mitchell that writes to the newspaper?" That's good. People who don't agree with my views never approach me. When I confess I am they launch forth on what they know and their perspective. Fascinating.

For instance a woman yesterday who had worked for social welfare in the early seventies said to me they never needed to introduce the DPB. "I could get a woman on the emergency benefit if she needed it," she said. But now , "the underbelly has got too big." Of course she is right about the emergency benefit. This idea that pre DPB women were forced to give up children, forced to live violent relationships is not wholly true. Help was available but not of right. That's what changed and that's what opened the floodgates.

Another person I know well who also worked in the department late 60s and early 70s, a sole parent herself at that time, has said the same thing. They didn't really need to do that. Quietly working within the existing rules help was there where it was warranted. Consequently when it was introduced there wasn't any big fanfare. Media coverage in the Evening Post was relegated to something like page 18 from memory.

Contrast that to the current climate - 'Future Focus' being a perfect example - whenever there is the slightest hint of eligibility rules for the DPB changing it dominates the media for days.

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