Bayswater Art Awards have come a long way. Once, some years ago, in a dark day for free-piss art openings, they only had an urn and teabags! With no wine! Those that were there still bear the scars, but if you ask them about it, they will just smile with a faraway look in their eyes, because you, who didn’t go through it, could never understand. Those that lived it, have a bond that will last forever, and those that didn’t RSVP for that night still battle with survivor guilt.
But fast forward to 2019. There was mountains of food and free piss! The catering was almost three courses, starting with some slightly gooey arancinis – (and haven’t arancinis become this generation of art goers’mini quiches?) – some pulled pork sliders and even trays of desserts. Pulled pork is also as played as Mayland’s wall murals, but nobody was complaining.
The mainstay of drinks was the quite respectable Fifth Leg for the wine with James Squires, Alby and Great Northern for the beer. Bubbly to start off. There was even Pasito and Kole Beer, yes Kole Beer for the kiddies.
But no water. No. Water. You could get a Kole’ Beer but not a water! With a heavy elderly (diabetic) demographic attending, a Pasito wasn’t going to cut it for dissolving ancient phlegm. And, this is true. I even saw an elderly couple trying to feed coins into the machine downstairs to buy water. Amidst all this plenty, yet not a drop to drink!
Speeches were reasonably restrained. Mayor Dan Bull got through it at a good pace. Enough time for the winners to be nabbed for a publicity photo, and not long enough for the losers to curdle in their bitterness.
If it wasn’t for the embarrassing lack of water, I’d have rated it higher. 3.5 stars.
Bayswater Art Awards, 3-16 November. The Rise, Maylands.