Oh Bowie Oh

Space Odditea.

That’s what I called my 2013 exhibition at

Beyond the Ordinary Teahouse. Surprise surprise – lots of teacups.

Would you like to see the painting I called ‘Space Odditea’? It’s never before been seen by non-Sally eyes.
If not now, when?

Space Odditea Sally Swain © original art

Space Odditea
Sally Swain © original art

I thought it wasn’t

finished. It’s been living in an overstuffed folio labelled ‘moderately developed paintings’.

Oh Bowie Oh.

If you’re not going to release your Space Odditea painting to be viewed in the week that the late great slender vaudevillian poet leaves this planet, then when?

Oh Bowie Oh.

What’s to say? Plenty, actually.
I was a teenage moonage daydreamer in the 1970s.
A boyfriend gave me his literally warped Aladdin Sane (A Lad Insane) record. We didn’t call them ‘vinyls’ then. Vinyl was all we had.
This record was wavey. Not flat. A touch of the sun. The wondrous edginess of Jean Genie and Time became, well, warped. 

Oh Bowie Oh.

Bowie inspired so many of us to experiment – to play – with gender, with style, with sound, with words.

At age 15 or was it 16, I showed up for work at Gus’ Coffee Lounge, Civic, on a Saturday morning with a silver star painted on my face. Gus’ was the only eatery open after dark in the whole of Canberra. Woo hoo. Bohemian.
Not so Bohemian that Gus chastised me and threatened to tell my parents. About the small silver star on my cheek. Which my parents already knew about and were fine.
I think I got the sack soon after.
Waitressing wasn’t my forte anyway.

Here’s a painting that DID make it into the show.

Not Drowning, Dancing Sally Swain © original art

Not Drowning, Dancing
Sally Swain © original art

People are sharing Bowie stories on social media. That’s been nourishing. It’s  public grief about our seemingly private relationships from long ago with Mr David Jones. The Thin White Duke who infinitely reinvented himself and brought beautiful creativity to bear even in his dying days.

Tell us your Bowie story here in the comments section. Go on. While we’re all ears and facial lightning bolts.

Farewell Ziggy. Farewell Major Tom.

Farewell to he who fell into earth and sky, hearts and souls.

Oh Bowie Oh.


3 thoughts on “Oh Bowie Oh

  1. 🙂 I like the vinyl story, and the waitressing one even more. When I was just a few years older than that I waitressed at an infamous art bar in NYC – Max’s Kansas City. The owner quickly sent me uptown to his less cool restaurant, where I lasted the summer at least, and met some great bartenders….
    The paintings are a lot of fun – love the colors!

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