Austrian Potato Salad and the Opening Night – Part 2.

Following on from my post about the lead up to the opening of our current shows – “My Heart Spins on The Grill” in the main gallery and “Abstructavist Drawings” in Gallery 2 – it’s time to move on to the day of the opening.

As with all shows, no matter how much planning you put in there are always an enormous number of things that need to be done at the last-minute. One of the biggest tasks of the day was preparing the food for Stephen Mathewson’s grill party.

We had strict menu instructions from Steve – chicken legs, tiger bread (not made of tigers – see here) and Austrian potato salad. Steve has an aversion to mayonnaise but still has a passion for potato salad. Fortunately, Austrian potato salad is mayonnaise free and luckily for us Dieter Preisl drummer with the Brain Managerz, artist and all round nice guy is a master of the aforementioned salad.

Volunteers (thanks to all of you!) were sent out on mammoth shopping expeditions and by mid afternoon the ingredients for the grill were assembled. Tamsyn from the excellent Nook cafe very kindly assisted Dieter and together they created something marvelous.

While all of this was going on, Stephen Mathewson was still hard at work attempting to finish his wall painting before the show opened.

Stephen Mathewson finishing his wall painting minutes before opening the show.

The painting was completed just minutes before we opened the show and the paint was still wet when the public began to arrive!

Steve still had work to do. Not one to shirk his responsibilities Steve disappeared to concoct litres of sauce for the chicken – giving the public a rare opportunity to eat his art!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the gallery I was hanging the final painting of the show. Once that was done, it was time to relax and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

Josh hangs the final painting.

Mark Farhall’s selection of drawings were looking exquisite in Gallery 2. For the opening night Mark had provided me with a compilation of vintage science fiction music that he wanted played in the space as ambient sound while visitors took in the work. Think theremin. The effect was excellent and helped put the work into context, sadly we aren’t able to play the music at all times.

Mark Farhall and his Abstructavist Drawings.

Out in the Fishmarket garden, grill master Dan Brodie was doing a fantastic job of cooking vast quantities of chicken to Steve’s exacting instructions. He was ably assisted by our volunteers who deserve our thanks for giving up their time to help us.

Cristina Pedreira and Mark Farhall enjoy food from Stephen Mathewson's grill.

For thefistst time in a long, long time the weather was glorious. The sun was shining and the gallery was looking vibrant. It was a great way to celebrate the first show of the new year and a great way to open an exhibition. When the sun began to go down the musical entertainment came out.

The opening act was the incredible Mrs Pilgrimm who sang and played cello. If you weren’t there you missed a beautifully intimate performance. Click here to find out more.

Following on from Mrs Pilgrimm were Stephen Mathewson’s Brain Managerz. The band were excellent, their tunes being the right balance of rough-edged and beautifully crafted. It was a treat of a performance and a great addition to the exhbition, even if it was just for one night.

I mentioned earlier in this post that drummer Dieter Preisl is also a fine painter. The Brain Managerz are not just an excellent band, they are all talented individuals in their own right.

Brain Managerz bassist Franziska Abgottsponn is also a member of Viennese mega-band Thalija, I highly recommend the album “Thalija II” on Pumpkin records. Franziska also makes music under the name “eloui” find out more about her prolific output here. Guitarist Thomas Geldmacher is a researcher with the Austrian Green Party, oenophile and has played with more bands that I’ve had hot dinners. Trumpeter David Quigley not only has the tone of a young Lee Morgan he is, amongst other things, an expert on Carl Einstein. Take a look at David’s book here.

David very kindly wrote the text that accompanies Stephen’s show, I’ll post that in the coming days.


Stephen Mathewson with Brain Managerz performing at the Fishmarket.


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