Byron Bay is the kind of place where you never know who you’ll meet. Distractedly browsing at the local newsagents you could bump into Kerry O’Brien. Your yoga teacher turns out to be a retired lead singer from a top British rock group. Authors emerge from their Byron Hinterland estates for the annual Byron Bay Writers Festival and artists appear in the most unlikely places. One of which, it turns out, is Ed Silk Byron Bay’s office.
Yes Ed Silk’s new PA, Vicki Langham-Stavrou, has an alternate life as a visual artist. Her latest exhibition is at the Citrus Gallery, just above the Citrus Deli at the far end of Jonson Street. The exhibition is called Grass, a light hearted tribute to mowing the lawn. Vicki’s 12 paintings depict various mowing styles from a woman mowing in a bikini to a lazy mover who has tied his mower to a pole. Between the paintings Vicki has placed a small patch of wheat grass to bring her theme to life inside the gallery.
The oil pastels, all priced for sale at $450, have a lovely warmth and softness to them. One viewer commented on the skies and indeed, whether they were blue, pink or orange, they all gave a protective, almost cosy feel to the scenes below. I asked Vicki what her fascination with lawn mowing was. “I’m weird”, she laughingly admitted. “Maybe it’s just my wacky sense of humour, but it reminds me of suburban Saturdays, with the smell of freshly cut grass in the air.”
Citrus Gallery manager Samantha Welch agrees, “There’s a quirky playfulness to Vicki’s art that comes alive in these paintings.” Samantha’s Myocum School of Sculpture held the previous exhibit at the Citrus Gallery and she promises there will be more art on display when Vicki’s Grass exhibit finishes up in July.
After a lovely evening of mingling in the Byron Bay art scene, sipping wine on the deck overlooking Jonson Street and sampling savoury snacks, we departed through the Citrus Deli’s tempting array of food into the warm full-moon night. Byron Living!
by Ed Silk Byron Bay