A Fairy Tale for Grown ups - Peacock Tango
You know that saying - nothing good happens after 2am? It’s time to go home? Last night at 2.17am to be precise, something good, something special, something kinda weird was happening here, on the Great Ocean Road. Here in Anglesea. Here at the Artspace. The moon, slung low and full was hovering above the Anglesea River. Reflected in the gentle waves. And those images bounced to the wet road and the broad windows of the gallery. Reflections of reflections of reflections. Exponential dimensions. The darkness of the gallery transformed into a silvery brightness, and, with the haunting sounds of Paul McCartney - Cinnamon had been playing the Beatles during the afternoon - he was still echoing from the walls… strains of a song about a bird, a song about waiting, a song about arising.
She’d been watching him for days, that woman there, on the barstool. All her cheeky cheeks, her white curves brazenly displayed. She’s a show off, that one. And so is he. A meeting of the minds? More than that.
The peacock, his plumage steel and gold all a-rustle, unfurls his grand curtain of feathered shiny colour – delicious turquoise, orange, gold: she’s just the type of woman he wants. ‘I thought you’d never ask.’ An irresistible twinkle in his blue eyes. He takes her hand. The master.
Woman says ‘Cheek to cheek?’
Peacock croons ‘Tango’.
She says ‘Tango? A bird who can tango?’
He says ‘I’ll lead.’
And they dance. They dance that dance where there’s no past and no future. That dance where there’s only the moment.
The swan and the spoonbill keep a respectful distance. Such antics are foreign to them. But they exchange a frisson of delight with the masqueraded creatures and a familiar nod to those ‘others’ all dressed up in their fancy finery and their curly, bird accessorised head dresses: it IS a special occasion.
The tango can be different things to different peop… ‘beings’, but at its heart it’s a language of embrace. It’s about desire and these two, these two….
They move as one. She absorbs him. They become each other. Everyone sees it happen.
He whispers to the shell of her ear ‘I have something for you, my love.’ Taking liberties.
She says ‘Something else?’
He says, ’Yes, a ring, a token of my affection.’
She pats his handsome head ‘An owl and a pussy cat and a runcible spoon: can you possibly improve on that?’
He sings as only a peacock can sing at 2.17am ‘It’s cast from a found seagull’s thigh bone. One who once danced on the wind.’
She gasps – ‘Oh!’ - and says to the shiny ring, “I’d so love to have wings. Imagine, flying.’ They nestle closer, they envelop, they adore, they consume each other.
Then, the light changes, everything now different. The moment of Mesmer has passed. With a shiver of his arc of eyed plumes, he reluctantly retreats from her curves and returns to his wheel of fortune. Still.
She, quite rapturously adorns a new canvas, changed, all plumaged legs with iridescent eyes and… satisfied.
Everything, everyone, now still.
And in the air there lingers, I’m sure it lingers…listen…Something about a special moment. Something about being free.
- Janet Brown, 18 August 2017
The Birds and Blooms exhibition continues until August 30th, open daily 11am - 4pm.