Going on holidays with Melba has been a font of inspiration for artist Chris Mason over the years and while the pandemic has slowed his travel plans, he’s still making more – and, most importantly, he’s still making more art.
It all started when he was little, when he began travelling and loved it according to mum Bernie who isn’t allowed to travel with Chris, now 44, anymore.
“I went to Sydney with him once, because he had an art show in Sydney, and then he told me ‘mum, don’t ask me to go away with you ever again.’ And I said that’s fine with me, why would you want to go away with your old mother anyway?!” Bernie laughed.
Since then, Chris has begun travelling with Melba’s holiday program – he’s been to America, to Singapore and on local holidays as well.
“They love him at Melba because he’s well-mannered, he’s polite, he’s a nice guy.”
It was the Singapore trip that is Chris’ favourite so far.
“It was a tropical holiday, we did all different kinds of activities over there,” Chris said.
He already has an idea about his next international trip, too.
“I want to go to Portugal, and I want to hire a car, and then drive to Gibraltar.”
So far, Chris has had to post-pone a trip to San Fran Cisco because of the pandemic and, just last week, he had to post-pone a trip to the snow.
“It really frustrates me with covid.”
The other frustrating part of covid for Chris is that it saw the opening of his art exhibition also cancelled this month.
Chris has natural creative talent and, four days a week, he also attends Arts Project Australia in Melbourne - a creative social enterprise that supports artists with Autism and intellectual disabilities, promotes their work and advocates for their inclusion in contemporary art practice.
The show was supposed to be at Collingwood Yards, Melbourne’s newest contemporary art space, where Chris could show and sell the pieces that he has put his talent into creating. He loves painting and life drawing, with ‘big women’ his favourite subjects, he loves sculpting and also, lately, he has been creating dye-cast moulds of little skink lizards.
And still, even with the art opening delayed?
“I’ve sold quite a few pieces online lately, I think seven.”
Finally. Some good news during the pandemic, then.