Tuesday, May 30, 2006

end of semester

It feels like this semester has lasted all of five seconds... suddenly I'm staring down the barrel of student assessments, end of semester meetings and much multilayered admin. All I want is a week at the coast and a big sleep - maybe I'll get it, I'm waiting to see if I can get hold of a cheap family house to rent. Then I'll finally get to do some drawing and get my head into some new work. Teaching makes me think about art all the time, look at exhibitions and be processing ideas for my own work. I love this time of semester because I see the students pull off some amazing projects, but it's also stressfull when they don't get it together 'till the last minute and it's a huge relief when it's all over and done with. I can't complain about the last minute stuff - I'm so like that myself - at least I've grown out of pulling allnighters.

The image above is from a performance about six or seven years ago. My friend Emma and I spent a day building a cubby house and served tea - I think I need to do some more play like this....

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Imagining Antarctica

Last year I made this huge curtain using glue and fishing line. I used a hot glue gun to draw on glass. I then peeled the glue patterns off and stitched them into long panels using fishing line. I'm posting this pic tonight because I still find it hard to believe I pulled it off. The curtain was 6 metres long and 4 wide. I'm thinking about doing some more work with this material, but probably not on that scale again.

Ted told me that the safety data sheet for hot glue advises users to wear goggles when gluing because, apparently your eyes can absorb fumes from the glue. He didn't seem to think you needed to wear a mask though...

Friday, May 19, 2006


I got up early this morning to make some work for a little exhibition - due in yesterday, and ended up cleaning out a box in my studio. I'm doing bouts of cleaning so I can move the piles of junk to the new studio down the road (yay!) Now I have a nice big shed away from my house - I can go there and not be walking plaster into the living room and getting wax on the kitchen floor - and - not be interrupted by guilt associated with what a desperate mess the rest of the house is and I really should be cleaning the bathroom.

Anyway in that first stage of cleaning where I really just redistribute the junk further across the floor I discovered a little Emily Dickinson book and was reminded of some of my favourite bits of her writing:

Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that suns go down;
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass.

Love that bit about the startled grass - and another one on dawn:

When night is almost done,
And sunrise grows so near
That we can touch the spaces,
It's time to smooth the hair

And get the dimples ready,
And wonder we would care
For that old faded midnight
That frightened but an hour

Emily you rock...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Anyone in the Canberra region, make sure you check out Steven Holland's installation Live at the Canberra Museum and Gallery
  • CMAG

  • It's inspired by a seven metre long snake skin shot by Steven's partner's Grandfather in 1910. The show opened on Saturday and Steven had the original skin there to show us - I truly couldn't imagine a snake on that scale 'till I saw this skin.

    Steven spoke very poetically about our various associations with snakes and pointed out that live spelt backwards is evil. He's fascinated by the way we ascribe human qualities to animals and the kinds of relationships we have with them.

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    spelling meditation

    This pic is a still from my first ever video piece. I've got loads of documentation of performances on video, but this is the first actual video work I've made. It's interesting because I started learning Auslan (Australian sign language) a couple of years ago, and it's taken this long for it to start to appear in my work. I don't really know what I think of it yet, I literally made it last weekend and stuck it in an exhibition on Tuesday. I just videoed my own hands spelling the word meditation over and over again. When you see the video you see the spelling from the point of view of the speller. Normally if you are watching someone sign you see the other side of their hands - so it's like the viewer of the video could be spelling the words to themself, carrying on an internal dialogue - provided they know how to finger spell...

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Crispy morning

    It's a crispy winter morning here - icy even. I'm sitting at the desk with the heater right beside my knees and thinking about cleaning the house, moving into the studio, marking essays and how I'm not actually doing any of those things. Bear and I had a conversation last week about how our house looks like our bedrooms did when we were sixteen. But now it's an entire house that's in a state of chaos. There's not a single surface clear of piles of paper, books, clothes, works of art and random junk. Now I have a studio (great big freezing shed a five minute walk from home) I have no excuse for using the house as a workspace. Well I guess I'd better get onto it and move all my junk over there so we can have a front room again. Poor bear has started lamenting that he can't remember when we last had a meal at our kitchen table, because it's buried under the piles of stuff that have taken over the house. Maybe it's an alien plot and all the stuff is secretly multiplying at night - so every time I clear a space, it is magically consumed by more colonizing stuff.