Be/coming Home 2019
*Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi Country is the land of my childhood. It’s rainforest Country bordered by mountains, rivers and ocean. In the 1880’s most of the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people were violently removed from the land where I now live. My ancestors also arrived here at this time. I was never made aware of my family’s involvement in this war. I never heard stories about it. It was not spoken of. There was a lot that was not spoken of. And I cannot speak for ghosts, but I can see patterns – patterns of intergenerational culture.
I grew up with violence in every form, and suppression, repression, and denial. The conquerors conquer their own. The land was powered over, owned, diminished, pillaged and controlled. My body was powered over, owned, diminished, pillaged and controlled. Frightened men fight until they die. I left, so I wouldn’t die fighting back.
Now I’ve returned. I am trying to reconcile the violence and disconnect of the past. I am trying to come to terms with the violence against the Kabi Kabi / Gubbi Gubbi, the land, and my own body. I try to understand and disable the violence and to be a witness to what has occurred, to my self and to others. So I listen. I listen to the Traditional Owners and their deep wisdom of and connection to Country, I listen to Country and its deep wisdom of and connection to people, and I listen to my body, its deep desire to be at peace within this place – to end the violence.
These drawings are made with a method of sensorimotor mark making. I use this method to connect with Country in a deeply immersive manner – to listen fully with my body. To let a conversation between my body’s sensory receptors and Country take place.
These are records of the deep reverence that can exist between bodies of land and flesh – petitions against the destruction of their unity. Love poems to Country, teaching me to come home, teaching me to become home.
*I would like to acknowledge that this work was made on Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi Country, and to pay my deep love and respect to its Elders past, present and future.
Home Spectres, Phantasmagoria, 2015-2017
Domestic detritus reformed as shimmering ghostly grotesqueries.
Otherworldly pursuits and spectres were a common form of entertainment and interest for the women of the spiritualist movement in the late 20th century. It’s quite possible these women were seeking freedom, excitement and power within unchartered interdimensional territories, as a response to living in a culture that gave them limited autonomy. An ingenious act of rebellion and liberation- when faced with a society that responds to you as an invisible being- embody the monster- and it’s powers – Shazam!
From just before the birth of my son I’d been living with a complex disability which seemed to leave me as imperceivable as a phantom within many cultural situations. These spectral beauties became a great source of romp and pizazz and a means of escaping my bodily and cultural limitations. Similarly to the inter-world expeditions of the spiritualists at the turn of the century I was also given the opportunity to imagine and conjure another world.
Constructed with household leftovers and dross, light and water, these spectral time travellers evoked a potential gaseous freedom that was unfathomable to me at the time.
Monuments to Being, 2015
These tableaus of daily gatherings are scattered with light from half filled bottles, photographed, printed and painted into – repeated, again and again and again. The layers of domestic ephemera are woven through physical and digital platforms, seasonal and binary meantimes and knitted into experiential tapestries.
In a world where the mind is King, these are altars to the Queen, to the senses, emotions, affect and fleeting feelings. They are tender shrines of reception, impression and intuition, celebrations of impermanence and the darkness and lightness of being
Wish. Listen, 2014
While trying to map the edges of my consciousness, I created a means of mimicking the experience of spaciousness I experienced while listening intently for the hypothetical ‘stone to drop’ at the bottom of the well of my brain. 🙂 These hand held cavities act like seashells and project the sounds of my internals back to me in an ongoing spatial sound loop. Coupled with ritualistic items they were intended to be a type of portable ceremonial interface for the evocation of spaciousness.
Celestial Blobbies, 2014
Empty heads waggle their dust tongues – or the ladies from my sensory system manifest their marvellousness.
These bedazzled metamorphic blobs are amalgamations of residual memory, experiential debris, sentimental sediments and collapsed saturated meaning. They were excavated from my sensory field through a series of liminal, kinaesthetic, proprioceptive and psychological processes. To celebrate their arrival from limbo, the extracted amalgamates were reverse embalmed, cleansed, embellished and re-wilded within a mimicry of their former cognised environment or umwelt.
Domestic rituals, psychopomps, and home magic studies, 2013 – 2014
You say pompous psycho, I say psychopompos.
I’ve been reconstructing my unconscious space. I’m giving form to the hectic desires and thoughts that crowd my subconscious. I’m hoping to free up some room by gluing down these memories and musings in matter.
Why does this matter matter? I seem to be bumping into my senses all the time, everything is overloaded with meaning and therefore, messages. My nerves are shot, they send information to my brain- when there is no information to relay. Only imagined info, a surplus of simulacra stuffing up my stratosphere (See alliteration! -so much of the same, suffocating in its own meta mimicry).
Freud explains that when desire encounters a prohibition it cannot otherwise circumvent, it retreats to the unconscious, where it remains active but escapes detection. The prohibition meanwhile remains “noisily conscious.” (Freud, Totem and Taboo, 30.) We are compelled to avoid certain acts and to repeat certain others, but we no longer understand why, until finally the burden of avoiding what we want to do dictates everything that we allow ourselves to do. Desire, however, is energy. As long as it’s held in “tension”, it seeks out every available means of discharge. So it takes the detour of the sign. Forbidden to satisfy itself directly, it turns its energies onto “substitute objects” and aims. 1
So I’m migrating, there is a war in my senses and I’m not only letting the boats of my unconscious in, I’m relocating them, giving them visas and building their churches. I could possibly build hundreds of cities with all these replications and parallel presents 2 I carry in my subliminal perceptions. But I’m not building it so they will come, I’m building it so I can see it, and hopefully not just bump into it, Like Mr Magoo.
Psychopomps, Psychopompos (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός – psuchopompos, literally meaning the “guide of souls”) In Jungian psychology, the psychopomp is a mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms. 3A totem is a being, object, or symbol representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry (or mythic past). 4
- Christopher Bracken, Magical Criticism, The recourse of Savage Philosophy
- Amelia Barikin’s Parrallel Presents http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/parallel-presents-0
Mountains and Ghosts, 2012-2013
I was born in Beerwah, Glasshouse mountains QLD, and my Aunty lived right below Mount Coonowrin, (aka Crook Neck). As a kid it seemed as though my Aunty had this enormous mountain right in her backyard, it felt personal, the large crooked neck fella looking right over us, his face changing with the weather, the sun and the moon. A timeless body watching our foolishness.
In times of chaos I still find the mountains very comforting. It’s something about scale and perspective. When I was a kid I’d mix up the scale and perspective, standing in my Aunties back yard covering the entire mountain with my hand. The giant bowl of space between us seemed to disappear if I concentrated on the rock’s highest peak. I’d try to bring the mountain to me so I could forage through it’s tree covered ridges with my fingertips, discovering secret animal castles built where humans couldn’t see, or enchanted plants and tunnels to other worlds.
Link Farmer 2011
This work was to be a self portrait based on a google search of your own name for a group show at the Fitzroy Town Library.
My name at the time had been harvested by a Russian Link Farm and was listed amongst millions of subjects linking to indecipherable sites. The link farm included everything from Canadian pharmaceuticals, porn and mining sites to homes wares, medical conditions and Christian Blogs and much more. Somehow my name had been swept up in this information whirlpool.
I liked this appropriation of myself, the site had no images only basic text links, but the words included on the page were rich and duplicitous. There were so many text links crammed into the one page that the site just became a blur of everything and nothing, akin to a black hole.
I felt I had been pointlessly gleaned and transformed into an aimless chimera of our collective conscience.
I couldn’t help myself, so many good words, I had to put some of them together…
The Link Farmer’s smile
Diamond sandwich tree.
Tiger, liger, mud volcano
Out of sea electric
pearl floating snakes
Bizplace shaman in cuttle shells
Shackled seaweed Jesus keepsake
How long will I live?
home insurance halogen ghost
cerulean manilla apartheid raptor
how do magnets work?
moon pill quilted mountain
current torrent sweeping
sand through veneer
is there anybody out there?
crocodile crystal child
chain smoking virus
personalised rosary code
link farming empty solaris
sex moon cancer dust
Heaven’s best carpet
earth moves myths shades aside
Quiz me for telekinesis
Dawn of R.A.M. 2009
We are in the future, the Chimpanzees, through some fault of humanity, are now the dominant species. They have a culture that is remarkably similar to humans at the end of the middle ages. Museums and the exotic are particularly fashionable and the Chimpanzees have created museum-like environments to display discoveries from their recent geological endeavours. The dawn of R.A.M. is a window onto a time from long ago, possibly around the late 20th century. There are no reliable records from this time, but there is a plethora of found materials. The Chimpanzees have arranged these to the best of their knowledge in an attempt to reconstruct a long lost civilisation.
Monsters at the edge of the internet 2006- 2008
<MONSTERS LIE HERE; ROBOTS = “NOFOLLOW”>
ARE THERE INFORMATION MONSTERS AT THE EDGES OF THE INTERNET?
The Internet is a vast network, whose scale, like that of the universe, is incomprehensible, sublime. As users and net-colonisers, we use search engines to charter our way around a nebulous environment. Even so, these are inadequate tools to expose the Internet’s entirety.
Corresponding to the Age of Exploration, the Age of Information provides us with untold mysteries. Like the cartography of the 15th century – where unknown areas of maps were marked with phrases such as imago mundi (imagined world) – there are areas of the Internet that are also un-mappable. They often exist because their creators have incorrectly tagged them, or have tagged them(search engines crawling the site are asked to ignore these pages, not to display them, like a silent number). These regions are the new terra incognita of our culture.I wish to assume the roll of an Internet privateer and set out to document the curiosities, mythology and monsters I find in the corners of our information ocean. I hope to pull these monsters out of the depths of the electrical sea and watch them slap their salty grotesqueries on my living room carpet. In documenting these wonders I want to pay homage to exploration and experiment in a metamorphism between physical and imagined space, traditional and digital reproduction. The chronicle of my journey will be an amalgam of the digital and analog, of pixels and handmade marks, of code and compass roses, science fiction and sea shanties.