I have just returned from a week visiting the remote Western Australia Desert community of Warakurna to visit the Tjanpi Weavers.
The Tjanpi Weavers are an amazing group of women who weave with Tjanpi Grass and run an empowering program. Their work has been shared around the world and at National Institutions and I have curated them into the next Tamworth Textiles Triennial. The Triennial is called Tension(s) 2020 and will tour the country for three years.
During my visit, the weavers took me out into the desert and showed me how to collect Tjanpi grass. We sat and talked, while they shared their practice with me.
Soon there will be a short video online about the trip, but in the meantime, just a photo or two.
The Sydney Facial Nerve Clinic is an innovative multidisciplinary clinic which works with patients experiencing Facial Nerve Injury or Facial Palsy. The innovation of the team includes them opening up the clinic to allowing me, as a contemporary artist, to be participating in the clinics, meeting patients and exploring the space and process from the viewpoint of an artist as researcher. The project will have many outcomes including contributing to my practice led PhD, exhibition at the Big Anxiety Festival Sydney 2019 and more to be announced.
In 2016, the Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council of Victoria commissioned independent research into the effects of Climate Change on the Alpine region. The findings were startling, revealing that in the coming decade, the snow season could shrink from an average of 12 weeks to as little as 3 weeks. Falls Creek is home to a permanent community of people and several species which exist no-where else in the world and which rely on the current climate. I have been returning here over the last year and a half, working with the community.
I wrote a blog during my first visit, which you can read here. Subsequent visits haven't been blogged as we have been spending the time generating new work that will be exhibited in Falls Creek and Canberra during 2018 and 19.
This project is in many ways a development of The Harmonic Oscillator, however Equilibrium has it's focus on the effects of sound within 3 Integrated Mental Health Units in Regional South Australia. In collaboration with Country Arts S.A, from February 2019 I will work with one other Sound Artist at each of the 3 IMHU's over a 3 year period to explore what role the artist might have in exploring and contributing to the experiences had by those receiving mental health care.
In a drizzly haze of jetlagged wandering in historic Bath in the UK. I discovered good coffee.
So now, I have the energy to prepare ghostly presences from the Specimen project, which has been spanning the UK and Australia for the last two years, taking images from the National Museum of Australia collection and projecting them onto locations related to the colonization of Australia in the UK and back in Australia.
On Monday night I am going to present the work at Bath Spa University in a “double header” with Glen Albrecht.
Image 1 – A dismembered Koala Paw from the Specimen Collection. Image 2 - On the River Thames, where during low tide, archeological relics are uncovered and the old moss covered walls are revealed at a location where first fleet ships had a life transporting goods before sailing to Australia. And for a moment the ghostly image of the dismembered koala paw appeared.
In September and October we are having two outings of DIRt. First off in Sydney we are conducting a week long residency at Critical Path resulting in a showing of work in development. Details of the event are here. Then on October 12th we will be presenting at Artlands Victoria. More info here.
"SHIFT is a one day event exploring the role that creative practice and industry plays in transition and transformation – be it the transformation of spaces, the transition to creative economies, or the power of art to transform lives and communities". I will be giving a presentation alongside Lindy Hume, Esther Anatolitis, Jess Cook and Monica Davidson".
DIRt (Dance In Regional disasTer zones) is a an ongoing project initiated by East Gippsland-based, international dancer/choreographer, Rosalind Crisp in 2017. It asks how dance and arts practice can embody, understand and connect to unfolding environmental devastation in East Gippsland where widespread industrial logging is converting complex native forests into agricultural mono-crops and decimating local wildlife. Rosalind with multi-media artist Vic McEwan and facilitator Andrew Morrish will bring their work from Mt Delusion into relationship to the East Gippsland Art Gallery. They will share dance and video materials developed in response to the logging of Mt Delusion - a microcosm of 150 years of colonial practices.
Maybe We Can Build You A Smile That You Can Use In A Social Situation
Today I visited the Chris O’Brien Life Centre to attend the Sydney Facial Nerve Clinic. This clinic was set up by a group of surgeons and other medical professionals who decided to donate their time to create a monthly clinic for patients with complex facial nerve paralysis caused by various issues such as Bells Palsy, Cancer, accidents, etc.
It is a unique cross disciplinary clinic that provides an opportunity for a group of highly skilled doctors in various fields to contribute together on the care of a patient. Today they were truly creating a cross disciplinary clinic by inviting me, as a contemporary artist, to sit in on the examinations of patients, to observe and consider the experience of Facial Nerve Damage as a place where contemporary arts practice might have a role.
I was asked to give a presentation to the medicals staff before the clinic, at 8am. So I spoke to them for 30 minutes about my work. For ye...