Plastic bags, water, Google Translate, indelible marker, synthetic filament, performance.
One of the works developed and exhibited during my RESÓ residency at Citadellarte, Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella Italy, September – November 2016.
I used Google Translate on my previous work The Vivisector Oracle and wrote the machine translations onto plastic in indelible marker. In the performance I cut the filaments suspending the bags and then gave one to each of the audience as a gift.
An excerpt of of the performance appears in my instagram feed.
Crystal Cloister 2016, plastic bags, water, filament thread, steel, performance, dimensions varialble.
Realised with the assistance of Citadellarte n.o.v.a civitas, architecture office of Cittadellarte, Fondazione Pistoletto and RESÓ residency.
Plastic scarf, 2016, plastic bags, plastic filament thread, approximately 30 x 4500cm
Albanian plastic patchwork, 2016, plastic bags collected in Sköder, Albania, polycotton thread, 90 x 2015cm
Developed and exhibited during my RESÓ residency at Citadellarte at Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella Italy.
These works started out as experiments whose aim was to construct a portable space for readings of The Vivisector Oracle to take place. I used discarded fibreglass tent poles connected with PVC tubing, wire and cable ties. Rainbowchasers are three dimensional linear descriptions of spatial forms. They can be moved into new configurations easily.
A collaborative project at the invitation of Byrd Melt Down on his regular wall space The Keep in the old Centre Cinema building, Canberra CBD. The title came from drawing by my daughter, called Jerks of the World I developed a series of images, which was mashed up with images by Byrd according to a prearranged chance-based based process.
This work comprises a recording of me reading Ludwig Wittgenstein's Remarks on Colour, a series of small books, coloured markers and instructions for particpants to colour in the words in the books.
The Vivisector Oracle: A Colour System for the Discovery of Truth for Artists and Others in Times of Uncertainty (2013-ongoing) began as a list of all the colours in Patrick White's novel The Vivisector and expanded into a work with several iterations: a set of collages using paint swatches installation, objects, and a series of one-on-one performances.
On the 14 March 2015 I performed the Oracle for five+ hours in an apartment balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass walls at New Acton, Canberra as part of Mental (curated by Chloe Mandryk) within the Art Not Apart festival.
A series of books that act as measures of time.
A performance as part of Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich's Art School Anecdote, 14 March 2013. I chose five 'artspeak' terms that occur in texts proscribed in the Art Theory Workshop, where I was teaching at the time. I took on the persona of a rather serious art theoretician. I solemnly asked for the assistance of the audience to assist in bringing more colour into the compulsory Art Theory courses at the school. Five helpers stood in a row behind me, each holding a monochromatic 'swatch' aloft as I read out a series of flashcards with the terms drawn on them. The helpers dispersed into the crowd, and I asked the audience to gather around the colour which best matched each word in turn.
This work was made over three weeks in the Foyer Gallery at the Australian National University, Canberra in March 2014. It is a very public space and there were many occasions where I had interesting interactions with passers by. Many chose colours for me and even helped to draw.
Rules for this drawing:
1. Colours are to be chosen from the box without looking.
2. The size of the area to be covered by each colour will be determined by time. Time will be determined by a roll of the dice, and each dot on the dice will equate to one minute of drawing in the chosen colour.
3. The shape of the area to be covered by each colour will be determined by the relationship of holes or marks on the wall. In the allotted time, the colour will be applied in the most efficient manner to connect the marks. Each shape will address at least three marks.
4. If the drawer is interrupted, this will override any time determination for that moment.
5. The drawing will be finished when either of the following things occur:
a) the paint in the box all runs out
b) all the marks on the wall have been addressed
I pasted oracles from The Vivisector Oracle in various places in the town to create potential meetings with fate for unsuspecting viewers.
The Vivisector Oracle: A Colour System for the Discovery of Truth forArtists and Others in Times of Uncertainty began as a list of all the colours in the novel The Vivisector by Patrick White. It's a work whose central protagonist is a narcissistic modernist painter whose main purpose is pursuit of Truth in art, to the detriment to all those around him.
In making a visual representation of the list I used paint swatch colours to approximate each of the colour terms in the novel. The result was a series of collages on index cards. My choices for each colour was guided both by my impression of the colour and the names of the paint swatches.
The work became an oracle when I made a connection between the resemblance of the cards to tarot cards in size and my sense that my choices of colours to represent the words was simply 'divined' by intuition, as I imagine an oracle might. This is why I reread the book and selected oracular statements to refer to each of the sets of colours, directly from the pages where these colours occured in the narrative.
In this exhibition I made small books for each of the ten chapters with the reading for each card so that viewers might ask and find the answers to questions they might have.
It surprised me that as a result of this exhibition viewers asked for live 'readings' from me. This development influnced me in developing a performed version, and a version called Guerilla Oracle in which I pasted reading on paint swatches to be encountered by viewers unexpectedly.
It took several months to make a pencil drawing on my studio wall by connecting the holes left by a history of drawings pinned to the wall. The drawing was a meditation on time, space and colour, during which I came to wonder whether colour and time could be the same thing. The title of the drawing came from something my son said when he was watching a game load on the internet; he condidered that the space was 'filling up with time'.
To test this strange idea further, I invited people to an Erasure Party. Upon arriving, the guests were given an eraser and instructed to erase the drawing. Although the drawing was not totally erased during the party, the time and the colour were connected somehow.
Installation at Canberra Museum and Gallery 2010
One of the similarities between painting and fiction is that they are both windows into other possible universes. I have been translating some of my favourite fiction into systems of colour to see how those universes might appear. No matter how much I regulate the form the painting is to take, the finished work is never quite how I expect it to look. So I keep on looking. It has been difficult to decide what stories to use, so I’ve chosen a few different kinds: the chapter titles to James Joyce’s Ulysses as they appear on my ipod, some Dr Seuss, some translated poetry by Sappho, some spam email text.
The main thing wrong with painting is that it is a rectangular plane placed flat against a wall.
All Night on the Road is a series of paintings where some poems by Melinda Smith are encoded in a system of colours and shapes. By setting up rules for the construction of the paintings I was trying to see if a visual pattern of language emerged in the paintings. Most of the poems I used were haiku, and so the paintings were arranged as triptychs. The title of each work is the entire poem in most cases.
I was also playing around in that tricky space between paintings and objects. These works don’t always behave like paintings: they are partially transparent and the paint itself is not on the surface. They don’t sit flat against a wall but lean and cast their own shadows. At first glance they look manufactured but are in fact meticulously hand painted. They are utterly formal works but their titles are poetic.
My contribution to Conversions, a temporary public art project at Goulburn, curated by Jennifer Lamb at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery. Constructed of lettering on found acrylic sheets, I chose the library as my site because of my preoccupation with letters and lists and language.
MOP Projects, Redfern 2007
This exhibition, at Mir 11 in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, included all the works in All Night on the Road. These paintings are encoded fragments of the poems of Dorothy Porter, and of sentences from the novel That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx. They are part of my continuing project of rendering language visible without using writing.
I love to play scrabble. It’s a game that encapsulates a lot of ideas that fascinate me: chance and random within a system, language and pattern. I have been recording the shapes of all the scrabble matches I play, and lists of all the words.
The works in the Scrabble Vowel Map series each consist of a set of multicoloured acrylic swatches about 3 centimetres square and are each in themselves a miniature colour field painting. The colours appear according to the colour I assigned to each vowel, and correspond to the words from my scrabble lists.
Annex, Foyer Gallery, Canberra School of Art, Australian National University 2005
Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship Finalists’ Exhibition, Artspace Woolloomooloo 2005
Selekta Westspace, Melbourne 2006
If U Were Mine… was a series of three exhibitions with Noël Skrypczak and Madeline Kidd. The premise for the exhibition was that we were “address(ing) abstraction and colour against notions of fantasy and desire within the practice of painting”.
These works followed from the previous series, Parallel Alphabets. I used the three sets of colour alphabets I devised in that work to make a long series of small works, each a “portrait” of a woman I admire. For each series I wrote a decoder book containing each of the colours, the letter they represented and the meaning of that letter according to my own divination system. Using the books, it is possible to work out who each of the paintings represents, and to obtain a “reading” of their personality.