I recently exhibited this video in the I heart video art exhibition at ANCA Gallery, Canberra:
Pulse 2014, still from digital video
Leaving the busy intensity of Bangkok on a slow-moving train for the darkness of the countryside; I became mesmerised by the pulsing city lights. Flashes of red-yellow-blue, triggered imaginings of a busy space-port filled with long-haul interstellar travellers, or phosphorescent lifeforms under the surface of the ocean. I love the way it’s possible to be here on a dirty vinyl train-seat staring out the window, and inhabiting other universes; to be remembering the sounds and smells and crush of the night-market, some half-lost melody triggered by the passing traffic, and an imagined alien transporter lifting off in a far away galaxy.
Here’s one of the works I currently have on show at M16 Artspace - the work is on show until Sunday afternoon - so come check it out!
Facing west, Queanbeyan 2014, inkjet print on Ilford Pearl photographic paper, 111.5cm x 78.5cm
If you visit on Saturday at 2pm you’ll have the chance to hear two of the other exhibiting artists talking about their work - Blaide Lallemand and Caroline Huf. We’ll also be serving tea and cake.
Walking the talk
I’m speaking at this event next week - should be a good couple of days:
A TWO DAY SYMPOSIUM HOSTED BY THE SCHOOL OF ART, ANU
Wednesday 21 May from 6pm: ANU School of Art Lecture Theatre and Foyer Gallery
Thursday 22 May 9am to 5pm: ANU School of Art
How does walking facilitate emergent perspectives and embodied practices that activate relations between art, practice, environment and politics?
Talking the Walk/Walking the Talk is a snapshot of contemporary Australia art practice where the common ground is perambulation. Artists use walking as a means of engaging with the environment and landscape, providing a physical and meditative way of connecting with people and place, while activating the diverse and layered histories present in the land and landscape.
Water and walking is an emerging theme; Keynote speaker, Nici Cumpston will discuss her practice of photographing the Murray-Darling Basin, Vic McEwan and George Main will present on their forthcoming project, Walking the Murrumbidgee River, and Rebecca Mayo’s paper engages with her recent 7 day walk along a peri-urban/urban waterway in Melbourne. Ellis Hutch walks in the dark and Anne-Marie Jean walks in the footsteps of artist/gardeners while other papers address urban expeditions and Ryan Johnston (Head of art, Australian War Memorial) takes us through Tom Nicholson’s Palestine Memorials.
The symposium commences with a Feldenkrais class designed to bring participants’ attention to the organisation of their moving body in space.
Just encountered a passage in a book called Researching Lived Experience: Human Science for an Action Sensitive Pedagogy by Max Van Manen that really resonated for me.
I’ve been reading up on Phenomenology and looking at how different contemporary theorists engage with phenomenological research. Van Manen outlines a method for a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to human science research.
I’m reading it to see if I can adopt/adapt this methodology in my own artistic research. I’ve only made it as far as page 12 - but I really loved this:
Phenomenological research is a poetizing activity
Thus, phenomenology is in some ways very unlike any other research. Most research we meet in education is of the type whereby results can be severed from the means by which the results are obtained. Phenomenological research is unlike other research in that the link with the results cannot be broken, as Marcel (1950) explained, without loss of all reality to the results. And that is why when you listen to a presentation of a phenomenological nature, you will listen in vain for the punch-line, the latest information, or the big news. As in poetry it is inappropriate to ask for a conclusion or a summary of a phenomenological study. To summarise a poem in order to present the result would destroy the result because the poem itself is the result. The poem is the thing. So phenomenology, not unlike poetry, is a poetizing project; it tries an incantive, evocative speaking, a primal telling, wherein we aim to involve the voice in an original singing of the world (Merleau Ponty 1973)….
While I force myself to sit at my desk every day and try to write 1000 words of my exegesis I am grappling with the problem of all creative PhDs - the art is the thing, it is the research and the expression of the research, and yet I have to find a way to write about it in an academic context - this is something I have chosen to do. What I like about Van Manen’s approach is he discusses the interconnectedness between research and writing.
I’m at the stage now where I want the writing to be a reflection of the whole research process. I have been reading other theses and exegeses and some of them are so incredibly boring. How to bring to the writing the life, passion, and sensory engagement that the studio work embodies or elicits - how to write in a way that enacts the research process rather than just produce a list of actions or a timeline with references.
I guess I’ll find out over the next few weeks…
Many thanks to Brigit Larson for taking the following photographs. These images are early work-in-progress shots of a project called Lost astronaut that I’m continuing to develop. The photos were taken in the area around Arteles Creative Centre in Haukijärvi Finland, where I was an artist in residence in December 2013.
Learning to walk on ice December 2013
More drawings from December at Arteles in Finland - these ones are watercolours inspired by ice, snow and water
Ink sketches completed in Finland at Arteles in December 2013, inspired by lake and forest