One of my rare 2D works – a collaboration with my partner in crime/art Alessandro Berini- has been selected as a finalist as a local artist in the 2016 Greenway Art Prize. The title comes from an old spiritual dating back to the turn of last century. I don’t tend to listen to music much on my headphones as I usually find it too overwhelming and am too interested in the soundscape of the world around me, but I often have songs in my head, and this one pops in every now and then. I sang it as part of a jazz festival in the local church when I was fifteen, with a group of old musos (at least they seemed old to me at the time, they were probably only in their 60s). I was a little nervous and one of them told me the best way to prepare for a performance was with “a shot of whiskey and a raw egg.” Unfortunately not an option for me at the time, but still remember it to this day. Anyway, here is the artist statement:
Urban spaces are saturated with stories. Every day we pass through these spaces; we work, walk, live and breathe them. Spectral traces of history ebb and flow in, through and under the tide of contemporary life with great intensity. This is particularly true of the river, which reflects in its waters and along its banks shades of the past; mantels of the land worn at different times, those dissipated and those still forming. Stories of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Down by the Riverside seeks to intimate the ephemeral histories which rest beneath the surface of the everyday and hint quietly as to which shape these may take in the future.
We are proud to have our work chosen for inclusion on Hidden. I’ve been working on the script and artist statement and thought I’d share it prior to the opening. I am working on recording the words with different speakers/ages and they will be mixed into a multi channel work installed at Rookwood. The largest cemetery in the southern hemisphere.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh, the things
I learned from her
walked with me! –Robert Browning Hamilton
All traditions, all customs have words which resound over our passings. Words spoken to comfort; words of solace. Their meaning, floats like shades out into the universe, songs made so by our singing of and unto them. Not only in the moment but past our own lifetimes. What is left when there is no more? Only shades of our departing.
It’s a new day on the bottom of the ocean. Two pieces of rubbish sit on the sea floor and chat about the weather and the changes they’ve experienced.
This work is about the consequences of climate change and our own existence in a throw away society.
My very talented partner Alex Berini and I were lucky enough to have our work commissioned for Art on the Greenway as part of LOST(Leichhardt Open Studio Trail) this year. Urban Fruit:LOST SOUNDS
Located just off Canal Road the exhibition ran the 14 and 15 March 2015.
It consists of a temporary sound installation, powered by a solar power system, craeted out of recycled materials. Sounds include recordings of water, frogs and birds sourced from national parks around NSW and snatches of interview material by Prof. Mark Taylor. Original flute composition by our friend and magical musician Ben Hingley.
For the next month I will be working on an installation for the Crosscurrents Art and Ecology Festival showing on November the 15th with a project entitled:
Where the River Rises: A River of Words
The installation is a collaboration with the amazing Bankstown Poetry Slam Poets run by Bankstown Youth Development Service (AKA BYDS) and the beautiful Sara Mansour.
The work consists of a hand drawn map of words following the river’s flow on the wall. These are created from the poets’ spoken word and written responses and will be largely written by the or own hand. A number of listening devices with headphones will be located on plinths that allow people to listen to mixes of the spoken word versions over sounds recorded of the river. On the day, as well as live performances by participating poets, visitors will be able to record their stories and contribute their own impressions to the project by physically writing onto the wall of the installation.
Grief is a tough one. You never really know how it will manifest and words are pretty useless most of the time. Just when you think you are getting on with your life it rears up and slaps you in the face. It is subtle and gigantic, a force to be reckoned, and once you experience it, a companion for life, dropping in like an unwanted guest when you don’t expect it. Yet it is also a big part of what is is to be human and fades to a dull ache. Radio station Fbi’s All the Best look at various aspects of grief over two shows. Part one features one of my works.
If you missed it when it aired(like I did) you can find it here: http://allthebestradio.com/shows/1437-grief-part-1/
and here: http://allthebestradio.com/shows/1438-grief-part-2/
The Last Tree is a sound sculpture/installation that uses almost entirely second hand materials (except for one cable), paper and recycled technology(a second hand dvd player, amp and a bunch of old forgotten ear phones, collected form the draws of friends and family. It is a comment on the ecological “deafness” that seems dangerously present in much of society. We are often caught up in our own worlds both figuratively and acoustically. It seeks to explore that which has no voice. When all to often see ourselves as separate for our environment rather than intimately tied to it. The multi-channel audio arrangement or overheard sound that comes form the earphones tiny speakers consist: of interviews of children speaking about trees; an extract from author Herman Hesse’s Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte (Trees: Observations and Poems) and a track from Bartolomäus Traubeck’s Years which is constructed from a record player that plays slices of wood and interprets the strength and grain of the wood into piano music. What I wanted the viewer/listener to consider with this work was the direction in which technology is leading us and what implications that has not only for the future but also for future generations.