22 Jul 2016

This morning, we pulled our shopping trolley (full of props, clothes, and stuff) on a dirt road from the house we were staying at to Kangaroo Flat station. A 45-minute brisk walk.

We overlooked to take a photo as we were too mesmerized by a herd of kangaroos.
“Quick! Take a photo of the kangaroos!”

Later in the evening, we took a photo of the trolley at the station to prevent further regret. We have to document the trolley.

This is what the trolley on the dirt road might have looked like.


If you had a child, what food item would they be?

CARROT. My son adores carrots to the point of obsession – carrot themed decorations, carrot tattoo (fake), carrot toys etc.

CHOCOLATE HEART. My chocolate heart that walks around outside of my body, sweet & delicious out there in the world.

We are looking into symbolism in performance.


Jude asks how engagement with audience at this early stage of our process may influence the form of the work? Are the activities we have undertaken with our potential audience simply creative research, or could these activities (list making, curious questions) be incorporated into the final artwork?


One of us is off to Europe, then one of us is off to have a baby (cake). We were serious when we said: this is a performance project and life project whisked and folded into one.

22 Jul 2016

------- Blog 4: moss as measure

An exercise in finding different scales of attention.  In this case, the moss growing in between the footpath, gutter and road.

The moss growth becomes a new scale to measure by. Marking the moss as measurement onto a surveying pole, this recalibrates the measurements of my footsteps as I walk along the side of the road.

22 Jul 2016

----------- Blog 3.2: surveying: walking paths

17/07/16 afternoon, partly cloudy, top 13C.

Using a folding-survey-ruler I attempted to measure the footprints and tracks on the path, and the distances between rocks, leaves, broken sticks, mud, etc.

A person and two large dogs came walking past - the dogs were very eager to say hello and add new paw prints to the ground...

22 Jul 2016

--------- Blog 3.1: surveying: seedlings and paths

16/07/16 afternoon, Sunny, top 12C.
Went to the Botanical Gardens, walked around twice, decided that the seedlings planted, enclosed by plastic and stakes to shelter them, were an interesting pattern and site. A few days previous I watched a council person planting them. His footsteps were still evident in amongst the soil in the area. Walking in the indents of the footprints, I traced out a new path. There were traces of practice - the action of planting the seedlings was left in the footprints.

Then, using a folding ruler, I tried to survey and measure the footsteps and new paths, aligning to previous traces of activity, and the seedlings’ new structures and positions.


27 Jul 2015

Punctum Week of experiments 

Jude wants to know: Does durational process lead to making, or does making lead to durational outcome?

I’ve been thinking about: Repetition, duration and creating meaning; and how human’s contextualise themselves within their environment.

Daily report: Friday 24th July, 2015

My experiment for the day: Circle drawing (making>duration>making>duration etc.)

For my last experiment I decided to introduce drawing to the performative process. I have been playing with drawing documentation of my performances for the past couple of years. More recently I have found that repetitive patterns, and observational drawing work similarly to meditation for me.

Today my experiment was to introduce observational drawing into my process of building the circle. My aim was to see if I could swap my repetitive process of stacking rocks with the repetitive drawing to transform physicality of the rock into an idea of a rock. Thus the viewer could place the rocks into their own context, their experience of repetition, duration, cycles and the natural environment. This would help me connect to my initial intentions to investigate how people connect to and understand their environment, and creating meaning using repetition and duration.

As I drew I thought about why people draw. Drawing transforms the object into an image, making the idea transportable, and malleable via the artist into the new context. When I drew these rocks, it was for people to look at, but also so that the ideas and processes I have been working with over the past week could be transported with me, back to Melbourne, and considered further.

I feel like I cannot say if my experiment was successful today because it was the beginning of a process that will take a lot longer: The process of making this series of experiments with and for myself, to making an artwork with and for other people.

By partaking in this intensive week at Punctum I have come away with a structure for working. Jude’s request for daily updates and prompting questions gave me a scaffold to stretch out techniques, processes, and ideas that I have been collecting for years. Using this framework that Jude describes as Action Research I have been able to take risks, let my ideas lead me to unexpected perspectives, dive head-first into unknowable outcomes, and make without cutting myself short before I’ve even begun. This style of working has let me balance the spontaneous and intuitive maker with the critical and structured editor.

If my rock circles develop into live art outcomes you may see some more of me at Punctum in a year or so.

Thanks very much to Jude for her structure and mentoring, Adrian for his ever-helpfulness and serenity, and Ellen who was a surrogate mum to me, nurturing me with some truly delicious dinners this week.

Thank you for reading,


24 Jul 2015

Punctum week of experiments

Jude wants to know: Does durational process lead to making, or does making lead to durational outcome?

I’ve been thinking about: Repetition, duration and creating meaning; and how human’s contextualise themselves within their environment.

Daily report: Thursday 23rd July, 2015

My experiment for the day: Recontextualising the object (duration>making)

Relocating my rocks yesterday I was thinking a bit about how changing the context of an object can give it different significance. My aim in changing my location and activity was to better understand the rapport I was starting to have with these rocks, and how others would perceive my actions.

This week I’ve been reading a small stack of old National Geographic mags I got form the op-shop in town. Two articles have fascinated me in particular: The first is about Palaeolithic humans and features some really beautiful art they made, the other is about the Byzantine Empire. Apparently when Emperor Constantine Christianised the Roman Empire his mum popped over to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage, and handily found the real cross, the crown of thorns, and the lance along with the tomb of Christ. These relics and others that get discovered are constantly being removed, cleaned, sometimes decorated, and recontextualised in special spaces where they can receive the reverence they deserve. If they had been left where they were, undiscovered, they would have continued to languish in the guise of some bits of old wood, a circle of weeds and a hole in the ground.

The tribes people of Palaeolithic days were prolific drawers, painters, sculptors and dancers (they left footprints) most of the images they made were of themselves and animals. One work in particular was The Lioness Altar: a drawing of a lioness on a large stone in a little nook of the larger cave. The image had been repeatedly struck with sharp instruments and the archaeologists proposed that this was done during ceremonies. In my mind this is really similar to the detritus or documentation left over after a performance work: replacing the archaeologist with the viewer and the caveman with the artist…
Today I set up the camera, my large pile of rocks, scrubbing brush, soap, towel and bucket of water ready for the new action. I scrubbed with the intention of finishing. After almost three hours I threw in the metaphoric towel and squeezed out my real towel. I hadn’t even done half of the rocks, my hands and feet were cold, my body hurt and I really needed to go to the loo. Finally a durational exercise that beat me.

What did I learn? That perhaps I do need durational exercise as part of my practice, but that doesn’t mean the audience has to be there with me. The mind numbing boredom of that action and the others I have done over this week helps me think and connect with the materials and context, it deepens my understanding of the work in a way only time and sweat can.

Thanks for reading,


23 Jul 2015

Punctum week of experiments.

Jude wants to know: Does durational process lead to making, or does making lead to durational outcome?

I’ve been thinking about: Repetition, duration and creating meaning; and how human’s contextualise themselves within their environment.

Daily report: Wednesday 22st July, 2015

My experiment for the day: Something from nothing cont. (duration>duration)

Last night I decided to continue with the stone circle this morning, and then once it was done destroy it as quickly and effectively as possible.

I built again for another hour and a half until the circle seemed complete. While I built I though about it’s destruction and where I would go from there. It needed to change that was certain, but flinging the rocks into the bush or kicking them away didn’t quite fit with my mission for meaning.

At completion I still had some patients and endurance left, and I had already ruled out destruction. After documenting the circle I stood back to look at it and thought of how I really preferred the idea of the documentation as the work rather than the stone circle, or the action in the bush. Further to this I wondered if a sculpture could exist in time instead of space. So I made an hour-long hand-held video of the circle. I decided hand held was important as the work was an exploration of duration for the artist, meaning my body is one of the central aspects of the work, so hand-held was the only logical option.

I had some ideas on what to do with my rocks, they needed a new context, and Adrian from Punctum kindly gave us all a lift to the White Space, but more on that tomorrow.

The lessons today were:
One: Adrian is very patient and helpful (I already knew this).
Two: Although process has been a big focus for me this week today I realised that the outcome(s) needed to be considered just as carefully. These outcomes would be different to those initially imagined as, through the process of making the work, I have come to understand it a bit better. I now know that the experience I have creating the work could not be understood by an audience in the way I had first imagined, and so I need to consider what the work looks like from the outside.

Thank you for reading,


22 Jul 2015

Jude wants to know: Does durational process lead to making, or does making lead to durational outcome?

I’ve been thinking about: Repetition, duration and creating meaning; and how human’s contextualise themselves within their environment.

Daily report: Tuesday 21st July, 2015
My experiment for the day: Something from nothing (making>duration)

Last night I realised I wasn’t satisfied with the stone circle I had made that day. It was quick and easy and meaningless. I decided on two things, it wasn’t long enough, I need to push myself into a state of monotony through repetition. And that, if meaning is what I’m looking for and I’ve still not found it, then I need to keep repeating this action.

My plan was to make a video, this time building a bigger circle, with quartz and to keep going until I had to stop.

I found a spot in a park close to where I am staying and I set to work. Soon after I started some kids on bikes rode down a track near where I was working and called out to me. I didn’t reply not knowing how to respond (what was I going to say and how would that impact my video?). But as they went off to play on a nearby hill I began to think about what our conversation could have been. Essentially I was doing something in an attempt to create meaning, I was trying to make something from nothing and some discussion on the subject surely wouldn’t hurt, especially as my work usually has an interactive element.

After about 45 minutes both of my cameras had given up. Despite this disappointment I had some idea of what I was doing and I returned home in the fading light.

What I learnt about my process today was: that I was struggling with how I was thinking about what I was doing, persisting with an idea yet uncomfortable with the framework I had given myself. Only when the kids interrupted my process did I gain a new insight into what I was doing. I tentatively propose that intuitively I have understood that by working with the public I can develop fresh perspectives on what I’m doing.  This could explain why I have always had a semi-public development process for my performance and interactive work.

Thank you for reading,


21 Jul 2015

Jude wants to know: Does durational process lead to making, or does making lead to durational outcome?

I’ve been thinking about: Repetition, duration and creating meaning; and how human’s contextualise themselves within their environment.

Daily report: Monday 20th July, 2015

My experiment for the day: Rambling walk (duration>making)

Walking through town today I noticed my thoughts have been going in circles, so I decided to walk with a Dictaphone recording my thoughts out loud. My experiment was to walk for an hour out into the countryside. My hypothesis was that my thinking would begin with myself, going around in circles. As I moved  from the town into the countryside I hoped I would take in more of my surroundings and begin to think more expansively, present within my environment.

The outcome was that, by verbalising my thoughts I very quickly began to incorporate my surroundings into my thoughts and the stories I told myself. The progression into the countryside did divert my thinking a little but only to follow wombat tracks and appreciate the quality of light or texture of a bridge.

However by rambling so, I missed my intended turn and ended up at the Children’s Cemetery. This was surprising and uncomfortable, leading me into new thoughts.

The small circles of stones to denote the graves were very romantic amongst the trees and moss in the afternoon light. The graveyard had not been used since the 1850s and being children when they died they wouldn’t have had direct decedents to mourn them, so the recent addition of teddy bears to some of the graves puzzled me. In the 1920s the graveyard had been fenced and restored. More recently plaques had been put on some of the graves, to give viewers an idea of what the faded headstones had read. The fascination with these dead children reminded me of the cover from National Geographic I had seen in the op-shop earlier, a photograph of a wide-eyed mummified baby.

As I left the cemetery I thought about how the circles of stones had fixated me, and how people often create circles of stones to mark significant places. I collected some of the white quartz I had seen scattered about. When I came across a few bones from some long-dead and eaten road-kill I decided to make a video to process what I had seen and thought.

I have learnt something general about my process: that I am very suggestible and by exposing myself to and consciously paying attention to stimuli (both sensory and new ideas or perspectives) it can result in action and making. Part of this is because I will find patterns and coincidences anywhere I can.

Thank you for reading,