2007 2008 and all that


For me the highlights of last year included finishing the corrections to my thesis and getting the sacred-piece-of-paper that officially endows me with a PhD, working on my Australia Council residency at SymbioticA (called Green, Grey or Dull Silver: art and the behavioural ecology of the Great Bowerbird, Chlamydera Nuchalis), having a work shown in the Systems of Nature exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Linnaeus, as well as a 7 week walking and art residency at the Banff Centre in Canada.

2007 started with being an artist participant in Shire of Busselton interdisciplinary design team for Busselton Entry Statement followed by guest editing Resilience: on Art and Environments, the ArtSource Autumn 2007 Newsletter. I also worked with anthropologist Jane Mulcock on the thinking skin project about humans and cane toads. I presented an installation showing our thinking skin video at the Animals and Society II: Considering animals conference in Hobart in July.

Since December 2006 I have been working as Conservation Committee Secretary for the Western Australian Wildflower Society and in first semester 2007 I also taught environmental art theory, modernism, visual culture, and art and popular culture at Midland TAFE with a great bunch of students. At other times I was an external examiner to Edith Cowan University undergrad and postgrad students, witnessing some exciting new art.

As part of Green, Grey or Dull Silver I put together an (arduous!) ethics application for The University of Western Australia in June/July which meant that I could begin the project later in the year. I made a field visit to the Broome Bird Observatory in August/September and a further longer visit in November/December. This took up most of the second semester of 2007, and whilst I haven’t completely finished with the fieldwork, the project will no doubt be my major focus in 2008.

Imagine waking up to the pink light of sunrise hitting swirling streaks of snow bleeding off a windswept Rocky Mountain? Imagine its even better because you have a studio and 29 other artists just as passionate about walking art as myself! This was what I experienced on a 7 week long walking and art residency at the Banff Centre in Canada around September-November. It included visiting the famous Burgess Shales where I also discovered vertigo. I joined the Ministry of Walking and caught up with an old friend from my UCSB days. I also met a potential collaborator interested in coming to Western Australia to work on a project. The whole time was an exhilarating experience. All I need to do is have the same fantastic experience with sound art, book arts, humans and animals (nonhuman) and locative media…… (!sigh!)

I am still working on a complete rebuild of my website which was aborted late in the year. I am now paying another company to redo it all in January this year so hopefully more images soon!

In 2008 I am starting the year by experimenting with van dyke prints as part of a (potential) book of poetry and writing called birdlife as well as continuing to build up the empty bank balance with teaching.

And after all this I will glad to be spending time at home in Perth in 2008 in my studio finishing the bowerbird project and other artworks.

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