The Confessional

We have work in the group exhibition, The Confessional, curated by Carly Richardson and Alice Dickins, alongside Pia Johnson, Lucy Foster, Julia Powles, Stephanie Karavasilis, and Laura McPhee-Browne. We have work in four of the mailboxes, and we invite you to get up close and peer into them. The exhibition runs until the 2nd of December, 2017.

Mailbox Art Space
141–143 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

The Confessional, Mailbox Art Space, 2017

Submerged

Recently landed: Submerged, Gracia's written response to Salt, for Fjord Review

Like Whoville appears to the elephant Horton (Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!, 1954), a tiny speck, that’s how our planet looks from up high. In space, if you were to look down your trunk, earth is but a blue dot on a vast, dark blanket. On the surface of things, two thirds of our home appears as ocean, but this is only part of the picture. The earth is three-dimensional, not two, and so, in actual fact, our planet, our Whoville, is 99% water. The three dimensional volume, the biosphere, it extends down into the soil we stand upon, and over our heads, through the tree canopy and beyond. And out in the deepest point of the ocean, the depth is almost seven miles. To us land-based creatures, this is almost too much to fathom.

But cause and effect, we all understand. As the oceans warm, the marine biosphere changes as the water becomes less alkaline (as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves at sea). Together with marine pollution, the devastation of mining and gas development, the destruction of marine habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices, our cause and environmental effect: the ocean is under threat.

From plankton to humpback whale, what’s all this to do with dance?

Quite a bit, my call from a jukung, bobbing on the water, for though Eko Supriyanto’s
Salt is an introspective solo work, it is also about the threats facing Indonesia’s marine life. History, and the actions we take based upon the knowledge we acquire, shapes our future. In Salt, the third in Supriyanto’s Trilogy of Jailolo, still wet from its world premiere at deSingel in Belgium, the audience is invited to dive beneath the ocean surface. From my seat in the Sylvia Staehli Theatre of Dancehouse that is precisely what I did. I tipped my wobbly seat over, and dived in. When your home is an archipelago comprised of approximately 17,000 islands, what happens in the water is not to be ignored.

Eko Supriyanto’s Salt (image credit: David Fajar)

La Trobe Reading Room

Recently landed: La Trobe Reading Room, a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) takes you beneath the glass of Looped

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Looped, State Library Victoria, 2017

Looped downloadable zine

If you cannot swing by the library to collect our free zine, you can now download our Looped zine, which includes the text, A whisker lighter, and a complete list of works (16 page pdf).

Looped
Presented in partnership with State Library Victoria
Until Sunday 26th of November, 2017
La Trobe Reading Room, State Library Victoria
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Looped, State Library Victoria, 2017

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Looped, State Library Victoria, 2017

Last days of something Unusual

Last weekend to see our collage of moving parts, It was a familiar pattern, tickling the walls of Milly Sleeping.

Unusual
Fourteen local makers present new works using ideas, methods or materials that differ from their usual modes.
Until Sunday 29th of October, 2017
Milly Sleeping
157 Elgin Street, Carlton

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, It was a familiar pattern (detail), 2017, moving collage

BLINDSIDE'S B-SIDE

We have created With your hand on my cheek, I looked up at the sky, 2017, especially for BLINDSIDE'S B-SIDE fundraiser exhibition. Our inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm, 16. 5 cm x 16.5 cm, is available for a song on the opening night, and our (bright, beautiful, brilliant) B-side is none other than (brimming with all good things) Mr. Theo Strasser.

Friday 3rd – Friday 10th of November, 2017
BLINDSIDE
Room 14, Level 7, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Launching this Thursday 2nd November from 6pm. See you there.

For B-SIDE, BLINDSIDE will present a large scale exhibition of works for sale by our accomplished and significant alumni. Exactly half of the work in B-SIDE will be hidden. Each artwork on display in B-SIDE will be linked to a partner work (a b-side), which will be revealed only to the buyer.  As a fundraising exhibition B-SIDE will support the ongoing activity of BLINDSIDE into the future. For the past 14 years BLINDSIDE has provided a vibrant space for artists to test ideas and challenge conventions. B-SIDE will facilitate BLINDSIDE's continued program of experimental exhibitions, critical and engaging public programs, as well as support arts writers, curators and artists at all stages of their careers.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AND THEIR B-SIDE:

Adriane Hayward with Anna Dunnill
Alica Bryson-Haynes & Ria Green with Lizzy Sampson
Andrew Tetzlaff with Ania Walwicz
Boe-Lin Bastian with Elyss McCleary
Bridie Lunney with Sophie Cape
Carly Fischer with Shannon Lyons
Ceri Hann with Lynda Roberts
Charles O'Loughlin with Amy May Stuart
Chris Bond with Wes Thorne
Claire Anna Watson with Sarah Wilmot
Claire Mooney with Natalie Mather
Clare Rae with Melanie Irwin
Colleen Boyle with Rebecca Najdowski
Craig Easton with Joyce Huang
David Thomas with Rushdi Anwar
Diego Ramirez with Katie Paine
Drew Pettifer with Louis Cooper
Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga with Ceclia Dowling
Gabriel Tongue Nilsen with Billy Bartley Nees
Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison with Theo Strasser
Hana Vasak with Jacqueline Stojanovic
Hannah Raisin with Tsohil Bhatia
Hanna Tai with Eliza Turnbull
Jessica Curry with Harry McLean
Jessie Scott with Miranda Leibscher
John Brooks with Audrey Tan
Julia Powles with Peter Westwood
Kate Just with Kellie Wells
Kate Robertson with Kirsty Macafee
Kate Rohde with Emma Homfray
Kate Shaw with Siobhan Ryan
Kawita Vatanajyankur with Kunthong Sumree
Kiron Robinson with Tori Lill
Leslie Eastman with Natasha Johns-Messenger
Lucie McIntosh with Maya Chakraborty
Martina Copley with Francesca Rendle-Short
Melanie Jayne Taylor with Marc Sancho
Nicholas Chilvers with Peter Clynes
Penelope Hunt with Tara Gilbee
Peter Westwood with Julia Powles
Phuong Ngo with Kali Michailidis
Pip Ryan with Natalie Ryan
Ria Green with Clare Humphries
Ross Coulter with Ben Burgess
Ruth Johnstone with Barbe Scarlette
si ma va with Anonymous
Steven Rendall with Andrea Eckersley
Tai Snaith with Sean M Whelan
Xanthe Dobbie with Elizabeth Mitchell

Count me in

Recently landed: Count me in, Gracia's written response to More up a tree at Melbourne Festival, for Fjord Review

Within their glass enclosure, White sat in the corner behind his drum kit. He had cast off his boots, and was using them like two soft vessels to hold his sticks. From where I sat, I could see his socked feet at the pedals, lending an air of spying-on-the-neighbours candour to the performance. He exchanged a quiet smile with de Serpa Soares as she mapped out the space with increasing intensity and pace. Caught unawares, as they teased out movement in response to sound and sound in response to movement, for the main, their containment appeared a liberating sanctuary. Hidden behind a wall of noise, de Serpa Soares could yell at the top of her lungs, but I couldn’t fully hear her. She shook sound from her body as if coaxing it all the way from her little toes, up her legs and torso, and out of her mouth. There goes the hard day; and over there, the weight of the world, discarded. They were playing, releasing, experimenting, and I was watching, experiencing, vicariously. The two of them, to paraphrase the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (when he wrote of the distortion of time as a means of giving it rhythmical expression), “sculpting in time!” Later, a little ‘cha-cha-cha’ sing-song movement, which I defy anyone to say or do huffily; some words and actions are happy making, no matter how you spin them.

Earlier the space had evoked a zoo enclosure, with de Serpa Soares stalking like a panther in a cage. Back and forth, her feet on repeated loop, wearing a hole in the carpet. In her march, she paused for a moment, in the corner of her confines and looks upward at the wall, her expression was one of steely focus: I will scale these walls and escape. Wild creatures confined, they break my heart, and this was perhaps why I enjoyed seeing de Serpa Soares later shake loose with high kicks, and roar, falling in and out of time.

The Rear Window style voyeurism, illumination of mundane fragments, and human modifications to architecture and personal space in Sussman’s earlier video works, Wintergarden, Balcony, and Seitenflügel (Side Wing), created with Simon Lee, is embedded within More up a Tree. Watching White play, he could well have been an unassuming inhabitant in his lounge room, in the large Berlin apartment building of Seitenflügel. To me, reflective imagery in Sussman’s work references the two sides of the one coin: time and memory. More up a Tree holds a mirror to time and memory for the performers and the audience alike. The circles de Serpa Soares drew with her bended knees pressed together at the beginning were there at the end. Her slow motion, cat-like prowl, high on all fours, also. It repeated, and yet it changed. And when the performance ended with the mirrored screen once more reflecting the audience, we were in the same position, and yet we’d changed, hadn’t we? Not so static after all.

More up a Tree at BAM Fisher, 2015 (image credit: Rebecca Smeyne)

Unusual at Milly Sleeping

We're thrilled to be a part of Milly Sleeping's forthcoming exhibition, and have created a moving collage projection.

Unusual
Fourteen local makers present new works using ideas, methods or materials that differ from their usual modes.
Wednesday 11th – Sunday 29th of October, 2017
Milly Sleeping
157 Elgin Street, Carlton

Launching this Saturday 14th October from 4.30pm. See you there.

"Dem dancing bones"

Recently landed: "Dem dancing bones", a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) takes you to the Australian Ballet's Symphony in C

The Australian Ballet's Amanda McGuigan in Richard House's From Silence, presented as part of Symphony in C (image credit: Jeff Busby)

Brilliant Moderns

Recently landed: Brilliant Moderns, Gracia's written response to the Australian ballet's Symphony in C, for Fjord Review

I raise my hand up above my head. I let it fall down. Connected to my body, my arm remains secure in its socket of the shoulder blade. My arm does not fall to the ground. My body is connected, "dem bones, dem bones, dem dancing bones." My body has my back, secure “doin’ the skeleton dance ….The backbone’s connected to the neck bone. Doin’ the skeleton dance.” And it was in this manner that I read Alice Topp’s new choreographic work, Little Atlas. There may have been three dancers on the stage, Leanne Stojmenov, Kevin Jackson, and Andrew Killian, but there was one body. One body caught up in the push and pull of memory.

When Stojmenov moved she was more than in tune with the movements of Jackson and Killian, they became one and the same. "The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone" and Stojmenov was connected to Jackson, as she fell she was safe in the knowledge that she wouldn’t hit the floor. “The hip bone’s connected to the backbone” and Killian was a continuation of Stojmenov, a different facet of a whole. To me, I interpreted the movements as the struggle within the one body, as memories are reordered and erased by time, and the fluidity of joints begins to stiffen. The thigh bone is connected to the hip bone, but as we all know the body can’t dance forever, not quite. Best to shake it, morph it, steel fuse it like Patti Smith. Or Shakira. "My hips don’t lie [as Topp explains]…. I’ve only got a few more years of dancing left in this old bod so I would absolutely love to have a future in choreography.” And from Little Atlas a future in choreography is undoubtedly what she has.

At the coordinates 78°29’121 N 014°17’986 E, composer Ludovico Einaudi (for and with Greenpeace) performed 'legy for the Arctic', a call from the icebergs, a response on the keys, off the coast of Svalbard, Norway. And at latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for Melbourne’s State Theatre, in similar vein tap, Einaudi’s 'Fly' and 'Experience' enabled the heart to soar. As revealed in Topp’s choreographic note, by way of two greats, Joan Didion and Patti Smith, this was about our own stored memories and “our attachment to the way these things made us feel” Fleeting time, we feel it in our bones. Transformation, while inevitable, is loss. But as Patti Smith (in her 2015 kaleidoscopic memory dance, M Train) best describes: “the transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you land there.”

Ako Kondo as Diana in Diana and Actaeon, presented as part of Symphony in C (image credit: Jeff Busby)

"In a wonderland they lie, dreaming as the days go by"

Recently landed: "In a wonderland they lie, dreaming as the days go by", a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) takes you to Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lauren Cuthbertson in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 2011, © ROH (image credit: Johan Persson)

An Original Alice

Recently landed: An Original Alice, Gracia's written response to Alice Adventure's in Wonderland, for Fjord Review

The original Alice was Alice Liddel. She was ten at the time Lewis Carroll amused her with a tale of adventures underground. In history’s collective memory, she is the assured girl staring at the photographer (Carroll) in role of Beggar Girl (then aged 7). A muse in the form of a girl who requested Carroll pen the adventures he had regaled her with. And write them down he did, adding the famous grinning Cheshire Cat and a tea party with a Mad Hatter, March Hare, and sleepy Dormouse for good measure, and thus plumping, amending, growing an absurd amusement into what would become a classic. A classic where those who best adapt are those who accept new laws of logic. Live Flamingos are croquet bats. And those aforementioned Hedgehogs are balls (performed by young children in soft-spiked backpacks, and all adorable). Babies are piglets; mind the mincer. Roses can be (should be, declared the Queen of Hearts) painted red. Violets need not be violet. But, of violet as a hue, let’s dress the other original Alice, Lauren Cuthbertson of the Royal Ballet. A special guest performing two nights during the Melbourne season, Cuthbertson has performed the role of Alice since 2011. She was Christopher Wheeldon’s original Alice, like Liddel was to Carroll, and she was responsible for creating the part. To see her in this role on Wednesday night is an indescribable joy. She inhabits every inch of the role, from extended fingertips to light pointe play. And amid all of the wordplay transformed into theatrical might, she is utterly hypnotic, with Christopher Rodgers-Wilson’s Knave of Hearts beautifully smitten.

With her brown hair bobbed, like Alice Liddel, Cuthbertson has returned Alice to (perhaps) her truest form. She no longer recalls John Tenniel’s original illustrations of a long-haired Alice with an overlarge head. And she has nothing to do with the Disney musical of 1951, blonde and in blue. Cuthbertson’s Alice knows the rules on the other side of the looking glass. The rules one might adhere to ‘aboveground’ do not apply here: take the mushroom. Whether nonsensical or otherwise, she deciphers the rules and applies them, growing accordingly. When you take away the preconceptions of how things should operate, every tick-tock of Alice’s extended leg backwards and forwards is a philosophers’ dream. Cuthbertson’s Alice embraces new reality on its own terms in a playful, off-kilter world, and jumps on a sponge cake (with an inbuilt trampoline). She throws herself with abandon, safe in the knowledge she’ll be caught, and her legs make perfect right angles, mid-air. Rules to live by, above- or underground.

Lauren Cuthbertson and Christopher Rodgers-Wilson in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (image credit: Jeff Busby)

Encased, in case

Just for the fun of it, we've added four new smart phone case and skin designs to our Society6 online store, should you hanker for a green or black cat on your iPhone.

Green Cat
Green Cat, Sleeping
Black Cat (Reflection)
A Whisker of Light (detail)

New cases featuring our collages currently on display as part of Looped, at the State Library Victoria until the 26th of November, 2017

New cases featuring our collages currently on display as part of Looped, at the State Library Victoria until the 26th of November, 2017

"I am Bennelong"

Recently landed: "I am Bennelong", a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) takes you to Bangarra Dance Theatre's Bennelong

Bangarra Dance Theatre's Bennelong (image credit: Vishal Pandey)

The Spirit of Bennelong

Recently landed: The Spirit of Bennelong, Gracia's written response to Bangarra Dance Theatre’s new work, for Fjord Review

I lie low. I nestle in the soil. Are you a fighter? A collaborator? A victim? A survivor? An idealist? A realist? Some days I feel like I am Bennelong. I am Bennelong.

At first impression, Stephen Page’s new work Bennelong is about the history and legacy of Woollarawarre Bennelong (c. 1764–1813), the man who carries five names (also Baneelon, Wogultrowey, Wolarrabarrey, Boinba, Bundebunda). Before a large suspended ring, evocative of a smoking ceremony (sensitively, economically designed by Jacob Nash), ‘The Birth of Bennelong’ is told. The women’s circle, all loose with its collective weight directed towards the floor, the men’s, by comparison, pointed, angular, and elevated. To know the story: read the bodies. Every surface, a canvas, a means of unbroken communication. With native plants in hand, burning to ward off bad spirits, the hardest terrain is life giving.

A Wangul man of the Eora Nation people, Bennelong lived during the European settlement/invasion in 1788. He was captured and shackled in 1789, along with a Cadigal man, Colebee, on Governor Arthur Phillip’s orders by Lieutenant William Bradley at Manly Cove. Lieutenant Bradly wrote of the men’s abduction as being “by far the most unpleasant service I was ever ordered to Execute…. [The] crying & screaming of the women and children together with the situation of the two miserable wretches in our possession was really a most distressing scene; they were much terrified.” Two randomly selected go-betweens to assist with the assimilation process, Colebee escaped, while Bennelong remained in the colony. In frock coats from the New World, Bennelong would later accompany Governor Phillip to London (1792–95), with Wangul man, Yemmerawanye, and four “lively and healthy” kangaroos [Lloyd’s Evening Post, 1793].

Bangarra Dance Theatre's Bennelong (image credit: Vishal Pandey)