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

Nightdance

Recently landed: Nightdance, Gracia's written response to Melanie Lane’s new work, for Fjord Review

In Edward Hopper’s painting, Night Windows (1928), a woman in her illuminated apartment goes about her private affairs unaware of my gaze. A voyeuristic composition, Hopper has made me a ‘peeping tom’ whether I wish to be or not — to view the work is to peep. Is she, too, postponing the tasks of her tomorrow? The emphasis here is not upon Tennessee Williams’ “kindness of strangers,” but rather their loneliness, a shared loneliness, one shadowed by intimacy. In a pink slip, she is bent over, spot lit against the black of night as I, the viewer, lean nonchalantly against a lamppost. And in Melanie Lane’s new choreographic work, Nightdance, she is Lilian Steiner in flesh-coloured pants rendered golden goddess by lamplight. One thing is certain: night is made of shadows and in said shadows one can lurk. The cover of darkness, the ability to conceal, magic made not by sleight of hand but by the shift change between the sun and the moon. You can watch and not be seen.

From folklore’s werewolves to the Porto Rican coarse-haired Chupacabra (“goat sucker”), come the full moon, come the descent of night, all creatures come out to play and give rise to night terrors and thrills. Ghouls and golems not detectable during the day are made manifest by night. From the margins of medieval manuscripts come men with dogs’ heads, the Cynocephali, to tap at your windowpane. As Steiner, Gregory Lorenzutti, and Lane prowl on all fours across the darkened stage, such are my thoughts. In dog pose, their collective gait is stiff (humans do not have the supple spine of canines, no matter how fit) and otherworldly. Beguiling too. Nightdance reveals this awkward-easy transition into another world distinct from day to be liberating and emboldening. Come the night, you can reinvent yourself. You can release your alter ego. You can strut. You can prowl. You can shimmy. You can seek to entrance. You can even become your own kind of werewolf. Or muscled were-mouse, as Lorenzutti, shows. You can watch and be seen.

Lilian Steiner in Melanie Lane's Nightdance (image credit: Bryony Jackson)

Sprouting wings

An Australian king-parrot (Alisterus scapularis), Rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), and Little penguin (Eudyptula minor) from Prattle scoop trembling: a flutter of Australian birds

Milly Sleeping: Quick Interview with Gracia Haby of Gracia & Louise

Our final interview for the holiday period evolved into a 'true or false' quiz for Melbourne-based artists Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, AKA Gracia & Louise. Together and independently (but most often together, and most often with a four-legged friend or two), G + L are very prolific makers, doers, dreamers — delightful to follow on the gram. Kind thanks to Gracia for taking the time to write, and to both she and Louise — for always being willing partners to our projects and flights of fancy.

Installing our artists' book, Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birds, at MPRG

Free Postage November

Free postage! Free postage! Zines to Reykavick! Prints to Footscray! All November long, we are offering FREE POSTAGE worldwide on all orders placed through our online store.

Simply enter the code freepostagenov upon checkout.

A pen-and-ink sketch of a fish footman presenting an envelope with the address and postage stamp, on an envelope from Hastings to France 9 August 1881, franked with the 5d. indigo, S.G.K6, tied by the Censing Station Road, Hastings code 'F' squared-circle date stamp, Calais à Ville transit 10 August opposite, Lille date stamp of arrival on the reverse the same day, addressed to Mademoiselle Burnblum in Lille

Tea and Toast, and an Electric Guitar

Recently landed: Tea and Toast, and an Electric Guitar, a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) takes you to Caroline Meaden, Alice Dixon, and William McBride's Blowin' Up, and Deanne Butterworth's, with Evelyn Morris, Two Parts of Easy Action, presented by the Substation as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival

Caroline Meaden in 'Sneaky Bastardl,' one of three solos within Blowin' Up (Image credit: Mischa Baka)

Blowin' Up

Recently landed: Blowin' Up, Gracia's written response to two preview performances presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival at the Substation, for Fjord Review

The warmth of the spring day did not hold in the Substation. Inside the capacious, high-ceilinged, former industrial space, it is never warm. It is resolutely sub-temperature. Seated for the first of three solos presented under the collective awning of Blowin’ Up, I sat, cleared my throat, and cleared my throat again. The cold of the building crept inside my chest with the intention to make me the spluttering, wheezing, noisy audience member. My defence of stoicism and Soothers was going to be tested.

So when Caroline Meaden stood upright from an investigative, languid Cat pose, advanced to the front of the stage, a hair’s breadth from the audience, and sniffed, an exaggerated under-the-weather, nose crinkle in want of a handkerchief, my body involuntarily mirrored the waiting room action, and I coughed. And I coughed again, and once more for good measure. In a game of call and response, I was not the “silent animal…. out there somewhere, watching on.” Into Meaden’s solo, ‘Sneaky Bastard,’ I crashed into the “thick silence and …. deep restraint.” But my performance etiquette mortification was soothed by the sense that Meaden, Alice Dixon, and William McBride feel like the type of performers that make me want to ask: could your trio become a quartet?

Following on from their work together in
This is What’s Happening, at the preview performance of Blowin’ Up, presented by the Substation as part of this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival, Meaden, Dixon, and McBride tell their three tales through their familiar occasional whisper and brief twiddle of the thumbs. They tell their tales with a wink that seeks to make colluders of the audience. Earlier, before ‘Sneaky Bastard’ had unfurled their “attack as life strategy,” arm movements like that of an elephant’s trunk gingerly sensing it’s way, Meaden, Dixon, and McBride had made themselves store mannequins behind the glass doors in the hallway. Still, playfully posed, and wry, Meaden in forest green, Dixon in a shade of midnight blue, and McBride in scarlet, their attire reminded me of a late '50s, early '60s art student. A tap on the shoulder and an invitation to return to their digs for tea and toast around the radiator would not feel out of place. Challenge as a coping mechanism need not ascribe to a set range of movements that fit every body, as this moment and following solos convey.

Alice Dixon in 'The Bush Capital,' one of three solos within Blowin' Up (Image credit: Mischa Baka)

Hide and Seek

Recently landed: Hide and Seek, a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) takes a look at our work installed in the windows of Obus and Collected Works as part of BLINDSIDE's On the Verge festival