October 28th 2006
is always walking away.......
1948 - 2006....
in progress development for an installation work. A house with
many rooms set up with props and paraphernalia of a stage or
set. The viewer enters and triggers a range of projection and
sound effects most typical the sound of a person, a woman in
high heels, 'a fetish object' constantly moving away from the
viewer leading into ...crossing borders of psycho/social gender
and sexuality identities. Projected composite images (archetypal
symbol the Anima) Film Noir style. The Anima is the personification
of all feminine psychological tendencies held, the archetypal
feminine symbolism within a males unconscious.
would we know of others if we did not imagine things?....The
reverie which works poetically maintains us in an intimate space
which does not stop at any frontier - a space uniting the intimacy
of our being which dreams with the intimacy of the beings which
we dream. It is within these composite intimacies that a poetics
of reverie is co-ordinated: the whole being of the world is
amassed around the cogito of the dreamer. Bachelard The
Poetics of Reverie.
a certain age or any age for that matter one can reflect on
all the possibilities passed in, rejected, not explored for
many reasons of gender and sexual identity. There is in some
regard always the element of regret that one was not stronger
or more open to acknowledging and expressing the full range
of the 'feminine' in ones consciousness. For me that failure
has closed the doors to my beginning to understand fully what
it means to be human. This work like myself may always be trapped
in a representational loop, whether it is possible through the
available means of representation one may escape and express
the yet inexpressible remains to be seen.
the first few years of my life in living between family properties
Megalong, St Ewans and my grandparents house in Parkes mid western
NSW. As I remember I spent a great deal of my time like my mother
did disassociating myself from the others in the family immersed
in what could be described as an eclectic library of eastern
travel books, 19th century novels, murder mysteries, encyclopedic
books on history and the arts and attending the movies with
my mother when she emerged
from her room and flight from her situation.
grandparents house was
set on memorial hill and had three theme gardens that had seen
better days except for the rose garden that my grandfather looked
other two were left to go wild, the Faerie style garden had
been partly fenced to become a chicken run by the caretaker.
(probably post-war shortages) There was a fountain
that still worked I guess the chickens never went thirsty but
I was quite fearful of the fountain, my cousins had topled many
of the marble figures into the water and I thought they were
drowned angels reaching out for help. The garden I remember
most clearly was the chinosorie garden it had a number
of quite beautiful carved temple sculptures and of course willows,
sacred bamboo and willow pattern tiles marked the pathways.
The most imposing feature was a three story pagoda that had
been originally used by the family to watch the race meetings.
The pagoda was in some disrepair, I was forbidden to play in
it but never caught and the garden was quite overgrown.
of garden litter covered dilapidated treasures to be found by
sweeping away the accumulated leaves. I found a small porcelain
Chinese or Japanese figurine, named her Rosa and she became
my imaginary companion. I don't remember when I eventually abandoned
Rosa in the garden,. but in 1987 while I was in a coma following
an accident, I returned to the garden frequently on my journeys.
(see Quartet four love songs Overture)
A person previously unconscious of the world violently evicted
from his body while it heals puts on seven league boots discovers
many worlds returns to take vacant possession of the damaged
goods. Rosa was much older now and with a companion, a
dwarf magician, she was very bitter and had spent her life trapped
in the garden unable to leave. It appears that she had not forgiven
The times I spent with them was experienced as playing a dangerous
word game where she and the magician led me into a series of
traps by posing riddles that were always peppered with deceptive
information. It was interesting though that Rosa in a moment
of tears reminded me of the time when she had left the garden
and sat by my bed and healed me from poisoning, this followed
my discovery that the apple tree in the garden had a crop of
green apples, the first I had ever seen. The taste was strange
yet I had eaten quite a few before falling ill. I now realise
that Rosa's name was derived from my own first name and middle
initial, which is probably quite explainable as I had begun
to start copying sentences at the time and writing my own name
I wrote in all the books that had interested me.
my mothers death I sometime feel a sense of loss that I had
not been able to get to know her better. Acknowledging that
it was difficult in as much as she believed, expected that I
understood implicitly what she was talking about in personal
matters, she used an inferred I know you know way of conversing
never really knew quite what she meant especially when she was
talking about relationships, there was a buffer zone of momentary
steel, when I asked her how she felt, to protect herself and
her eyes always signaled, that she was not prepared to separate
reality from fantasy.
the sample scene Leaving I speculate on ways my mother
might have dreamed of leaving her situation. In this I snapped
stills from a Hedy Lamarr Film Dishonoured Lady and
others creating a new narrative. The ending is from a child's
perspective the instability in the house set up a fear that
she might leave at anytime. Yet in life that had taken fifteen
years she torn by her need to protect her two children and the
few options for women leaving a failed marriage (after I had
left home and informed her that I could no longer protect her)
A self consciousness was reflected in the way she approached,
and her appearance, in her dress, neatness testing with touch,
her hair, her blouse, her skirt, her concern, that she looked/was
alright. She spent the next 22 years going to dances in search
of Mr Right.
alone, a relationship with Mr Right was always to be unattainable,
a mature relationship impossible, I believe she even at sixty
five still lived in a world where she was in essence emotionally
At first she heard voices calling her from the water and struggled
against me who held her. But since the sun of today rose she
hears nothing, she hears not me. She sees nothing. She sees
not me !' (The Lagoon)
The Lagoon, in the library a short story by Joseph
Conrad exemplified the periods we spent at Megalong a property
bought, a new house built, for the newly weds. Conrad's story
a tale of betrayal and broken taboos is underpinned by the breathing
of a woman dying from an unspecified 'fever'. My memory of my
mother at the time was that she spent most of her time laying
in tears uncommunicative in the bedroom.
lagoon at Megalong was set in the centre of a dropped valley
surrounded by low hills. Shaped like a womb a uterus expanding
and contracting with the changing seasons it came out of the
mountain and then disappeared back into the earth, a dangerous
place At four years old it drew me like a magnet. When it rained
the stone levy that held back and controlled the flow of water
was overcome. I couldn't stay away from it at such times, it
was beautifully terrifying. I sometimes felt/wished that my
mother and I could be drawn into the earth by the whirlpool
created by its flow.