In late 2017 I did a residency at the Perth Institute for Contemporary art. At the time I was making large, shaped canvas paintings. They were finished with fine gradients and played with notions of perspective and space. I liked making these paintings; the challenge of producing something slick and almost machined that was actually hand crafted appealed to me. However, during my residency, I was away from my workshop and familiar tools so it was impossible for me to make any new paintings. I had to find a way to use the space and time afforded to me by PICA productively. For a while I had wanted to explore how people perceive the experience of physical disability but I couldn’t think of a way to do this that didn’t seem trite or esoteric. I wanted to make something visceral, something that people had to feel to truly understand. I started googling disability statistics from around the world, I looked closely at the percentage of Australians that identify as disabled (more than I thought) and how this community is represented by new and old media. I did a bunch of research, read a lot of statistics and made copious amounts of notes. Then I put all the information I’d found into a folder, closed it and put it away. I started to draw and sketch, ideas for sculptures and experiences that would engage people with humour, have elements of surprise and require some degree of participation. A few models of ramps and obstacles came out of this process as well but most importantly I’d identified an idea that I wanted to pursue.
This idea was stowed away for over a year until recently when I dusted it off, polished the rough edges and sent it off to NextWave 2020. I’ll find out if it’s a diamond or a lump of coal in late March, fingers crossed.
Also this month a poster for new freo Afrobeat/Dancehall club night Skylarkin Sundays, a photoshoot for images to promote Hostile Infrastructure, an exhibition proposal for First Draft in Sydney (with a video shot by Betty Richards and Randolph Booth, edited by Shane Corry) and another camping trip coz, why not?