The Power House Choir live in Natimuk 2015
Interviewer to Bon Scott: “Are you AC or DC?”
Bon Scott: “I’m the lightening bolt in the middle.”
A love of craft and active social ritual drives me. When I was young, I enjoyed the repeated and formative experience of choir rehearsals, while befriending people between singing times. For this project I engineered a situation where I could get to know the inhabitants of Natimuk through a similar bonding experience.
My first visit to the old power station coincided with reading about Horace Woolmer and his choice of alternate current to power the town of Natimuk. This stimulated thoughts of the band AC/DC, with their power-themed songs.
Often, when women featured in music, it was in a fairly rudimentary sense during AC/DC’s heyday. I wanted to explore the dynamics of this by having an all-women choir. “The Power House Choir” involves local participants who are bold, inspiring and not afraid to take on new challenges. I would like to thank the dedicated participants for contributing such energy, enthusiasm and dynamic dance moves to this performance.
This piece was part of the Natimuk Frinj Festival. Natimuk is a town in western Victoria centred around a very climbable (for those who like that sort of thing) Mount Arapiles.
Are You Hungry? A performance as part of my ceramics MFA Thesis Exhibition, “A Temporary Victory”. Inspired by the crafters and creators over the years of all Australian Rules football banners and the unsung heroes of football support from behind the scenes (mums, dads, kids, educators, families, friends). Thanks immensely to Kevin Mooney for the footage and Malcolm Mobutu Smith for the quote: “Are You Hungry?”
At every game of Australian Rules Football, giant banners are used to celebrate a team’s entrance into the field. Behind the scenes, fans traditionally craft these, using cheap materials and taking many hours to demonstrate their love of their football club. The banners are destroyed in seconds as the players burst through them onto the field. I admire the banner-making, the selfless ritual act of creative devotion. Sometimes there are endearing misspellings, or the banners fail to break, which results in the players getting stuck in the crepe paper and tape.
I made a banner to show a correlation between my admiration for my artist friends as a team throughout graduate school and the football fan’s admiration for their dedicated sports team.
All the graduating Masters of Fine Arts from 2014 were asked to arrive early to the exhibition opening on 24th April at Grunwald Gallery and run through the banner together to open the gallery wearing IU football jerseys to symbolise teamwork.
For me, this banner acted as a celebratory event to acknowledge the achievement of graduates of Fine Art. The banner has words I have absorbed from mentors during my time at Indiana University, specifically the question “Are You Hungry?!” asked by Malcolm Mobutu-Smith in my first critique at Indiana University.
Green Grows the Holly
I made a piece during the time it took to listen to a song I was already familiar with for an amazing class with Alix Lambert – writer/artist/badass. The song is “Green Grows the Holly” a version by Calexico, in a wonderfully mournful mariachi style.
This was a piece inspired by turning a failure from your studio into a “happy accident”.
I am always aiming for the rubbish bin and missing. That week it had been a series of mandarin pips and skins which littered the floor (in an arty and beautifully random fashion, of course). Making art is a lot like aiming and missing, and even if you aim all your ingredients and energy toward that tiny basketball hoop that is a good artwork, you can often end up with a beautiful mess. I also enjoy encouragement, so the soundtrack was recorded from a radio broadcast of an Indiana University match against Michigan State that I don’t even know the result for.
The Perfect Crime
A sculpture of a wolf head I made in ceramic, with sound recordings of humans at a tailgate field emitting from it. I wanted to make an analogy with humans getting drunk and playful and bonding, but also sounding lonely and desperate…like a wolf howling for its friends, or using its mournful sound for communication and to place itself in a context with other wolves (otherwise it doesn’t know who it is if not for its community. Like us).