Patrick White’s Happy Valley sits somewhere between Moorang and Kambala. The novel is a fascinating glimpse of a master writer’s first forays into his craft. The prose slides into stream of consciousness and out again, flitting from one character’s perspective to another, building the cacophony of Happy Valley to a maddening din of intersecting dreams and desires. Written in London in 1938, Happy Valley draws from White’s experience as a jackeroo on the Monaro. It was here that White became acquainted with a different landscape from his family home in... Read the rest →
This is an excerpt for my performance this month at the Bondi Feast Festival. The stoics would meet on a covered porch and philosophise. They thought there was nothing good or bad in this world, but rather our judgements colour our beliefs and this determines how we feel about what happens to us. For example, someone you don’t know asks you to do something you don’t want to do. In front of a whole lot of strangers in a dark room. It’s not the request that makes you feel anxious,... Read the rest →
Before reading The Art of James Davis I had never heard of the man. Flicking through the handsome volume of his work, the lurid colours and dreamlike torsos seemed to challenge just about everything I had experienced of Australian visual art. As Ashley Crawford’s book sat on my desk during the week leading up to writing this review, numerous passers by were lured in by the bold primary shock of Davis’s Hellgate (1989) on the front cover. It became immediately clear that this was an artist that demanded attention.
It is a warm, still night in Phnom Penh. Along the banks of the Bassac River a row of waterside guesthouses hug the shore like boats that have gotten fat and forgotten how to sail. It is 3am and the variety of backpackers have left the deck and are asleep or having anonymous sex in their cabins. A stray cat angles through the night, looking for something to toy with.
Tin Shed took a whole lot of us camping and this is what happened. From drop bears to ghost stories and the survival rate of virgins this development work was a rambunctious ride through the nostalgia of the camping trip. Tin Shed’s Camping Tours was originally produced at Fraser Studios as part of the 30 Days and 30 Nights Festival.
An excerpt from the latest draft of Shangri-la. IVAN: They sent the boy up in a plane. I was there when he took off. They were applauding as he walked the length of the hangar. He carried his helmet under his arm and what looked like a white orchid on his lapel. I assumed it was from his girlfriend, but I couldn’t see any women around. No doubt she was hooked up somewhere. He could have been talking to her through a microphone in his suit at that very time.
Last Sunday night I presented a brief performance in Tamarama Rock Surfer’s regular scratch night ‘Cut and Paste’. In the spirit of the evening, my performance was an experiment. I was interested in the kind of theatre I saw in Belgium last year and was certain that this show had to be focused on the experience of the audience. The result was a very awkward ten minutes in the theatre. I forced unwilling audience members to do things they didn’t want to do. I was surprised how easy it is... Read the rest →
We are more often reminded what is un-Australian than anything else. Like looking at a photo’s negative we see our national character inverted and position ourselves around this shady sport hating villain. This process of deduction is challenged by the Griffith Review 36. Optimism ripples through the collection of essay, memoir, fiction and reportage. All articles recognise the strong hand of cards Australia has been dealt and what this may mean for our combined self perception. The quarterly poses itself no small task when it asks ‘What is Australia For?’... Read the rest →
I’ve been thinking about TED. It basically says that if someone is an expert about something, we don’t have to worry about it ourselves. That box has been ticked. Really smart people are doing something about it, so I can go back to Etsy or Wife Swap USA. This is a monologue I wrote when I wanted to write a show about the West’s attitude to Africa. I’m not so interested in this form anymore, but this was a starting point for something more performative.
A group of disaffected arts students go to Paris to live the dream. You know, the one where you make a lot of highly great art and sleep with as many people as possible to lead to even more and better highly great art. Yeah, that dream.