Yesterday I took dad to meet Pirate at his house. His front yard was filled with the most precious and diabolical bones, including whale, dolphin and other large sea mammals, other animal parts such as snake skin and green turtle shells and magnificent hunks of wood. Most bones and wood had intricate images of Aboriginal men and women or sacred animals etched or burnt into them. Dad loved meeting Pirate. They are similar, both with one eye and an obsession with animals and the practice of taxidermy in all its forms. Pirate’s practice includes decomposition in order to retrieve bones so we are looking for a suitable place to collaborate. He presented us with gifts. He gave dad a cattle egret and I was given two wood ducks! Sacred to my childhood, dad had given me a baby wood duck I had hand-raised. I took the ducks to a clearing under a tree in Woollamia to decompose. Darren helped me.
I found a crow on the road just past Tarago after presenting at the ‘Where are We? Visual Cultures of Placemaking in a Precarious Age‘ conference curated by Melinda Hinkson at the ANU. I had presented about dad and his taxidermy and family history and he had been asking for a crow. When I saw it, a rare find, I knew he was for dad. Dad the taltos or Hungarian Shaman. He took the guts out of the crow yesterday.
On display at the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award Campbelltown
I removed the bodies of the rosella and ringtail possum to reveal their bodily stains keeping the dried husks as painting subjects later.
On the way back from staying with my family I found a freshly killed rosella, an eastern one without a tail.
I brought the limp body to the Woollamia home and lay them near the ringtail.
The cute Finch couple that live there watched me.
There they lay to decompose in the Woollamia bushland.
I have just made the decision to resume the shroud project in my new location.
There are different species hit by vehicles and a different environment in which to host the installation.
This beautiful male ringtail possum with a lovely thick winter coat and white tipped tail offered himself last night, tragically.
He is from Woollamia.
A local kookaburra watched me lay him in state.
Margot Curtis and I enjoyed running an ochre workshop at See Change in the boatshed of the Lady Denman Heritage Complex.
My exhibition at Squid Studios in Nowra is up throughout June. The exhibition is a selection of works from my PhD research project at the Australian National University. Squid is open 12-5:30 Tuesday – Thursday.
Collaboration is a wonderful way to create art.