Animals in the Anthropocene: critical perspectives on non-human futures

July 1st, 2015  |  Published in theory  |  Leave a comment

I have a paper published in this anthology.

On Species and AAANZ inter-discipline conferences

November 26th, 2013  |  Published in inspirations, theory  |  Leave a comment

Coming up in Melbourne next week are conferences at the University of Melbourne which I am looking forward to. AAANZ inter-discipline and On Species

The Outsider

October 21st, 2013  |  Published in inspirations, theory  |  Leave a comment

H.P. Lovecraft’s chilling poem


June 26th, 2013  |  Published in theory  |  Leave a comment

The journal of Nature in Visual Culture has two issues devoted to animals in painting.
My paper is published in the second one.

Bininj Kunwok

January 16th, 2013  |  Published in field research, theory  |  Leave a comment

In writing about my enculturation into Kunwinjku culture I employ as many words from Bininj Kunwok as I can.
One of my first references was the Etherington’s book below:

Kunwinjku Kunwok: A Short Introduction to Kunwinjku Language and Society by

Ursula Frederick

August 2nd, 2012  |  Published in inspirations, theory  |  Leave a comment

A colleague in the School of Art, Ursula is a trained archaeologist and her papers linking graffiti and rock art are published here.

Framing Lives

July 18th, 2012  |  Published in inspirations, theory  |  Leave a comment

I am presenting today AT 11:15 in the National Portrait Gallery at the Framing Lives IABA Conference which is the 8th Biennial Conference of the International Auto/Biography Association. I am celebrating the life and work of the renowned Western Arnhem Land painter and ceremonial leader, the late Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek AO, respectfully known by his skin name Wamud of the Mok clan since his death on the 16th of October 2009. Yesturday I attended an emotive film screening and talk by a historian I got to know in Arnhem Land Dr Martin Thomas. Seeing people I know in the film and learning that two more important senior men in the community, Wamud Nayinggul and Kodjok both outgoing informants for researchers just like Wamud Namok, have passed away marks a sad year for Western Arnhem land and the generation that grew up in the rock shelters encountering Balanda or Europeans for the first time with their families in their lifetime.

Thierry de Duve

July 11th, 2012  |  Published in theory  |  Leave a comment

I enjoyed the masterclass with Thierry de Duve at the national Art School in Sydney yesterday.
ANU and the National Art School got his tick of approval when our teaching methods combining theory, practice and history in formative combined units matched his description of ideal artist education. We thought this was normal practice but discovered many universities have a theory only model so a conceptual/installation approach often results. Studio skill based teaching is now old fashioned, the traditional master/apprentice model has become rarefied indeed. De Duve’s interest is in revisiting Kant’s philosophy and I am looking forward to reading his book ‘Kant after Duchamp’1996. He found many of the installations in the Sydney biennale so bad they could hardly be called art, and this is coming from a theorist who recognizes today’s inclusive condition that anything can be art which he calls ‘art in general’. I have been reading Donald Kuspitt’s The End of Art which is a great book, he is an engaging writer, and I enjoy his critical approach to this idea of anything goes. From the entropy of Modern Art to the daily life banality of postart, I also borrowed his rebirth of painting as a pick me up. De Duve, in contrast to his assessment of the biennale, loved the Indigenous Triennial at the NGA, which I am looking forward to. He was particularly impressed by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori and asked Roger Butler if she had seen the work of European modernists, which she of course had not. I explained that there is also grounds for considering indigenous modernism, and multiple modernisms occurring around the world in different cultures at different times. De Duve was agreeable to the idea and I can thank my supervisor Nigel Lendon for this idea shared by Ian McLean and his persistent debate concerning this phenomena in indigenous Australia.

Kim McKenzie

July 2nd, 2012  |  Published in inspirations, theory  |  Leave a comment

I had the pleasure of meeting ethnographic filmmaker Kim McKenzie during May. He runs a film making course at ANU but I have known of his work since beginning my research about the life and work of Wamud Namok (Bardayal Nadjamerrek) who Kim has recorded many times on his country, at his outstation Kabulwarnamyo and as part of the Wardakken fire abatement project. I had initially inquired about footage of Madjarlngarlkum the delek site to gain further evidence that Wamud collected white pigment from there and was rewarded. I inspired Kim to find a partly edited film he had made at the request of Wamud prior to his passing to record the last Ankung djang or honey dreaming ceremony he was to conduct at the sacred honey site Djabidj Bakoluy. I was amazed this wonderful footage existed and Kim would one day publish such an important film for subsequent generations which is, I believe, of national significance. I am celebrating Wamud’s life and work at the ‘Framing Lives‘ conference held at the National Portrait Gallery and ANU from 17th-20th July. My session will be at the NPG in the terrace room 11:15-12:30.

ANU animal studies group

July 2nd, 2012  |  Published in theory  |  Leave a comment

Since attending the ‘Animal Death’ symposium I have maintained contact with ANU PhD researcher Rhiannon Galla and also linked with another researcher, a graduate from the ANU art school Jennifer Eadie who was also at the symposium unknown to me. I serendipitously met Jennifer recently at the Cliftons award night as a fellow finalist. The circle closed when Rhiannon said she had also met Jennifer the day before and we are all meeting this week to begin an animal/human studies group at ANU. I showed Rhiannon around my studio which was encouraging after an inspired conversation about our research.