Friday, December 5, 2014

Citizen Park, Richmond, Christmas Celebrations 2014

Last night I went over to the Richmond Christmas celebration at Citizen Park and took a few photos. The Mayor of Richmond was there:
Brian Nankervis was the MC, but behind the scenes this conversation looked intense.

There were hats, some Christmassy, some not:
People shading their eyes from the sun
Blue hair:
Red hair:
And some intimate moments:

and the Choir mistress doing her best to conduct the young singers from one of the local schools:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Electric Scream

In my current art project, I’m creating variations of one photograph by subtracting or adding to the image with acrylic paint, black permanent marker, graphite or color oil pastel. After which I rephotograph the altered image and modify it using the same methodology to create another variation thus making one artwork comprised of fragments. Indeed as I made each new work I placed the following words on the wall beside them.  Electric Scream. White Noise. Fragment. Space and Silence. Dispersed melancholia. The contemplating object. Refrain. Synecdoche. Variations on a theme.  The original photograph I took was of a 1950s Phillips radio valve that I found at an op shop, which I initially thought was a light globe. The image I am working with is the uppermost part of the value which looked to me like a person screaming (See image number 6 on the top line on the right hand side). Whilst making this work (I’m still working on the fragments) I devised a theory of consciousness.

When we die we are not aware of our death because at the moment of death our consciousness shifts to a previous nanosecond of our life at any point in our age and since we are not aware that we have died (the ‘we’ in this statement does not refer to the material body), we continue in that same life we have previously traversed. Nothing is altered for us in that existence, since although we have begun from the point of death of the body when we arrive through a consciousness shift (a shimmer) our body and our life is experienced as exactly as it was at that particular point in time. This is not so much a shift or travelling into the past, but instead a relocation of consciousness. You will argue and say that consciousness is a product of mind, itself dependent upon functions of the very matter of brain and body and I’m not discounting that, I’m simply proffering that if we imagine that consciousness can shift, then life is a refrain, which is briefly broken only to begin again or continue on that same journey. The body is finite but consciousness is not.

It may be that consciousness is able to inhabit other bodies but the person of that body is unaware of the previous existence of that consciousness or knowing of the underlying consciousness of self in its various refrains. We only know that we are conscious and this is the being that enables this consciousness. I maintain that it is possible that the nature or characteristic of that which we call consciousness, to be fully aware in that moment without comprehension that the body it has previously inhabited has died. It (consciousness) is ignorant of its own qualities and processes. A flame that emerges as a process of combustion is unaware of its volition, indeed it has no intent. I do not believe that consciousness in the manner in which I speak of it is another way of speaking about a soul or spirit, however, I do think that consciousness is a potential - a possibility or likelihood made possible through carnality - fleshiness, not something that invades or inhabits the body, as if it was simply an empty vessel, a receptacle for use by divine governance. We tend to think in terms of finiteness and this is what limits our understanding of a consciousness that shimmers over and over again, enabling no death to the individual. Nietzsche hinted at this eternal occurrence when in The Gay Science he posed the following proposition: What if a demon crept after you one day or night in your loneliest solitude and said to you: This life, as you live it now and have lived it, you will have to live again and you want this again and again, times without number? Would lie as the heaviest burden upon all your actions (1977:149-50). He was advocating that if a person fully embraced life, without a need for an afterlife, then they would not fear this repetition.  ‘Was that—life? I will say to death.  Very well! Once More”’ (1969: 326) says Zarathustra. Nietzsche was advocating an absorption in the moment of being totally at one with the world and although my idea goes to a different place, one that is concerned with consciousness there is something of my idea in that proposed by Nietzsche.

The difference between ‘being conscious’ and the ‘consciousness’ that I have previously been discussing is the fluidity of that state, which although not aware of self (it is not an entity as such), is none-the-less seemingly meshed as part of our ‘being’ consciousness. I don’t believe in a ‘non-being’ state, for non-being can have no state. Although we witness the death of another person's body and witness no evidence of consciousness, it does not necessarily logically follow that consciousness has not shimmered. (I use the word shimmer here as my project is interested in the flicker of light, the gleam and glitter of energy the sudden appearance and disappearance of such and the apparent shift). I am arguing that consciousness always holds memory of the body and as such can shimmer to a memory of that body that is for all purposes real to the body. I can hear your psyche crying out with that ‘heaviest of burdens’ spoken of in Nietzsche’s account of life, but there is no need for anxiety for the you of your consciousness will be unaware that your life is a repeat, you will only be aware, as you have always been that this is the consciousness of life you are living. The death moment only witnessed by others, will never be witnessed by you. Heretical thought? Imagine the grooves in a plastic record that stores a musical track. This information is fixed; it cannot be altered once ingrained into the substantive material. The stylus falls when placed at the beginning of the track and moves through the song smoothly until it reaches the end, unless something occurs to make the stylus suddenly shift back or forward. Imagine your life like the embedded grooves, except that inherent in your ‘being consciousness’ is an underlying consciousness that enables a shimmer to occur that the ‘being conscious’ self is never aware of. Death then remains a non-event to consciousness.

Problematic to some will be how this can occur without a material body that has continuity. How can consciousness exist outside the body? It maybe that the consciousness I speak of, once fully developed within each individual body holds the complete memory within its non-dimensional, unseen and unquantifiable ‘isness’. That consciousness has no intent to reproduce the body or the memories of that particular body, it is a process, non-judgmental, non-selective, it simply continues to lodge at some point in that life already lived at the moment of the death of the body. Consciousness is awareness of something theorized as, or considered as possible or enabled by the senses. I can imagine that although consciousness may spontaneously arise in the body that once evolved in this particular and peculiar consciousness it is linked forever with this (our, my) body. It is a process that does not, like us, question its existence, since it essentially resides nowhere after the demise of the body, but is an energy with the sole process of reproducing the exactness of that person’s life. This self-generating mechanism shimmers but can never be other than itself. It is not in the business of changing that life or reinventing it, it is an all powerful repository, pure ‘isness’. We can be ‘unconscious’ but alive, meaning that although most of the major organs of the body are still functioning that part of the brain that affects awareness has been all but diminished. It is possible to arrive at the conclusion that, if the living body may be ‘unconscious’ then the corpse could be imagined as containing the ‘consciousness’ I speak of. The alternative is that there is nothing after the death of the individual body, no awareness by the dead that they are dead, no knowledge or memory that they had ever lived their life. Nothing, nothing! a thought that would be terrifying to most people unable to unhinge the ego from the physical self. I understand how unusual my theory sounds for in my scenario everyone living at this present time may actually had already died in some distant reality and it is their ‘consciousness’ that is repeating that experience. How could this be so when our reality is so immediate, visually and aurally potent, in other words, so real? How could an apparently insubstantial consciousness without boundaries or physical form be so powerful as to hold the ability to create this seamless state that is, as we perceive it, life? Surely this is as adequate as notions of a spirit or soul, but bereft of any religious connotations?

My theory differs from the idea that the body contains an eternal soul or spirit; theories that maintain that each body is a host or vessel for an immortal soul and that maintain each soul was created by an omnipotent God, that who, after giving human beings free will to choose between good and evil judges that life at the moment of death and will determine whether that soul is taken into heaven or is punished in the burning flames of a hell. It differs also from notions that the soul or spirit is reincarnated and lives many times with the body of another human, animal or vessel, living out an eternal  higher or lower life determined by karma gleaned from how they lived their life; or with ideas that surround the idea that the soul wanders aimlessly through a void and appears to those only who believe in its existence. Unlike these ideas my theory is not hierarchical and affords consciousness itself as all powerful. It is based on the notion of living in the moment or being fully conscious, as much as any of us can be fully conscious since we are most selective on or discriminating in what we absorb from our environment.

There is matter, but there is also anti-matter, there is space and there is black holes. The fact is that no-one know what occurs after death. We assume that when the sense shut down and eventually dissipate that the underlying consciousness also disappears and ceases. I continue to make and think. I have become in this moment the Electric scream of that first photograph I took. Make of this what you will.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

White Cockatoo/Little Corellas in Richmond

This was at around 8 am on the morning after all that rain, the other day. Two white cockatoos (Little Corella's) were sitting on the TV antenna next door. It was still raining. The cockatoo on the left made its way to the one on the opposite end and after a not so subtle approach, a little pecking of the other and preening of itself it gently placed its wing over its body. Such a wonderful thing to see so I just had to share some of my photos. Oh, just had an email message from my son who thinks it is a Galah.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day Richmond 2014

I was still at home at 10.55am this morning and rushed down to the Richmond Town Hall hoping to be part of REMEMBRANCE DAY in which many people stop what they are doing to remember not only those who had participated in WW1 (the population of Australia at that time was about 4.9 million, and about 429,000 Australians enlisted), but the moment when the hostilities ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day or the 11th month in 1918.
I arrived with a minute to spare and heard the last stanza of the Ode of Remembrance, which is always poignant.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

The bugler played The Last Post and a woman sang Advance Australia Fair. I took some photos as the hands of the clock turned 11am. You will notice that Adam Bandt, Federal Member for Melbourne Greens was in attendance.

Afterwards all the members of the public and dignitaries who turned up for the event were treated upstairs to refreshments, sandwiches and other assorted brunch type fare. I hadn't been in that part of the Richmond Town Hal before so I was delighted to see the amazing Art Deco interiors. I spoke briefly with the only men there who were wearing medals. One had served in Malaysia in the 1950s, the other was a Vietnam Vet. Overall it was an enjoyable, if not solemn occasion.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Here's the acrylic painting I submitted for the CAMBERWELL ON CANVAS exhibition, which will showcase a painting from each of the exhibiting artists in selected shop fronts on Burke Hill from the 15-30 November. The theme is what I like about Camberwell. My painting, which is approximately 18 X 24 inches is for sale for $200.00 and is currently in the Afghan Village Restaurant in 923 Burke Road, Camberwell.
You can vote for my entry by going to this link

Dome of Our Lady of Victories Basilica. Julie Clarke (2014)
A reminder also that my photo-montages are still on show in the Degraves Room of the City Library, Flinders Lane, Melbourne until end of 30 October and are also for sale. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blood Moon ~ 8 October 2014: Photos by Julie Clarke

I feel extremely lucky to have seen the Lunar Eclipse last night, however that luck was due to the fact that I was willing to go outside and look at the sky every ten minutes or so I finally got some photographs of the Blood Moon, which was an amazing sight. Here it is at the beginning of the journey:
Blood moon 8.15pm: Photo Julie Clarke (c) 2014
and here it is when the Earth's shadow has almost covered it:

Blood moon 9.15 pm. Photo: Julie Clarke (2014)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

FOLD ~ Julie Clarke ~ installation view

I spent nearly two hours this morning measuring the long wall in the Degraves Street Reading Room of the City Library and pinning up ten photo-montages. I wish I could tell you that it was easy, but it wasn't and I wish I could tell you that the images are perfectly level, but they're not, some sustained a little damage around the edges when they fell to the floor ~ certainly an  imperfect job, but I'm pleased that so far the images have generated interest and I've received some wonderful responses from those who have seen them, particularly from Rosemary (librarian/artist) who made me feel really comfortable and welcome, even though it was very cold in the Reading Room.  Here's an installation view. If you are visiting Melbourne or live here maybe you will consider seeing the works they are on show until 30 October.

Julie Clarke
Degraves Street Reading Room,
253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.  Melways Map 1B N9.
2 ~ 30 OCTOBER 2014
Opening hours: 8am to 8pm Monday to Thursday.
8am to 6pm Friday. 10am to 5pm Saturday. 12pm to 5pm Sunday

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Can't think of a title for this post

I should tell you that I do not follow the football and I took those photographs of the AFL Grand Final Parade primarily for my son who is an avid Hawthorn supporter. That said, I did watch the Grand final and was happy that the Hawks beat the Swans. I'm loving this warmer Spring weather, which is keeping me away from the computer and luring me out into the sun. Tomorrow morning I will be installing my photo-montages at the City Library ~ this will include measuring up a 12 meter wall, finding the mid way point, pinning up the first image and then each following one being placed approximately 40 cm before the next. I'm stressing out a little because I invariably place things a little crooked on walls ~ must be my eyes! I'm at the Richmond Library this afternoon checking out (on the internet) images of viruses and bacteria. Fascinating stuff. More info to follow another time.