Thursday, November 8, 2018

Camberwell Art Trail: Julie Clarke Artworks

I have two works in the Camberwell Art Trail, funded by the Camberwell Chamber of Commerce. Artists were asked to respond to the business of the shop window where their work would be placed. I was allocated Our Place Melbourne and since the business involves workshops and conferences I worked with the notion of transformation and called these works Transhuman #1` and #2. For a general overview of transhumanism see the following link:

This morning some of the artists met at Euphoria cafe and were treated to free coffee and cake and then we went off in search of artworks in the shops down Burke Road, Camberwell. There are some lovely works from amateurs and professional artists and you can see them on display for the remainder of the month of November, or you can join the Art Trail at Euphoria cafe this Saturday at 10 am and get a free cup of coffee to sip whilst walking up and down Burke Road. Colin Freckelton the curator and organizer will be playing his Ukulele.

Here's some photographs I took of my two works in situ (my reflection is visible in some of them).

Transhuman #1
Pencil on paper, pinned to canvas at corners.
Julie Clarke (c) 2018
Price: $175.00

Transhuman #2
Acrylic paint on stretched canvas.
Julie Clarke (c) 2018
Price: $300

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

I'll be brief...

Sorry not to have written anything of late, I've been drawing and will post something soon about my entry in Connected 2018 and the Camberwell Art Trail, which will be on display on Burke Hill from 8-30 November. Images of my artworks  will be posted soon. I hope everyone is well and that Melbournians are coping with the warm one moment and freezing next of Spring weather. I myself have been struggling with hay fever symptoms, which, even with medication persist.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Myrna Bull at home, 12 October. Photo: Julie Clarke (2018

It's strange the things we recall. I remember way back in 1991 when I was at RMIT a young man said he thought I would grow old gracefully. I never really understood what he meant or how he arrived at that conclusion. More recently I have considered the word grace, which by 16th century definitions meant having pleasant or attractive qualities or the divine grace of god. In commonplace parlance it might mean to be free flowing in ones movements, gentle, soft, a quality we might associate with a classical ballet dancer. In my mind placing the words old and graceful together appear antithetical since most of the old people I've seen are rather slow and not necessarily graceful or elegant. Perhaps grace is what the individual exudes, some inner quality radiated, a characteristic that extends beyond the space of the self into the surrounding world. The notion of grace re-surfaced last week when I met a woman of note who imparted to me the quality of grace, however I still cannot pin down the word even though I think in Myrna's case grace is the glow of everything she has achieved in her life and the inability of her to contain the energy of that life within the tiny space of her body.

Myrna Bull, a mother and grandmother has a wealth of experience in management and human rights. As the Northern Territory’s Regional Director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission she contributed to a range of policy initiatives that had a significant effect on the quality of life of the community. Myrna helped to establish the Northern Territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 while she was the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity. Prior to that she worked with an Indigenous counterpart in the Aboriginal Women’s Resource Center which achieved a milestone in the history of the Uniting Church when her colleague was appointed the Center's Coordinator. She has been Assistant Commissioner, Conciliation in the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission, a management consultant, independent conciliator and investigator, and a workplace training and recruitment consultant. She developed and managed the volunteer selection and community education program for Australian Volunteers International, Australia’s largest volunteer recruitment agency, and most recently worked for Job Futures as the manager of its Victorian ex-prisoner and offender’s employment program.

It was a pleasure photographing her and her dogs were so well behaved.

Monday, October 8, 2018

A walk through the forest

Last Saturday my son took me for a absolutely peaceful and wonderful walk through a forest in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. I loved the density of the trees, the sound of numerous birds singing, the natural environment and above all, his company. The gravel track we followed was also a riding path and at one stage we encountered a group of about eight women on horseback, which was rather daunting as the horses were quite tall. As majestic as they were they certainly kicked up a lot of dust on that gravelly path. One of the photos below shows just one rider by herself heading towards us. I took twenty two photographs in the hour that we were walking but have only placed six here for your enjoyment and contemplation. In the first photograph you can just see Melbourne in the skyline, which looked like a foggy apparition in the distant past. I just loved it.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

A little bit of academic news

This blog is in its ten year and although I've slowed down with my entries over the past year or so to concentrate more fully on drawing I will attempt to continue making blog posts. Selfie above was taken last week as visual record of myself at the beginning of the remainder of the decade in which I began (in August 2009) by considering what is human.

I'm happy to report that Google Scholar from time to time alerts me of any piece of writing - book or article that cites one of my published articles. In the following instance they advised that my 2008 article Doubly Monstrous? Female and Disabled, published by Humboldt University in their Essays in Philosophy, has had 3828 downloads and has been cited in Ashley Crawford's new book: Religious Imaging in Millenialist America, however it has also been cited in ten other books.

My own book: The Paradox of the Posthuman in Science Fiction/Techno-horror Films and Visual Media, VDM Verlag, Germany, 2009 has been cited by seven writers in their books.
I'm pleased that my scholarship continues to be an influence in Australia and Internationally even though I don't work in an academic environment.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thoughts on Germaine Greer's ON RAPE by Julie Clarke

Many cases of rape are planned, others are opportunistic in that men prey on women who are alone, intoxicated/drugged or vulnerable. Some theorize that rape is about power, but it is also about male pleasure achieved only by making someone, anyone, their 'bitch'. It involves subjugation, bringing someone under control.  In the prison system stronger men make weaker ones their 'bitch' by forcing them into unwilling homosexual activity. It involves raping that man until he finally, willingly, conforms to the desire of the other.  In the general community rape (generally perpetrated by men over women)  is about treating a person as an object, a hole, a cunt to be used and abused.  Rape is total disrespect for an other's body integrity. Germaine Greer says that 'Although some of us might like to think of the vagina as sacred, and casual use of it as a desecration, it has never been revered' (p.1) however it IS the most private part of the female body and women fear rape as an unwelcome violation that will cause pain, possible disease or an unwanted pregnancy, and they know that if they resist the demands of the perpetrator they may sustain greater injury and death, since many rapes are accompanied by threats of violence. In every attack of one person upon another there are microseconds in which the body of the victim acts or remains silent. On the occasion of rape the woman decides whether to scream and fight back or whether to conform to the request, knowing full well that to say no is to place herself in greater danger. In many cases it comes down to a matter of survival.
In Greer's extended essay/book called 'On Rape' she maintains 'You can rape a woman without even waking her up' (p.3) suggesting that penetration of the vagina without force or violence is still rape, in contrast to those who maintain 'Non-consensual sex without force is not rape' (p.4). However she fails to acknowledge that conjugal rights in marriage asserts an expectation (for both partners) of sexual activity/intimacy whether consensual or not. Interestingly enough the words conjugal and subjugate derive from the Latin word 'iungere' to join; both implicitly suggest that one person is placed under the yoke or power of another. On consideration, I think that men have extended the idea that sex is their right not only in marriage but with partners and casual relationships with women. In other words, men expect sex and sadly women trade sexual favors for financial security for themselves and their children. It seems to me that Greer's argument throughout the essay is an emphasis on non-consensual sex, which according to her is 'commoner than deep communion between male and female' and further that we 'must make an attempt to stem its deadening spread' (p.86, 87)
I am left thinking after reading this essay last night that Greer's anger is undoubtedly, finally expressed when she says that surgical or chemical castration 'will not eliminate men's hatred of women. Rape is not a sex crime, but a hate crime' (p.69).

Germaine Greer, On Rape, Melbourne University Press, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Self-portrait X 2

Self-portrait with orb. Pencil on A3 sized Moulin du Roy, w/c paper.
Julie Clarke (c) 2018

Whilst all the facial drawings I've done this year were more concerned  with disrupting the face or depicting micro facial expressions, the one above, which I completed last week is actually based on a photograph I took of myself and is more realistic. It is commentary of sorts on the way in which identity is fragmented in cybernetic culture. The orb, a metaphor of rationality was taken from a small oil painting on Masonite I completed in 1991. I was interested in 18C illustrations of mathematical objects, the Enlightenment, machines, prosthesis, etc. Not a lot has changed.
Self-portrait, 1991. Oil paint on Masonite. Julie Clarke(c)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


As much as I would like Hawthorn to win the AFL Grand Final because my son is one of their supporters and so was my grandmother, I just had to post this wonderful piece of art that graces the side of a building in Richmond that I photographed last weekend.