Monday, September 20, 2010

A singular event

Julie Clarke in studio at Hawthorn (circa 1993). Photo: Julian West
This photograph ~ me bare-footed, sitting crossed-legged beside a run down old television that's slipped slightly out of view in my studio above a shop in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn about seventeen years ago was taken by Julian West, writer and avid photographer who is the son of the preeminent Australian playwright and novelist Morris West. Julian and I had worked together at the Hawthorn City Council and became friends because of our interest in writing and art. I came across this photograph whilst I was moving from my old place to the new and realised that I had absolutely none of the art-works I produced from that time. What is left of that singular event, time and place is this photograph. Somewhere amidst the collection of things still left (though I've yet to find them) are other photos he took of me on the same day ~ my head in arms rested on my knees ~ one of the large works on paper, yet unfinished and affixed to the wall behind me. Memories are prompted here purely by this photograph. I have not thought of the space above the shops for nearly two decades and here the images and ideas come to life again. Do you remember me? I seem to be saying to myself as I look, and I do remember her, she so much wanted to be an artist and some where along the way words took precedence.


  1. Got to be careful what you wish for. As the Roman Emperor Vespasian lay dying in around 80CE he was heard to say "woe is me, I am turning into a God".

  2. Interesting post Steve. Funny thing ~ Julian wanted so much to be a great writer like his father and although he was writing a novel when I knew him, I don't think it was ever published. I must have had a lot of attitude back then because Julian was my boss and he used to say to me 'you might be JC but I am God'! Of course, you are right about being careful about what we wish for ~ I'm cautious about putting anything out there, I'm happy at the moment just to say 'the universe is conspiring in my favor'.

  3. Hello, you might be able to help me... I'm trying to get to know things about my dad, so I googled him, and this came up. I'm his daughter, Juliana West. Contact me if you can!

    1. Please see my comment below. Contact me at:

  4. Hi Juliana, I was not aware that Julian had any children. Although I know that he was Helen Grimaux's partner for some time. Helen was (maybe still is) a journalist with the Progress Press in the early 1990s. I remember finding her and emailing her, but have now lost her contact details. Sorry, but unless you have specific questions about Julian, I'm not sure how I can help. Please email me at: