Sunday, July 16, 2017


Medusa. Oil pastel and acrylic paint on A3 paper. JC 2017
Emergence. Oil pastel and acrylic paint on A3 paper. Julie Clarke (c) 2017
I caught up with friends Dave, Tony and Herbert this week (on different days of course) and whilst I was in the State Library of Victoria I had a brief conversation with Alison Lemoh, mezzo-soprano who was in the ladies at the same time as myself, deciding whether to place her luxurious locks on top of her head or leave them flowing for her rehearsal in Chapel Street later in the day.
I've now read two chapters of Liz Grosz's book Chaos, Cosmos, Territory, Architecture and must admit that it is so much like a restatement of the ideas of Deleuze and Guttari in A Thousand Plateaus that I briefly looked at their chapter on the refrain. The partial and fragmentory interests me and the potential of its becoming - hearing someone sing in the distance and then break off, the sound of a car driving by, the Magpie call so early in the morning and the hum of my heater, all refrains, all markers for memory recuperation.
I struggled most of the week with symptoms from a vestibular migraine but managed to do two oil pastel drawings and continue to think about how this Old Knitter of Black Wool project might progress. I have a couple more ideas and yesterday over coffee outside Short Black cafe in Bridge Road I met an interesting artist/dancer/community arts woman called Mahoney Kiely who, after hearing about my project said I could have her (found) black petit pointe shoes to do with what I will. They fit in nicely with the theme since the petit pointe shoes make the feet of the dancer conform to its design and are an ideal metaphor for the way women are bound to their duties and can become disfigured over time by certain psychological and physical restraints. I reference this in the images I've made with threads of black wool wrapped around my head and the wool and dried rose stem corset.
Since part of this project involves photographing the hands of women over the age of fifty (hands are the most expressive part of our body/ women do so much physical labor with them/hands tend to show our age), I began by taking photos of Mahoney's hands and that of two librarians in the Richmond Library, who were so willing to be part of a project. One mentioned that Australian writer Helen Garner had written something about the way older women are treated in our society.

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