Thursday, April 15, 2021

RECOMBINANT

 

 
Recombinant 2021. Acrylic paint on stretched canvas. This is my return to text based works I did in the first Melbourne lock down in 2020. I painted out one section of a painting I did in  2017 and combined it with new elements including the Astra Zeneca Monica of the CoViD vaccine made from Chimpanzee Adenovirus developed by Oxford University. You can see it in the background: ChAd0x1-S/nCov-19. The text includes all the letters, repeated to form the word MUTATION.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

THOUGHTS DURING THE PANDEMIC

 


Julie Clarke 2020/2021©

 


I write this under a cloak of isolation that clings to me in the dark of night as well as light of day. Sunrise and sunset remain unchanged whilst the pandemic virus continues to replicate and mutate. The strain that's circulating the globe today differs from the original but is still highly infectious, deadly and clever. We could learn from it's easy transformations. Adapt or die. The eerie silence of evening curfew should be conducive to sleep because there are no sudden sounds to disturb and yet sleep does not come easy for me. It may be lack of stimulus that keeps me awake even though I am tired.
Lock down, restrictive movement and the absence of others weighs heavily on my mind. If life is this, then what? I attempt to be philosophical.

          Who would have thought that in the midst of life it would be diminished? How could I have lived my whole life for it to be placed on indefinite hold. The hungry mouth of time swallows days that disappear into months that linger. Each day is longer than the one that proceeds it, but I am redeemed by writing. The past bleeds into now. The streets, which were full of people, are empty and there is some beauty in that because there's an opportunity to see buildings without the movement of people obstructing the view.

          Buildings are hushed sentinels that stand guard over history and it is history that we are experiencing, or rather this is a time  we will know in an entirely different way. We've witnessed the metropolis become a ghost town and it's not just that people and their industry have been erased, but that we've also become specters. The ghosts that remain in this city are now lost under a pandemic veil. They wander aimlessly somewhere, anywhere to escape confinement. When I'm outside I suck in everything like a black hole deep in space. I can feel the rise and fall of the mask on my face. I am captive behind an inaccessible, unknowable visage and life, or what I knew as life has been amputated and hangs on the sharp edge of hope.

          Four weeks before the end of winter and after a drastic daily rise in positive coronavirus cases we are further restricted by a daily curfew. This coincides with the return to Earth of the SpaceX rocket and two cosmonauts isolated for two months on the International Space Station. Like the first moon mission, the craft landed in water and I feel we are like that capsule dropped into a viral sea. As I revisit the past by writing my memoir a somberness pervades. However, it's not that I need to escape the now with its restrictive regime or pending doom as I've been living a life of virtual isolation for many years now. Writing and art are private activities. I can appreciate what it might be like travelling to Mars, drifting in space away from everyone and everything I've known. It's paradoxical that we have a desire to discover whether there is life on another planet and yet must leave life on this planet in order to do so. We imagine being immigrants in a future scenario.

          Today it’s cold. I feel like a zombie embedded in permafrost. I recall that for thirty thousand years Pithovirus sibericum, the largest virus ever found by Russian scientists, lay dormant in dead amoeba in frozen Siberian soil. Once discovered and thawed it sprang to life. Perhaps there's hope for us all in this winter chill. But the internal war still rages.

          During the eight month German bombing blitz on the United Kingdom in World War Two many died, many became resilient, others took on a fatalistic approach for they were totally convinced of the inevitability of being killed or mutilated. Belief that mustard gas used extensively in the first great war would be dropped on the city, meant that black rubber masks were mandatory against the invisible enemy. Unlike those in London who feared the siren sound of a twirling gas rattle, we receive no warning of the presence of the unseen coronavirus. Alarm comes instead from televised daily epidemiology reports, number of positive cases and deaths.

It will be mid-Spring when this second pandemic lock down and curfew ends. Until then, we wait.

          My life has made me resilient. I know I will cope, even though a state of coping rather than living can be wearing. Catastrophes occur without warning and life goes on.

          Nine years ago a tsunami caused by an undersea mega thrust earthquake hit Japan. Those who lived near the coast in Sukuiso and Sendai had only eight minutes warning before the force of the quake caused forty meter waves to sweep over the mainland and knock the earth six and a half inches off its axis. Televised footage showed water flooding the land. It was terrifying. I watched and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Those on safe ground witnessed the horror of those running for their lives. For those caught in the tsunami there was nowhere to run and although  not comparable, there is nowhere to run from this virus.

We have constructed vaccines to combat a biological threat however the Japanese have built sea walls, fourteen meters high and 400 kilometers along the north-eastern coast of Japan’s main island to withstand flooding water. Some say that the wall will protect them from a future tsunami, even though it obscures villagers view of the ocean and threatens their food security. Others say that the wall will provide a false sense of security creating a situation in which people will wait until the last moment before fleeing from rising waters. Isn’t this false sense of security also engendered in relation to vaccines against the coronavirus?

          This virus is a dangerous adversary, cleverer than us for it's a single-minded evolution machine. In its previous manifestation it learned that it was unwise to kill its victim quickly because they had little opportunity to infect another. Second time around the mutated virus is content to keep its victim well enough to infect others. It's like a sadistic stalker who captures and tortures its prey before killing them.

          Early on my battle was with claustrophobia. I feared confinement more than I feared the virus. I could only bear living in my small abode if I drew or wrote. When I focus on the drawing the world outside disappears. Thinking about that first Magic Pencil book I received and how it consoled and excited me, I decided I'd do what I always do in response to a thought or emotion, I'd make art.


I wanted to reflect replication of the words anxiety, panic, endurance, grief, hysteria, isolation and loss repeated over and over again in the media
. I used alphabet templates to create artworks that reflected orderly, confined, restrictive space. The images were formed by repeating colored in words over and over again on a page. By doing so I unwittingly created an illusion of movement like the energy of a hive before insect’s swarm. The drawings sometimes mirrored microscopic viral clusters. My action highlighted repetition and new patterns of existence formed from being home bound and alone but it was also meditative and reduced stress.



          Feelings of abandonment have not been far from my thoughts during this pandemic. I feel like I have been left and forgotten. I’m not alone in these feelings. Others realize how much others, under usual circumstances fill their lives. The cold weather makes everything bleak. Death came again this morning. It crept  quietly into my mind triggered by a flickering light globe. On and off. On and off. Binary. Until it finally gave up. Death is a strange thought and yet I cannot think of the first time it entered my mind.

          Although our Prime Minister declared in March last year that Australia was in a global pandemic two million unconcerned Melbournians attended the Moomba parade and celebrations along Birrarung Marr. My dislike of crowds may have actually saved me from the virus.

 My only company, if I care to engage with it, is the cacophony of persistent media noise that floods the airwaves. We've been in lock down for about two weeks and my street, which is usually quiet was suddenly disturbed. At around twelve thirty-five in the afternoon there was an indecipherable sound heading in my direction. The sky was filled with hundreds of screeching white Corella's that descended on the large Plane tree that spreads it umbrella-like branches over my place. The excited bird cries were deafening as they decimated the seeds and leaves in a feeding frenzy. One wave of birds followed another and the noise increased. Thousands of heavy seed balls, branches and debris bombarded my roof and the tin awning over my back door. After about forty minutes the marauding beasts flew off as quickly as they had arrived and my world was silent again.

I live alone and cannot express the anguish I felt not being about to see those few who are close to me. I had to protect myself against any out-pouring of emotions in order not to be utterly devastated. But emotions are revealed in other ways.

          Eight months of this pandemic and insects have been inhabiting people's dreams. I on the other hand have been dreaming of rats. The dreams were prompted when I woke to the feeling that something was draped across my face. It was long and leathery like a shoelace. Milliseconds later I was sure it was a rat's tale and I flung back the blankets and jumped out of bed. I fell back asleep realizing it was probably my imagination since I had read Kafka's The Plague and in the book there were so many references to rats.

          Another night I was disturbed by movement across the end of my bed. In my half sleep I was convinced that it was a rat and the scratching noises I've heard of late attest to its presence. I imagine a mouse entering my opened mouth and choking me whilst trying to scurry down my gullet. Didn't rats chew at King Herod's tongue, or was that just a myth? I felt like Winston in Nineteen Eighty-Four who was terrified of rats. Like him I would sacrifice my lover, if I had one, just to be free of this purgatory. In the light of day, I realized my dreams had been precipitated by the pandemic since rat fleas are vectors of disease. The strong, destructive wind that buffeted the tree outside my place last night also probably contributed to my fear of things out of control.

          Early on in the pandemic I would find myself bursting into laughter because I found the whole situation ludicrous. I was amused by the way I flipped between being caught up in the rhetoric and being ambivalent to my general state of being. I would never have thought I’d be experiencing a once in one-hundred-year pandemic. Already today it's been the worst day in terms of deaths and numbers infected. This second wave is a viral sea rising like a mountain out of the ocean. A maleficent hand crashing down on us with its rage. I can't think of anything worse than hospitals filled to capacity and doctors having to choose who should receive treatment and who will be left to die. We already know that the young will be salvaged.

          This virus is travelling like a freight train. Swift velocity execution. It speeds through suburbs. Bypasses railway stations. Drops its load and clusters form. No names. No faces. Just statistics. But change is inevitable. There will be a time when we are remembering the pandemic rather than living through it. Clouds have moved across and disappeared into the deep blue sky. Hope is always more prevalent on sunny days. However, cold and rain makes seeing things in a positive light much more difficult

Perceptions are warped during this pandemic. I've been seeing things that aren't there. Moving forms, tiny flashes. This space, dense with colors and movement, images and sounds, people and voices, faces and flashes of light, cascade. Confetti floating in the air. Dust, gentle as cotton wool floats in sunshine stream with particular focus, or spent leaves caught in gentle wind floats down and land. The slow drag of a snail across concrete. The speed of ants as they ravage and carve up the flesh of a fallen insect. Their industry and single-mindedness. The drain fly caught in a web spun high to capture. A scurrying mouse that preens itself when sound disappears. All quiet. Vision continues but the melody is far away. It’s more of a memory than an accurate account as the notes drop. Down. As a plastic bag is caught in the wheels of a pram. Its white body bellows a cry as it is swept into the steel and is torn to shreds. Tissue thin, moving cars across the road feel like rain. The noise is constant and then seconds of absolute nothing. Even time has halted between the rise and fall of breath. A slow pulse day as the sun bleeds her yellow glow, creates shadows on the thick, brick fence. I’m not locked in when I can see the sky. A ceiling to the world. Her powder blue is covered with languid froth. Seduces a grey cloud interlude.

          Autumn is late. She holds fast to leaves that refuse to be tossed aloft by Winter’s sting. Her arthritic fingers bare and bone hold stiff against marauding wind and still she’s cold. Her quivering palmately lobes resplendent with a wand of carmine and gold, replaced now by leaves the colour of the faded tan of well-worn shoes. Brittle and bent. How bitter is the wind that threatens to disrobe the remains of her garb? Soon she will be stark.

It’s easy to be poetic. Pandemic or no pandemic it's Sunday as I write this and Sundays are always the same. No one walks past my window. There's a silence that tells me people are still wrapped in sleep. They will wake to the news that numbers have decreased. They will wake to news that the virus has retreated into its hiding place. Its search for victims to wedge its spikes into has halted for the moment. There is hope. But still no bird cries; as though there is something they know.

          As we approach ANZAC day 2021 I recall that 2020 celebrations were canceled due to the virus and many Australians, especially old diggers and their families couldn't participate in usual rituals. No shoulder to shoulder closeness. No hugs, or pats on the back. Instead, they stood outside their homes holding a candle as bugle sounds of the Last Post echoed through darkness before dawn at the Shrine of Remembrance. This year the celebrations will go ahead but with greatly limited numbers.

A decade ago I wanted to to see the Anzac Day parade just once. I watched it on the large screen at Federation Square. Standing at the edge of the footpath I managed to avoid the crowds that gathered at either side of Swanston Street from Lonsdale down to St. Kilda Road.

          It was a somber affair, quieter than I'd imagined. Those that stood on the periphery waved the Australian flag or simply applauded as the old guys walked past wearing their medals. There is silence in the gaps between the clapping and quiet cheering. Some soldiers walk with their grandchildren. Some walk for their grandfather long gone. The faces of the soldiers as well as those witnessing the parade are silent and severe. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. The worn faces. The struggle of some to walk the one long hour of the journey. Nothing of course compared to what they've already endured. They've lived a long time and experienced much. You'd have no heart if you couldn't connect with the faces of those obviously experiencing memories - mostly bad. A palpable, eerie vibe hangs in the air. It's laced with tears. But we fight back against emotion. It's better for those already in the pubs. They've hidden themselves away and are drinking themselves into oblivion.

Not surprisingly during a pandemic no-one cares about their looks. All shops, theatres, restaurants, entertainment complexes, libraries, art galleries are closed and there is nowhere to go under strict stay at home rules. Those that do venture out are wearing warm comfortable clothes - tracksuit pants, sports tights, coats, scarves and beanies. It is mid-winter 2020 and I have to admit that for much of the time I've been living in my pj's or lounge wear. During the pandemic men don't shave and women don't wear makeup. Everyone looks pale. Some have dark rings around their eyes and the bridge of their nose. They've either been sleeping too long or not sleeping enough. We are all constantly sanitizing or washing our hands with soap and water. During the first lock down I would wipe the handle of the community gate and the one on my front door because I didn't know if anyone touched it in my absence. I wiped food preparation surfaces in case the virus managed to infiltrate my house after landing on my shopping bag. When I returned home I'd scrub my fingernails and the underside of my hands with a nail brush like I was a surgeon preparing for an operation. I'd wipe the handles on my bathroom sink. No surface was safe. And no surface I've touched was safe. I became less fastidious when some of the restrictions were lifted and must admit I've spent less time disinfecting surfaces of late but I still wash my hands thoroughly.

Since the beginning of the second lock down I've started wearing a mask in the tram and I sanitize my hands after holding the rail, which a thousand other people may have touched. Masks are now compulsory and we treat other people like they are carriers because we've been told that those who are asymptomatic may be inadvertently spreading the virus. There are no longer signs or symptoms that we can identify in people, so no way of knowing who may be spreading the contagion. We walk around others like they are the enemy. Strangers are people who could make us very sick or worse, kill us. It is better to be alone because it reduces the potential of harm. With daily rising numbers we are informed by the health authorities that the risk is great.

Some people in the street turn distancing into a game, what else can we do to lighten the fact that we must anticipate which way each of us will move when we walk towards each other. So a strange dance occurs. I move one way and the oncoming person moves the other. Sometimes there is a hesitation and a weaving and then another movement occurs, but eventually we manage to pass without becoming too close. The advantage of wearing a mask other than the obvious is that I can, if I wish, mumble obscenities under my breath or resort to stronger expletives directed to those who do not comply with expectations around physical distancing. Mask wearing is mandatory in this viral era, just one of the weapons in our arsenal against the unseen enemy. Hefty fines will be imposed if we do not comply.

          During this pandemic isolated people resort to dancing to overcome boredom, express feelings or dispel pent up energy. It’s a repeat if you like of the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries dancing pandemics that swept through Europe. Thousands danced spontaneously until they collapsed. No one knows what caused these people to dance to exhaustion, however the erratic psychosis was thought to be caused by starvation and disease. I occasionally dance by myself and I dance like no one is watching because no one is watching. Others, who need to dance with strangers rely on telecommunications to see others dance and they in turn dance allowing others to see them achieving a sense of togetherness or cooperation eroding the distance between them. It also reinforced the notion that we are all in this together.

We're broaching the seventh month of this pandemic and yesterday was the first time a newspaper front page displayed photographs of five elderly people from nursing homes who had died of the disease the day before. The headline read They were loved. Rather than being just a number in the overall day to day statistics the dead had names and faces. It was a clever strategy to personalize a tragedy that had become focused upon deaths, numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations, those in intensive care or on ventilators. Unfortunately, since the deceased looked European it tended to reinforce two ideas. The first being that the virus was more likely to affect older, rather than younger people and secondly that people from diverse groups are likely to be the source of contagion. Unfortunately this may have instigated racial tensions.

 Elderly people are already invisible by virtue of the fact that they rarely venture out and are hidden away in nursing homes. In the last episode of their lives they are masked by their isolation. The pandemic has a way of bringing the unseen into view and it exposed the terrible way in which many elderly people were treated in nursing homes. More recently sexual perversions, generally unseen have been brought to light through a veil of silence in government as well as private company culture. During this period of the mask some things are being unmasked. Perhaps other truths will also be unmasked?

Regardless of our age we are all isolated and masked now. Each person's face is covered with the tell-tale light blue of a disposable surgical mask or a washable colored one. I wear a black mask. It seems more appropriate since it is a signifier of death and the color of clothes worn to funerals. Black is a metaphor of the fourteenth century Bubonic Plague which killed more people than any other disease in recorded history.

From birth we are hardwired to recognize faces. The eye, the nose, the mouth in a particular formation on the front of our head. Each masked face is now a hideous disguise that would confound even the most astute infant. Of course babies may be responding more to the teat than the mother's face or perhaps they perceive them as one and the same. In the French Film Eyes without a face the skin of a woman's face is surgically removed and grafted to that of another. This renders the face counterfeit, static, expressionless. The skin, detached from nerves and muscles cannot reflect the feelings of the person who now wears this strange robe that conceals and robs them of their identity and in its place is a blank slate. We can do nothing now when someone walks towards us wearing a mask but to read the fabric colors and shapes that cover the nose and mouth no longer seen. It's not enough for us to rationalize the situation by stating that our face is capable of obscuring our real feelings or that we are merely a screen that reflects the thoughts of others in a mirroring effect. Faces look now like alien entities in a sci-fi movie, aberrant creatures that have developed psychic abilities that enable them to communicate without using their mouth. They have developed their unusual morphology through evolution or genetic breeding and their features are erased in favor of a smooth area of skin that leads from chin to eyes. A blankness evident in the empty eyes that peer at us now and in a sense even friends become strangers and strangers are an unknown quantity forever concealed.

We are in the eighth month of the pandemic. Mandatory mask wearing has created a division between those who think it is an imposition and infringement of our human rights and those who can see valid health reasons for wearing one. I think it has gone beyond being just a face covering. It has become a metaphor for anonymity, conformity and concealment.

Most people in our community generally feel safe in a large crowd. There is safety in numbers. Now they don't because the virus is more easily transmitted when people group together. Those unwilling to comply and adapt to the new requirements and conditions to overcome this viral plague are being referred to as heretics, setting them at odds with the general community. The notion that we have been hoodwinked by these face coverings, which all but erase our identity is drawing strong emotions. Some are concerned that the disguise obliterates the identity of a potential attacker. Everyone you encounter is a possible assailant. No one is to be trusted when lives are at stake. Fear too that the mask is akin to hooding prior to execution; an act that creates a form of sensory deprivation, reduction of breathing, isolation, anticipation and fear. There are few ways to identify the emotions of a person walking towards us, but we generally interpret covering the mouth with shame, perhaps instigated centuries ago when people with rotting or missing teeth refused to open their mouths when photographed. Don't expose your decay. Cover it and save others from having to view your disintegration. I understand why people don't like the concealment associated with a mask. We are suspicious of people who hide.

          During this pandemic lockdown we are living within a restrictive regime. Our freedoms are curtailed and we live in confined space. Our only company, if we care to engage with it, is the cacophony of persistent media noise that floods the airwaves. Ubiquitous use of the Internet has created a unitary whole in a continual flux of dissipating often misleading information that disturbs this hive mind. We are moved to action in a viral swarm of anxiety, panic, grief, hysteria, isolation and loss.

          We are compelled to wear masks during this global pandemic but we still recognize friends by their gait, clothing and demeanor. Only their eyes show expression. Visual clues, which usually betray their words or verify them, are gone and in their place instead is a blank surface that makes communication more difficult. Muslim women wearing a Niqab no longer look unusual in a crowd. Their face coverings denote Islamic beliefs, whereas our masks are worn to protect ourselves and others. No one wants to catch the deadly virus. No one wants to spread it. Now that I think about it Muslim women who cover their faces are also protected from racism and abuse because now they look like the rest of us, or rather, now we look like them. There are all kinds of masks.

I’m not surprised now when Australia has virtually no cases of coronavirus infection that we’re in the midst of a vaccine war and a grab by wealthy nations to secure enough vaccine to cover their populations, sometimes at the expense of nations without the necessary resources to protect its people. Coupled with this is the uncomfortable fact that the vaccines produced were to combat the original SARS-CoV2 virus, not the multiple viral variants of this zoonotic pathogen.

          It’s just over a year since our Prime Minister declared that Australia was in a pandemic and as I sit in a cafe in Melbourne my friend who is a leader in the field of bio-medicine tells me that whether or not we are vaccinated not much will change. We still need to be careful, wear a mask, wash our hands regularly and avoid crowds. Complacency is what kills. Vaccination can encourage people to believe that they are shielded and they’re not. For many the vaccinate may not produce antibodies. Many will not be able to receive it due to health concerns. We have to be more adaptable than this dangerous virus. We can never take it for granted.

          As we discuss bacterium, viruses and vaccines a small brown Autumn leaf, aerodynamic in its curled, dried morphology is blown into the foyer outside the cafe. It’s a distraction from our conversation, but a reminder of the organic world. Life and spent life. As we watch, the leaf becomes animated by the unseen wind and takes on the form of a small bird moving around searching for food. I think it’s a sparrow since they are the most common bird seen in the city. He thinks it’s a Minah bird. We’re both using our imagination and enter into a conversation as to whether it might be moving through its own volition from an unseen force or whether it moves purely from external conditions. Either way it is the unseen and perhaps even the unsaid that pervades the moment.

          It’s been a year since the World Health Organization informed the world about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and I am still feeling cautious about the vaccine. Reports of blood clots, rare as they are, and the possibility of having an adverse allergy attack weigh on my mind. In the end the odds are in our favour and I, like many will take the risk because we don’t want to face the even greater risk of contracting the disease. 

          It’s also been thirty-five years since the nuclear accident in the number four reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near the city of Pripyat in the Ukraine. Radiation, an invisible substance that cannot be seen, smelt or tasted affected over two hundred thousand people involved in the clean-up and continues to affect people who have been exposed to its dangers. I can only think that we continue to be in awe of and combatant against the unseen that impacts our lives.      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

CLARKE/STONE/OLIVE BRANCHES

CLARKE - STONE I was born Julie Joy Clarke and inherited all the baggage of the name bestowed upon me by my maternal grandmother who knew my father and made judgments on me due to his characteristics. As my foster mother she was in a position to instill in me a sense of shame in my father who she considered polluted the lineage since he had married her daughter (my mother). She wanted nothing to do with the Clarke’s so I grew up not knowing anyone from that side of the family. But where am I going with all of this? I’ve been married twice and twice the Clarke name disappeared from my identity until forty years ago when my brother located my father, who had been out of my life since I was five. I began to adopt my birth name hyphenated in conjunction with my married name by way of connecting with my ancestry. Then, after a marriage break up thirty years ago I reverted to my birth name. My older sister had undertaken some serious research on both sides our family tree, which unearthed major achievements, so I was finally comfortable. I was a Clarke. However, I was recently contacted by a distant relative who discovered that my paternal grandfather was born Thomas Winter Stone. My great grandmother Anne Connolly Neil Clarke changed his name to Charles Winter Clarke, presumably because all her other children were fathered by her husband John Timewell Clarke. What’s in a name? Well, we certainly grow up with an identity linked with the name of our father or (if female) our husband’s surname. But what if that name is counterfeit? When I received this information I felt like the lineage had been amputated and it will only be recuperated when a connection is made with the Stone lineage. For family members interested in the lineage from my great grandmother please consult the amazing blog called OLIVE BRANCHES skillfully written and researched by Dr. Belinda McKay, which may be found at the following link: https:/tetragonula.wordpress.com/

Sunday, February 7, 2021

43C degrees in the shade

What are you doing on this day aflame with light? Shockwave. Thermal radiation will kill you faster. Nowhere to hide or breathe as the flames and darkness descends and all that is left of life and love is burnt embers. Nothing. Even memories are charred. Julie Clarke (c) 20 December 2019

Thursday, November 5, 2020

REPUBLSHED ARTICLE

My article Corporeal Mélange: Aesthetics and Ethics of Biomaterials in Stelarc and Nina Sellars's Blender, published in Leonardo 39 (5), 410-416 has been republished in Leonardo's ebook series: Meta-Life: Biotechnologies, Synthetic Biology, ALife and the Arts (Leonardo ebook series) eBook: Bureaud, Annick, Malina, Roger F., Whiteley.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

VALE ANIA WALWICZ

 

Ania Walwics. Photo: Julie Clarke (1985/2020)

 

This is a photograph I took of Ania at Rhumbarallas in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia in September,1985. Both Ania and I were published by Kris Hemensley and we were two of the writers published in In Our Own Words: Six Melbourne Writers on Tape, by Marcus Breen, available at the Queensland library. Ania and I continued our friendship over the following decades although rarely arranged to meet instead we often ran into each other in Carlton, North Melbourne or the city. 

I was saddened to hear of her sudden death on 29 September. It's tragic that she died in isolation in this terrible pandemic. She was funny, intelligent, thoughtful, cheeky, private, brilliant, experimental and utterly unique. I feel honored to have known such an interesting performance poet and spent valuable time with her.

For those interested a Face Book site has been set up, which is called The Ania Walwicz Fan Club where you can post your memories of her.

GOODBYE ANIA

Monday, October 12, 2020

SEEDS, CELLS AND PODS - Drawings i completed during art residency at BioFab3D, St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne 2019






Drawings are (c) to Julie Joy Clarke 2019. More will be posted at a later date.

An exegesis of the overall project is available to interested parties presented as a pdf. Email me if you would like a copy. juliejclarke22@gmail.com

Alternatively the 23 page booklet with illustrations of the project is held at the National Library of Australia and the State Library of Victoria.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Update under pandemic lock down

 I  haven't posted of late because I've been writing a novel. I abandoned it a few years ago and resurrected it in June during the pandemic lock down Thankfully the first good draft is complete and I have a few readers. Soon I hope to post some of the drawing that I did last year between August and November when I undertook an artist residency at BioFab3D at St. Vincent's Hospital last year. I'll check back in here next week, until then...