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Zooming House

You take photos of me in the Escher and Nendo exhibition at The NGV.   You take  the photos of me crawling in as far as I can go into an installation designed by Oki Sato entitled Zooming House (2018).  Should you leave me it would be all the photos you took of me that would haunt me the most.There are not so many of us together.  To have so many reminders of how you saw me: as something worth capturing frozen in moments with you behind a camera.

The exhibition is amazing and the air condition ing and lack of exposure to hot January sun is much appreciated.  as we move through the retrospective there are a father and son who like to stand in front of art works and discuss their steps count on their phones.

We decide to take the train home from Melbourne Central. The escalator taking us down is blocked on the right side by a guy who is simply spreading himself across for no reason. He is in blatant disregard for the rule of staying to the left is you wish to stand still on the escalator. You say excuse me to the guy so we can continue down the stairs. You say it politely. He responds. ”You in a hurry.” It is not a question it is a threat. My heart starts to thump. You say politely that yes a little bit. The guy does not move. He is standing next to a woman on her phone. ”Just move.” She snaps at him. And pulls him. But the whole thing took up the escalator ride and the guy stays in our way as long as he can.  We rush past him and get through the barriers. I find myself scanning for all the reasons that that was so frightening: toxic masculinity mixed with obvious racism.  I find myself worrying about the woman he was with even if they are just friends. I also cring when i remember I actually apologised to the guy as i passed him. An over perky ‘sorry’ as I hurried away to my train  that we were not in a hurry for but simply wanted to walk down the escalator uninterrupted. I said sorry out of fear that he was going tomperhaps punch you or attempt to grab you on our way past.

the next day is a Saturday and I see my friend for a catch up drink in the afternoon. She tells me of an incident a few weeks ago where a man punched her as she got off a tram. My friend is small and at the time she was carrying a bunch of flowers. I am filled with horror and rage at this. Again its a cocktail of toxic masculinity, racism and misogyny.

But of course how dare women show fear or frustration at the constant onslaught that is threatening men who don’t seem to need a reason to throw their scary energy  and physical strength around. Now there is a multi million dollar disposable razor company jumping onto the now profitable idea of fighting toxic masculinity. The ad shows men calling out other men when they disrespect women, men breaking up little boys fighting and men showing gentleness. The Gillette We Believe: The Best Men Can Be advertisement is just that an advertisement but the fact that so many men seem upset by the concept of kindness and respecting women such an  offensive idea really tells you all you need to know about where we stand in relation to such concepts.  I refuse to read the comments as I value my time and mental health too much today. It is pretty horrible that such an ad is considered so remarkable. That I cried a bit when I watched it. I got a little choked up at the thought of how many women had to die and be assaulted r mistreated in order for this ad to be considered marketable. I think of the few little boys I know  and I try to be hopeful but mostly I’m scared. I don’t want to be.

There was an older boy on my school bus who would punch me hard in my tiny arm as I got off the bus every day after school.  I don’t remember his name just how it felt.

On the walk back to the apartment from the train station I grab your hand and squeeze. I thank you for not needing to express your masculinity in scary and threatening ways to strangers in order to make yourself feel important.  You are confused by the comment and I know i shouldn’t thank a man for simply being a decent person but here we are.

we are all glow worms

The storm is rough and angry. The boat is being hurled about on choppy water like it is a ball of scrunched up newspaper. the rain is heavy the lightening frequent. I stand in a room with a bunch of cowardly men who are willing to make shady dealings that will result in the pain and anguish of innocent people but save themselves. I will not do it. I cannot do this. I would rather go down with the ship. I declare to the impassive looking gentlemen. I make a dignified exit with the utmost amount of indignation.  The next thing I know I am inside a train carriage with a group of fellow minded visionaries. We have all strapped ourselves into our seats. Someone is driving the train into a tunnel that is blazing with fire like the pits of hell. I can see the flames engulf the train slowly as we drive further and further inside. I wait to feel the heat and hope that im dead before the flames start burning me. I am not a woman of my word it would seem. I did not go down with the ship.  Before the flames start to hurt I wake up. It is ten to seven in the morning and I am alone. To contemplate what the dream could mean. Afriend later in the day will say that my subconscious is very dramatic.

The dream leaves me a little anxious. Its too obvious about my unconscious mormon guilt that has me worried my decisions made about my life after choosing to disregard the belief system I was raised in has me on a hellish trajectory. The thorny path I picked myself.

Speaking of hell directed living, I went to the most fancy restaurant I ever have on Sunday. The waiters wore white suit jackets. There was not even one stain on them. The waiter mistook me for being in the same age bracket as my partner’s niece and nephew. They took my wine glass away. It was sorted out ” She looks effervescently young but she is old enough to drink wine. I promise you.” My partner says and the waiter replaced my wine glass. ‘Don’t let it happen again.” I say in my best most posh sounding voice. I ruin any semblance of adulthood by immediately ordering a cocktail because the name indicates it will be a pretty colour: Violet Skies. The drink is indeed a pretty colour and tastes like expensive fairy floss so I’m satisfied beyond belief. And by the end of the evening which is celebrating a marriage of 14 years ( they are an adorable couple )  I am tipsy and full.

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I have always wanted a pair of bright white kicks or sneakers. Not sure why. I guess so as I have something to reflect my loss of innocence over time as the white sneakers slowly get dirtier and dirtier. I now have a pair of white reeboks that fit my tiny feet perfectly and that were on sale. I went into one of those terrible sneaker shops that play loud music that makes your brain thump in time even though you don’t want your brain to thump in time with the deafening beat.  I also got a pair of black sneakers as well. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that I have it pretty good: old enough to drink but small footed enough for kid shoe prices. Kind of evens out the inconvenience of having wine glasses removed at fancy restaurants. Never underestimate the joy of coming home with two shoe boxes. Two! The possibilities of them. I could turn them into gift giving accessories. They could hold fancy notebooks I never use… They could be loved intently then thrown in the recycling. I could see how many tightly rolled totes from my tote bag collection could fit in one.

It is the first week of the new year and I have already finished a novel. The first in a trilogy by Phillip Pullman. The first book in the trilogy entitled The Golden Compass enchanted and consumed my attention way more than The Lord Of The Rings ever did. Oh how those books and films bored me. (I’m so sorry Dad! I know you love them.) The trilogy His Dark Materials has a small girl as its central character called Lyra. She is strong willed and quick thinking and brave. If I could have children I would put that name down as a strong contender. I spent those few days away at my friend’s parent’s house in Fish Creek totally absorbed in the unfolding story. There is a alcoholic bear who drinks a beverage that is a mixture of gin and whisky. There are world within worlds and conspiracies. There is a terrible organization secretly doing terrible things to children in the name of research.  There is a wonderful line that speaks of how churches use power and fear to control and that if there is a battle then the side opposite religion is best and far more ethical.  I have been warned that the second book takes a dark turn but I feel like the first book had some pretty dark material. Especially the stuff involving what the organization did to the children they stole, all the cutting and keeping them  on the cusp of life and death. In Lyra’s world everyone has a animal companion that can change shape and is always with you. A constant friend and protector that you cannot be separated from as it is a part of your soul. I would love something like that.  A physical furry and cute representation of my emotions. I would hope it would be something easy to carry inside pockets or rest comfortably on my narrow shoulder.

The body keeps score.

I am chatting around a table in a backyard in rural South Australia. It is a sunny hot afternoon and I am with my sister and some of her friends. We are a group of young women sharing secrets and they mostly involve men and how we should best exist in this world alongside their constant onslaught of threatening and carrying out of sexual and physical violence. One young women thinks that we as women do need to be careful. That some of the responsibility does fall on us and our actions. Another young women shares an experience where she went to a family function  that involved a pool party. Afterwards she started receiving text messages from one of her uncles. Text messages about her body and how much he liked it. She had been a young teen and self conscience enough already. The text messages had made her feel uncomfortable. She went to her grandmother about it and was told she had brought the text messages on herself by wearing a bikini to the family function. This story made me feel ill. I explained to this young woman that she had not brought those creepy messages on to herself. She had been a young girl and that uncle is a grown man who should know better.  The young woman nods thoughtfully and takes a sip of her vodka cruiser. I am eight years older than every young woman at this table and I feel my chest swell with heart ache and wanting to protect them all from any oncoming trauma and fix what damage has already been done by countless creeps. Who are not strangers lurking around dark ally ways. They are normal men with jobs and wives and communities that respect them.

That particular sunny afternoon in South Australia comes to mind today when I get back from a lovely phone free walk with my partner. I check phone and am presented with a facebook memory from eight years ago. I was at a live music venue and had gone to the bar to get a glass of water. The person working behind the bar said to me  ”I am sorry, sweetheart,  you can’t come to the bar to get your water. You should get your parents to do that.” I turn around and glare at her. ”Oh I’m sorry! she says. I did not see your tits! You are like a doll aren’t you.”  I read the memory and feel the same indignation I felt at the time. I also feel an extra level of indignation coupled with in hindsight a sense of sleaze. An older male relative had commented on the status not with sympathy but with amusement and a word that he and other members of that family had used when referring to my own newly developed chest area.

I am sitting on my couch with my partner who is on their phone and I am livid. I remember how often my new breasts came up in conversation and how I hated it. I hated that my uncle referred to my new breasts as ”floaties”  (referring to how they were so big in proportion to the rest of my skinny frame, they could keep me afloat in the deep end of a pool) I just never said anything because it ‘wasn’t that bad’ to steal the title of Roxeanne Gay’s book of essays on rape culture.  I mean I hadn’t gotten gross sexually explicit text messages. I just felt a bit wrong and uncomfortable inside.  I had already internalized the idea that the male feelings around me were more important than my own.  So I let it go.

Growing up. slowly disentangling myself from patriarchal religion and reading some feminist books equipped me with a vocabulary that I could use to articulate these feelings that had no name before. I deleted said male relative  and most relatives in general) from my social media so they could no longer comment on anything. Rereading this memory from years ago and the old comments i decided to comment on this post with a simple general statement so as not to incriminate anyone. I simply said ”Just a little advice for uncles: don’t comment on your nieces breasts. Ever.”  A pretty good piece of advice I think with satisfaction. My partner agrees. He has a niece. The idea of commenting on such things makes him feel gross.

Seconds later I get a message from a cousin who is no longer a facebook friend. the message is simple and concise: this relative ( their father) has had surgery so I should leave them alone. I hadn’t attacked anyone in particular. My heart hammers in my chest and I feel angry very very angry. Is it warranted? This anger? My partner says it is. ”oh, you wouldn’t know anything about surgery.” He says sarcastically.  I laugh and gently touch my kidney transplant scar. I hadn’t even pointed the uncle advice at anyone. I want to respond to the private message so badly but know its no use. Of course surgery is not pleasant and I do hope they are ok but thats not what’s being discussed here.

Messaging back in anger or in fake repentance wont change or fix anything. It will just feed more drama. But I cannot let it go. I keep thinking of that friend of my sister and her story and how common it is. How there are so many similiar and worse stories that I know of. Being at home is not protection enough. Dressing modestly is not protection enough. Keeping quiet and adhering to patriarchy is not protection enough.

 

I delete the memory from facebook and write this instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Fun Mormon Guilt Play list

  1. Hell in Every Religion by Stevie Jean https://youtu.be/juFasWxqcQ4
  2. Crucify by Tori Amos https://youtu.be/jhSM1MrNxp0
  3. Losing His Touch by Jack Off Jill https://youtu.be/sqVVtEsbYlg
  4. Judith by A Perfect Circle https://youtu.be/yzf09PYSuhk
  5. Mansion In The Sky by Brian Jonestown Massacre https://youtu.be/118r-5-T8oI
  6. Opiate by TOOL https://youtu.be/xt0Zqo-vOFM
  7. Gods Love by Bad Religion https://youtu.be/R0w2kQf0bjI
  8. This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush https://youtu.be/pSCQPSrlNbk
  9. Running Up That Hill by Placebo https://youtu.be/x5GuBa4Bbnw
  10. Head Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails https://youtu.be/cV2EUUF47Ms

“At night I marry the bed” published on the Meanjin Blog

Just don’t do it: the cornerstone of the Mormon religion.

When I was thirteen, I was visiting my friend from church. She had an eleven-year-old brother. While I was visiting, his parents caught him rubbing his crotch up and down the pantry door. He had obviously just discovered how amazing it felt.

My friend and I watched as her brother was taken into the living room and sat down for a talk. We listened through the closed door. It was all so funny to us. What was he doing that for?

He could have simply been told that it was something to do in the privacy of your bedroom. He was instead told that it was not right. He was told that, ‘You just don’t do it.’

 

*

 

I left my very first and only Silver Bullet vibrator in a bedroom in a large share house in Kensal Green, North London. It was 2009 and I had been happily flipping my own bean for about four years. I did not realize my diminutive implement of happy endings was missing until I was in Manchester. I had expected to find it while

unpacking my suitcase in the bedroom of the house in which I would be living and working as a nanny.  I owed rent to the place in London and did not have the money. I could hardly call up Patrick the creepy live-in landlord and ask if he had come across my vibrator while cleaning out my side of the bedroom. It was not all that large or expensive and I think the one double A battery that made it work had run out. I had become a little addicted to its magic as it had helped curb my initial intense homesickness and sexual frustration.

I grew up in a Mormon household. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s a musical about us. The church had guidelines for every aspect of your life.  One of the things that is considered wrong and unholy in the eyes of the Lord was masturbation.

Yes, that delightful, harmless and disease-free past time was considered gross. This is so funny and inexplicable to me now that I stand before you, a proud and defiant apostate of the church. Apostate is just a fancy way of saying that I decided, through a process both of transgressions and thinking for myself, that perhaps the church was not as great or good for me as my parents and relatives had tried to make me believe.

There is a little pamphlet that you get as soon as you turn twelve. It is called ‘For the Strength of Youth’. Inside the pages is some very lovingly written information that invites you to dress modestly and save yourself, your sexy parts and feelings for your husband or wife. It says you are not to arouse sexual feeling in your own body. In the pamphlet you are told that Homosexuality and Lesbianism is a serious sin. You are told same-sex attraction saddens the Lord.

Everything fun makes God sad. The person upstairs created all this stuff and then said, ‘Don’t touch any of it.’

 

 

Continue reading by clicking the link below.

https://meanjin.com.au/%E2%80%A2-memoir/at-night-i-marry-the-bed/?fbclid=IwAR3-BME7TY7yPE0LJW3F0v7oL_2gnSPpjBYWdga6uD1c0alcKm2FzaqJ-bc

 

 

My parents had sex and I happened aka my birthday.

My birthday is spent in Sydney. It was very nearly not though as there was a slight communication mishap between my partner and I.  A month before my birthday they texted me to ask if they could book me for my birthday weekend. I had replied with my usual sardonic humour with something about being unsure and wanting to play it loose. They took it seriously and didn’t book the excellent flight and hotel deal they had wanted to. The lesson here is simple: Some people should be better at reading sub text. Or I should not be sarcastic via text when it comes to my birthday.

It all worked out in the end anyway because on the morning before my birthday we got a 7am flight to Sydney with nothing but a Kanken backpack each as luggage.

It turns out that even at 6am I am more than happy to eat two Krispy Kream doughnuts. Other delicious things I ate while in Sydney for 48 hours include: crepes, delicious dense multi grain toast with peanut butter and honey, cherry ripe ice cream in a waffle cone, pad tai and crap rice at a fancy restaurant after drinking wine at our hotel. So being tipsy made the food all the more enjoyable. We ate fried noodles, soup dumplings and deep fried egg plant with one of my Sydney based friends. Chips and chocolate that were purchased at inflated prices due to them being purchased at a store near the hotel. These were cravings I had after a glass of wine. It was my birthday so my silly whim was indulged. This is love as paying too much for cheap cadbury chocolate is something that truly pains my partner due to their contempt for cheap and nasty chocolate. I love cheap and nasty chocolate.

It was a nice novelty to sit at outside areas of a resaurant and eat food after dark without feeling freezing.

The hotel room was not just a room it was two levels! there was a kitchen and living area and upstairs there was a bedroom and bathroom. Like a mini house.

There is an exhibit of carnivorous plants that is on at the botanic gardens. The exhibit is called Plants With Bite so it hooked my imagination. I wanted to see plants big enough to eat humans if one got too close like in Little Shop Of Horrors. In the line to enter the green house full of carnivorous plants the two guys in front are chatting and one of them is excitedly explaining the premise of the film Little Shop Of Horrors to his friend who is perplexed and disinterested. ”What a stupid premise for a film.” The friend says.I am glad the exhibit was free as there were no carnivorous plants like in Little Shop Of Horrors. The green house was pretty though and I did learn there are 850 different types of carnivorous plants around the world and Australia is considered an epicentre for them.  You got to wander around heaps of foliage and plants that eat flies and other bugs. There was mist falling which gave the whole space a magical ambience.

While in the place of almost endless sun I actually managed to walk in some for a little while. We walked around in between the water and the gardens on a sun splashed path. I did wear my hat and prescription sunglasses. Please note if you are hard of seeing to the extreme that I am then just know how life changing prescription sunglasses are. I can see around me while not having the sun in my eyes. There was talk of a ferry ride but honestly I dont see the point. sitting in the sun while on a boat and having things pointed out to me that are too far for me to see, is not my idea of a good time.

Escaping the sunshine to wander around an air conditioned art gallery ( The MCA) is my idea of fun.  The free exhibition entitled Today Tomorrow Yesterday presents work by more than forty artists from the 1960s to the present acknowledging  their interest in different social, cultural and artistic histories.  The title of the exhibition is taken from a collection of 26 prose poetry essays by the Lebanese artist and philosopher Kahil Gibron who wrote ”…yesterday is but todays memory , and tomorrow is todays dream.”  A fitting exhibition to experience on my birthday. As it made me experience the art exhibit on a more contemplative manner than I normally would. It make me think about my own life line and how it has made me experience many different kinds of time. Time in hospital is experienced differently to time outside that environment. Time spent writing compared to time spent watching netflix and eating dinner alone.

There was a giant clock face with roman numerals that ticked loudly as you walked around it. At the back of the clock face you could see the mechanisms that made the clock  hands move and the tick sound work.  I stand in front of a canvas with an image made from ochre and pigment that resembles a dark starless night sky with two abstract shapes. Its by an artist called Mabel Juli a member of the Gija people who lives and works in Warmun, Western Australia. The art work entitled Garnkiny Ngarranggarni 2016.  It speaks of what consequences can occur when we love the wrong person. The work speaks of a story of forbidden love represented by the moon and stars.   In the story a man rejects his betrothed bride  because he is in love with her mother. A woman with dark hair who later transforms into a serpent called Dawool. I mean we have all been there: loved someone who transforms into a serpent or some similiar weird creature so in contrast to the person we wanted to bone so badly at one time.

 

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I really liked the Sally Smart 1994 ( pictured above) work The Craftiest Of Eyes (borrowed dress) created using   oil, synthetic polymer paint on canvas. It shows three cut up shapes resembling three women with a bright red back round. The figures seem cut up.    Sally said ”I have always seen the act of cutting as political, which i refer to as the politics of cutting. This approach developed in the 1990s, along with ideas of identity and gender politics, referencing the unstable nature of identity. I used the technique of cutting and pinning to emphasise this, a pin away from dismantling…” I also really loved the way I could read a subtext of female coven like solidarity amongst the red back round. Three figures looked like they could be having a meeting while having their mensuration cycles all alined. A beautiful blood coven. The figures could be dancing amongst the blood of men who have disrespected and hurt women. Oh this could be just because im a bit pissed at how many woman have been killed by men recently and throughout the entire history of time.

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Amyl  2015-16 by Gareth Sansom caught my eye due to the bright abstract shapes framed in bright blue. It reminded me of what the inside of a robots brain might look like blown up and bright coloured. The title of the art work is actually incorporated into the painting. Is that lame or a clue? It turns out its a clue as the painting was created to attempt to represent a psychedelic experience- the short lived high thats comes from the party drug Amyl Nitrate. It is the controlled chaos of the work that caught my eye and enticed it to stay a while so I could take in every inch of the artistic space and use of colour. The artist says he created the work to evoke the memory of him taking the drug for the first time in San Fransisco in 1976. Yeah I was disappointed by the artwork’s back story as well. Such a white dude artist cliche.

 

I am ecstatic when I find a book that I’ve been secretly pining for for ages amongst the shelves: A hard cover picture book that has paintings by the late great artist Jean-Michel Basquait as the book’s illustrations and an edited poem by Maya Angelou called Life Doesn’t Frighten Me.  The illustrations are heavy in abstract imagery and dark thick lines. They are one hundred percent pure Basquait artistic glory. The images paired with Maya Angelou’s declarations and descriptions of things that don’t scare her: Panthers in the park, strangers in the dark. No, they don’t frighten me at all. The images by Basquait may be a bit too scary for very young children but I didn’t buy it for any kids. I purchased it for me.  At the back of the book there is a short and easy to understand write up about the writer and the artist. The write up does not shy away from explaining how Basquait struggled with his artistic fame and died of an accidental drug overdose. This book is about perseverance and pride. It is about being fearless in the face of scary life itself.  A strong and enduring theme in all of the writing by Maya Angelou, a woman who after a violent assault at age seven did not speak a word for five years.  I read and reread the book from cover to cover and drank in the images on each page with my tired eyes on the 10pm flight back to Melbourne.

Things not to say in a boarding cue when your asked if you can handle sitting in the seats closest to emergency exits. ”No way. My upper and lower body strength is slim to non existent. If I sit there and there is an emergency we will all die.”

I am so sorry. I had had a cider with high alcohol content in the airport bar with my partner and my friends who ended up coming with us to the airport so we could talk together more.

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What Have I Done So Far 9 months into 2018?

It is a question that has been all over twitter and people in my feed sharing it with thier answers fill me with anxiety and a feeling of total failure. There are so many successful people I know. They are successful in the way that I define success for myself on a very personal and creative level. In short I am bombarded with people who are further along in their writing career than I and who are much younger. I take a deep breath as I obsessively read all the milestones and then put my phone away.  I decide to try and make a list of my own accomplishments so far this year. It might make me feel better?

January is hot and the apartment has no air conditioning. I have a deadline for my commissioned piece for the amazing Wild Tongue Zine’s second edition. The zine is created and edited by Timmah Balls and Azja Kulpinska The theme is How Should An Artist Be? It is an oppurtunity to write candidly about the pit falls and hurdles of creating maintaining an arts practice. I hand write mine in a heat fevered frenzy. Each contributor to the zine is given 6 pages. I include two hand written poems and an illustration. This is a collection of writers from the margins: writers with disabilities, writers from different and varied cultural back rounds, writers who do not have wealthy parents paying their rent or writers living in a house owned by thier parents. January also is the month I try and get relatives to engage in a discussion about racism and white priveledge. It does not end well. The white tears come flowing fast and my partner and I end up leaving my cousin’s wedding before the food comes out.  I still mark it as an accomplishment in effort.

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Febuary my zine collaborator and I are invited to be a apart of an art exhibition at Counihan Gallery on Sydney Road in Brunswick.

 

16 March – 15 April

Opening Thursday 15 March, 6 – 8 pm

Gallery one

Agency Ink: The Personal and Political in Print

Curated by Catherine Connolly

Agency Ink offers an intergenerational look at women* in alternative print forms. With a focus on local artists, printmakers and zine-makers the exhibition provides a glimpse into the highly productive print, zine, poster and paper forms activated by women* from the 1960’s to today.

Fuelled by prints’ accessible means of reproduction and distribution, the exhibiting artists have utilised paper, posters, print presses and photocopiers alike as an affordable means to produce, reproduce and distribute their works. Whether created in bedrooms and on kitchen tables, or professional studios and print presses, the gathered artists have ingeniously employed the democratic form in works that bring both the personal and political to the page.

*female identifying

 

As well as starting work towards this project I finally start writing  some things just for me things that I hope can be published.

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March Is the actual art show opening and Saturday afternoon the 24th is the day I have to give a talk about the art and zines. Miranda and I stand in front of a group of art lovers and explain ourselves as best we can. I never thought I would be discussing my writing in an art gallery setting. I get quite the kick out of it.  In addition to this I continue writing for myself. I see plays in an attempt to get ready to start writing my own. I go  to a comedy night at a friends house and do some of stand up about various pet related tragedies that occurred whilst growing up on a farm. Outsider comedy is the best. I get some exciting emails. I get invited to take part in a writing residency for two months. The residency involves having a space to write all my own. I am offered the two months of April and May. As soon as I accept I know what I will work on: the first draft of my play.

And Also Presents develops and supports creative and social equity projects led by female identifying and genderqueer makers and doers, while cultivating an ever-increasing ecosystem of brilliant feminists.
Our curated program includes residencies, events and performances.
We are located at Siteworks – 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick.
Our space is accessible by wheelchair and has accessible, gender neutral bathrooms.
And Also Presents is based on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. This always was and always will be Aboriginal Land.

 

April I get the two trams from Abbotsford to my writing space in Brunswick almost every day. I work on my play about being in hospital without really knowing what Im doing but I do it any way, scene by scene. I eat a lot of snacks. I drink a lot of coffee.  It is great.

May I get knocked out by terrible depression that has me flat on my back and silently screaming in fear and desperation. I do not go to my writing space. I am excellent at the art of faking it. My partner has no idea about my depression and the dire extent of it untill i call him from emergency. I’m the strong one you see. I am always the strong one. Staying alive and watching a lot of netflix is my accomplishment during this month.  I see a psychiatrist who tells me I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I read up on it like a nerd and re watch Crazy Ex Girlfriend. The diagnosis makes sense. It makes more sense when I use the book voucher my partner left for me to find accidentally while he was away overseas on tour with his band, to buy two books about the disorder.

https://gremlinface82.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/dreams-i-dream-while-sleeping-beside-you/

 

June I am involved in some events at The Emerging Writers Festival. The panel discussion called Writing Live involves myself  Jacob Boehme, Tania Cañas, Michele Lee and Rajith Savanadasa who write for performance, discussing what that is like. I fight imposter syndrome as I candidly explain that I am very new to play writing but not new to writing about my own life and how that has got me into some trouble from people I write about. Writing from life is not without risk.

The other event was called Small And Loud

Small and Loud is a scratch night for new live performance works in development. It’s a chance for artists to road-test their ideas in front of a receptive and switched-on audience. This edition has a special focus on solo performers who write and perform their own work, co-curated by winner of the Best Emerging Writer Award at Melbourne Fringe, Emma Mary Hall. With Roshelle Fong, Jess Knight and Bargryana Popov

On the day leading up to the event I change my mind on what I want to perform and write something completely new. I have wanted to tell this particular story for a while now and it hits me that day that I am ready. It is a risk that pays of. I get wonderful feedback. There is a thatre producer in the audience who emails my dramaturge who is helping me with my play and says how good I was doing my rough and unpolished performance. I am told I was up on stage for forty minutes and that the audience wanted to hear more. I am told that i only need twenty more minutes or a bit less for a full length one woman show. I have visions of what I want it to be. A mix of Tracy fromChewing Gum and Rebecca Bunch from Crazy Ex Girlfriend and the show I saw at The Malthouse during the comedy festival Fleabag. 

Im still fighting my terrible anxiety and horrible violent intrusive thoughts that had me calling a number in tears. I am told to see a GP even though my one is not available and get a valium prescription. My first ever. I buy a 400 dollar rug that is too big for my apartment. It cannot be returned. Dont look at rugs when deep in depression.

 

July I perform poetry at Hawthorn Library. I work on the stuff that I plan on performing for The Red Dirt Festival. I write this blog post https://gremlinface82.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/july-and-jess-have-the-same-amount-of-letters/

I have a writing day with my friend Sarah. She comes over to my apartment and the plan is for us to work on our projects. What I end up doing is reading Fiona Apple interviews from the 90’s.

 

August I go to Alice Springs to be a performing poet and writer in The Red Dirt Poetry Festival. It is exciting to have flights and accommodation paid for. I have never been to this part of Australia before. https://gremlinface82.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/red-dirt-poetry-festival/ 

August is also the month I get published in the amazing online publication SCUM Mag. I am thrilled. You can read the memoir by clicking on this link  http://www.scum-mag.com/rebel-girl-you-are-the-queen-of-something-deep-inside/ 

September so far has involved me watching and re watching Schitts Creek, having meetings about creative stuff and applying for grants with trepidation and fluctuating between hopeful optimism and defeatist complete lack of hope and optimism.

Thats it so far.

 

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