s k i n s

For six weeks under the blistering Melbourne sun I undertook a residency at Testing Grounds. Situated in the heart of the CBD, nestled between the frantically busy City Road, the Art House and the National Opera House,  I occupied the white box, with perspex ceiling. The challenge was for myself and my wonderful subjects not to expire under the intense heat.  Over the six weeks, we created over twenty headshots.

Every one of you managed to keep your eyes open amidst the white light omitting from the sun bouncing off the white walls, and coming in through the ceiling. And you stared intently down through the lens beautifully,  as instructed.

The result was  a power series of portraits.

I wanted to test to them against the harsh elements, and so printed out on large format  plan paper, and pasted onto the concrete walls surrounding Testing Testings; a democratic way to obtaining larger-than-life  images.

Once pasted up, I set about documenting their corrosion through a period of four  months.  melted as they had been onto the concrete with a past of sugar and flour, I  resorted to blasting the residue with a high pressure water hose.  The result was remnants, and shadows and stains; traces of their formal existence remaining on the walls.  Once the images were erased, I  flew home to Scotland where I’d planned to  live after 20 years in Australia.

I returned to Australia after  six months, stayed for four months, then flew back to Scotland again! This time I stayed for twelve months, a full cycle.

Now back in Melbourne, I am twelve months into a PhD in creative practice and once again I wonder why I am here.

There is something about the liminal space of being here but also there. Something like that of being in flux, of occupying that/this slippery space in-between – always looking, but never finding.  I think this state is good for me. So for now I am here, but not all there – perhaps.

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