SOAKED RUINS OF A RAFT
WARM DIGITS SHOW
EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK
BETTER KIND OF NOTHING
OBSERVATIONS AT NO.16
Nervous Skies (2015) is a major collaborative work between myself, Amelia Bande, Mat Fleming & Annette Knol. Three channels of visuals (2 x 16mm film, 35mm slides) and one of text (slides) were installed alongside each other. The changing, clicking slides tells a textual, fragmented narrative of anxieties, loss and hopes which are accompanied visually by shapes, rhythms and colour on either side. The text was generated through a process of writing exercises as a group that were then edited together and made whole by Amelia Bande.
Essays and reviews:
Susannah Thompson, MAP magazine
Tom Hopkin, This Is Tomorrow
Louise Winter, Corridor 8
George Vasey, Art Monthly
Video extract of Nervous Skies installed at the NewBridge Project
Close ups of original 16mm film material
Close ups of original 16mm film material
Installation shot at the NewBridge Project
The blue bird is circling over my head again.
It's been following me for the last 6 blocks already.
Is that possible?
Vulture or helper?
I've never seen another bird that color.
Why can it never leave me alone?
Every time I walk out of my neighborhood it gets on my case
and follows me for miles.
These skies make me nervous.
A pink grey as if snow might be on its way.
I hope it snows, I hope it snows properly.
It would feel like a blessing.
Plus I'd have a reason not to leave the house next time.
“Let's stay in” I'd say, and we'd turn up the heater and we'd stream films on the laptop and
things would be better while other things remained undone.
So much seems out of place lately.
My body feels mostly displaced, like a time bomb.
Everything inside moves slower and slower and slower and at the same time it's fast and
running like a roller-coaster inside my brain, my heart, my lungs, my kidneys, my rectum,
all a big big mess, and I can't stop blaming myself.
The sky is closing in purple,
the grass vibrates under my feet like it did the day you left.
The bird is bright and elegant,
its colors radiate as it flies over the city.
I still blame myself for what happened.
We were two lines traveling parallel.
It seemed suspicious to me.
How can two lines really be parallel?
There is no such thing in nature.
We live on a spherical planet;
even straight lines cause something like a ball of wool.
I remember screaming: Get out! Get out! Nobody wants you! Nobody will ever think of you
I said nobody, but I was speaking about myself.
You left and I said nothing else and I didn't hear from you.
And then I was just a vessel for a long long time, just a vessel shaking there and then I
laughed at myself.
And felt sheepish. But disappointed.
For there was no vibrations under my feet anymore.
I took out my phone and checked for messages,
from anyone, many times.
I thumbed it anxiously.
I felt absurd and hung onto myself waiting.
Until the phone call today.
Two years pass so quickly, but today we heard.
That you are gone cos you weren't able to survive out there, cos you tried but you
couldn’t, and I ask myself, what was my responsibility in all of that?
What could I've done differently? I had to let you go and say goodbye, but I wonder, I
really do wonder.
Five people or so walked by after I hung up the phone.
Large buses rumbled.
I thought about the different interpretations of all these things happening simultaneously.
Who knows which kind of reasoning is true to itself and which reasoning hides some other
less controlled set of impetuses.
I close my eyes. I can see you in the supermarket stealing food. I can see you smiling at
strangers, your hands shaking, far from those who knew you, going from place to place.
You wanted to cross but couldn't.
Tried to climb the wall, jump the fence, hide in a suitcase or in a container crossing the
ocean or the sky.
I'm not making this up. It was real, I know it was, cos Rose told me, she told us.
OK, you didn't hide in a suitcase, but you tried the container thing.
She said everybody spoke about it.
She came and said that you were doing all kinds of crazy things.
“Why would someone just leave like that?” Rose asked.
I understand why.
Fear, desire, envy, hiding; all the reasons that cause movement from one state to
Leave the room, the house, the town, the awful oppressive social situation you have
found yourself in.
Then Rose said, “you were these two girls, so complicit in each others lives, so close and
A force of uniqueness envied by others who don't have another person to whom they
might bare their soul.
And I think, how did it all end so bad?
Whispers come from shaking bushes.
The wind speaks to me.
My mind bleeds out of me.
NERVOUS SKIES TEXT