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Showing posts from June, 2014

a guilty pleasure

I have just signed up for a 2 year (4 years part-time) on-line Diploma of Graphic Design. It will add another $20000 to my HECS debt but what the HEC? Am I waking in fright at the thought of another round of study? Not yet - I'm still in the honeymoon phase and I haven't started the work yet.
I am having an identity crisis of sorts - who I thought I was, who I am now, who I might be. Me and images - the complex relationship goes on. At the end of my PhD I had come to the conclusion that images were not an 'end in themselves' as I thought they were. I still respect the images that emerge from my unconscious but they have lost some of their hold on me. They used to possess me completely but now......maybe I am just tired and it's too soon to say. But my relationship with them has certainly changed because I have changed irrevocably.
That in itself is a good thing, except I am wandering in a new land without the co-ordinates that served me in the past. It's good …


For months I have been having epic surfing dreams in which I am unafraid, in harmony with the sea. Sometimes I am even jubilant and triumphant, hurtling down the face of a large wave. I have been meditating for 25 minutes, every day for 7 weeks now, and it seems to help me remember my dreams more clearly.
But in my waking life I am in a 'no-woman's' land. It is to be expected I guess. I am officially a 'Doctor', my thesis is being bound and the digital version is online at Curtin and on my website - there is nothing more to do. I have loaned out a couple of hard copies to interested readers but there has been no flurry of activity and I didn't expect one. In my work-life things are unstable as usual - I have picked up an extra copyright class and may teach PhotoShop in term 4 - things continue to limp along. 
But there is a split, a disjuncture. Once my art and my spiritual life were aligned. Now that I want to study graphic design, I wonder if I can reconcile…

the burden of memory

Last year I took a couple of copies of a book about the Carrolup artists into the prison to give to one of my university students. As a Noongar Elder I figured it would be appropriate to entrust him with their care so he could loan them out to others, which is what Charlie (not his real name) dutifully did by locking them in his cupboard. Prisoners in maximum security aren't usually allowed locked cupboards because they can hide contraband, but Charlie was a 'lifer' and after many years of good behaviour, had been granted some privileges.
When I went back 2 weeks later, Charlie was very excited because he had found an old sepia photograph of his parents in the book. He didn't have a photo of his mum and dad so he asked me if I would scan and print one out for him, which of course I did - on my best glossy photographic paper. It was a wedding photo - husband and wife were dressed in wadjela clothes and made a very handsome couple.
In my job as Aboriginal art lecturer a…