Prevarication, or, the general drift of the 2020s

Taking individual and self-contained production of hand printed books as a case study, this paper explores if a close reading of an art object – an artist book – and the solitary work and practice of a studio artist could be a model for less jangly relations with a turbulent world. The role of artist agency is discussed via a close examination of the decision-making process of creative visual art production, drawing on the works of Agnes Martin as exemplar.

Archives as 'Thin Places'

Resurrecting ghosts of Australia's earliest refugees through poetics of resistance

Drawing on the Irish notion of a ‘thin place’ (where the veil between us and the spirit world is so thin that we can sense those on the other side), this paper outlines an approach to archival research and creative practice which seeks to reawaken and give voice to the ghosts of some of Australia’s earliest refugees. This work uncovers new connections between the Great Irish Famine, a humanitarian crisis which halved Ireland’s population and the cyclical incarceration and abuse of young women in New South Wales in the 1860s and 1870s—to highlight a small but significant, yet largely unwritten, chapter in Irish-Australian history. Employing poetics of resistance incorporating elements of these young women’s outlawed native Irish language and culture, this work seeks to decolonise their memories and restore voice to those who suffered the brutal consequences of colonisation in both their native and adopted countries.

Poetry, Self-erasure and the Trace

Writing counter-history from an embodied archive

This essay presents a poetic life writing practice developed through material exploration with diaries, to expose hidden, unwritten traces of anorexic experience that escape the archival page. Anorexia flouts tenets of traditional autobiography, skewing memory and breaking the ‘autobiographical pact’ of a truthful and consistent narrator. This article presents poetic digression and fragmentation to perform physical and cognitive anorexic intensities. This writing offers a counter-history to archival documents, leaden as they were with the voices of anorexia and medical discourse.