The book Members Only was a collaboration with artist Caren Florance which began at a CraftACT residency at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in 2014-2015. The collaboration also resulted in an artist’s book (1962: Be Spoken To), and exhibitions in Canberra at M16 Art Space and East Space Gallery. Read more here.
For a more extensive peek inside the book, look here.
Buy a copy from the publisher here.
Male in. Part
man, part lie
Rant, lie, map,
lie, mar, pant.
Real man pit
in a trample
I arm planet
I mar planet
man at peril
: remap at nil.
View of the Molonglo, February, 1962
This is progress, ugly and too slow, like life
Picture a little river
hay tall in the paddocks
a little road curving through
to dip and cross in a hollow, down there, squired
by spindly grey sticks of weathered telegraph poles.
The river has no future, or rather, its future is to be subsumed
in the idea of a lake.
Call it a dormant idea; sleeping these forty years.
The embarrassment of Robert Menzies rouses it,
unleashes the bulldozers at last.
There is felling and gouging
moved earth heaped into putative islands named by committee.
A grand bridge rises to skim the treetops, two years ahead of its shore,
soaring over nothing much, swirling with the dust of drought.
Next month Menzies will unlock a chain
and send a motorcade across.
A line of willows
clinging to a snake of sand
straggles to exit, stage right.
Next year in spring, the valves will close
on Scrivener Dam. Still no rain,
the lake persisting as an abstraction,
there will be billabongs, mosquitoes, acrimony;
months and months of Menzies intoning in his sleep
trust, my people, trust
the waters will come
to cover this
wilderness we have made.
‘View of the Molonglo, February, 1962’ was made into a short film for Localjinni’s Lakeside Stories project, part of the Contour 556 Public Art Biennial, 2018.