Is it possible to have a one-word poem?

Very short forms of poetry have a long history. Perhaps the best known are haiku, which in their classic English form consist of only three lines with a total of 17 syllables. But then there are 6-word poems, a popular form of extremely compressed writing. Visual poetry and concrete poetry is often based around a single word, perhaps with its multiple variations.

For me, one of the primary attractions of video art is that I can create visual worlds that do not exist in real life. The roles of juxtaposition, movement, and the tension between familiarity and strangeness in the visual domain act like metaphor and allusion in written poetry. When audio is added, we gain an additional dimension within which ambiguity, shifting mood and rhythmic energy can inhabit.

My video DEMOLISHED was created for a group exhibition curated by Tony Kearney at The Packing Shed, Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide, South Australia, as part of the 2024 Adelaide Fringe Festival. None of the scenes in the video exist in real life. Every one of them has been composited and, in some cases animated, from multiple images recorded in the immediate area around … Click here for more.

Eviction screens at Carmarthen Bay

“We have been ordered to leave. They told us our lease has expired. Their cast-offs litter our landscapes. We have our ways of keeping out of sight. These are our microrefugia…”

I’m absolutely delighted that my video Eviction has been selected for the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival for 2024, screening in Wales in May. This is a very fine festival indeed where I’ve been fortunate to have work screened previously.

The video took over three years to make after I had the original idea. Nearly all of this footage was recorded in the Belair area of unceded Kaurna Land in South Australia. Much of it was filmed among the native plants in our own garden, with key elements recorded in Belair National Park and the Sleeps Hills Quarry reserve across the street from our place.

The music is in 11/4 time and includes samples of birds, frogs, machines, engines and alarms in and around the environments where the videos were recorded.

As human-induced global climate change threatens the viability of nearly every ecosystem on earth, small refuges, the microrefugia, may provide safe havens for the organisms that can successfully survive there. Small plants, fungi and species yet to evolve may … Click here for more.

DEMOLISHED: video screening at SHED / 2024 Adelaide Fringe Festival

That bodged together iron clad building in the back yard where workbenches, shelving and the family’s forgotten history live. It could be a shed for cows, shearing or boats; the man cave or the she shed. Or it could be the flaked off, discarded, junked, scrapped, the gotten rid of. Shed a tear, shed some light, shed your inhibitions. Once a year, a group of contemporary visual artists get together to produce work in response to a single word, this year’s word is SHED. The words we’ve responded to in the past (since 2009) have been words with a Port-centric theme as the exhibitions have taken place in the Port:  RUST | SALT | TAR | SMOKE | KNOT | GRIT | GRAIN | BRIDGE | VESSEL | BILGE | HOLD. Never predictable, often accidental, sometimes unruly and provocative, always pretty wonderful. Curated by Tony Kearney. Click here to see more about previous shows.

Hart’s Mill, Mundy Street, Port Adelaide

For this year’s SHED exhibition, I have made a new video – DEMOLISHED. All the sequences have been composited and animated from images taken in and around the Packing Shed at Hart’s Mill in … Click here for more.


I don’t go about making videos with the intention of winning awards or prizes: I’m just happy to have my work selected for screening. On the other hand, it’s most gratifying when something does pick up an award. This year has seen a remarkable run – I’ve been amazed!


The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself made with Greek poet Tasos Sagris and musician Whodoes continued to do well around the world. In November, it was awarded Overall Winner – Best Poetry Film, selected from over 2000 entries for the Poetry In Motion 2023 festival in Colorado, USA. Here is a sample of what the judges said:

The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself is hauntingly beautiful with images and words that linger long after the viewing is over. The poem is poignant and even more so when influenced by voiceover and visuals. The faces that appear throughout left me wondering if I was the watched or the watcher… Joy transforms into loneliness and lands on acceptance.” Jayme Hastings.

“With cinematic  visuals, highly functional slow motion and ethereal background audio, the film was inescapable… Simple yet elegant descriptions bring together; the highs and lows of … Click here for more.

Limits of language, limits of experience – extended interview with David Adès for Poets’ Corner

It was a huge pleasure to be interviewed by acclaimed poet David Adès for Poets’ Corner hosted by Westwords. Each month a poet is invited to read and talk about their poetry on a theme of the poet’s choice.

For this episode, we talked on the theme of Limits of language, limits of experience in the context of my poetry videos. We covered a lot of ground but the conversation falls naturally into more or less bite-sized chunks. We start with an extended discussion on the nature of video poetry, how they are made, how they can work, and more. Then we go on to talk about some of my specific pieces.

The Youtube clip includes excerpts of these videos, in order: after-image; Palingenetics; and furthermore (indexed); A Captain’s; The Ferrovores; FUTURE PERFECT; and An Introduction to the Theory of Eclipses.

Critical Point at FELTspace

Critical Point is a sequence of three new videos screening at FELTspace Gallery in Adelaide CBD, 12 October – 4th November. They’ll be shown in the FELTdark area at the front of the gallery, visible from the street during at evenings, from 8:00pm – midnight.

In physical chemistry, the critical point is where the temperature and pressure of a substance are both sufficiently high that there is no longer any difference between its liquid and gas states. In mathematics, the critical point is where the rate of change of a variable of interest is undefined or zero. In the rest of the world, anthropogenic climate change is advancing at an ever-increasing rate. Climate scientists warn us that once we cross some critical climate tipping points, there can be no turning back: things will only get worse and the “new normal” will be largely undefined.

Nevertheless, we can guess how things might look. When language fails to describe how we feel about the disasters occurring around us now, we must invent new forms of expression. As the world contorts and reshapes to the stresses we place upon it, we should bear witness and record what is passing, what is coming to … Click here for more.

Beyond the Floodtide… SALA 2023 at The Joinery

SALA, the South Australian Living Arts Festival, is a statewide festival of visual art, spanning the entire month of August, and involving over 700 venues across the state with nearly 11,000 participating artists. SALA is Australia’s largest and most inclusive visual arts festival, and takes place in galleries and non-traditional arts spaces across South Australia, featuring visual artists working at every level, in any medium, from all backgrounds and all parts of the state. Indeed, there are few if any festivals of this nature anywhere in the world.

I have enjoyed participating in SALA in different ways over the years. For SALA this year, I am excited to present Beyond the Floodtide… a sequence of mostly new video works with environmental themes, at The Joinery in the Adelaide CBD, in collaboration with the Conservation Council of South Australia and coordinated by Sally Francis.

Faced with accelerating anthropogenic climate change, how will life on earth cope with global warming and rising sea levels? Plants, animals, humans, forms yet to evolve: all will need to adapt to challenging new environments. This video sequence imagines how we and the biosphere around us might deal with the consequences of our effects on … Click here for more.