A Skeleton of Desire

 

A Skeleton of Desire was published by Garron Publishing in October 2018 as part of their Southern-Land Poets Chapbook series.

It contains 10 poems that are mostly based on the human body in various ways – the organisation of the bones in the arms, their muscles, their development, dysfunction and recovery. Much of the imagery is derived from re-interpreting the original meanings of the latin names for body parts, diseases, and the environment they exist within.

Most of these poems have been previously published, with the five cardinal signs of inflammation and High Dependency originally appearing in the Medical Journal of Australia. Sensurious (Works on Paper) is derived from texts accompanying an exhibition of drawings by Judy Morris that were then used to create a video which was shortlisted for the Red Room Company / Royal Botanic Gardens New Shoots Poetry Prize, 2016. Dial Tone was awarded third place in the University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize 2017. No Glutamate is based on a scientific paper published with Judy Morris and our colleagues about the underlying neural pathways mediating pain.

Contents

A Skeleton of Desire
Sensurious (Works on Paper)
manipulandum
polydactyly
No Glutamate
the five cardinal signs of inflammation
High Dependency
Compendium of Acquisitive Myology
signature
Dial Tone

If you’d like a copy, click here to place an order.

 

making BLUE MOON

My video poem BLUE MOON, has generated quite some interest in how it was made.

The underlying sequence of buildings panning along to a beachscape is actually a single still image that I built in Photoshop. It is constructed from about 100 images of buildings around the Adelaide CBD, North Haven, and Brighton. They were photographed on days with bright sunshine and clear blue skies so that the lighting was comparable across the shots. Even so, I needed to adjust colour, brightness, saturation, scale, perspective and so on to get the visual mix right. The blue skies also allowed for easier compositing later on. In the final mix, the background sky was processed to be the same in all assemblies and was derived from the average sky colour in the images. The final Photoshop file is huge: 62,000 x 1800 pixels and about 500 MB. It was assembled from 5 smaller montages, each of which was from a specific location, and each of which contained dozens of layers.

I then took the final composite image into Final Cut Pro X and animated the pan from one end to the other. To save memory, I rendered it, and used the resulting video clip in the final composite. The sky with moving clouds is composited from three sets of vids I took all on the same day, but in slightly different parts of the sky so that the cloud movements were not quite the same. They are sped up and looped to varying degrees. The various flying objects are from a commercial image library that I animated. The final moonrise sequence is taken from the recent lunar eclipse we had (click here to see that). It is composited via an animated mask and a couple of other image processing tweaks. The whole lot was composited using colour keys, background colour gradients, key framed text and opacity animations.

The soundtrack is tin can, a performance I did as part of a Paroxysm Press tribute to David Bowie. The text is inspired by Bowie’s Space Oddity, Arthur C Clarke & Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and NASA’s Pioneer 10 / 11 space probes to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, with all due reference to Homer’s Odyssey. The music is derived from the chord pattern of Space Oddity. You might find a few other references as well…

 

Dial Tone awarded 3rd place in Health Poetry Prize

My poem Dial Tone came third in the University of Canberra 2017 Health Poetry Prize! Congrats to winner Joe Dolce and runner-up, Vanessa Procter.

“The University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize aims to inspire others through poetry to consider the journey to live life well. The poem may be focussed on mental or physical health, and can investigate what ‘living life well’ means. This may include barriers to living a well life, promoting a life lived well, or describe the experience of, or transition to, living life well.

The prize-winning and short-listed poems will be published by the University. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from Dial Tone:

Redial 1

The message mentioned belongings. I comply, search afterglow
for jasmine, rose, orange blossom, hands fallow at my sides,
on tabletop, in rarely hostile earth. “Good to have you back.”
But I cannot be sure. Our arrival is delayed by asymptote, slowed
by imperfection. Bloodshot meanders skirt lawns to be mown,
drains to clear, vermin to evict. Amid cartons and packing crates,
window shades jealous our skin, discontent curtains our perspective.
We substitute bluff with categoric denial, switch to silent mode.

Click here to see more about the Prize.

Body of Evidence

[metaslider id=1064]

Body of Evidence was a multi-medium exhibition inspired by the impact of Art on Health held at the Adelaide Convention Centre 30 May – 1 July, 2016 featuring John Blines, Gina Czarnecki & The Australian Dance Theatre, Meg Cowell, Ian Gibbins, Naomi Hunter, Cheryl Hutchens, Hans Kreiner, Kerryn Levy, Deborah Prior, Damien Shen, Angela Valamanesh & Thomas Yeend. Curated by Carollyn Kavanagh.

I contributed an installation piece called Syntaxin: Kiss and Run, and two videos called Situs Inversus, one for an internal LED screen (which you can see here, with audio), and one, a special projection project (watch it here), on a huge window of the SW corner of the Convention Centre, along with one by Meg Cowell. 

[metaslider id=1062]