The whole COVID-19 thing has been confusing and surreal, I still find myself asking 'how did we end up here?'. On the one hand I’m fine with restrictions—my practice doesn’t rely on maneuvering in social situations, it’s all about the work, and I get my fill of banter with friends via text, email or phone. On the other hand, I couldn’t wait to travel again, to visit museums and learn about different cultures—it’s so important for an artist, forcing oneself to look and think.
I’ve been at home in Sydney over the last eighteen months, where the inner west meets the suburbs, working in my studio. When not thinking about what’s happening with the pandemic I had a fun time in the studio working towards my recent show Art Habits. As usual I’ve been busy researching, writing, making art and meeting deadlines. Some artists are used to working in isolation, I love being alone and creating a show—I’m built for it.
It’s been business as usual with the art-making but as always I’ve been thinking about ways to expand the work further, to reach a wider audience in a warmer, more endearing way. For the recent show I mailed over one hundred hand-written postcards to people as an invitation. I also commissioned Matthew Tumbers to create a hilarious audio tour—you must listen to it, the man is truly gifted. The gallery commissioned a piece by the celebrated writer Martha Farquhar and made a great exhibition walkthrough video, which my young son wrote and performed the music for. Sullivan+Strumpf made all of this available through the viewing room on the website, which was a blessing as lockdown started when we were installing. So unfortunately, it was eighteen months of work and not one person saw the show in the flesh—ouch! Although, I’m grateful to the gallery for working hard to make the show a comprehensive and entertaining experience online.