It’s been a privelage to find myself enter a second year at Dunmoochin as one of a small community of artists in residence.
Dunmoochin resonates with its enigmatic history, the ebb and flow of creative endevour here that has contributed so much to Australia’s cultural heritage. In the 21st century Dunmoochin is seeing a more diverse mix of artists building on the legacies left to them by Clifton Pugh and his peers.
Dunmoochin has afforded me the space and consistency of a semi-permanent residence to complete and devise a new series of works. Prior to my arrival I had been exhibiting large scale video projected works in Austria, performing solo voice compositions in Japan, shooting a documentary series in Sarawak, writing, rehearsing and performing an experimental cabaret in Cape Town.
The documentary series, Sarawak Gone, has just been completed. I’ve spent the past year editing short format documentaries I call micro-docs. Sarawak Gone is about the last forest communities of Borneo, telling their story of dispossesion of ties to ancestral land and their culture through two of up to forty unique indigenous groups, or Dayaks.
The last in the series, The Headman, is presently touring East Malaysia with the Freedom Film Festival. A selection of the entire series will be screened at “forest tales“, an evening of stories, music and projections debuting at Dunmoochin, on the evening of Saturday, 27 September.
Forest tales will also see a debut of extracts from my experimental cabaret, Tong Tana (Penan for into the forest), my next major work to be undertaken at Dunmoochin. Tong Tana builds on the work that’s grown from the communities I’ve visited in Sarawak, the lives they shared with me and the forests they inhabit, that feed, nurture and inform them.
I plan to integrate a series of photos and video I’ve collated over the course of my stay at Dunmoochin into both Tong Tana and another projected installation, which too shall be seen either at Dunmoochin, or at a suitable venue in the Shire.
Finally, I may just finish my current album here, a collection of songs I’ve written on the road, an entirely acoustic collection, that’s challenging both my compositional skills and musicianship. Much of my spare time you’ll find me practicing guitar, shaping techniques that had once been alien to me (and many more that will remain so!).
Some how, being in the bush, within an increasingly populated sanctury for an ever more diverse species of birds, the heart and creative spirit is contributing to a metamorphasis of my entre self, from my hands to that which I continue to devote so much time to… to inspire and arouse curiosity of, and preservation for the diversity of all life, that feeds, nurtures, sustains and inspires us all.