Sydney does not know that I have left. Hobart does not know that I am part of your club. I’m letting you in on an identified secret.
Slipping between the strait to saddle awkwardly remote and centre, one can wear the same attire, dancing the same dances, and get away with it. My island is smaller than your island, its weather generally moist and biting, a rough gem that gathers moss, yet there isn’t demand for this information.
As an artist in permanent residence abroad, I can relate to the Sydney Guild’s desire to recreate the natural. It’s too difficult to create the natural itself, even in the Ancient Greek legend of Parrhasios the artist was forced to reveal his curtain trick in order to seize credibility. What I strive for is the measured copy. I copy because I’m not sure what it is or don’t know where to start. To illustrate, my studio is a replica of a typical international contemporary artist’s studio. It has all the tropes, a wall with stained oily remnants of paint from its previous occupant, a clean, neatly painted wall that you could hang an artwork on, one wall with a large window for looking out to the city over industrial architecture or, to reverse the image, letting natural light fill the room, another window on the adjacent wall presents a view into an overly-productive neighbouring studio. Framing the room is a table that hosts obscure books, journals, pens, lined paper sheets and a bottle of wine, across from the table sits an unoccupied plinth to fill empty space and complete the studio composition. Occasionally I’ll collect objects and put them on this plinth. There are also three chairs surrounding the table, lending an illusion of the activity of multiple creative types, engaged in an endless dialogue regarding potential production, frequently rearranged.
This facsimile creative reception space is an instruction to Hobart to register a real artist that has a real practice existing within their arts community. For Sydney, it’s a probable site of vitality within an undisclosed virtual location. For both places, it is a foundation that can be recognised, significant and valuable, a mineral-rich atoll between two seas, recreating and overlapping a natural caucus upon itself.