Saturday, December 01, 2007


Above: Works by Anita McIntyre, Vicki Reynolds, Marisse Maas, Kirra Jamison, Robert Boynes, Anne-Laure Djaballah, Mary Sutherland, Nancy Selvin, Susan Joy Share.

I have started thinking about a book or perhaps series of books based on cycles in nature. The sort of things I am thinking of including are the lunar phases, day and night, seasons, insect lifecycles and the stages of a woman's life (woman, mother, crone). The structure I plan to use is the flutter book. If you are unfamiliar with this, it is basically a concertina book, with the covers pulled right back, so the book sits in a circle. Below is the model I made at a workshop I attended last year - of course it can have as many pages as you want.

I want the work to express ideas about nature and time, the way it is cyclical and how we, as humans, are a part of that. I've been looking through images of work that I've collected for ways to express that aesthetically, and the collage at the top of the post shows some works I've pulled out to help me visualize where I want to go. To me, these works speak of time passing and past.

In a way, this is a progression from a triptych of photos (below) I did during the first year of my masters. As a work, they were at a very experimental stage and not at all resolved, but they were the first work I did in Melbourne that excited me with their potential. They referred to ideas of the primordial soup, and I was playing with light as an expressive tool.

I seem to be in a peculiar head space at the moment...quite stressy, quite sleepy but having trouble getting to sleep and sleeping fitfully when I finally do drop off. At the same time I'm having quite a lot of creative ideas, and works I've had in the back of my mind all year long are starting to come together (in my head at least).

Today is the first day of summer here and while the temperatures have been very mild (27-28 deg C) the humidity is often between 50-80%. This really saps me of energy far more than the dry heat I experienced when living in Melbourne. The last two days I finally relented and turned on the air conditioning. It seems unjustified when the temps are so low, but then I realised that I had perspiration on my upper lip and forehead just sitting at the desk. CFS has damaged the hypothalamus, the area in the brain which controls temperature regulation among other things, so my ability to tolerate humidity is far below the norm. I do feel better and more able to work with the A/C on. I might really indulge myself and try sleeping with it on too.

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  1. I'm not so good in the heat either but I'm just as bad in the cold weather too. I guess that I am lucky not to have to deal with the same humidity here as you have to though, I don't think that I could cope with that, I'd be a non-functioning mess!

    Your new book idea sounds intriguing Amanda, I am looking forward to seeing how your idea progresses.

  2. I'm really not too bad in the cold, although I imagine even in Melbourne it probably wasn't as cold as you have it over there (esp. if you are Sth island?) If I get cold and can't get warm, my shoulders do tend to spasm and wearing a big heavy coat makes it worse. Still there'll be no need for coats here for a while!

  3. Yes I'm in the Sth Island and it can get pretty cold here in winter. I feel the cold terribly. Even if the weather is mild I can be shivering and wearing lots of layers but then all of sudden if I'm hot, I'm hot!

    I think my thermostat is indeed very faulty! :)

  4. I used to be like that - if the slightest breeze came up, I'd need a cardy, but now I've put on some weight (worse luck) and I'm just hot,hot,hot!(not in the good way...)