Salome Starfire

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Archive for the month “April, 2012”

I’ve been making things, probably like you. Making dolls and pictures except this time they get critiqued by the university. I had my first critique of my drawings yesterday. It was a a strange experience because I thought I’d get more analysis of my work. And yes I wanted to talk about my work. So I can hardly accurately draw a human figure..but I’ve got ideas and passion and I’ve got images that are colliding in the infinite space of my mind and hands and eyes that are waiting to pull them out.

My paintings in particular follow several lines of enquiry, namely the construction of the human through the physical to the psychoanalytical, from bones to symbols to the unconscious. And of course this is referenced to myself.  It seems a logical thing to do; to use the opportunity to explore my own identity and my own being because it will ultimately resonate with many people

The three drawings above are examining bone in macro and micro dimensions.  I started using lots of layers of pastels and using the delicacy of tissue paper and finding brown paper.  I think that all of my work, poetry, music, performance, drawing, doll making are a furiously serious and always humourous attempt to examine, critique and explore myself and the world around me. So I guess if the opportunity had arisen I would have liked very much to talk about how I perform under many disguises because I am always changing and I don’t know about a fixed self. Can a fixed self be a collection of selves? Because this is how I feel about myself.

Different art practises help me explore and extend my ideas and imagination in unique ways. Drawing and image making on paper and cardboard and almost anything I find, ( this is womble technology of which I will gladly talk to anyone about) helps my words gesticulate themselves, and in a way the image affords me silence. It gives my being a chance to stop trying to grasp for the best explanation of something. It’s so lovely to melt into the crowd, or be a ‘solid melting into air’ as Marx is very often quoted saying about the modernist movement.

I’ve had so many ideas almost every moment of my day. I started looking at the grey hairs and wondering if I could start using them in my dolls.

These dolls were made for the wonderful musicians and artists, my husband Nick Hall, and my darling friend Jac Dyson. I enjoyed making them and as always I always fall in love with the dolls I make.

I have plans to make them for all my good friends but one doll takes me if I work non-stop about five hours.

So I think these dolls are called

“Gerald” and “Clarence” named by their owners.

I am working on another doll at the moment. She is my project and her name is Ariadne. She is a pregnant wondrous creature giving birth to writing and a chimera. Here she is in the construction.

Her womb is made out of papier mache and her body from lots of things I’ve found. Her front of her belly will have a metal door made out of brass shim and you will be able to open it, either by a slide or a gate. But this is the final stage of the doll and I am developing the idea of how to best show the inside of her womb, which is filled with feathers and coloured metallic paper and little bits of writing.

The other reason this post is called “Oranges and Paintings” is because I had a rather sensuous experience with an orange. lol. I just completely had this transcendental experience, of texture, smell, taste,  and feel. I could see the juicy flesh alive and the essential oils sweating out of the skin and the soft forgiving white protective inner layer, tasteless and yet beautiful. Anyway I ate it very slowly, one little pod of fruit juice at a time. And I was eating this as I was also stitching my dolls face together. Before this I was applying make-up to my own face and then removing it because I scared myself at what I had created in the mirror…

Have you ever had that experience? Make-up is so much fun, but I sometimes must stop at the shiny blue eyeshadow…


Weathered in Brisbane.

Does a woman get weathered or wise? Does a man mature into a man, and a woman into middle age? Ok I’ve been feeling tired lately.  And I just read Jung’s ‘Aspects of the Masculine’. When I said read, I meant one or two pages. Once I got to his ‘something in us wishes to remain a child’ (28) and that this clinging to a childhood level of consciousness causes a variety of neurosis. Hmm. And today, was it the chocolate or the onset of my periods, or the feeling that I am tired after having slept for seven hours. Yesterday I was on fire, I was in all senses fiery. You see I enquired about organising a poetry or music event but apparently the Queensland Library doesn’t do those. The cafe does, but they already have something running. I was feeling a little trapped. And then I went to the 4th Level of the Museum to read about the fight for Indigenous rights only to have a man a few metres away say to his daughter,’and they call us racists, they burn the flag’.

‘excuse me what did you say?’ I enquired.

‘I wasn’t talking to you’ he responds and his daughter moves off embarassed. He stands there hovering, unsure what I’m going to do next.

‘Well this is public space and you are engaged in public discourse. Why bother to be here when you are encased in your

priveledged white male bubble. Will you stay there forever?’

By this time I was shaking and Nick came over to see what was going on. I walked towards this big bulk of a man and I saw him move to seek the comfort of his wife sitting amidst images of Indigenous Australians speaking eloquently about the plight of Indigenous Australia on walls around them.

Finally I managed to get out of the museum and go sit near the state library to play uke with Nick. I felt so overwhelming lost in Brisbane. And even when I did tell a lovely woman at GOMA about my encounter, she told me it happens there too and that I shouldn’t let it get to me. It made me even more forlorn. Finally we sat in the dark with a moving image of a man walking with a brick wall behind him while Nick Cave played for the image. We were dreaming of playing music, of poetry and of spaces where it was possible to breathe We cried in GOMA. No-one saw us.

And I woke up today so tired and feeling defeated. I thought of all those girls and boys I knew in English Lit classes who now live in New York and do marvellous things. And I feel sorry for myself and I HATE that. Sometimes this place is like the epicentre of dislocation and isolation. Maybe I don’t know enough good people here.

I want to dance with you outside the library. I want to laugh with you. I don’t think you’re weird. I want your poetry and music and I want it now. I want to know you want to do it no matter what. Hey we didn’t get into that event, can we do poetry on the corner. I know people won’t stop very often, but sometimes they might.


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