Art from the Margins Emerging Artist Exhibition 2021

Last year I won an Emerging Artist Award from Art from the Margins ‘Outsider Art Awards’. The result is an exhibition of my drawings from my poetry collection Amnesia Findings (2019, UQP), which are transformed into floating shadowy laser cuts, thanks to a collaboration with John Waldron.

a floating shadowy laser cut of my drawings from separation ceremony in 'Amnesia Findings'
‘Separation Ceremony’ from Amnesia Findings (laser cut)

Come visit the AFTM Gallery to view the works – (Monday – Friday) May 24 – July 9 2021.

Photo credit: Anne Sawyer

2020 Spark Prize Shortlist

I was thrilled to be featured on the shortlist of the Spark Prize, for my memoir manuscript ‘How to Knit a Human’. ‘How to Knit a Human’ is a split-voice, non-linear memoir following my attempts to re-stitch my sense of self and memory after experiencing psychosis at age 23. To read more about the winner and shortlisted entrants, visit here.

2020 Queensland Writers Fellowship Recipient

I am honoured beyond words to receive a Queensland Writers Fellowship, to work on my next poetry collection ‘Anxious in a Sweet Store’.

Huge congratulations to Sara El Sayed and Amanda Niehaus
on receiving a 2020 Queensland Writers Fellowship too!

You can view the shortlists and winners of the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards here

Winner of the 2020 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing: Open Creative Nonfiction Category

I am over the moon and beyond to have won the 2020 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing in the Open Creative Nonfiction Category. This was incredibly special for me as it means an extract from my memoir manuscript is now published in the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing Anthology 2020 for the first time. You can download the eBook version of the anthology here.

You can also watch the announcement and reading from an excerpt of my work (read by actor Dennis Coard) at the 10min mark here.

Thank you so much to the judges Claire Coleman and Jeff Sparrow. In their judges’ report they say: ‘

‘As all our certainties collapse around us, we need truth, more than ever, but we also require writers with the poet’s ability to turn a phrase and make the familiar feel strange and the strange, recognisable.’

I feel very honoured and grateful to have won this prize.

MoB’s Artists @ Home Residency – Week 6

This last update brings  you my video poem ‘Why is this Passover Night Different?’.

This work plays on aspects of the Passover Seder; the Four Questions (Ma Nishtana), the Four Children (The Wise Child, the Rebellious Child, the Naïve Child and the Child who is Too Shy to Ask), and the Dayenu song (It would have been enough).

The Passover Seder includes the retelling of the story of the Jewish people’s escape to freedom from slavery, in a special order. This order can be followed along to, and read in a Haggadah. There are many Haggadah editions, and while they vary slightly, they all follow this same order, as a guide for families retelling the story at Passover. The Passover Seder also includes a festive meal. 

Matzah is unleavened bread (made from flour and water) and baked before it has a chance to rise. This symbolises how the Jewish people fled slavery in ancient Egypt in such a hurry there was no time for their dough to rise. They carried the dough on their backs in sacks through the desert. The dough was baked by the sun and turned into a flat cracker. Shmurah matzah are round matzot made by hand. Matzah balls are dumplings made from coarsely ground matzah meal. 

This work was created as part of Museum of Brisbane’s Artists @ Home Residency during Covid-19. Thank you again to MoB for this opportunity. I’ve enjoyed sharing my updates, process and video poems with you all.

MoB’s Artists @ Home Residency – Week 5

‘Festive Meal’ is a video poem documenting my family’s home Passover meal, during the pandemic. This work contains over 170 individual line drawings!

The Passover Seder includes the retelling of the story of the Jewish people’s escape to freedom from slavery, in a special order. The Passover Seder also includes a festive meal. This video poem was created as part of Museum of Brisbane’s Artists @ Home Residency.

Thank you to MoB for this opportunity. Next week is the last week of my residency and I will showcase my second video poem ‘Why is this Passover Night Different?’

MoB’s Artists @ Home Residency – Week Four

The weeks are flying by! I am putting the finishing touches on my video poems. This is a snippet from my work ‘Why is this Passover Night Different?’

There is always a full moon on Passover, as the Jewish holiday follows the lunar calendar.

My mother’s Haggadah has intricate illustrations and I photographed the textures as a digital collage, to create the moon.

In other news, my ‘Festive Meal’ video poem is just about finished, and I look forward to sharing this two minute video work with you next week.

MoB’s Artists @ Home Residency – Week Three

I’m writing about my creative process this week! Below are the photographs I took, documenting my family’s Passover Seder table. These photographs and visual records helped me write my poems.

After the documentation and writing process, I then recorded my voiceover reading the poems. The next stage is to create the animations. I visualise what I would like to go with each line of poetry, and focus on an image or action. I draw each image into photoshop, which makes it easier to erase and add lines onscreen. I turn these drawings into a stop motion animation with video software, by adjusting each image-length to match the flow of the poem.

Progress Shot – Festive Meal Video Poem
Progress Shot – Why is this Passover Night Different? Video Poem

I look forward to sharing more updates with you next week!

MoB’s Artists @ Home Residency – Week Two

Below is my week two work-in-progress from my video poem ‘Why is this Passover Night Different?’, as part of MoB’s Artists @ Home Residency. I was inspired by the experience of cooking matzah balls with my Mum this year.

To create this animation, I used digital collage techniques. I cut out the matzah ball shape from my photograph of my family’s matzah ball dish in Photoshop using the ‘lasso’ tool. I then created the matzah ball animation, with each matzah ball on a different Photoshop layer. I moved each matzah ball over a sequence of twelve images to replicate the process of cooking matzah balls in the special pot.

My mother’s Matzah Balls cooking in special pots (this photograph was my inspiration)
Matzah Ball Soup! Delicious. This is my photograph from our family Passover Seder
Work-in-progress screen shot

Stay tuned for next week’s update!