Put Up Your Dukes!

Put Up Your Dukes!

Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin 18 June – 20 July 2013

the latest Achronological Manor project is Put up your Dukes!  an exhibton/pulicaton/performance played out as a visual debate between Gabrielle Amodeo and myself. The project utilised the structure of the Douglas-Lincoln debate format used in the campaign for the Illinois senate in 1858 between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas as the structure for a counterintuitive mode of collaboration.

The moot: In art, as in life, we occupy an ad-hoc middle ground in which the only certainty is the impossibility of certainty.

Put Up Your Dukes! Was played out as an elaborate standoff in which each of us (over)stated our case and elaborated on a claim to common territory. In the build-up to this exhibition new works were developed in a call/response fashion using the idea of nature as a foil, a subject matter and directive, but the debate itself centres around our different methodologies.


Sorensen states:

 I am interested in the territory where art abandons good-sense to joyfully embrace the vernacular of the stupid, the obvious, simple, pointless, pleasurable, silly, excessive, lazy, expedient and useless.


Amodeo Proposes:

Labour as it’s own reward / the person who cuts his own firewood warms himself twice / validation through accumulation (being able to cite a big number validates a project) / refer to things obliquely, answer questions with questions


the debate format:

debate format


looking down the gallery, in the centre is Garden (JS Affirmative Constructive)

at the back: PODOCARPACEAE/Dacrycarpus – ASTERACEAE/Pachystegia (GA Negative Constructive)

left wall: Resisting Societal Norms (JS Cross-Examination of Negative By Affirmative)

garden-veiw-4 resisting-12 wall-and-two-mops



Media room:

Pictures and Things from our Walls (GA Cross-Examination of Affirmative by Negative)

collection-1 collection-2

back room:

Fir Tree Small II (JS Affirmative Rebuttal)

fir-tree-small-II-1 fir-tree-small-II-4


Sound and Vision (GA Negative Rebuttal)

1012193_687525331274560_1367179076_n 1069971_687525327941227_155570087_n


A Pile of Boxes (JS Affirmative Rejoinder)



I found these images when I was sorting through the files on  old hard drive. I really quite like this series of paintings, they ended up a little bit orphaned as my practice move on in other directions and they never got to be shown. I quite like the way they are a bit un-cool and outsider-ish. there is something neurotic about the hard-wood craft panels, the dodgy blending and the sugary colours. All things contemporary painting is a little sniffy about. It was really fun doing them. I might do some more.






The Week Of The Horse

after incubating for some time in my studio the horses are set free next week:

Horse #10 is at the Wallace Awards at the Pah Homestead, opening Monday 3 September.

and this pony  is joining a line-up of sock ponies, accompanied by the carrot, in the Gow Langsford Window on the corner of Wellesley and Kitchener St. The opening is 5 – 7pm Tuesday 4 September, and it is on until 29 September.

crochet carrot

I have been crocheting a large carrot, it is not a crafty feel-good thing, nor is it a post feminist reclaiming the soft arts thing. It is just that my my drawings have almost always been of crochet carrots, so it seemed only right. Suffice to say I will not be one of those grannies that sit around crocheting blankets as a recreational activity, though it does give me renewed respect for such tenacity.

i selected this carrot drawing from my drawing book number 1.

and this somewhat fleshy purplish merino wool

and made this 1.5 metre pattern

it will be filled with bean-bag beans, slightly under-filled for that slightly flacid carrot-like slump.

when it is finished it will be part of  the Gow Langsford Window project that I have been invited to take part in. I am putting in some of my sock ponies and wanted a large pink carrot to go with them. It opens 5 September, as an adjunct to their two galleries.  those of you who are in Auckland – please come along.


Paper Bag Research Forum

Ah how quickly it came and went…. Or more how quickly the three weeks following it went, what with mid-year assessment casting its long shadow over art school and my husband breaking his collar bone only one week after officially recovering from breaking his other collar bone. And breaking off a wee bit of his leg-bone for good measure, to ensure full invalid status.

In the midst of this the One Day Wonder post-mortem has been repeatedly postponed.  Or at least the public sharing of it has; In between the various man-and-child caring tasks I have been contemplating its outcomes and possible developments and this is what I have been thinking:

I found the overall dynamic of a research-based exhibition surprisingly generative and enjoyable. It was more than just the freedom from the need to present a cohesive, resolved exhibition, although that was in itself significant. I found the experience of exhibiting work as a mid point of process somehow much more exciting than the usual exhibition as culmination and end point of a given project. Despite a degree of apprehension I found it both enjoyable and useful to open up the making/ thinking process for discussion with a group of peers.

The project provided me with the opportunity to develop a whole lot of work that I had been thinking about for a while, without concerning myself too much about outcome or how it would all work together in the gallery. Maybe it made me reassess failure as an active driver in research, for while I am conscious that bad might be good, I find it difficult to hold the value of failure in the process of critical decision-making. I decided that in a research exhibition the inclusion of potential failure would be essential for useful discussion and critique and it seems that this embrace of a working level of uncertainty is not only generative and exciting for my working practice, but appears to generate a degree of energetic and polarised response from the audience.

The question is how can this be applied in the usual exhibition situation, where the exhibition probably is the culmination of a project, and stands of fall on its merits as finished work? It has me wondering if a practice, worked out as a series of exhibitions over time, could be an ongoing proposition; a never answerable question elucidated upon but not concluded, art as thinking rather than consolidated into thought.

My One Day Wonder

These are some studio trials for my one-day exhibition this Friday, 18 May. It is part of the One Day Wonder project, a series of 24-hour shows at the Pearce Gallery, Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

My exhibition is an experimental installation developing some of the ideas I have discussed in previous posts on the relationship between humans, domestic animals and the flower power movement.

Opening Friday night 4.30pm – 7pm. Saturday 10am – 1pm Discussion forum 5- 5.30pm

Pearce Gallery, 130 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell


The One Day Wonder project

The Pearce Gallery at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design presents the inaugural season of One Day Wonders, a series of one-day exhibitions discussing and developing new, emerging and experimental aspects of contemporary art practice.

Season one: 2012 Paper Bag Research Forum

A research based project investigating the dynamic between research practice, exhibition practice and the educational institution. Five member of faculty from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design present their own take on this relationship as they address aspects of their own practice via exhibition and discussion

May 18                Jill Sorensen

June 1                  Emma Johnson

July 27                Christina Read

August 3             Noel Ivanoff

August 10            Jacquie Ure

Friday night openings 4.30pm – 7pm. Saturday 10am – 1pm Discussion forum 5- 5.30pm

Pearce Gallery, 130 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell


Happy Anniversary Blue Oyster

Blue Oyster gallery in Dunedin turned 13 in April and I was asked to join in the celebrations by contributing a work to the group show Silk and Lace.

The show is also reviewed on Eye Contact

The show required the invited artists to address the title Silk and lace and also to respond to a previous exhibition at Blue Oyster.

I chose to respond to the 2009 exhibition by Australian artist Sylvia Swenk. This show, titled, They paved paradise, put up a parking lot, after Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ engaged with environmental issues and the human cost of unfettered capitalism. Swenk’s project took the form of a performance/ installation in the gallery and an interactive performance work, X Performance Dunedin, in which she choreographed and directed local participants to form a giant X with their bodies across an intersection connecting the Octagon to the surrounding streets.

Icing Sugar Floor Work

This work is a commemoration of the flower power movement and an acknowledgment of the fragility of the ideological  high-ground.



Flower Performance X

My reworking of Swenks performance reflects upon the 99% occupation of the Octagon and pays tribute to civilian activism, from the flower Power era to present day. Rather than making the cross with the bodies of the participants I invited participants to lay a cross of flowers as gesture of support for peaceful protest past, present and future.

Look they’ve got necks

I have been on holiday and not thinking about art for at least two weeks. To help me warm up my brain I have been looking back over various projects and piles of paper. In so doing I re-found a couple of childhood drawings my sister gave me last year. To put these drawings in perspective, they are the only two drawings saved from my prolific childhood of drawing. (at least the only two with my name on them, there were a number of unnamed ones that could have been the cultural production of me or any of my siblings) My mother kept a draw of things that seemed precious at the time, drawings, letters, cards etc. As is usually the case, there are more things from the first children in the family, but as youngest i did ok with two identifiable drawings from my childhood and one letter from when I was at artschool (complete with pencil-held-by-foot drawing of my boyfriend on envelope)

This drawing is of Hansel and Gretel, I was five years old according to my mother’s note on the back. I recall making it quite clearly, it was done with those waxy crayons they used in school. I used orange for the faces as it seemed a closer skin tone than the bright pink. The teacher held it up for the class and said “look they have got necks” i was so proud.

later, as an adult I made another version of Hansel and Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel

This second drawing I don’t remember so well, i have a foggy recollection of sticking on the orange wool. I quite like the fact that it is a bird but it has hands rather than wings, and it is scary looking.