Curator residency program at House Conspiracy Brisbane 2018

This residency culminated in exhibition and performance programming across two venues involving 22 artists. See my article on the House Conspiracy website HERE. Supporting partners: Museum of Brisbane, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Sydney, Liquid Architecture (producer of performance program), Brisbane City Council, Queensland College of Art and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance. Assistant curator: Joseph Burgess
House Conspiracy venue

Spring Hill Reservoirs venue

Clearing    Australia’s leading environmental artist Fiona Hall (Hobart) provided a large carpet called ‘Clearing’ from 2008. The work explores the loss of flora and fauna for large-scale farming.


 “4x5x100 = 2000 prayers for the earth”    Suzanne Bartos (Lithgow) combines her interest in social issues, psychotherapy and theatre for this work that invites visitors to spin each of the “prayer wheels”, made from repurposed oil drums five times. If one hundred people participate then 2000 prayers for the climate have been made.

Dromornis sightings in Alice Springs   Extending the interest in fauna by Fiona Hall, Joseph Burgess (Brisbane) explores extinction in a moving image work of the Dromornis that was part of the megafauna that once roamed Central Australia. The giant lit lantern puppet powered by a scissor lift parades through Alice Springs.

Bleach   Spoken word poet Caresse Creswell and video artist Di James created ‘Bleach’ as a response to the state of the Great Barrier Reef.

Pseudophryne Cementia.    Dale Collier is a Darkinjung/Wiradjuri socio-politically engaged practitioner. This moving image work explores finite resources and sustainable practice in relation to invasionist neoliberal governance.
Stygofauna nests  Jude Roberts and Helen Hardess (Brisbane) recreate plankton nests in waxed paper to reveal the deep time histories and hidden relationships of groundwater systems and the life forms they support. They also explore the way that the western world’s resources industries and agriculture impact on eco-systems by using the nested stygofauna drawn from samples of bore water for analysis.

Contamination   Anastasia Tyurina (Brisbane/Russia) examines the microscopic environment of contaminated water that she animates into large painterly projections.

Bayeux capitalism: world alienation, legal personhood & the environmentJenny Brown (Katoomba) traces the alienating effects of capitalism in this tapestry that begins with  Indigenous connection in a quote by academic Mary Graham: ‘I am located therefore I am.’  Successive panels track this increasing alienation through core world events that includes and extends Hannah Arendt’s discussion on this theme. The tapestry is further connected to corresponding laws and actions that have determined relationships with the environment, both protective and destructive.

Work’s teletext script: Mary Graham: “I am located therefore I am.” AD Christian concern for eternal soul … 529 Justinian’s Civil Code … 1066 Hailey’s Comet … 1419 Age of Exploration … 1517 Socage abolition … 1589 Age of Modern science … 1662 Dutch guilds use letters patent … 1788 Terra & Aqua Nullius … 1885 British separate land surface & minerals ownership … 1886 Corporations gain legal personhood … 1897 Mono-agriculture as genocide … 1910 Hailey’s Comet … 1920s Supermarkets shame backyard growers … 1955 Disney’s fantasy industrial complex … 1960s World Bank’s non-traditional crop slave labour … 1975 Prime Minister sacked with letters patent … 1970s Private land geo-exploration licences … 1983 Monsanto, food irradiation, GMO patents & fertilisers … 1986 Franklin Dam halted … Hailey’s Comet … 2004 Harrison’s eco-art plans from watershed futures … 2006 Colony collapse disorder … 2011 Ecuadorian river gains legal personhood … Naples Water Corporation recommoned … 2015 Australia leads deforestation … 2018 Manuka honey appellation … If corporations are people, owning them is slavery


Libby Har­ward is a Ngugi woman from the Quan­damooka whose new noise rite manifests the sounds the plants hear. Curated by Danni Zuvela for Nature’s Right Performance for the Liquid Architecture program ‘Why Listen to Plants?’