18 October 2011

Antarctic Kingdom of Gondwana Land

Wanda Gillespie
Antarctic Kingdom of Gondwana Land

21 Oct – 26 Nov 2011
Launch 6pm, 20 October 2011
Gallery Three, Craft Victoria
31 Flinders Lane Melbourne

Please refer to Into the Void for the first instalment of the Antarctic Kingdom of Gondwanaland research


One pitfall to current accepted geographical evidence is the prevelance of fossilised flora recovered from digs. These include banksia serrata, a well-known Australian species that has existed in a modern form for 40-50 million years, a time when the continents of Gondwana began to drift apart. As these objects suggest, banksia plants flourished in Antarctica as late as the Quatenary Period, dating from 1.6 million years ago to the current era. lt now seems possible that the geography of Antarctica remained temperate and densely wooded until as recently as the revised ice age date (3500 BCE).

The recovered artefacts reveal that the inhabitants of Queen Maud Land were master carvers, using the wood readily available to them render dieties and figures for totemic worship. The most intriguing and well-preserved artifacts uncovered yet, these figurative statues were rendered primarily in wood with bone and leather. Their circular formation, meditative expressions, fine detail, and other mystifying objects, suggest a religious or spiritual significance. The special reverence paid to the flora, which appeared carefully arranged alongside the phenomenally life-like statues proposes a form of animism common to many indigenous cultures. Most animistic belief systems hold that the spirit survives physical death. The uncovered evidence has led experts to speculate that this culture’s complex belief system included the view that the spirit passed to an easier world of abundant game or ever-ripe crops, or else to stay on in the world as a malignant spirit. The Queen Maud Land relics speak of prescribed rituals, perhaps to ensure that the soul might journey to the spirit world without becoming lost and thus, wandering as a ghost.  

31 May 2011

New website

A work in progress - still more design to fiddle with and writing to upload onto this site but have a little look-see.

p.s I am not very computer literate but I try.

22 May 2011

Bombay honey

 I spent way too long on the inner webs last night and ended up reading the TWO AFRO DADS blog. I am not sure how I got there, I was attempting to research night life in Bombay in the 1930s and what I found was Indian surrogates which proves to me that google succotash Balzac and that I will never write a novel but have lots of general knowledge about IVF and gay love.

I will write this goddamned piece of merdahein> Without talking it up too much I can see it being like Coral Island meets The Devil Wears Prada. It will be a chic lit classic that little boys will read under their bed covers with a pen light. Oh my gosh. I just had a revelation....... I was mocking the Coral Island here (I have three copies of it, long story, but never read it) and just realised that one major scene in my yet-to-be-written masterpiece does in fact, take place on a (mostly) deserted island in the Philippines. But there's an opera house there and immigrants in tattered fur coats eating chicken that tastes like fish because these island chickens eat seaweed. I am going to start saving money so I can travel to China, India and the Philippines, dressed in my fur coat with my little olympus recorder and interview people who knew people that danced in art deco hotels in Bombay and Shanghai instead of trawling this dead sea called the internet. Life is outside my front door, goddammit. Where's my pinemango juice? I'm pretending I'm in the tropics today - heat up - so I can describe the blue waters of Bora Bora.

24 March 2011

Coffee with Alyosha

I dragged my brother shopping today, he's good in that way. He's not good at finding things in BigW.
- ah Varia, where do they keep their office paper?
- turn your head to the right, yep. the shelf right next to you.

That's ok. I asked who Ke$ha was in the supermarket checkout after spotting her on the cover of a magazine. Alyosha obliged with the chorus of one of her songs. The lady in front of us, with grizzled grey hair, a raincoat that looked lived in and her face a bit skint on teeth, turned around and started singing also. 

a little porcelain fox I bought for my daughter, from a junk shop in Clunes

We had coffee at Gloria Jeans. This is suburbia after all. He asked why I hadn't updated my blog in a while and told me which stories he liked. I told him to start his own blog about music. So Alyosha, if you are reading, start blogging. I'll read your stuff.

And on a completely different tangent but sort of related to the picture...
My face will grace a porcelain sculpture of a toddler "Miss Congeniality". I had to wear really insane make up with big falsie eyelashes - it's a send up of those Toddlers and Tiaras pageants, and as the artist, Robyn Hosking said, "the adultification of children."

08 March 2011

Reading Tsvetaeva

Let us wait by the river that
rinses the coloured beads of street-lights:

from You throw your head back, 1916, Marina Tsvetaeva

INSOMNIA: Varia on reading Tsvetaeva

We scratch at the snow
that has closed our eyes
What did I know about peasants
carrying knives in their boots or of the earth
stamped red?
Those that lay trampled, their mouths
filled with gadflies when summer came finally.
The snow melted from emptied eyes,
water ran down whitened bone too late for the eyes
to see what had been done.

And still, the Kremlin is improbably coloured
and at night in summer, the Moscow River runs
grey and still
holding our reflections coolly,
for a time.

03 February 2011

goodbye Mrs. Coconut

Happy Chinese New Year. Put down the knife, keep your hair unwashed, pay off debts, be lucky, red, beautifully stoic and humanely built. Bring the Yellow River back to life, address an ode to unearthed warriors. Dance at Shanghai's Cotton Club, see neon purple, electric shiver in a puddle of water.