Published December 2009



Editorial [pdf]

Anna Wallace and Sabina Rahman


Hol(e)y Statues: Some Reflections on Holes, Emptiness and Longing in the Work of Two Australian émigré sculptors of the Fifties [pdf]

Jane Eckett

The incorporation of negative space in the sculptures of European émigrés Vincas Jomantas and Julius Kane symbolised the artists’ exile from their families, milieu and homelands. Holes were used to create an alternative perspective, forcing the jaded eye of earlier settlers to accept the dislocated vision of the new arrivals.

The Idea(l) of White British Benevolence: “Breaking the Chains” and the 2007 Bicentennial of Abolition [pdf]

Sasha L. Johnston

This article examines “Breaking the Chains,” an exhibit constructed in conjunction with Britain’s 2007 Bicentennial of Abolition. In it, Johnston argues that the exhibit’s representation of slavery and abolition perpetuates what may be characterised as the idea(l) of white British benevolence.

Why Do Extinctions Matter? Mourning the Loss of Indigenous Flora in the Southwest of Western Australia [pdf]

John C. Ryan

Extinction is an absence that entails a feeling of loss, the experience of silence, and the need for mourning. This paper examines artistic and literary responses to the imperiled status of indigenous flora in the Southwest of WA. It proposes a theory of mourning informed by the connectivity ontology of the ecological humanities.


A Posthumous Visit by Virginia Woolf [pdf]

Ann Brown

The idea of a “posthumous” visit crosses the border of time realities and fiction and non-fiction. Drawing on Woolf’s own diaristic narratives, autobiography blends with the experiences of a well-known novelist, enabling a revisitation into the visual aestheticism and narrativism which characterised Woolf’s own relationship with the painter Gertler.

Death as Presence: Bill Viola’s Ocean Without a Shore [pdf]

Justine Grace

Bill Viola’s Ocean Without a Shore, first shown at the 52nd Venice Biennale and consequently purchased by the National Gallery of Victoria in 2008, was both a critical and public success. But how does an artist manifest through material means that which is essentially unknowable within the human experience?

Emotions, Chaos and Commotion: A Family Narrative [pdf]

Megan Orcholski

This narrative explores a father’s diagnoses and treatment of an extremely rare brain tumor from the perspective of his daughter. Emails, memories, and reflection are woven together in this creative non-fiction piece to explore one family’s cancer experience.

you are known by the company you keep [pdf]

John C. Ryan

Through a dreamlike encounter with the non-human residents of Anstey-Keane Damplands in metropolitan Perth, the poem ‘you are known by the company you keep’ relates the absences -biological and sensory -in the experience of landscape. The entangling of sense experience – the synaesthesia – points to the histories of tasting, touching, smelling and engaging with landscape that have been relegated to the margins in contemporary discourse on nature.

Posy [pdf]

Jessica L. Wilkinson

This poem considers, amongst other things, the genesis and growth of poems—how they find their roots in our minds; how we cultivate them and bring them to fruition; how we fail in the endeavour to capture ‘truth’ through language; and how a frantic desperation to produce and repeat quick and ‘easy’ artworks can result in a clouded vision.

The Other Seven-Eighths of the Iceberg: Peering Beneath the Surface of Ernest Hemingway’s Six-Word Story [pdf]

Daniel Wood

In the 1950s, Ernest Hemingway wrote a short story so brief that he scrawled the entire thing – only six words in length – on one side of a paper napkin. But while the story has long since become something of a literary legend, the evidence suggests that Hemingway did not actually write it at all. So how and why, exactly, did it come to be attributed to him?


About Excursions’ Contributors [pdf]