Where the heart is

For the last six days, I’ve been sitting in my makeshift home in the National Museum of Singapore talking with people about what home means to them as part of the Singapore Fringe Festival. The conversations have been amazingly intimate and profound and I’m so grateful and touched that people are sharing so much with me. I’ve been trying to write reflections on the conversations up at www.wheretheheartis2015.tumblr.com but what I’ve written there is merely a tiny fragment of the fascinating, meandering and moving conversations I’ve been having each day. Six days in, six days to go. Here are some photos.








Photos 1, 6 & 7 by Ngiap Heng Tan.

Where the heart is website

WTHI_websitehomeWhere the heart is now has it’s very own website. It’s currently a holding site, but once the project goes live in January, I’ll be updating it regularly with reflections, memories and images from the participatory work, which will take place in the National Museum of Singapore as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.

Have a squiz at wheretheheartis2015.tumblr.com

Where the heart is

ABA_WheretheheartisI’m very excited to be developing a new work, Where the heart is, commissioned by the 2015 Singapore Fringe Festival. I’ll be creating a makeshift home in the National Museum of Singapore this January and exploring the concept of ‘home’ with anyone who comes along.

Home is where you lay your hat, the comfortable place we return to after a long day. Home is also a fantasy we carry in our hearts and minds. In our globalised and dispersed world, many choose to leave our homes for study, work, love, or simply for space. Some create a new home away from home, some remain homesick, nostalgic for another place and time.

Where the heart is explores this more abstract, imagined version of home. It examines the feelings evoked by returning to our hometowns and family homes, and experiencing the changes and the sameness in their place.

More details are available at the Singapore Fringe Festival website and there’s a facebook event page.

In Passing lives again!

With huge gratitude to Arts Victoria and Moreland City Council for financial support, I’m happy to announce that I’ve started putting together a second iteration of In Passing!

If you missed it last time, In Passing is a participatory art project that will bring diverse groups of women together in the suburbs of Coburg & Coburg North to highlight and unpack experiences around gender, power and public space. In Passing first occurred this time last year in Brunswick with 100 women participating across eighteen ‘salon’ events to examine these issues through the familiar and light-hearted form of a pass-the-parcel game. After much positive feedback, the second iteration of In Passing in Coburg will involve 20 similar salons across the month of October this year.

I’ve just put a call out for 20 Coburg (North) women to act as salonniéres and host an In Passing women’s salon at their home, and already 9 people have put their hands up. To participate in In Passing or to stay up to date with this project, check in at www.inpassing.com.au.



Die Insel Website

If you haven’t already, I’d love you to have a look at the Die Insel website. It’s chock-a-block full of the stories I gathered during my 4-month residency at Berlin’s ZK/U, with pretty pictures that show the various outcomes of the residency: Die Insel map (see previous post below), Die Insel (Andenken) interactive digital installation, Die Insel walking tour, and Die Insel audio stories. The only thing missing from the site is documentation of the Unsere Insel exhibition, which contained maps drawn by Moabit residents, but you can see those images if you scroll down to previous posts here. You can even continue the mapping on the Die Insel pinterest page.

As a whole, I can say that the ZK/U residency and Die Insel project were incredibly rewarding for me. A great opportunity to experiment with various forms of engagement methods and artistic outcomes, and I’m pretty chuffed with myself for learning some html and documenting the process and outcomes so comprehensively through the Die Insel website. Have a look yourself at www.dieinsel.tumblr.com.


Die Insel Storymap

The Die Insel Storymap is a window to some of the stories that connect the people of Moabit, Berlin, to the places that are meaningful to them in the simplest of ways. All places were marked and described by the people of Moabit.



The printed Die Insel Storymap will be launched at the ZK/U Openhaus on July 24-27, then will be freely available at the ZK/U, Quartiersmanagement Moabit West, cafés, bars, galleries and most other places in Moabit too.

Take yourself on a tour of Moabit. Bring your neighbour. Share your own stories.

Die Insel Storymap Graphic Design: Marc Martin

[Click on the image above for a printable pdf]

ZK/U June Openhaus

For the June Openhaus, I read some stories that I’ve been gathering as part of the Die Insel project – stories that local residents have told me about their connection with particular places Moabit. The audio will soon be available, but in the meantime, here are just a couple of photos of the story telling.

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ZK/U May Openhaus

Here are some photos from the recent ZK/U Openhaus.

The Die Insel map is now mobile and was exhibited in various spaces in the Stadtgarten and around the ZK/U during the weekend. It has taken on a life of it’s own and can pull a crowd without me. People seem to be drawn to it, keen to read and share the secrets of Moabit.





Downstairs in the main exhibition space was Unsere Insel, a series of maps created by eighteen Moabit residents. Since the April Openhaus, I have been meeting with Moabiters to hear more of the stories that connect the people of Moabit to the places around them. During the conversations, I asked the residents to draw a map of Moabit. This is what Moabit looks like in the minds of it’s inhabitants.




Concrete Jungles

Screen shot 2014-05-16 at 12.22.45 PM
illustration by Marc Martin

My latest Assemble Papers article, Concrete Jungles has just been published, accompanied by a beautiful illustration by Marc Martin.

“The urge to get out of the city and into nature is common among city dwellers. I know I’m not the only one who spends my weekdays staring at a screen, trying to focus on, say, writing an article, while at random intervals my brain begins to loop images of tempting countryside locales to retreat to on the weekend. But why do we think we have to travel so far from home to find nature? Is the binary between cities and nature a real thing?”

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