(Emma Fielden)

Posted on March 23, 2018 by in Arrests of Attention

A close up of a section of a drawing of small black ink spheres entirely filling the page
A black ink drawing of an irregular circle made up of numerous small spheres


A close up of a section of a black ink drawing composed of numerous small spheres


A close up section of an ink drawing of small black spheres entirely filling the page


An image of a mound of small black particles


A close up image of small black particles


A drawing of an irregular shape entirely composed of the repitition of the handwritten word, zero


A close up of an image entirely composed of the repitition of the handwritten word, zero.


A close up of a drawing entirely composed of the repitition of the handwritten word, nothing.



Gravity and Lightness II 

2018, drawing, archival ink on Arches paper, 76 x 56cm.
Photos by Document Photography.

An Infinite Line (1km)

2017, 1 kilometre of hand cut linen thread.
Photos by Document Photography.

An Infinite Line (1km) reflects upon ideas relating to the divisibility of space and matter, touching on particle physics and astronomy, Zeno’s philosophical paradoxes on infinity and Georg Cantor’s mathematical infinities.

The concept of infinite divisibility proposes that any matter can be divided into an infinite number of infinitesimal parts. To clarify this, think of dividing a line in half, then divide each of those halves in half again, and so on endlessly; the line segments become infinitely many and their size becomes infinitesimal as they move toward, but never actually reach, zero.

In the case of this artwork, the given line is 1 kilometre in length. The artist cut this line of thread by hand into particles as small as she could physically manage, moving toward the infinitesimal. By doing so, the kilometre is reconfigured into a small mound of tiny particles and we see an alternative perception of its monolithic scale. As its large scale is subverted, the infinite nature of the line is revealed, and we see how the small scale too can be infinite.

Zero and Nothing

2016, two text drawings, archival ink on Arches paper, 76 x5 6cm.
Photos by Document Photography.

Fielden’s handwritten text drawings are durational repetitive acts that engage with thoughts relating to prayer, devotional acts, indoctrination, obsession, longing and awe. The artist writes words or numbers by hand in miniscule detail so that, at first glance, the scribed characters appear abstracted as a wash of ink or a nonsensical text.

Zero and Nothing are two drawings that are part of Fielden’s ongoing exploration of the infinite. Zero and infinity are twins, sitting at either end of an endless number line.  Both have no boundaries and are more precisely defined as concepts rather than numbers. Throughout history, both have created conflict, having even been rejected as heretical by the church. These drawings contemplate zero and nothing, an empty number and its philosophical counterpart.


A photo of artist Emma Fielden in her studio

Emma Fielden in her studio at Parramatta Artist Studios, 2018.
Courtesy Parramatta Artists Studio. Photo: Jacquie Manning

Emma Fielden makes artworks to explore ideas spanning the infinite and the infinitesimal, the largest astronomical structures and the smallest constituents of matter, the unseen forces of the universe and our place in it. Initially trained in the discipline of classical music, then jewellery and hand engraving, Emma’s background instilled in her a fixation on minute details and repetitive processes, traits that remain constant for Emma in her multidisciplinary visual arts practice today.

Emma is represented by Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney, where you can now see her Gravity and Lightness drawings as part of the Summer Group Show until 4 April. Her work is exhibited regularly in Australia, and she has been a finalist and winner of numerous awards and grants. Fielden is currently in residence at Parramatta Artists Studios, and her next solo exhibition will be held at Dominik Mersch Gallery in November 2018.

Video credit: Tom Compagnoni

Glossopteris (Sophie Finlay)

Posted on December 4, 2017 by in Arrests of Attention, Heightened Talk

bands of earth
etch the transantarctic ranges
cold geological burials

we are linked through the exoskeletal —
cambrian shells coil, mineralised bodies, the trilobite

and then there is glossopteris —

the unremarkable permian tongue — (found on dead explorers)
that mapped the world’s temporality
when deciduous forests spanned continents

now dredged
fossilised sunlight fuels consumption

antarctica pours
its skin off
whorls the oceans

in the tendency of all things
to decay
to turn to disorder,
entropy feeds the system

the crust furls
rivulets reach into liquid
and with nascent strands,
find pathways to collapse

‘Antarctica, Entropy and Fragility’ by Sophie Finlay


Sophie Finlay
is a visual artist and poet from Melbourne. She has been a finalist in the John Leslie Art Prize, the Mt Buller Art Prize, and winner of the ‘She Who Inspires’ Art Prize, Walker Street Gallery. She has received a highly commended certificate in the WB Yeats Poetry Prize and her poetry is published in the anthology Shaping the Fractured Self, UWAP, Cordite and Meanjin.







Postcards (Jane Akweley Odartey)

Posted on October 24, 2017 by in Arrests of Attention

Postcard I-D-XXIX, 2017

Postcard I-D-XXVII, 2017

Postcard I-D-XXVI, 2017

Postcard I-D-XXV, 2017

Postcard I-D-XXIII, 2017

Postcard I-D-XXVIII, 2017


Artist’s Statement

These abstract photographs are from an ongoing series entitled Postcards—based on the notion that the individual is a world of its own. The work serves as an aesthetic correspondence between the internal and external of (my)self. Thus square abstracts of emotional reflections and mental trips that have failed to translate/transform into words.


Born and bred in Ghana, Jane Akweley Odartey now lives in Queens, NY, as a Teaching Artist at the Queens Museum; an artisan for a self-owned indie brand and sole contributor to the blog JaneThroughtheSeasons. Her work has exhibited at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery in NY, and is published/forthcoming in Firewords Quarterly, Indianapolis Review, Literary Manhattan and elsewhere


Posted on September 26, 2017 by in Arrests of Attention, Events, Heightened Talk

Queensland Poetry Festival’s Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award, now in its third year, is named after one of Australia’s premier art dealers. All the paintings used in the competition are personally selected by (and from the collection of ) Philip Bacon, the patron of Queensland’s only ekphrastic prize.

The word ‘ekphrasis’ comes from the Greek ‘ek’ (out) and ‘phrasis’ (speak), as well as the verb ‘ekphrazein’, which means to call an inanimate object by name. Artistically, ekphrasis is a rhetorical device in which a visual object, usually a work of art, is vividly described by another artistic medium — in this case, a poem of under 12 lines in length.

Michele Seminara and Nathan Sheperdson announcing the award winners at QPF 2017

This year’s Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award judges were Nathan Shepherdson and Michele Seminara. First prize went to Dael Allison, second prize to Magdalena Ball, and Joe Dolce and Maddie Godfrey were highly commended.

The judges commented that ‘because the award is for a twelve line poem, its constraint can be both a challenge and an advantage. This is counterbalanced by the fact that the poets have five paintings on offer as their subject. For the poet and reader this allows a multiple lane approach. All the shortlisted poems are works whose sum is greater than their descriptive parts. It’s not a simple process to make successful poetry from artworks that are already high calibre images of self sufficiency. The insight and contemplation of the poet invites us to step inside and outside of each frame. This was particularly evident in the case of Dael Allison’s winning poem, ‘Gethsemane, Bribie Island 1958′, which impressed the judges by responding not only to the artwork, but to the life of artist Ian Fairweather. The judges were struck by the analogies Allison’s poem drew between the last reclusive years Fairweather spent on Queensland’s Bribie Island, and Christ’s final night spent praying in the garden of Gethsemane. This multi-layered approach was what ultimately set the 1st prize winning poem apart.’

Congratulations to the shortlisted and winning poets, and thanks to Queensland Poetry Festival for allowing Verity La to publish the poems and artworks that inspired them.

Ian Fairweather, ‘Gethsemane’, 1958

Gethsemane, Bribie Island 1958 (Dael Allison)

after ‘Gethsemane’ by Ian Fairweather 

evening draws sludge-grey over bribie’s huts and bungalows. soon men will lie
in attitudes of the dead, night a purpose to give themselves up to. all day black
cockatoos – yellow-tailed and red – gossiped in the island pines, cracked cones
hard as olive pits, dropped them to the sand. sharp points pierce my naked feet.
how to convey geometries of this lonely place, trampled paths, grubs burrowing
oblivious under bark. can abandonment be measured on cardboard? lamp-light
makes time and colour fugitive, load the brushes before the kerosene runs out.
paint an offering, a chalice of wine or blood, poisoned in hindsight. all things
can be renounced: jam-jar, row-boat, life – that grand obsession. escape fades
into distance. mopokes hoot three denials, no knowing if they watch, or sleep.
line and resolve circle and meet at the point of surrender, marked with a cross.


Agony in the Garden (Magdalena Ball)

after ‘Gethsemane’ by Ian Fairweather 

it’s here, just this spot, soft breath of life against my cheek, insistent, the way you
break into angles against my hips, your lips moving unwilling through the maze
darkness comes from within, inherent, so when night finally arrives, this grove of
olive trees resolves to lines and shapes, your eyes shaded by the weight
blood tears, the world broken into abstraction, there is nothing I wouldn’t do now

scale the walls you’ve placed around yourself, find you in the spaces the cracks
where starlight bends, where nothing is visible, not even your face, sensing only
the edge of your jaw, your shrugging shoulders, thin as a ruler’s edge, tortured
into the confines of an ever repeating death, waiting, slipping, your prayer
layered in green tissue, envy, solace, and just this spot, waiting always for
another word, another breath, the trees creak sweet agony, soft, ready to submit

Garry Shead, ‘Homage to Rembrandt’, 1999

Homage to Shead (Joe Dolce)

after ‘Homage to Rembrandt’ by Garry Shead

Come now, Erato, and I’ll tell you, not
of Matthew’s angel, Jacob’s wrestling,
the Shepherds’ vision, or old Abraham’s
entertainments, departures from Tobit
and Tobias; nor will you see phantoms
of the Master’s darkness, the three of four
children dead (with their mother), seductions
of nurse and maid, the pauper’s burial;
not chiaroscuro’s light and umbra,
but Boyd’s Tinkerbell muse, held by a leg,
the painter’s eyes closed, about to be slapped,
Saskia/Judith watching at the door.

Michael Zavros, ‘LS06’, 2011

Three Winters (Maddie Godfrey)

after LS06, by Michael Zavros

I am not thinking about his hands, only how promises turn cold
like forgotten tea cups on bedside tables. I am thinking about
all the warmth I have held without knowing its shape, how empty
palms wait like tarmac. I lost so many lovers like house keys
I stopped locking the door. Knew that the wind would prove itself
a companion, of sorts. I am not thinking about those Roman remains,
excavated skeletons still holding hands after two thousand years.
two thousand winters. I am not thinking about you as skeleton,
all the ways you remain. I’d invite scars of soil beneath my fingernails
just to excavate the shape of your hands. it has been three winters.


Too Late for Taxidermy (Joe Dolce) 

after LS06, by Michael Zavros

No nerves, arteries or veins,
no Versace, dressage or pretty boys,
Lion Skull Number Six,
free of bare ass,
stares outward, turbinate bones
of nasal cavity,
once enhancing a hunter’s sense,
now immune to cologne,
bodiless, six hundred pound bite,
clamped tight,
hearthole in the head,
bone bowling ball trophy.



Dael Allison is a poet, fiction writer, essayist and editor who is undertaking a Doctorate in Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. Her research focus is the literature of the Hunter region, and her creative project a short-story cycle based in the region. She has won prizes for poetry and essay, including the Wildcare International Essay prize. Her Masters in Creative Arts at UTS (2012) researched modernist painter Ian Fairweather. The result was a volume of poetry, Fairweather’s Raft, published by Walleah Press in 2012.  In 2014 eleven of Dael’s Fairweather poems featured in a soundscape in the ABC’s Poetica program. She has also had two poetry chapbooks published by Picaro Press (2010 and 2013).

Magdalena Ball is editor-in-chief of Compulsive Reader and is the author of several published books of poetry and fiction. Her latest novel is Black Cow (Bewrite Books) and her latest poetry collection is Unmaking Atoms (Ginninderra Press).

Maddie Godfrey
is an Australian-bred performance poet, writer and theatre maker. At 22 she has performed at the Sydney Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall, The Bowery Poetry Club and Glastonbury Festival 2017. Maddie was recently a writer-in-residence at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. She is not a morning person. For more information visit Maddie at her website or on Facebook.

Joe Dolce was born in the USA and moved to Australia in 1979. He is a singer, songwriter, composer, essayist, poet, and the writer and performer of the most successful Australian song in history, ‘Shaddap You Face’, which went to number 1 in fifteen countries. He is the winner of the 2017 University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize, with an 8-part choral libretto, and was long-listed for 2017 University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize. He was shortlisted for both the Newcastle Poetry Prize and Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize in 2014, and was the winner of the 25th Launceston Poetry Cup. His poetry has appeared in Best Australian Poems 2015 & 2014, and has been published in Meanjin, Monthly, Southerly, Cordite, The  Canberra Times, Quadrant, Australian Poetry Journal, Not Shut Up (UK), North of Oxford (US), and Antipodes (US). Joe is a recipient of the Advance Australia Award. He is presently on staff at the Australian Institute of Music teaching Composition (with special emphasis on setting poetry-to-music). His latest book, On Murray’s Run (Ginninderra Press), comprising 150 poems and song lyrics selected by Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry winner Les Murray, will be launched on Oct 14, at Collected Works in Melbourne. For information visit Joe’s website.

Burroughs Does Oz (Joe Dolce)

Posted on July 11, 2017 by in Arrests of Attention, Heightened Talk


The Burroughs from Snowy River

Burroughs of the Overflow

Burrough’s Five Heys

*Cut-ups sourced from The Man from Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow by A.B Paterson, Five Bells by Kenneth Slessor, and Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce.


Joe Dolce is a singer, songwriter, composer, poet, and the writer and performer of the most successful Australian song in history. He was shortlisted for both the Newcastle Poetry Prize and Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize in 2014, and was the winner of the 25th Launceston Poetry Cup. His poetry has appeared in Best Australian Poems 2015 & 2014, and has been published in Meanjin, Monthly, Southerly, Cordite, Canberra Times, Quadrant, Australian Poetry Journal, Overland, Contrappasso, and Antipodes (US). Joe is a recipient of the Advance Australia Award. He is presently on staff at the Australian Institute of Music, teaching Composition, Ensemble and Personal Tutoring in setting lyrics and poetry to music. His forthcoming book, On Murray’s Run, 150 poems and songlyrics selected by Les Murray, will be published by Ginninderra Press in Oct, 2017.

(John Chavers)

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in Arrests of Attention



john-chavers-imageJohn Chavers enjoys working as a writer, artist, photographer, and general creator. Most recently, his writing and artwork have been accepted at The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library So It Goes 2016 Literary Journal, 3Elements Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Ascent, Birch Gang Review, Four Ties Lit Review, Ground Fresh Thursday, Silver Apples and The Ogham Stone, among others. John’s residency fellowships include Blue Mountain Center in the Adirondacks and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He has a fascination for the diminutive, works of art on paper, and the desert. John lives in Austin, Texas.

Growth Always Growth
(Fabrice Poussin)

Posted on March 26, 2016 by in Arrests of Attention





Discovery of the Secret

Discovery of the Secret

Keeper of the Mountain

Keeper of the Mountain



The Painter

The Painter





Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, Eskimo Pie, The Chimes and will appear in other magazines throughout 2016.  His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, Foliate Oak Magazine, the San Pedro River magazine and more than two dozens of other publications.

At Arms’ Length (Ceinwen Hall)

Posted on March 9, 2016 by in Arrests of Attention

Girl Child 3 (Vertical Hang) (1)

Artist’s Statement:

Though Hall treats her subject with apparent frankness through her realistic style and the use of photographs on which she bases her paintings, the images retain a considerable degree of ambiguity. Anger is expressed through this ambiguity, a seemingly defiant refusal to be seen openly. This series of paintings contributes to a discussion of the portrayal of mental illness in our society. It is a discussion we would often prefer to keep at arms’ length.


FB_IMG_1457411649191Ceinwen Hall is an Australian emerging figurative artist. Ceinwen studied painting at the National Art School in Sydney and is currently undertaking a Master of Art Therapy. She works primarily in oil paint and her work is highly conceptual; often considered for months before she commences painting. Major themes in her work include issues such as feminism, environmental concerns and mental illness.

Ceinwen was born in Dubbo, NSW. She moved to Sydney from the Southern Highlands in 2010 to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School. She then spent time in the remote community of Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT where she worked closely with the elders at Waralungku Arts Centre. Ceinwen has been adopted into Gudanji community and is proud of supporting Aboriginal art and culture as well as sharing what knowledge was imparted to her to keep Gudanji culture strong.

Head Space (Jim Tsinganos)

Posted on October 7, 2015 by in Arrests of Attention



Jim Tsinganos was born in Peterborough, South Australia in 1964. He received a Bachelor of Design specialising in illustration from the Underdale campus of the South Australian College of Arts and Education (now UNISA). He has participated in countless exhibitions — both group and solo shows — nationally and internationally and has been commissioned and collected by private collectors from around the world and by Opera Australia.

Throughout his career Jim has been featured and accepted into most of the international juried illustration awards shows across the globe, and has been repeatedly selected as one of the worlds top 200 illustrators worldwide by Lurzer’s Archive Magazine.

Originally working in pastels for the early part of his career, Jim transitioned into the digital medium several years ago and now works almost exclusively in Photoshop. He is interested in producing work with a strong conceptual basis and is committed to always pushing and developing a visual idea.

Predominantly editorial in nature, his work has been commissioned for assignments as varied as designs on an underwear range, packaging for a power super-foods company, and producing a series of stamps for Australia Post. Most recently, he was commissioned by the Australian Mint, which released a limited edition commemorative collectors coin for Australia Day featuring his image.

You can view more of Jim’s work and purchase prints of his images at Jim Tsinganos Iluustration.







Into the Woods (Rebecca Stringer)

Posted on May 8, 2015 by in Arrests of Attention

DSCN3397 - Version 3 (2)

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Rebecca Stringer is an academic and erstwhile photographer and lives on the Otago Penninsula in Dunedin, New Zealand, with her partner and son. Rebecca lectures in Gender Studies at the University of Otago and is the author of Knowing Victims: Feminism, Agency and Victim Politics in Neoliberal Times (London: Routledge, 2014), and co-editor of Feminism At the Movies: Understanding Gender in Contemporary Popular Cinema (New York: Routledge, 2011). Amidst all this, photography provides a practice of everyday magic and fascination with light and form.