The Big Issue

Collage commission
for Edition No 552
pp. 14 – 15
Tuesday 26th December, 2017 – Thursday 11th January, 2018

At the end, as at the start, a smudge of days that roll into one, promise to pass just as soon as I’ve adjusted to their Alice-in-Wonderland-like ambiguity. Is it Friday? Yes, I suppose it is. It doesn’t feel much like a Friday. But then, what really does a Friday feel or look like when you take away the framework of the working week? As 2016 prepared to tumble into 2017, and as it now prepares to tip over into 2018, the feeling is not so very different. After the deadlines, festivitiesbusy chapters, after all of that comes time to take stock and reflect. Only this time the taking of stock, the surveying of where we stand, this time it looks a little different. Having waded through our soggy possessions and memories, we find ourselves a little more tide-marked than before. After the rain took our sketchbooks, both the filled and to-be filled, and left us with chaos for a working space, we’ve been busy making watertight. We pulled up carpet and underlay, sanded floorboards, whacked nails, patched walls, puttied and plugged, scrubbed and dusted, sifted, sorted, tossed, and piffed. We’ve taken bag-loads to the op-shop. And wrapped in plastic skins the items we salvaged. It has not been a restful slide to the year’s end, but, well, our roof held out, our ceiling stayed in place, and we are dry once more. The studio did need an overhaul, things did need letting go (though preferably in a less brutal fashion).

And it has happened, so there’s an end to that. Same, but different.


2017 has been a good year, really. We installed our exhibition Looped at State Library Victoria, and it has been invited to stay put until August 2018. We had our work exhibited in 9 group shows, and gave 2 talks about our work. We created 6 artists’ books and 11 zines, and took part in 4 artists’ book and zine fairs. I wrote about 14 dance performances for Fjord Review. We fostered 3 cats for the RSPCA. We were involved in the rescue of 3 kittens and one cat

And to round out the year, our collages created for the latest edition of The Big Issue have just been published. This is our third collage commission for The Big Issue this year, alongside August's cityscape, and June's garden


As is our method, for The Big Issue and everything, really, we created a series of collages to illustrate Chris Kennett’s look at 2017, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Donald’. The 10-year-old Cavalier King Charles, Prince, may have been the first dog in Australia to receive open-heart surgery, however he was later cut from the story and, as such, the images. Prince is loosely referenced in the collages not published, and in the pair published, he was replaced by a Tesla battery. Cut and paste. Switch places. Replace. It sums up the glorious year, in a way. A dog for a battery; a battery for a dog. Sticky-taped together. Same, but different.

Happy 2018! To you and yours.


We love working on pieces for The Big Issue. Please purchase a copy of The Big Issue today, from your favourite vendor to read the article.


Image credit: Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, The year that was, digital collage commission for and published in edition #552 of The Big Issue, 2017–18, pp. 14 – 15