“Unfortunately on this occasion”

Rejection is part of the process, but golly does it sting.

Always, it feels personal. Though rarely is this the case. But all the same, it is a terrific confidence rattler.

José Ortega y Gasset put it neatly when he expressed, “there is no doubt; even a rejection can be the shadow of a caress.” A silvered revelation, rejection makes you strive harder. It can bring about needed redirection. Present a challenge. Something to push through.

Yes, rejection is part of the creative process. We are told this, and we live this, over and over.

Today, we found out our application for the Melbourne Festival Art Tram was unsuccessful. It is one of many more to come.

In own effort to push through, this is what we put forward. Informally, a Numbat Express. Rather than merely deleting the files on the computer, here is a peek at our plans. If putting in applications is a part of the course, let the revealing of the unsuccessful plans (for whatever reason) add another string to our bow.

Onwards. To next time. For us all. In the borrowed words of Melbourne Festival, let this “encourage you in your future artistic projects.”

Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, A class, B class, C class, D class, and Z class (proposed EOI) Melbourne Art Trams, 2017

Travel home to a place that no longer exists. To an idyll, a hybrid landscape composed of pieces drawn from over 450 contributing collecting organisations from across Victoria nestled under the wing of Victorian Collections.

We have collaged a wilderness that nods its head to what was — when platypuses swam in all parts of the Yarra River before the CBD became a concrete jungle — and what may be — a world where nature is experienced through the portal of history. A visual hug wrapped around a warning to protect what remains, in our topsy-turvy landscape, the sky might have fallen, but there is still hope.

Incorporating Australian animals from the Weekly Times Wild Nature Book (from Greensborough Historical Society) and brass cow tags (from Port Fairy Historical Society), we are interested in playing with scale. Equally, the juxtaposition of a rural and/or remote regional part of Victoria slicing through an urban and/or suburban scene also appeals.

And so, working with Victorian Collections to rescan and photograph elements needed to create a large-scale collage, we plan to make mountains from encrusted brass bells within Warrnambool’s Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village collection. Our proposed landscape would be gleaned from images and maps from Ballarat Base Hospital, Orbost & District Historical Society, Clunes Museum, and others, with a sky pulled from photographs within the Phillip Island and District Historical Society.

We see this as an invitation for commuters to explore what presently is far away (in the geographical sense), while also offering a surreal refuge.


It could have been a lot of fun, Victorian Collections. What comes next will be a lot of fun. Posting this here for those of you who might be experiencing similar. May it help.


Image credit: Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, (proposed EOI) Melbourne Art Tram, 2017