“...may be beneficial during times of sadness.”

Published in Inpress Magazine, Arts. 


Can you live forever underwater – how would that work? I know you can dance down there, I’ve seen it. 

Tess Kelly,  Poppy 3 , 2010.

Tess Kelly, Poppy 3, 2010.

Saint John’s Wort: I’d been buying and eating that junk for twelve years without a break. It has always just been there, going in my mouth with other things, things that have actual medicine behind them, and the wording on the Wort bottles is careful, careful it doesn’t make any claims beyond aspiration. So I keep buying it and keep hoofing it. But seven days ago I ran out and I’ve been a dumb mess for seven days; the whole bit, big crying, starting fights, throwing the cook book across the room. I say certain words and am told to never say them again, that they don’t belong in our world. She’s right, and I will never say them again.  

I am one lucky fuck.

At the end of this, in the rain, I drop the car at the Convent and bus it to Gore Street. It’s empty and the lights don’t seem fully on but I walk into Colour Factory – it’s a photo shop, it’s a gallery, it may or may not be open, and Tess Kelly and Julia Norlander have a joint show until February 26 filling this white rectangle.

It makes sense that these photographs are together and paraded like a couple, tangled in a soup. What we have are bare women and the grey lines of rib you can see from the back. Women shrouded with their own beauty. Landscapes with backgrounds excised – cut out like cancerous noses. There are a garden’s people, flowers, stood tall and caught in the midst of Saint Vitus' Dance.       

Julia Norlander, TBC

Julia Norlander, TBC

A woman has appeared at reception and locked the front door – I don’t know if I should be in here, if she knows I am.

A film is rolling against a wall, of a woman and her body under green water, overwhelming and dancing. This show floors me. This thing, Tess and Julia’s things, are a marvel and I have a volley of words in my ear, not mine, buzzing: While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue...   

Tess Kelly, TBC, 2010.

Tess Kelly, TBC, 2010.

I always thought I would end up in one of those boarding houses for single old men; I nearly moved into one in Fortitude Valley. The doors to the rooms are sliding, on rollers not hinges. The gnarled old blokes sit all day on the steps, smoking and sizing you up. But then I met Paige, and remembered how things could be, and I don’t want to end up in a dormitory for widowers and ex-junkies, so I talk to the woman at reception and she tells me to turn the key in the door to the left to get out, I walk the five minutes to the Chemist Warehouse and buy the St. John’s Wort and I keep moving forward, I buy new jeans on sale. I take the tablets and the tram and I look forward to getting home.