Remembered all those long walks as a child and young adult. It was my father who got me started. He would walk everywhere so from Coogee to the city was a short stroll and as a young kid I found it fascinating because we went through Centennial Park, Darlinghurst, Kings Cross. The longest walk I have done was in my early twenties, I walked from Manly Vale to Coogee it is a pretty long walk. My partner was with me and we didn’t mind it at the time. I have walked from Killara to Milsons Point almost getting lost a few times. Walking isn’t so much on the agenda these days but I try to fit in when I can and I hope I can do some more epic walks again. It is better walking at night in most cases but it depends when of course. Walking is really good for sorting thoughts and having ideas.
A few years back I retraced some different walks I went on with my Dad and I had a video camera in tow. Thinking about it now it was a good project and I showed some of the works too. The first one I did was Hillsdale and the housing commission where I remembered Dad took me to visit his schizophrenic friend Greg. Imagine being with two grown schizophrenic men listening about the radio waves being sent back from the moon, Greg really knew his stuff. Dad never really got into that his thing seemed to be water and plumbing. I was kind of sceptical about these two but I listened and kept walking. My Dad was a polarising figure, he could become quite paranoid and I was with him while he threatened people on the street. As a kid I was highly embarrassed and kind of followed behind hoping he would stop and luckily he usually did stop.
So I made this video and it retraced some of the paths, its amazing how things seem so different from what you remember. Truth is all I remembered where small parts of the place. A fence and some grass maybe one building stayed in my mind. When I went back there was a lot more. I videoed South Coogee Commissions as Dad would bring me there. The video itself was pretty cringe worthy, it starts with a sort of overdubbed poetry and the main word is “lack” but it kind of helped me get a style going for other works so it was necessary to do and I think I would show it if it kind of fit into something. The other works were more subtle. I videoed places where I had been with Dad and just let the ambient sounds of traffic set the tone. The beauty of this was there was no story or suggestions that anything had ever happened there. This ambiguity though left some people wondering what the point was but I left the point out and let it be a place.
The last work in this series of videos was done at my Dad’s place in Katoomba and this was shown at a gallery in 2011. It is very surreal and walls are videoed with my Dad’s disembodied voice in the background. The thing about this is it is edited very subtly and there is no trickery in it but it is very difficult to comprehend and people looked perplexed after a view. That is the closest to a portrait I have made and is probably the most striking work as it explores what it is to know someone let alone know what is happening in a given moment when social norms are seen in an unstructured light.