12 artists
12 weeks

Cal Harper
Sean Miles
Daniel R. Marks

Georgia Banks
Chelsea Coon
Kieran Butler
Sïan Kelly
Amy Claire Mills & Bailee Lobb
Holly Durant
Saint Jorge
Sha Sarwari
Zoë Bastin


Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.




The world's falling apart and to be honest I felt prepared
Like a life of uncertainty had cultivated within me
A special kind of toughness I've been prepping for a while now
I am always worried about falling off the cliff, about running too fast, about drinking too much, about everything I love disappearing 
Gone like you were when I was little 
Gone, so I'm not sure how much of you is real and imagined

Remember that night we borrowed $2 from one of your mates to get chips for dinner?
Remember how ashamed you were?
Shame seems like such a waste of time to me
Thinking about what other people think of you
Want from you 
Want you to be 
We never really know anyway - so stepping beyond the bounds of our own bodies to see how we might be seen 
Seems like a contorted way of living

Apparently thoughts are the things we say to ourselves
Some of them become calcified over time
Thoughts we return back to born of other eras 
Old stories we tell over and over again
Often times turning present situations into ones that happened years before

I've been scared this whole time to become you
Wrapping myself up, hiding from the world
Too scared to burn by going close to the flame 
But that's where things happen mum
To people like us. To the ones who fled small lives for big places 
Why did I think being cautious would keep me safe? 
You do it anyway 
That's the thing - you do it because you are scared 
And letting fear and shame get the better of you means you never do anything

Don't run too fast
Don't climb to high
"You did what? At work today!" 
As if one small mistep would undo a whole lot of hard yards and good will
It isn't my battle mum.
People don't run from me 
It's difficult to explain the reveal 
Of maladies that aren't present on the skin 
This isn't something people can see

It's in acts of the monstrous that you are made known as a monster

Maybe now is a good time to deal with some grief
And you asked are they all still alive?
Like my family was a joke
But then the one who no one thought would go first killed herself
And the matriarch had to watch as the only thing powerful to unite her broken family was a huge loss
As if between two slices of bread the bond between mother and child was restored
With a butter so thick and greasy all we could do was chain smoke darts and laugh about it

I think about the space between language and action a lot
The word choreography comes from chorus and writing 
It is literally how we write down movement 
It's the note taking of the decision making, the choices, the actions taken 
So much of my work is a translation 
Between the abstract and the real through words 
The written form of things I decide to do
A catalogue of a life performed

Dancing is the one thing I have always done I come back to it
Because when I dance I think... Differently
I think by moving
By making connections 
By this, then that, then an arm, then maybe kind of...
It's out of language 
Which is nice for the feelings that don't nearly fit into words

Dancing is a vessel
It can be used for deep grief
As a place to put the pain once felt
So you don't need to feel it anymore 
It holds the flowers from the funeral
So you can stop carrying them around 
You set free the heartache held in all the individual cells of your body
Dance gives it somewhere to go

- Zoë Bastin

Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants