This site records a residency at the Albury Regional Art Gallery, as part of the Artists@Work Program held in January/February 2010.  Box People was a novel, a performance, a series of images, a game.  

**Readers beware!  Blogger publishes posts with the most recent entry at the top, so if this is your first visit please use the archive list to guide you through the chapters...that's if you want to read them in the order they appeared***

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pop-Up Publishing.....

Update. The lady who won my "competition" never sent me address details for the Box Flower.
Out of desparation, I have expanded the idea of dealing with unfinished novels, word scraps and jottings and am planning a Pop- Up publishing stint at the Write Around The Murray Festival in September.
They have asked me for a publicity blurb, but that wouldn't be very pop-up of me. Would it.
I'm from the bush.
I read about these things on the internet but I've never very sure about the rules.
I'll be bringing all my bits and pieces and "off-cuts" from the writing process to a table on the friday night poetry event at The G in Thurgoona (9 September from 7.30, free), and to the Albury Library Museum on the saturday of the festival (11September from 10am- 2pm).
I'll also bring safety pins, gaffa tape, PVA glue and scissors. (Me old punk me)
I will sit right down and make sculptures, badges, signs, anything out of the materials to hand.
Writers and makers of any age and stage are invited to join me and join the process.
See your writing walk away into the festival, and out into Albury.
All products may be bought, for a donation.
Just what is writing worth these days?
I'll also be selling copies of an acutal, really truly published book that I nearly but didn't write: The Casuals, By Sally Breen, published by Harper Collins. We had a go at writing it in collaboration (like the authors of Puberty Blues) and we even went to Stradbroke Island on a writer's retreat. Sally got to work with her biro and a big A4 notepad. I drew unrelated cartoons on some stickers. These stickers will be on-sale at the festival too.
See you there! xxx Charlotte

Friday, March 4, 2011

Winging Away

The order came through and the first Box Flower, containing an excerpt about a road trip to Queensland in the late 1990's, flew away to my friend in Glebe.
Since then, I have set up an online artwork store -
Despite being my most viewed product, no more Box Flowers have been sold. 
I also started a facebook arts group  in April, and offered a Box Flower to creatives brave enough to post and go into a draw.  The winner was Gypsy Rose Moon, a performance artist with a true burlesque background. I've wanted to have a cup of tea with this marvellous woman for about ten years now. I wonder if the planets will align....and I also wonder which excerpt will be just right for her.   Time to return to that manuscript.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

second edition

Some months ago, my friend requested a Box Flower for her sideboard.  This was problematic for me, given that I had resolutely trashed the first manuscript and denied exhibition rights to one of Albury's major cultural institutions.  I knew just the excerpt for her - one about a journey back in time through Queensand. The Queenslander in exile is always going back.  I did an edit and a mock up, but still wasn't happy.  In October this year, I returned to Japan, put some ghosts to bed and re-connected with  people and place.  I got good, archive quality paper for Christmas, which was supposed to be for letter writing. It folds and holds well and is easy to print on.  My friend's flower is ready and I have notified her. I am waiting for a reply.  In the meantime, the rest of the mauscript is up for sale at $25.00 a flower, with excerpts customised to order, until the whole thing is "re-drafted". We shall see. We shall see.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


On the final day of the residency, there was a small closing event. Some friends and family (not mine) attended and some gallery patrons returned.
I wavered over the fate of Box People until ten minutes before closing, and then started to snip threads.
A gallery staff member appeared and asked me not to take the work down until after closing. He disappeared before I could explain that taking the work down and destroying it in public was a crucial part of the whole three week performance.  I had a little think about the consequences of disobedience, using my standard process - question to self: will I be fined, imprisoned or beheaded? if answer is no, then proceed.
We proceeded.  The invisible tape had become one with the parquet-esque lino.  A woman with red black chipped nail polish explained how she'd quit biting her nails and now they were hard as. Nails. She helped get the stuff off.  I forgot to breathe for a few seconds as I watched motorcycle boots and thongs grind my paper flowers flat. 
"So what was it all about, then?" asked the guy with the boots.
"Birth, deaths, love, booze, crime, travel. The usual," I replied.
"Some stories are not meant to be told, ay." He smiled.  And ground up more flowers.
Seconds before the last bit of manuscript was stuffed into a bin bag, a council officer came rushing over.
"Oh no," she said. "I wanted some of those for the library."
We paused for a second, and then continued to clean up. 
I wanted to apologise to the officer then, and I apologise now.  I couldn't at the time.  I  was too busy choking on the unspeakable irony.

Saturday, February 6, 2010



1. Attempt on Life

After a week in the gallery, drafting and illustrating, there was a moment when all the text seemed to slide off the pages of the manuscript in front of me.   Box People , the novel I've been living with for 15 years, was erasing itself.  Time to give up, split up, bail out.  Kill the thing. 


I had the familiar urge to scrumple the papers into 250 balls, but I refined this into making paper aeroplanes. With the help of invisible tape, the planes became flowers.  I folded until my wrist burned, the skin peeled off my left thumb and I got bored.

3.More Manuscript

I put the rest of the manuscript on a chair.  Where my bum should be.    

4.Disposal Chair

I got a better chair.  This may have been a mistake. Now I have two chairs and I have to sit on one.  Which means getting back to writing.


Not enough in my narrative so far, so I added a few.

6. Fishing line

Tension, suspense, threads.  And they shine so pleasingly under gallery spotlights.

7.Guests (not pictured)

People visit.  They smile at the flowers.  I show them what's left of my first novel and they laugh sadly.  At first I tell them that they're looking at the death of a novel, but they get upset. Friends and complete strangers lobby for the death penalty to be revoked.  I am touched by their concern for a piece of writing that they have never met, and that may in fact be rotten to the core. They suggest a life sentence on a USB in a far away place, rehabilitation in the form of poetry or short stories, or community service as a youth arts project.  The jury is still out.


Sunday, January 31, 2010


yasmin lawsuit