The Swept Yard
Single Channel Video 11:00 min
Entering the House Conspiracy residency, I established a routine to be in the space as much as possible. I tried to prioritise a connection to the location and community. I walked through the streets, took photos and engaged in some conversations. On one such a morning, I met a local that sows selflessly into the community through her non-profit organisation. Over the course of three weeks, I passed her many times and engaged in some good conversation. Countless mornings I would see her sweeping in front of her place of business. She sweeps the patio right up to the kerb before she does anything else for the day. The moment I saw her sweeping, I had a flood of memories from my birthplace, South Africa. Yard sweeping is a significant part of many South Africans’ daily ritual. The yard is considered an extra room in the house.
Upon further investigation, I realised that it is a practice in several cultures around the world. A small and simple act, yet profound. There are practical reasons for sweeping. However, I find the symbolic gesture of starting the day clean and preparing for your guests to be significant. I didn’t expect that witnessing a simple daily ritual would bring a flood of memories and inspiration. Fitting to sweep the yard in preparation for the audience on opening night.
Ink on paper installation with sound
My art practice has largely been concerned with my own experience of migration to Australia. Reflecting on and making sense of the space I now occupy versus the space I came from. I am continually intrigued by how our connection to our origin manifests. During the residency, I set out to engage with other migrants and gathered responses to questions of home, belonging and migration. I extracted interesting and poignant pieces of text from the collaborators' responses, writing it with ink and a brush.
The text pieces included the thoughts from migrants ranging from The Netherlands, Israel, Croatia, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe and South Africa. A soundtrack accompanied the installation, my poetic response to concepts of home and the residency process.