The hay has just been stacked
in neat yellow bricks like some complex
puzzle that needs to be solved.
The shed’s full, it sits alone out there
in the stark yellow paddock – pathetic edifice
waiting to be torched or blown away.
But it’s got Escher written all over it
so there’s a sense of the infinite.
Though early summer storms
can be pretty savage around here.
Lightning-struck trees along the roadsides
are testament to this. Dad reckons
we’d better get straight to it. Covering
the stack with blue plastic sheeting
and staking it deep in the ground.
But school’s just finished and next
year it’ll be university in the city.
Art history. But none of this landscape
stuff – give me Jeff Koons fucking
Cicciolina, those fleshy cybernauts
without a field or ear of wheat
in sight. So it’s hard to get motivated
and Dad tells me I’m not too big
for a clip under the ear. I wonder
if he’s joking but get out there
with my brothers and get stuck into it.
I tell them about Far from
The Madding Crowd and work up a sweat
thinking about Cicciolina. And how stylish
it would be to have a film version
with Koons instead of Alan Bates.
But keeping Julie Christie as
Bathsheba Everdene. Gross!
The blue plastic flaps viciously
as the wind lifts. It cracks in our faces.
It catches my youngest brother
and slices his cheek. The blood
spray-paints the hay. He keeps
at it, swearing at the top of his voice.
Lightning highlights the installation
and for a dreadfull moment
we seem to be furiously adrift
in the vast ocean of the paddock.
Over the Hills where the storm’s dark eye
dilates. The rain drives hard
and I forget about everything. Finally
the hay is wrapped. Christo appears
in my head and I keep him there.
- 101: NO THEME 10COMING SOON with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACECOMING SOON! with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones