Back to our Roots: Art + Milkwood this Summer

| Art, Community Projects, Seed Balls | comments | Author :


This Summer it happens that we’re involved in not one but two fabulous art exhibitions in Sydney!

Namely The Yeoman’s Project at AGNSW and Yoko Ono’s WAR IS OVER (if you want it) at the MCA.  Come and visit us! 

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The Yeomans Project is an exhibition by our awesome friends Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein, all about (sortof) the work of P.A. Yeomans, the founder of Keyine Farming.

In true style for these artists, The Yeomans Project (project website here) is an insightful, quirky, humorous and really very fascinating look at where regenerative agriculture intersects (or doesn’t) with Land Art.

And also about why, in the 1970’s, the AGNSW veto-ed at the last minute to stage a survey of P. A. Yeomans’s work (as proposed by Ian Milliss) as an alternative to Land Art, on the supposed grounds that it  would turn the Art Gallery into an agricultural tradeshow.

Ian and Lucas are beautifully fearless artists. You can tell by how they approach a project, piece by piece, discovery by discovery. With results like large format hand-made prints, bits of machinery, fascinating back-stories lovingly yet pragmatically told, and of course, conversations.

The conversations part is where we come in! Huzzah. I’ll be talking with Lucas at the AGNSW about how P.A.Yeomans’ work influenced our permaculture and art from a Milkwood perspective.

You can come along and heckle me if you like, it’s happening on the 4th December: 6pm at AGNSW, and it’s free.

There will also be conversations (on other nights) with folks like the amazing Stuart B Hill who is a walking Keyline compendium and Permaculture elder, so come along to that one too. Oh heck, come along to all 4 if you can. It will be great.

yo yoko

And then, if that’s not enough fun, we’re excited to be curating a series of Club Night workshops for Yoko Ono’s exhibition WAR IS OVER (if you want it) at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The workshops are FREE and will take place on the first 4 thursdays of January from 6pm till about 7.30pm. They’re happening on the sculpture terrace with it’s gob-smacking rooftop view across Sydney Harbour.

You can expect fun, hands-on workshops with a permaculture twist, as you sip an evening something and gaze across the harbour. While you listen intently, of course.

Seed balls! Come make some with us this January...
Seed balls! Come make some with us this January…

We’re especially tickled to be contributing to these exhibitions because this is (kindof) the world we left behind when we moved to Milkwood.

Before the great ruralisation of Nick and Kirsten six years ago, we were city dwellers and artists. And we spent our days seeing the city as both a canvass, and an organism to be fed, and danced with.

We built cardboard solar-powered planetariums in parks and laneways, threw projections off skyscrapers, and made our living by creating temporary spaces of light and dark and sound and cardboard, that transported people out of their everyday lives, even for just a moment.

Cities. Robert Montgomery understood too.
Cities. Robert Montgomery understood too.

I loved the city for what it was – a hulking, slow-breathing beast of light and stench and flesh and flowers and dark places and concrete walls and so many, many thoughts, all mangled and tangled together with wire and hair and smoke and grease.

Just as I love this farm and this land where we now live – a different organism, but one just as complex, and just as beautiful and tangled and hopeful and breathing.

Anyway. We love art. It’s poetry you can touch. It makes your brain work backwards and sideways, even while just looking at the ho-hum everyday.

We’d love to see you in Sydney this Summer.

And if you can’t make the above dates, check out the rest of these two fine exhibition’s programs! Much goodness there. Happy Summer all!

See the comments

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0 responses to “Back to our Roots: Art + Milkwood this Summer

  1. I’m crossing my fingers and toes hoping that I might get to *something* of the yeomans project at the AGNSW — ian asked me to contribute a little something-something for the exhibition – keep your eyes peeled for my teeny contribution (assuming its used – I think its going to be published on the yeomans blog….. we’ll see) — oh but all the the folk involved — (f)route! artist-as-family! ian! lucas! milkwood! —- so much goodness – the AGNSW may explode

    1. Ronnie Ayliffe you are definitely going to be in it, the Yeomans Project blog is a very big part of this and once it opens we will be posting things about other artists who have worked with permaculture etc and your work will be one of the first. We hope to include several more artists during the course of the exhibition.

      And Kirsten, thank you for this, we are really looking forward to your evening in the exhibition, it will be the first of the discussions and you are the best possible person to get them all rolling.

  2. Haha! I was an artist too before I started my permaculture journey! I was only a lowly painter and sculptor, nothing conceptual like above. I find that this new direction of mine (old really, I’m the son of a fifth generation farmer – the first recieved land after his sentence of transportation (he stole a scarf for his sweetheart and fathered one of our best bushrangers)) Is a new way of stimulating and expressing those same sort of urges I have as an artist – heck I’m still doing art! But really, I will emerge again with the brushes etc in the fourth metamorphisis of my life as an artist. I’m heartened by seeing others with a strong connection between the art world and permaculture.

  3. This was lovely to read KB – he he, you can never escape the artworld!

    Your poetic description of the city reminds me of a few things.

    First, Allan Kaprow’s description of ‘the art of the future’ in an essay he wrote in 1958:

    “…we must become preoccupied with and even dazzled by the space and objects of our everyday life, either our bodies, clothes, rooms, or, if need be, the vastness of Forty-second Street. Not satisfied with the suggestion through paint of our other senses, we shall utilize the specific substances of sight, sound, movements, people, odors, touch. Objects of every sort are the materials of the new art: paint, chairs, food, electric and neon lights, smoke, water, old socks, a dog, movies, a thousand other things that will be discovered by the present generation of artists. Not only will these bold creators show us, as if for the first time, the world we have always had about us but ignored, but they will disclose entirely unheard-of happenings and events, found in garbage cans, police files, hotel lobbies; seen in store windows and on the streets; and sensed in dreams and horrible accidents. An odor of crushed strawberries, a letter from a friend, or a billboard selling Drano; three taps on the front door, a scratch, a sigh, or a voice lecturing endlessly, a blinding staccato flash, a bowler hat – all will become materials for this new concrete art.”

    …and this, from Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo’s 1913 manifesto on noise:

    “Let us cross a great modern capital with our ears more alert than our eyes, and we will get enjoyment from distinguishing the eddying of water, air and gas in metal pipes, the grumbling of noises that breathe and pulse with indisputable animality, the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags. We enjoy creating mental orchestrations of the crashing down of metal shop blinds, slamming doors, the hubbub and shuffling of crowds, the variety of din, from stations, railways, iron foundries, spinning wheels, printing works, electric power stations and underground railways.”

    – – –

    hi Rhonda! I think Ian’s going to post your post on the Yeomans blog soon! We’ve been flat out with assembling the plow. Hope you make it up – if you do, let us know, we’ll give you a tour!

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