october 2009 | week one


THE LAB_symbol

Open residency project
Ocular Lab
West Brunswick


week one_street view
week one_room view


week one_day one week one_foam
For the first week it felt right to observe things as they were in the Lab. The given conditions, the objects in the room when I arrived – a plinth, a ladder, a trestle table, an amplifier and some foam – and the movement of light and air into and through the space. It was surprising how much was going on in and at the edges of an empty room. I felt no need to remove the objects, figuring I’d wait to see who had left them and what they might be useful for. For the first few days I was strongly mindful of the practices of Thea Rechner and John Borley, as I paid attention to air and light and sat on the front step with the doors open making eye contact with passing drivers.

Continue Reading »

individual projects
studio practice


october 2009

THE LAB_october 09


For the month of October Lisa Kelly will be developing an open residency project at Ocular Lab, Brunswick West, Melbourne. Less an exhibition than a set of actions, processes, reading and renewal, THE LAB will draw on the Lab’s past use as a private artists studio and observe its shift to a public gallery. Combining the dual purposes of work and presentation space while being attentive to the specific conditions of the site, Kelly will engage in simple process cycles that annex the basic functions of a public venue. Areas of exploration will include onsite waste, streetfront visibility and natural lighting.

This project for Ocular Lab continues the artist’s practice of using critical frameworks to investigate the institutions her work is hosted by. In 2008 her project THE__HALL explored the re-purposing of a community hall into an art gallery by a local council.

Ocular Lab
31 Pearson Street
Brunswick West

Open & in progress:
Wednesday to Sunday 1pm-5pm
10th October to 1st November.

Closing gathering:
Saturday 31st October 3-5pm

individual projects
studio practice


september 2009

corsage workshop_2 
corsage workshop_3 
corsage workshop_1

Fresh flower & garden corsage making
workshop with Tonia Gatt

cut & paste_poster

Cut + Paste
Sustainable Craft Festival and Makers Market
11-13 September at The Red Rattler

some photos thanks to Hello Sandwich!



august 2009

recent reading:

Life Work
Jan Verwoert

‘Working in the field of art makes it very difficult to draw a line between a professional and private life. What’s the best way forward? Life, to start with, is not just about your professional life. There is so much more to it than just work. The trouble is that, when you get into art, that ‘so much more’ is precisely what you want your work to be about. Life is what you want to immerse yourself in through your work. The freedom of the artist and intellectual, Theodor Adorno wrote, lies in the possibility of not having to separate work from pleasure as all those caught up in the system of division of labour do.1 This is our chance for a good life…’

published in Frieze magazine, Issue 121, March 2009
read the full article here



july-august 2009

ODS_wellington sky_march 09


One Day Sculpture: An International Symposium on Art, Time and Place
26th-28th March 2009
Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

In the late summer I was fortunate to be able to combine a visit to a friend on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast with attendance of the One Day Sculpture symposium in Wellington. Conceived by the Litmus Research Initiative within the Massey University School of Fine Arts and creatively directed by UK-based curator Claire Doherty, the One Day Sculpture project was a one-year program of twenty temporal public works by local and international contemporary artists staged across the North and South islands. Lasting more or less twenty four hours each, the projects were realised Cuckoo-style (1), commissioned in partnership with a suite of institutions including museums, public and artist-run galleries and thereby nesting into a wide range of organisational resources. Instrumental to the accompanying discursive program – together with public discussions, responsive critical texts and a rich website of documentation and recommended reading – the symposium was held over two days at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. It featured a dynamic range of local, regional and international critics, academics, curators and practitioners and was timed to coincide with the presentation of two of the One Day Sculpture projects in Wellington.

I’d been drawn to attend by the dynamic structure of parallel session streams – academic papers, close text readings and project case studies, bracketed by keynote and positioning papers and panel discussions – from which delegates could fashion their own symposium experience according to their leanings. Mine were toward the strong foregrounding of practitioner voices via the project case study sessions with One Day Sculpture participating artists. This composite structure suggested a malleability running counter to my prior experience of contemporary arts forums – though this was the first time I’d been at a symposium as a delegate, not before having been able to afford the cost of registration fees or loss of paid work time. Conferences and symposia tend to privilege arts industry professionals over producers, being typically staged on weekdays, when institutions can despatch their employees to attend in work time in continuance with paid work duties. Showing up on my own money and my own terms, my experience of the symposium was of an abundant, stimulating but ultimately overwhelming program that left me musing on some reverberating motifs of expectation, interjection and locality. And the distinct gaps between situated and secondary viewing and the specialised research community of contemporary art and the real live world. Continue Reading »



february 2008 – june 2009

watering on the awning_may 2009 
transport_may 09 
planes at carriageworks_may 09 
install view_carriageworks_may 09 
install view 2_carriageworks_may 09 
install view_detail_may 09

collected seed_may 08 plane tree seed dowsing_sep 08 seed leaves_october 08 potting up_oct 08 growing up_nov 08 treetops_dec 09 studio move_dec 09 planes indoors_jan 09 summer trouble_jan 09 planes outdoors_jan 09 hopper munching_feb 09 planter bags and shelving_feb 09 collecting seed on wilson st_feb 09 seed germination_march 09 moving from petersham_march 09 in the van_march 09 back to chalmers st_march 09 batch 2 seedlings_march 09 planes on awning_march 09 planes after rain_march 09 josie & lucas watering 1_march 09 lucas & josie watering 2_march 09 watering out the windows_march 09 lucas & josie watering almanac_march 09 small forest_april 09 desk and window planes_april 09 view through planes_april 09 rainbow over studio_april 09

The Lively Plane (continued).

February 2008 – June 2009
growing and ongoing
and part of:

There Goes the Neighbourhood

curated by Zanny Begg & Keg de Souza
The Performance Space
May-June 2009

TGTN ecard

By June 2009 «The Lively Plane (continued)» will have played out along the leafy length of Wilson Street – plus inner-west & city sidelines – over two summers, two autumns, a winter and a spring. In February 2008 I used a commercially farmed London Plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia) in a work for the exhibition «1.The Lively Plane» at the Institute for Contemporary Art Newtown (ICAN) at 191 Wilson St.

Then and now, my interest is in the strong opinion and emotion that attends plane trees. They are both the most commonly planted street tree in Sydney, other Australian capitals and many world cities, and the most widely disliked for the profuse, fine, allergy-provoking bristles that aid seed dispersal from the flower-heads. They are the trees that everyone hates. While favoured for their tolerance of contemporary urban conditions – bad air, poor light, compacted soil and little water – their detractors are many, from talkback radio callers to prominent Australian scientist Tim Flannery. Flannery has often argued against the planting of London planes in Sydney streets, as both a persistent mimicry of European cities and a failure to explore alternatives from our ample native species that would better foster insect life and biodiversity, which plane trees notably do not. Continue Reading »

individual projects
studio practice


february-april 2009

wild sown understorey_week one
week one.
wild sown understorey_week two
week two.
wild sown understorey_week three
week three.
wild sown understorey_week four
week four.
wild sown understorey_week five
week five.
wild sown understorey_week six
week six.
wild sown understorey_week seven
week seven.
wild sown understorey_week eight
week eight.
wild sown understorey_week nine
week nine.
wild sown understorey_week ten
week ten.

Wild Sown Understorey

Seeding action, project document & climate almanac.

February-April 2009

West Brunswick Sculpture Triennial
curated by OSW
March-April 2009
Melbourne, Australia

wBST poster_folded
download wBST poster pdf [48KB]

Wild Sown Understorey is a seeding action for the front yard of 135 Union St, West Brunswick. In February green manure crop seeds were cast, and the grass left to grow until the close of the wBST. The potential for a shaggy transformation of suburban ground will lay dormant or flourish according to rainfall, becoming a simultaneous ten-week weather index. Using the methods of natural farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, the project plays out between disturbance to a lawn-scape, land remediation and productivity, the absence of wildness, probable failure and climate change.

wsu_project doc_cover wsu_project doc_title page wsu_project doc_page spread wsu_project doc_foldout with cards

Project document & climate almanac.

A6-ish ha-ha foldout with weeks one-ten card series
single colour printing in brown, blue and teal
printed with love on The Rizzeria
edition of 100
copies available ~ contact l kell 88 [at] gmail dot com
Continue Reading »

group projects
individual projects


march 2009

one day sculpture_march 09

One Day Sculpture
A New Zealand-wide series of temporary artworks.
Symposium and Readings
Aeotearoa NZ



december 2008

woodblock print from Masanobu Fukuoka’s ‘One Straw Revolution’ reaped from Culiblog and used twice without permission

Nothing to give.

catalogue essay

mikala dwyer_moon garden invite

Moon Garden
Mikala Dwyer
Aratoi – Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
Masterton, Aotearoa New Zealand
december 08 – february 09

“Natural farming” is a method of land use developed by Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) on his mountainside farm and orchard in southern Japan. Known also as “Do-nothing” farming for Mr. Fukuoka’s recommendation of doing away with unnecessary work, its grounding is in the four principles of no cultivation, no fertilisers, no weeding and no chemicals. His plentiful crops of rice, citrus and vegetables demonstrated that with careful observation and minimal tending, land left to itself will find a natural pattern and balance. Using cooperative systems of green manure cover crops, rice straw mulches and small grazing animals the Fukuoka method shows that even the most depleted soils can be restored, healing the land and maybe even the spiritual wellbeing of the practicing farmer. Continue Reading »



november 2008 (continued)

inner city seagull sanctuary
unfazed agapanthus
the grassland
grassland meets the plane forest

Urban grassland &
inner city seagull sanctuary

Prince Alfred Park pool

Surry Hills

seedballs plus one pool action map

Closed for redevelopment and growing over.
Walk around the fenceline and seedball action.


Mowed down & whipper-snipped: