Photo Gallery

Tasmania Artist Residency, 2008

Pat at Tasmania residency
Photo by Ellissa Nolan,
University of Tasmania

An artist residency is a gift of quiet time. This one allowed me to return to Tasmania, where I first came in the early 1990s to work at the Pilot Art Foundry with David Hamilton, casting monumental entrance gates, "Nets of Makali'I – Nets of the Pleiades,", for the Maui Arts and Cultural Centre in Hawaii. I called the exhibition Ripples, to suggest the series of pieces and collaborations that, for more than 15 years, had grown out of that first encounter with this place. "Ripples" is also the name of a specific work that was on exhibit as a digital print. It, along with "Hunger", and a video of the making of the Gates, represent some of what I brought with me to this quiet time, previous ideas that continue to inform my practice. But I came with no idea of what I would do here; I wanted the work to grow out of being in residency.

The first day I was in Launceston, I read Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the aboriginal people, his "Sorry Speech," which he had delivered just a week before. I knew immediately that the speech and what it represents would shape what I would do. I had brought with me a piece, "The Beginning of the Beginning," and it didn't take me long to see how my response to the Sorry Speech was related to it. In this piece, and in five additional panels made, I used throw away notes, inexhaustible lists of things to be done (many of them while teaching full time in the Art Department at the University of Hawai'i), items crossed off when accomplished. To hold the mark-making on these scraps together, I drew with thread; individual words disappeared into a larger design, and, finally, a new image emerged. I call these five new panels "Eye Chart".

"Disquiet", made of gut words, brings to mind the intractable legacies around the globe from encounters between first peoples and those who arrived to take up permanent residency on their lands. My residency in Launceston was, of course, temporary. I left having received the gift of quiet time in Tasmania, a gift that also includes an inevitable, necessary disquiet.

Eye Chart
Eye Chart © 2008

Eye Chart (detail)
Eye Chart (detail) © 2008

Disquiet © 2008

Disquiet (detail)
Disquiet (detail) © 2008


See also "Professor Patricia Hickman. Artist-in-residence: An extract from the Ripples Exhibition Catalogue, 2008",
the academy: Art & Design Magazine: 2008, p. 18.