The Ship, 2021, Victorian College of the Arts.
16mm film loops, film reels, film projectors, crocodile skull, synaesthetic light, salt, neon pink pigment, cyanotypes.

Image by Melody Woodnutt of Frank Woodnutt in his ship yard, May 2019. On the occasion of his 90th birthday, months before his death.

The Ship references an unfinished familial project in the form of a 17-metre wooden boat frame located in North Queensland. This conspicuously absent “boat” has no hull, sea, nor captain, and is instead conjured as a curious intermedial and transhistorical world. Presented as a portal into the boat’s contextual/colonised landmass and a ‘tropical gothic’ realm, the artwork becomes an allegory for historical objects persisting over time and space. The myriad meanings associated with ‘ships’ begs a question of context and subjectivity; within the violent construction of so-called Australia it represents a fractured colonial inheritance, at once personal and societal. Beyond this, a romanticism lies within ships or boats as an heterotopian world upon an unknowable sea.

Utilising expanded cinema and cues from ‘The Ship of Theseus’, this work constitutes an attempt to finish building my grandfather's 39-year-old unfinished boat - the artwork thus becomes its spectral fiction.

Tropical gothic, North Queensland, Global South, crocodiles, the Ship of Theseus, philosophy of time (specifically objects as they persist over time), object oriented ontology, autotheory, haunting, the sea, poetics, other worlds.

Field recording, 16 mm film (Bolex, contact printing, optical printing, hand processing), sound samples/recordings. 

16mm short film; kinetic 16mm film sculpture and immersive installation; cinematic score & vinyl release, ambisonic sound for installation.