T&I BNE _ISSUE TWO _1
Founder / Creative Editor email@example.com _DANE BEESLEY Founder / Photo editor firstname.lastname@example.org _BEN MARKS Founder / Managing Director email@example.com _ANAIS LESAGE
Welcome to Text and Image issue two. This edition features a gutsy documentary photographer by the name of Hamish Cairns who embeds himself in some of humanities darkest locations. We’ve got another photographer, Shantanu Starick, whose Pixel Trade project has taken him around the world without the use of cash. In the arena of fine art we’re featuring the work of graffiti shaman Magnus MacTavish along with an essay looking at how some of Brisbane’s artists use zombies to draw comment on modern life.
Cover Image/ Hamish Cairns
_SARAH HAZELHURST/Strangers Sarah is a tiny girl wandering a colossal world. After visiting 15 countries this year, she has returned home to tell the tales of her journey. www.sarahhazelhurst.com
_DAN GILL/How I learnt to love the GFC Daniel Gill is a disappointed idealist and slayer of sacred cows. He also writes short tales from time to time.
Journalist Sarah Hazelhurst filed a piece recounting a recent urban spelunking adventure. Jonathan Boozaaier looks at how jails treat dying inmates while Dan Gill details the deeds of a modern day debt collector.
_THOMAS ELKINS/Vom Zebra
_JOHN LUPO AVANTI/Datalander
Regarding the music scene, T&I sat down with country songstress Sue Ray to discuss her recent trip to Nashville.
We’ve also included some shots from Brissy fashion designers Tamzen Holland and Stil Hora.
Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org _MICK NOLAN Senior Writer email@example.com
Finally our Hand Made section looks at the work of Switch, a Valley based partnership between Ray Turner and Troy Wade who spend their days hewing lamps from recycled timbers.
For all advertising enquires please email / firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next edition won’t be out till the New Year and in the meantime, if you’re keen to contribute, drop us a line. / email@example.com
Printed by/ The OMNE Group - 0417 685 997
I like stage diving and high fiving. I wear my hat back to front. Peace Dawgs www.elkinsdesign.com.au
John Lupo Advanti is a Californian-born tattooist, mural painter, graphic novelist and designer. www.poetryofline.com
_JONATHAN BOOZAAIER/ Death in Custody Jonathan Boozaaier is young writer newly emigrated from Durbin, South Africa who found fame as the chief writer for Trunk Junk. www.jonathanboonzaaier.com
ISSUE TWO _Content
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Y OR GFC
E AG P G RIN U LO CO
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PHOTOGRAPHY _Shantanu Starick
A LITTLE OVER 16 MONTHS AGO, SHANTANU STARICK PACKED HIS HOUSE, SLUNG HIS CAMERA OVER HIS SHOULDER AND SET OUT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD. NOT AN UNCOMMON IDEA FOR MOST TWENTY-SOMETHING’S BUT HIS JOURNEY WOULD BE DIFFERENT.
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Shantanu gave up money and chose to exchange his work as a photographer for flights, accommodation and food. The project, aptly titled Pixel Trade, started out as a trickle until he started to build a portfolio of work. Now, he’s gone from strength to strength with Shantanu feverishly working to clear a back log of over a hundred jobs from around the world. Recently back in Brisbane after a trip to the USA he caught up with Text and Image to discuss some of the highs and lows of life free of the dollar.
T&I/ Where did the idea come from?
T&I/ What sort of training have you had?
SS/ I made a decision based around money that I then regretted because I didn’t choose the more valued path. Itwas to do with a girl, that’s all I’ll give you. I regretted it soI wanted to make a point to myself about how unimportant money is and how you don’t need it to really have a fulfillinglife.
SS/ I’ve never studied formally because a lot of what they teach you is stuff specifically for the industry and I was never really interested in that. I had a mentor, he was an architect who I was working with and everything I learnt around architectural photography started to influence what I shot. When someone can teach you something by pointing one thing out, I think is quite amazing and you really respect them at the end of the day.
T&I/ How much input do you have in the photo’s you take for trades? SS/ A lot it comes from me and it’s sometimes not the best thing. I think they’ve seen enough of my work to trust howI’m going to shoot their subject, making sure that if there’s something really specific that they need that they tell me beforehand. T&I/ Without an itemised bill, do you ever get into the situation where your clients are expecting more than you’re giving? SS/ People tend to think that they’re not giving enough more than thinking that they’re not getting enough. Photography is a very expensive thing so the clients tend to be very grateful. It is a thing that I try not to think about, this is a project that doesn’t involve money between me and another person and therefore I don’t want any sort of calculation to made between how long if been shooting and what the equivalent would be in my wage and how many photographs they get. T&I/ When was the last time you bought something in a shop? SS/ In terms of me actually using my own money to buy would have been before I started this project. But I have been in a shop recently because a trade last year gave me a voucher for David Jones and I got some undies. T&I/ What has been you’re most valuable trade? SS/ Quite early on I was in L.A. and there was trade where I had a week’s downtime in-between shots. The trader asked what I wanted to do and I said “There are some offers in San Francisco but no-one can fly me up there, would you hire me a car and cover the petrol to get me there and back? They were more than happy to do that so I ended up driving that leg myself. It started to open up the possibilities of what can happen within a trade”. T&I/ How long will you keep it up for? SS/ I want to get to every continent. All I have left is Asia, Antarctica and South American. The reason for choosing the seven continents is because we associate travel with money, more so than anything else in life. As soon as you start travelling, you’re always thinking of how you’ll pay for things. If you can do that without using money you can probably do a lot of other things. T&I/ Have you been stranded yet? SS/ No. If you think about it, you’re getting someone to take photographs of a project that is dear to you and all you have to do is make sure that I’m fed, have transport and a place to sleep. People do that exceptionally well when that’s all they have to do.
T&I/ What have you learnt? SS/ When I started this project I thought, this is great, no more money and I’ll prove a point, but it’s the discovery of what not having money in your life actually provokes that is probably the most interesting part about it.You develop these connections with people based on who they are rather than anything else. You’re not in it for a financial gain and you stop thinking about that side of things, so you form these incredible relationships on a really fast level because you’re in their personal space most of the time. Very few trades put me in a hotel T&I/ How is Brisbane treating you? SS/ Good, I found Brisbane is one of the busiest cities for me. I’ve found a lot of trades easily, which is quite surprising. I thought Brisbane would be quite hard and that Melbourne would be easy, but it’s actually the opposite. T&I/ What trades are you doing in here? SS/ I was doing some work for two girls who have a blog called Fashion Archives. I also shot a wedding and then some work for a landscape architect, Sidonie Carpenter, then a repeat trade with these girls called Everingham and Watson who I’ve shot for five times now. T&I/ Do you think anyone will copy your idea? SS/ I assume that it’s going to happen because people are seeing one side of the project; that you don’t spend money and you get to travel the world for free. But no-one ever thinks about how their social project cannot allow for any other social life. For every spare minute I have there’s a backlog of editing, a thousand emails that I need to reply to, a website to update continuously. If you add up all of that along with staying on top of all the shots they’re doing every day, I love it, but it’s a phenomenal amount of work. Words/ Michael Nolan Pics/ Shantanu Starick
PHOTOGRAPHY _Shantanu Starick
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ZOMBIE THREADS: CORPOREAL DISCLOSURE
A zombie apocalypse is an ideal platform to play out notions of non-identity and individualism, where specific aspects of the human condition are conflated before being nullified and absorbed into the vacuous flesh-thirsty horde. The living dead, as mere physical forms are unremitting reminders of our somatic imprisonment, and our inevitable alliance with the grave. Everything about the zombie is written on the exterior of the body, nothing exists within. “The zombie functions as an iconic image through which the fantasy of humanity on the threshold of apocalypse is perpetually restaged. The figure becomes a metaphoric vessel standing in for the real viral terrors of contemporary society” (Stephanie Boluk & Wylie Lenz) Zombies are socially acceptable to slaughter. Be it a swift jab to the brain or a cerebral vivisection of sorts, the act of returning the dead to the grave seems instinctive under the laws of nature. Once penetrated by a bite, the body is in an enduring state of decay and decomposition. The mortal (or should I say immortal) wound presents itself as the site of the official zombie consummation. After contamination, all consciousness, selfhood and individuality depart, separating the mind from the body. The un-dead flaunt their afflicted necrosis, plaguing the survivors with the terror of being devoured. The threat is an identity wipe out as they are re-animated to perpetually restage their own deaths, with a newly found hunger for flesh. In recent years, the zombie-sphere has been blessed with a rebirth including films, television shows, video games, and books alongside a hoard of scholarly research addressing the genre. As a strategy of intervention into the life-drawing matrix, Brisbane-based artist William Platz reflects on specific deployments of the zombie throughout entertainment, media and cultural studies. Akin to Dr Sketchy’s burlesque themed, life-drawing classes held at the Glass Bar in the Fortitude Valley, Platz employs the zombie to subvert the highly institutionalised and conservative system of life drawing. Asking models to re-enact entire scenes from the Thriller music video, within a performative life-drawing exercise is certainly an
advancement away from the static model, easel, paper andpencil condition. He utilises the zombie genre to further investigate artist/model transactions, in particular the aberrant nature of posing, and how posing manifests within the studio environment. Platz rejects romanticist views of the life-drawing draughtsman as a mystical translator, somehow being able to capture the essence of the sitter. The relationship between the body of the sitter and artist is strictly physical. “You are bringing someone into the studio, asking them to get naked, they get up on the stand and everything about their identity, politics, their selfhood becomes irrelevant. Certainly we are saying let’s look at the pure physical, the corporeal. That is what makes the trenchant link to zombies, and how we deal with them” (William Platz) On similar grounds, Brisbane artist Dana Lawrie’s selfportrait Housed explores ideas based around permanence and impermanence, of existence and anxiety. In Housed, Lawrie appears to be in a state of both duplication and resurrection. Conceived in that transitory moment the camera shutter opened, Lawrie seeks to crystallise her body in paint through archival methods. Her palette comprises of both fleshier, warmer skin hues against pallid, anaemic colours that hint at post-mortem lividity. Each pose appears taut and strained; her muscles contracted. Her translucent body remains ungrounded and floats in an expanse of white nothingness that forces the viewers gaze onto her anatomical self. Although not drawing directly from the zombie genus, there does appear to be an acknowledgment of her mortal self and the fear associated with that mortality. Like the zombie figure, Lawrie uses her body as an instrument to communicate an impending finality as she translates her consciousness into the corporeal. With the Brisbane Zombie Walk taking place last month, this city is no stranger to the genre. An icon of popular culture, the zombie in all its lifeless flesh, has the potential to reveal new ways of exploring our relationship with the human body. Be it a strategy of intervention, or fears associated with mortality, the zombie genre almost certainly has something to contribute to societal cognition. Words/ Benjamin Higgins
Right: Dana Lawrie Housed Oil on Board, 1000 mm x 1800 mm, 2012. Below: Zombie Life/Death Drawing: A collection of recent work. 2013. Charcoal, ink on paper
ART REVIEW _Zombie Threads
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ART REVIEW _Zombie Threads
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† S Ø
DØIN’ IT IN THE GARAGE: HOW NOT TO BE A STYLE WHORE
EVERYTHING I SEE COMES FROM MELBOURNE OR BONDI… BUT WE HAVE HEAPS OF STREET ARTISTS, MUSICIANS AND CLOTHING LABELS. I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO REALISE NOT EVERYONE IN BRISBANE’S A FUCKING DJ.”
It sounds like a chorus of vacuums as I walk up the driveway of an otherwise silent townhouse complex in the south-side suburbs. As I get closer to the end I see Gian poking another shirt through the conveyor belt dryer. It’s 9pm on a Tuesday. “I’m sending this one to Norway,” he tells me. Gian is the man behind STIL HORA, a Brisbane-based, street-style clothing label. He designs, creates and posts his threads to your front door, all from his tiny garage that would hardly fit your mum’s Mazda 6. But it’s not because he has to do it all himself, he wants to. After getting his first screen-printing job fresh out of high school, Gian acquired his own set up 18 months ago and has been perfecting his art since. “I started out making shirts and crews for friends and eventually started getting messages from people I didn’t know asking me to make them stuff.” Brisbane boutiques have already offered to carry STIL HORA but Gian wants to keep his label garage. “I never did this because I wanted STIL HORA to be some massive label. It was about hanging out with my buddies making shirts and having fun. I didn’t want to deal with all the other bullshit.” But he knows that might change sooner rather than later. “Don’t get me wrong, if I need to move into a bigger space or get some help to fill the orders I will but I want to keep STIL HORA in the garage a while longer.” STIL HORA is classic street wear and Gian doesn’t deny the influence of other Australian labels. “I get inspiration from labels I liked when I was younger, like Ksubi and strangely enough from hip-hop…old school and the new stuff.” He admits there has been some help along the way and credits other Brisbane artists with some of his designs. “I like to collaborate with a few guys around here as well, bounce ideas off them and they’re much better at the graphic design side of things than I am.”
STIL HORA is an opportunity to get away from every plastic Westfield ‘fashion’ store with bullshit top-button-done-up, magic eye, Aztec patterned shirt and get into a grungy, DIY garage label. And trust me, it’s going to cost less than that shirt that makes you so alternative it makes me want throw up. As for where the name STIL HORA came from… Gian says it’s best to ask a hot Swedish backpacker. // www.stil-hora.com Words/Martin Cambridge
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DOKU RAI: YOU, DEAD MAN, I DON’T BELIEVE YOU
DOKU RAI: YOU, DEAD MAN, I DON’T BELIEVE YOU
THEATRE _Doku Rai
IN 2012, A GROUP OF AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS ARRIVED ON A REMOTE ISLAND OFF EAST TIMOR TO LIVE WITH A GROUP OF LOCAL PERFORMERS. THREE MONTHS LATER THEY LEFT WITH A NEW FAMILY AND A PIONEERING PIECE OF VISUAL THEATRE.
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Doku Rai (pronounced do-ku r-eye) is a dark, cross-cultural, metaphoric narrative for religion, colonialism and violence in East Timor. But the performance itself has become a metaphor; a vessel for the relationships that now exist between the Australians and the Timorese cast members. Director, Tom Wright of BBCâ€™s Top of the Lake, sat down with T&I after a performance at the Judith Wright Centre to have a chat about the creative process of East Timorâ€™s first professional theatre production.
THEATRE _Doku Rai
T&I/ Doku Rai is an incredible performance built on some incredible relationships. Tell us how it all began?
T&I/ Was there ever any tension in the group?
T.W/ It started on the set of Balibo in 2009 where I met Osme Gonsalves (lead actor in Doku Rai). I was flown back and forth and during those times my relationship with Osme and a few other local performers grew from cooking fish in a hole and drinking beer, to being invited into their homes and staying with their families. After hearing their backgrounds and stories I knew making this production was something I needed to do.
T.W/ There was an enormous amount of tension. We’re talking about three months living on a fucking island separated by two hours of stormy seas to the mainland. There was no way to avoid each other and any conflict needed to be aired. We were staying in an abandoned Portuguese colonial hotel making a piece of contemporary art in a form they don’t have in a country that had never seen any type of theatre production before. I don’t know of any other production that’s been made in this way before.
T&I/ What was it about their stories and East Timor that made this production so important to you?
T&I/ Wasn’t there also a time where the Australian Government issued a no movement order?
T.W/ They were such unique artists because they have grown up through some serious military conflict. Osme was a guerrilla in the mountains during the Indonesian occupation. They all grew up in a tiny village at the Eastern most point of Timor where any kind of artistic endeavour was met with violence from armed Indonesian officers. I also was sick of everything in East Timor being just about the politics; even Balibo was about the politics. We were really adamant that we wanted to make something personal that showcased these guys’ identities.
T.W/ Yeah, there was a bunch of conflict goingon while we there. I had to put my three-month-old son and my partner on a rush flight out of the country after they announced the elections. Immediately after the elections the country fell to shit for a few days. Two ofLaka’s(cast member) students were shot and killed, we had a group of interns from the Victoria College of Art end up on the wrongside of an angry mob of rioters and half of us ended up stuck on the island while the other half were just outside of Dili. Alex (producer) drove through a gunfight where bullets were flying everywhere. The productionwas completely put on hold at a really precarious point.
T&I/ How were the first few days living on the island? T.W/ Everything was extremely fucking difficult. There were lots of really strong fiery personalities and we had to quickly understand that these guys have a different way of dealing with things. They’ve come from years and years of violent conflict. Obviouslythe lines of communication could not have been harder. For some of the guys English is their fourth language, so we spent the first half of the rehearsal process translating every single sentence.
T&I/ I heard Osme refer to the cast as his and seeing you all interact as family it seems, there’s a bond that extends beyond Doku Rai. T.W/ Totally. The relationships you see are bigger than the production. Family is not a phrase you just fucking throw around with this type production. You have to do it, and you have to make it work. It’s the way it is and you have to respect the fact their way of life may be the complete opposite to yours. We’ve become brothers, literally. I went through a
formal process and I am now Mele’s (Timorese cast member) brother, his daughter is my niece and my son is his nephew. T&I/ Is that what you hope for your audience to come away with from Doku Rai? T.W/ Mostly I wanted people to come away with a real appreciation for the people from Timor. Not to group and simplify the way we so often do. Everything we see shows East Timor suffering, as a third world country and politically unstable. Sometimes it’s fucking uncomfortable. What I wanted to say to these guys, who carry so much weight as the representatives of their people on the artistic front, is that you are the place you are from. I just wanted to show a hint into what their lives and personalities are like and to acknowledge there is a deeper reality to East Timor than our often condescending, shallow western perception lets us realise. It’s a complex country made up of individuals with different ways of life. T&I/ So what’s next for the Doku Rai team? T.W/ We still have a few festival dates around Australia coming up and we’re also trying to take it overseas, especially to Portugal. Alex is now living in Timor; Thomas (Australian cast member) is taking on a teaching position over in East Timor at their national art school and Liam (Australian cast member) is setting up a recording studio in Timor for recording artists. There’s been relationships formed that will last a lifetime. Like Tom said, Doku Rai is now only part of this story. It’s a production that invites the audience to consider all the implications of undertaking such a project and to consider the stories behind the relationships. More importantly it’s the type of production that when spoken about overtly a writer can never truly express the value and truth it deserves. Words/ Martin Cambridge Pics/ Thomas Henning
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THE FRONTIER Hamish Cairns is an anarchist, a blues musician and documentary photographer based in Brisbane. His travels have taken him to some of the most notorious places on earth. From West Papua and Palm Island, to Belfast and to Pakistan’s North-West Frontier and all in pursuit of images that capture the lives that scratch out an existence in places of absolute bedlam. “Being a photographer is a form of protest because you are telling society and the government, fuck you, look at this,” Hamish said. The seeds of a career as a documentary photographer were planted in university when he was shown images from Cartier Bresson and the Magnum photographers. “Their photos were all about situations, whether it be the Berlin Wall, World War II or motorcycles in L.A. They all photographed serious things on the world scale, political, cultural, historic, shit that is important but that no one cares about, like revolutions and incredible shit to do with the human race That’s what they document and that just struck a chord with me. I wanted to be a part of that.” But like most upstart photographers Hamish finished uni and ended up stuck in the quagmire of freelance editorial work. He knew where he wanted to be but not how to get there so he reached out to veteran photojournalist Tim Page hoping to score a gig as an assistant. “I got his number from somewhere and left a message on his phone. I was too scared to tell him I was a photographer. Instead I’d noticed he was interested in music so I said I was in a blues and roots band and asked him if he wanted to photograph the newest up-and-comers.” The veteran agreed but it wasn’t till one of Hamish’s mates blurted out that he was a photographer before Tim cottoned on to the ruse. “In the end Tim actually came to me and said, tomorrow afternoon come around and we’ll check out the photos I took… oh and bring some of your photos as well.” The pair formed a working relationship that soon turned intofriendship, motivated by an identical approach to photography. “He just cares about the people he shoots and I’ve always felt that way as well. After a couple of days I realised that Tim was the only bloke who understood me. He understood the photography that I wanted to do and he was doing the photography that I wanted to do.”
“Before I met Tim, I wasn’t in a spin but I had all these big ideas, like I wanna go to Pakistan, I wanna save the world, I wanna do all this stuff but who do I talk to about it. In Brisbane it’s hard to find someone who can help do something like that.” In late 2009 Hamish crossed into Pakistan via the border with India. Not knowing what to expect he was greeted at the gatehouse by a Pushan security guard wielding little more than a pot of tea and warm smile. “He was so happy to see me that he made me a cup of tea and didn’t put any of my bags through the scanner.” It was an unexpected entry into a region plagued by sectarian conflict and ancient grudges. The North-West Frontier is known as the home of drone warfare, of fugitive Taliban commanders, and CIA sponsored collateral damage. But Hamish reckons the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. “Some people say the tribal area of Pakistan is the last free place on earth and if you go there you can see it. The cars are wild, the dress is wild, the shops are wild, so if you just take one picture you’re blown away. If you can spend a couple of weeks there it means your photos mean more than if they were taken at the Gold Coast or whatever.” Sceptical of the media’s highly choreographed portrayal of post-9/11 conflict, Hamish wanted to find moments of beauty and innocence within a warzone rather than to document a military campaign. “Pakistan his the heart of everything in that part of the world and no one reports on it. All the big magazines and newspapers go to Afghanistan and all they do is embed with American troops, but who fuckin cares about American troops.”Hamish said “Everywhere is messed up in its own way so as a photographer you’re looking for the opposite of that, whether it’s the guy praying in a war zone or the kids playing with guns because everyone around them has a gun and they’re just so innocent.” Hamish has been collaborating with legendary correspondent Kamal Hyder over the previous years on a book from the region. On their most recent trip the pair spent time in the infamous Khyber Pass, a roadside museum of perished empires and the backdrop to NATO’s supply mission for the war in Afghanistan. A December trip is planned to continue the book and begin work on a school project in Waziristan. Words/ Michael Nolan Pics/ Hamish Cairns
PHOTOGRAPHY _The Frontier
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PHOTOGRAPHY _The Frontier
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MUSIC _Sue ray
SUE RAY Born in Toowoomba, the daughter of local music legend and instrument merchant, Owen Ray, Sue grew up with music. “I think it started in the womb, my mother probably went to a lot of my father’s gigs when she was pregnant and I just picked it up. I don’t know if you believe in souls choosing the live that they were meant to be but I think I was meant to be born into a musical family.” She started playing piano when she was a kid, picked up her first guitar at the age of 15. “All I’d ever thought I would ever be was a musician.” While she played around with a variety of sounds and genres, from rock, to punk and metal Sue found herself naturally gravitate to county, in part because of her upbringing and the influence of her parents and partly because the style suits her voice. Her voice is deep, sultry and soulful. It carries the weight of a hundred broken hearts but is at the same time naturally powerful and rhythmic. As a result of her recent trips to the great incubator of country music, Nashville, Sue doesn’t identify with the country label so much anymore. “I don’t really fit that mould, I’m more what they call ‘Americana’ which is a blanket term for music that the labels can’t identify. It’s a mix of blues, jazz, country and folk.” That said, when crafting a song, the country tradition of telling a tale is never far from her mind. “I like telling a story that really speaks to people, even when I play live
I tend to mute my guitar so people can hear the words, I’m not really interested in fancy solos.” While her songs are at time fraught with personal pain, Sue maintains that she doesn’t set out to write sad songs. “I’ll literally be fiddling on the guitar, I’ll play a cord and it’ll resonate, then all of a sudden lyrics start falling out that seem to fit.”’ “I’m quite a romantic, quite a sensitive soul so I guess do take things personally more than most people and I’m quite raw. I think that sort of temperament has to lead to something. It just comes out.” While the 32-year-old has been a mainstay on the Brisbane gig scene for the past decade she has also been travelling to Nashville on a regular basis and reckons it has forced her to lift her game. “The first time I went over as part of a showcase of Australian country singers and I was totally blown away. It’s a city that attracts musicians and performers and the universal consciousness is at such a high vibration that you can’t help but be creative.” Within days of landing in this musical mecca Sue said she’d met countless other pilgrims who had travelled in pursuit of musical growth. It is that common sense of searching that helps people within the city form such strong creative and personal bonds. “Everyone is there to write, as soon as you met someone they’re saying ‘let’s do a co-write and they’re handing out numbers. In a couple of weeks you’re writing with all these strangers and you’re pumping out songs. The city is constantly humming.. Words/ Michael Nolan Pics/ Ruwan De Silva
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Magnus MacTavish is a man on the run. He is a street artist in the purest sense. His vast body of work decorates trains, buildings and bridges across the country and very little of it has ever seen the inside of a gallery. He’s hounded by the cops and adored by the graff community yet what he truly fears is the approaching apocalypse. “Global thermal nuclear disaster, basically we scramble for the last few resources left,” Magnus said. The visions manifest on the canvas as Magnus paints. “There’s an actual plan behind every painting and that’s to create time. I’m a time traveller and I’m trying to create time. I make something in the infinite that will expand time and creation through my painting, it creates more out of it and through this I predict the future.” He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and bi-polar a couple of years ago and is a regular patient at the Royal Brisbane Hospital’s psych ward were he is kept against his will as the quacks work to calm the demons in his mind. “It’s pretty hectic, it’s worse than prison they say.” But the time behind bars has given Magnus ample time to perfect his craft. “I get a lot of painting done and even though I’m doing graffiti I’m probably getting into less trouble with the mental health department because I have a bit of a career with my art.” Words/ Michael Nolan Pics/ ^ db
THEY THREATEN YOU WITH JAIL TIME, LARGE FINES, AND THERE’S A LOT OF HARASSMENT. THE COPS TREAT US LIKE SHIT.”
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the death of Anthony Axtell HOW WE STAND TO BE CORRECTED
EXPOSE _Death in Custody
On the morning of his death, Tony Axtell was bruised black from his knees to his shoulders. He was restricted to the confines of a hospital bed and hadn't slept or eaten in 48 hours, losing 16 kilos in that time. "He was just a skeleton rolling around," Tony’s brother Darren said as he remembered that final moment on the13th of September 2012. "Every bit of oxygen passed out of his body, as I looked down to hear the last breath leave, while he made the change and his lips went blue." The Brisbane born, Anthony Nigel Axtell, nicknamed Tony, died while in the custody of the West Australian prison system after an altercation over a restraining order had led to Tony's arrest.
Darren's mother, Elaine, petitioned to get the shackles removed, but three days after being admitted, Tony was sent back to Casuarina Prison on new medical drugs that were designed to stop his heart from bleeding.
The 38 year old brick layer from Brisbane had a history of drug use and run-ins with the law. Tony had cleaned up his act by 1996, having moved to Perth to start a new life as a father and a business owner.
"He had been placed in the nurse section of the infirmary, where they should have known about his symptoms, that he needed more, but they had said no."
However, Perth was not exempt from temptation, and Tony fell back into past curses, which attracted the attention of the local police.
Darren's weight dropped to below 70 kilograms. His legs were cut to pieces from the shackles and he slept chained to the bed.
"He asked if I would come and visit him if he got sorted," Darren said. "He was doing well, having a good time. Unfortunately, he had the taste of having something in your system and wanting it back."
Suffering dangerous levels of dehydration Tony was sent back to hospital where the panic stricken staff thought it best to pump six litres of electrolytes into Tony's body.
During that period Tony was battling with a long standing Cardiomyography; a heart condition causing rigidity of the heart muscles, resulting in a back flow of blood to the body, eventually leading to heart failure.
The fluid backed up within his bloodstream causing his legs to balloon out. The added mass only put more pressure on his heart,” Darren said.
Tony was reliant on a stream of vital medication to keep him alive, while he waited in line for a heart transplant. To be eligible for the procedure, Tony was required to maintain a clean record for a minimum of 10 years. Tony was unfortunately taken into custody just over one and a half years shy of the required mark. In July 2012 Tony had crashed his car after falling asleep at the wheel. He had driven over an embankment and smashed up his knee and kidneys. After a stay in intensive care his ex-partner, who had a domestic violence order issued against him, picked him up from the hospital and took him home, into her care. "Being the small town that Perth is," Darren said, "The cops knew that she took him." Breaking a DVO is a jailable offence for someone who has already done time. "He was sleeping on the couch, when the cops pretty much kicked the door in and took him straight to the Hakea Prison." It was at this point that bureaucratic quagmire began the process of hastening Tony’s death. Before being taken away, Tony's ex-partner had made it clear that without his medication, and given the withered status of his heart condition, he would die. However, Tony was issued his medication for only the first day, and then denied it the next day, with the prison staff substituting the medication with Panadol, irrespective of his ex-partner's pleas just the day before. By the second day of using the replacement medication, Tony was in an ambulance, on his way to Perth hospital. "I flew over that weekend to see him and when I got there he couldn't get out of his cell, he couldn't move." After a short hospital stint, Tony was then sent to Casuarina Prison, a maximum security facility, where he was given his medication, but the staff at Casuarina proved incapable of caring for Tony. He had developed pneumonia after his heart valves had bled heavily, filling his lungs with blood. After being rushed back to hospital, Tony was restrained. His legs were shackled to the bed while two guards watched him 24 hours a day.
Tony's past tainted their view of him. "They wouldn't have understood what it's like for someone who is, for the lack of better term, a drug dependent, intravenous user, or what made him pursue that life." Darren said. With Tony’s options running out Darren and Elaine were advised that his debilitated breathing suggested he would die within hours. Over the next ten days, Tony fought for what Darren figured to be every two hours. On the third day the doctors came in and they could not believe that he was still alive." "I had to roll him from his back to his side because he was too black and too bruised." He’d already lost feeling in his toes and there was talk of removing some limbs." On the morning of the 13th of September, on day 45 day of his custodial stay, Tony passed out while Darren was helping massage out a kink in his neck. "I was holding him up when he went semi-conscious and I said to him quietly, 'You fought this so long, and now it seems like you're just fighting because we're here.” Then I said, 'Just let go if you have to.'" Ten minutes later, that's when it happened. Following his death Tony's case was featured by various researchers who all held the common belief that the refusal of the Western Australia gaol system to, "...accept that they had a duty of care to Anthony," that tragically led to his death. Gerry Georgatas, a PhD researcher described Anthony during his time of detainment as a, "...frail man, who could barely breathe, and had nowhere to run other than into death itself." Gerry said shackling is used as a tool for demeaning inmates when they go to court, merely to dehumanise and shame them before their family and friends. “The system must appear all-powerful and in control and that is abused when it comes to inmates, every day in every state and territory." The main crux of the research held the message that, "A morally corrupt system is being done in your name and with your money," referring to the tax payers role in the matter. "Anthony Axtell's death indicts everyone." "Somebody has to take much of the responsibility for the failure of the penal estate. We are turning offenders into victims of State crime." Going on to pronounce that, "We have to move away from 'crime and punishment' and work with people, alongside them, restoratively, humanely; in order that we make society humane." Words/ Jonathan Boozaaier Pics/ Darren and Anthony Axtell
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...SOMEONE ELSE WOULD THINK I ALMOST GOT KILLED. ALMOST MEANS DIDN’T.
Traffic in the CBD is a mess. Pedestrians are jay-walking as they fancy, there’s bottlenecked car parks and whose idea was it to put one-way roads everywhere leaving cars to constipate the streets. To take a gig racing packages through the inner-city traffic from one office block to another you’d have to be either mad, totally addicted to adrenaline or a combination of both. Josh ‘OneLove’ Poland is one such madman. Josh, along with his fellow bicycle couriers, gamble a daily stacking as they ferry packages along the length of Ann Street yet he maintains a feverish “I can’t ride around the city when I’ve got nothing to do. If I go to a mate place I ride flat out and I’m there in ten minutes, and I’m like yeah, ok, done. That’s what I love about couriering – I’ll get job, ride and then I’m like, done, alright what next.” The bicycle couriers are cut from a different cloth. Josh is all too aware of the risks he takes he says they’re measured. “We’re professionals, we deal with traffic every day, what we consider completely and utterly safe someone else would think I almost got killed. Almost means didn’t, an inch is as good a mile.” But accidents happen and most are the result of motorists taking road conditions for granted and overlooking the couriers, ‘It’s complacency that causes crashes, not malice,” Josh said. “It happens when people don’t check their blind spots, don’t notice riders, don’ t give them right of way when they should. In this regard Brisbane and Australia as a whole is decades behind Europe and the States where cyclists are given the same priority as pedestrians when it comes to right of way.” The daily routine of traffic roulette has drawn the courier community together. Last year they formed the Brisbane Cycle Messenger Association, which serves to promote bicycle couriers as an alternative to vans. They also organise small racing events and scavenger hunts aimed at using a little friendly competition to augment the day job. Despite the couriers commitment work in Brisbane is slowing down. Josh said this was because notenough people know bicycle couriers are an option. “You have to very much be in the right place at the right time to get the job or hassle the fuck out of you dispatcher but what we’re realising is to keep our jobs, to keep this culture alive, we need to get bigger public profile.” “There a lot of businesses that use courier services but they mostly use vans, which use more energy, clog up the street with more traffic and their service times are much slower. But until the customers themselves ask the company, ‘I want it delivered by a bicycle,’ I think the demand is not going to increase.” “Our mission is to educate the corporate so that customers ask more and more for bicycle couriers and then hopefully the companies will say yeah, we’ll have to put another bicycle courier on books.” Part of their efforts to raise their profile includes competing in the Cycle Messenger World Champs Back in August 17 couriers from across Australia travelled to Switzerland for the 21st instance of the event that started with a 500km ride from Paris to Lausanne, Switzerland. Along with a series of side shows the main event saw around 350 couriers race between check points dropping off packages and taking new deliveries along a set track. The rider who clocked the most deliveries in the allotted time won the day. This year the title of Messenger World Champion went to an American by the name of Austin Horse but the Australians weren’t without victories. At an open forum, the CMWC competitors agreed that Melbourne will host the 2015 event and Josh reckons is a nod to how well established the sport has become. Keep an eye out for the crew. Chistolé! Words/ Michael Nolan Pics/ db
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Photographer _Glen Krohn Fashion Stylist _Tamzen Holland MUA/HS _Tracie Weaver from ZenPop Creatives Model _Fleur from Dallys Model Management
FASHION _Rose et Jaune
R E J O T A S U E N E Amid an array of decadent flowers, Glen Krohn, the creatively driven fashion photographer from Brisbane, delivered a well-crafted series of images that perfectly highlight the beauty and romanticism of the model, and blooms alike. The delicacy of the flowers act in equilibrium with the soft and ethereal nature of Dally’s model Fleur Templeton. This crafts an editorial that is rich in creativity and whim. The stylist, Tamzen Holland, played with a monochromatic wardrobe and juxtaposed sheer and textured elements with bright pops of flora to fashion a surreal and otherworldly aesthetic. Lace, sunglasses, and floral headpieces were specially crafted for the editorial and worked to compliment the hair and makeup styled by Tracie Weaver. Strong shadows and depths of field instantly transport the viewer into the story of a broken-down doll trapped in a floral wonderland. Glen and Tamzen will be focusing on Fashion Photography during their feature in the upcoming Krank Photography Workshops at the end of this year. Words/Pip Pell
T&I BNE _ISSUE TWO _37
SHORT STORY _Strangers
AN OUTSIDER LOOKING IN
You out here havin’ a choof?” was the first question John asked me. I’d just climbed through the back gate and was standing on the matted up lawn of a beautiful waterfront building when he called out. I thought the place was empty when I entered, so I was a little startled as he approached. “Oh, ummm, no, I just wanted to have a look. It’s a beautiful place you’ve got here,” I said jokingly. I hoped my attempt at humor would make me appear less threatening. Maybe he hadn’t taken too kindly to the ‘breaking in’. “Yeah, it’s not bad. Are you looking for somewhere to stay? You’re welcome here if you need a place to sleep. You can come inside and have a look if you want?” I suddenly had a number of things racing through my head. I could hear my mother’s voice ringing in my ear saying; “Never talk to strangers and never, ever go anywhere with strangers!” But everyone you meet starts out as a stranger, right? I was also questioning my personal appearance, I mean I could have put a bit more effort in that day, but I didn’t think I looked like a vagrant - obviously John disagreed. But the voice speaking the loudest among the many confused thoughts in my mind was the whispers of compassion brought on by John’s unexpected display of humanity. How kind of this man, who in knowing me under 60 seconds was generously offering me shelter. His care made me realise how impertinent I’d been by barging in. I decided his demeanor was worth the chance. I walked back through the gate and met John inside. I’m not homeless, but John is. He’s been living safely in the confines of an abandoned waterfront restaurant since he arrived in Queensland from Tasmania over a month ago. Upon inspecting his derelict and graffitied suburban home, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming admiration towards him. His place was amazing. It had multiple levels, dozens of rooms and better views than anywhere else on the street. The upper levels were completely trashed. Remains of food, alcohol, clothing, spray cans and the horrific stench of piss was a filthy feature of the top floor. John’s area however, was lovely. “We’ve cleaned it up,” he said, “me and Joe. This is Joe by the way, he’s just moved over from New Zealand. He didn’t have anywhere to go either, so we stay here together. We’re not crazy or anythin’. Joe’s got a large growth on his back, but it’s nothin’ serious.” John and Joe were both shirtless. Joe leant to the side so I could see his growth. He smiled and I laughed. It sounds awkward, but I think it was almost bonding. They were sitting at a table they’d made out of milk crates and a plank of wood. There was Hungry Jack’s and a water bottle filled with white wine beside them. They’d chosen the best room of the building to inhabit. Huge glass windows surrounded them; some covered in graffiti and some revealing beautiful river views. They’d swept the floor and gutted out a section where they both slept. It definitely looked livable. John went on to explain that he’d just got a job and would hopefully be leaving the building very soon. “It’s been good while we’ve been here, not many people come in. We get a few kids through every now and then just lookin’ for somewhere to have a spliff. We just have a chat and then they’re off. We have the whacking stick though, for anyone who wants to play up.” I looked to my left and saw the whacking stick. It looked more like the trunk of a small tree than any stick I’d ever seen. It had a number of nails running down the top. I realised I never wanted to get on the wrong end of that stick. But despite my fear of their well-made weapon, I believed the pair to be harmless, and they were. Just two guys who’d had a bit of a shit run in life and were doing their best to sort it out. I really respected them. I was glad they’d found enough happiness in this home to keep going, even against the odds. They weren’t hassling anyone, they weren’t even asking for help. They were just sorting things out their own way. I wondered what would happen if the police found them in here. As I said my goodbyes and walked back out to the civilized street, I hoped they never would. As I went over this story with a friend, he questioned me. “Isn’t it ironic that some people do everything they can to try and get out of these abandoned places, and you do everything you can to get inside them?” This really made me think. I like to hear about people inhabiting abandoned buildings. I’m not trying to say everyone should start squatting to save on rent, but it’s great that those in need can find salvation in something that someone else doesn’t. I think about buildings the way I think about life. One day everything will break because nothing lasts forever. There are cracks and damages and faults and it’s enviable that eventually the cracks will get too big and everything will fall apart. We live, we die, we build, we break. But without the cracks, life would appear perfect and nothing is perfect because we all contribute to the cracks. Some of us create them, and some of us fall into them, but most of us are balancing on the edge. Metaphors aside, what I’m trying to say is that honestly, I find more power and humanity in old, abandoned buildings than I do in crisp, clean, new ones. Not everything is as broken as it seems. Sometimes it takes a stranger to remind you to take a second look. Words/ Sarah Hazelhurst
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HAND JOB _Switch
IN A FORTITUDE VALLEY BASEMENT SCULPTOR RAY TURNER AND SPARKY TROY WARD ARE PUSHING AGAINST THE TORRENT OF MASSPRODUCED CONSUMER JUNK. THEIR WEAPONS OF CHOICE INCLUDE A TABLE SAW, A SANDING BLOCK AND A DEVOTION TO HANDMADE.
For Ray the romance between functionality, design and hand-crafted simplicity blossomed during his final years studying Fine Arts at the University of Southern Queensland. At the same time Troy saw an electrical appliance market that was choking under the weight of low-quality, sweat-shop assembly line products. Eight months ago they got together and Switch Lamps was born. Switch lamps are made entirely from recycled materials and found objects, save the electrical components. They are unique, one-off objects built from supple Australian timbers and imbued with a devotion to simple, stylised form. T&I/ Where did you learn your craft? Ray/ It’s in the family. My brother’s a cabinet maker, my father’s a cabinet maker, I basically lived in a joinery from about the age of ten. Troy/ I’m a sparky by trade but I work in the sales side of things at the moment. T&I/ What do you like about working with your hands? Ray/ I like seeing something that exists and saying you know what, I can do that myself. Part of it is also working with old stuff, finding scrape wood and old electrical parts then bringing them back to life or just giving them a new purpose. T&I/ When did you start the business? Ray/ We went to our first market in mid-August but we started building them two months before that. It’s still pretty fresh but the response has been ridiculous though. We’re currently sold out. T&I/ What tools do you use? Troy/ The tools are pretty basic. We cut and size with a drop saw and a router. There’s a shit load of sanding and then an after polish by hand. We also use a spray gun and compressor and nail gun. T&I/ What’s next? Ray/ I want to play around with the question of what is the base function of an object and how can you combine that with another object and still have a nice aesthetic while not compromising either function. For example we’re looking at a sound box that with a lamp inside or a self-lit sound box. In my head you’re working at a desk and you’ve got a handmade wooden box with a set of speakers, a phone dock and a lamp that comes out over the top and shines on what you’re working on. Words/ Michael Nolan Pics/ db
T&I BNE _ISSUE TWO _41
SHORT STORY _How I Learnt to Love the GFC
THIS WAS BRISBANE’S NORTHERN SUBURBS IN 1997 - A FINAL HOLDOUT OF PARANOID TEEN SEX, ARMY PANTS AND HEROIN.”
The last time I saw Jesus was in grade 11 Physics. He was that baby-faced kid that faced front while the rest of us goofed off. We knew where we were. This wasn’t the breeding ground of Howard’s Australia or a finishing school for daddies little girls - this was Brisbane’s northern suburbs in 1997 - a final holdout of paranoid teen sex, army pants and heroin. We were supposed to be learnin’ Newtonian motion but alls I remember is the endless games of musical hangman, and me winning. Not because I knew more than Jesus, cause he’d always pick Matchbox 20 or somethin’ fruity like that, but I did understand the game - the likelihood of ‘t’s’ without ‘h’s’. I wasn’t valedictorian or anythin’ but I learnt the importance of playin’ averages. Who’d’ve thought 12 years later I’d be entering a Debt Collection agency as Jesus’ new hire. He starts selling me his dream. He tells me that for every action we are the equal and opposite reaction. He says here we’re all about flipping the paradigm, that the days of picking the low-hanging fruit are past. He notices me eyeballin’ a photo of Jesus in Khakis man-handling a goanna. “It’s a metaphor” he assures me, “but that really happened”. He leads me to the “coal-face” - a fingerprint-protected arena of cubicles and one-sided conversations. “No you listen Mohammad - you will pay me that money!” “Do I sound like I’m laughing!” “I have problems, but I pay my bills. Yes I do Mohammad!” “Here’s what’s going to happen: you’re going to pay me the money or I’m going to keep calling. When you stop answering I’ll call your neighbours, co-workers, family, your friends. I’m going to keep calling you until I get bored. Then the courts will give me the money anyway. That’s option 1. But I’ve got better things to do, so let’s talk about our other options. Let’s talk about how you’re going to pay this.” Given a long enough timeline the survival rate for everything drops to zero; I am the cast die, the double 0. I have become death, the destroyer of worlds. Jesus tells me what to expect in my new life. He tells me the rules and how we break ‘em, he tells me that ethics are what we say they are. He reminds me of the thousands to be made in commissions. Amongst it all he mentions Duc Tran. Duc is an 18year-old whose parents returned to Vietnam after amassing $30,000 debt. Legally Duc isn’t responsible for these debts, legally he could refuse to pay and we wouldn’t be allowed to contact him. Jesus says that legally this money is as good as written-off only Duc’s english isn’t great and we need only inform him of this fact once before accepting ongoing payments. Duc’s payments only service the interest on the account, it’s unlikely he’ll ever pay them off. Also, before his parents returned to Vietnam, Duc was diagnosed with cancer. It’s true of course but that don’t matter, it’s a test. Jesus is watching for signs of humanity. I show none. This will be typical of my day.
“There’s no need for that...now look here I...don’t you say that to me...how dare you...no you won’t Mr Reyes...MR REYES!” His voice is impossibly loud, so loud that an office of 35 staff falls away and that Duc Tran’s forgotten. “Mr Reyes there is no need for this...I am just...I will not continue talking if you...” Then silence. Broken only by the sound of typing and air conditioning. Adam replaces the receiver. Adam is a father of two. When he finishes his 10 hours here he’ll ride 30 minutes to manage a restaurant in Lutwyche where he’ll work until close, before doing it all over again tomorrow. Right now though Adam’s hands won’t stop shaking. Adam is a noob, his humanity is showing. Jesus strolls over, “Hey what’s all the excitement - you land a bass there matey - have we got a payer?” Adam spins ‘round and makes light of the call “oh nothing really he just threatened to kill me.” Another teammate winks at you. He adopts a Greek accent “I noaw where you work Ardem. Imma gunna cum deer anna imma gunna shoot you dead Ardem. Imma gunna play with ya blud!” It receives some knowing chuckles. You can tell this is Adam’s first death threat; he’s still shaking as he types his notes. Adam’s not gunna make it. A Senior CRM, or Scram, comes over to check on me. He speaks with the kind of emotionless monotone that they’ll give public service robots one day. He’s talking but I miss it all, too caught up in the two ping-pong sized goitres either side of his neck. He finishes and looks at me expectantly, “Let’s get the bastards” I say not sure which bastards I mean. As I punch in the digits of my first call it occurs to me that I was once at the other end of this call. As the phone rings I consider the tough job market out there, the GFC and the series of choices that lead to this call. Four months ago wages were crazy, I was told. A semi-illiterate friend got an entry-level job paying $60K, but now all the low-hanging fruit are gone. “Hello?” comes the answer from an 18 year old in Sandgate, probably a sibling of a school friend, “Hello...who’s there?” Good question. “I’m you in ten years from now” I’m tempted to say, but it’s only half true. Ten years ago there were more important things than money, I believed that if I always followed my instincts I couldn’t help but end up where I wanted to be. Ten years ago, I still had ten years to work it all out. But now I guess, it’s all about flipping the paradigm, and besides there’s free fruit on Mondays and Wednesdays. Words/ Dan Gill
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Illustration/ Thomas Elkins
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