BRORIGINALS – Episode 1 – Call Baiame! – Top Ten Habits of Successful Aboriginals Part 1

So, my brother and I recently reconnected… and we’ve decided to use our new found connectivity to release a shit hot Aboriginal comedy podcast.

A few weeks ago I made a Twitter post playing with the spoof idea of creating a book titled: The Ten Habits of Successful Aboriginals. I couldn’t be fucked writing the book so here’s the podcast, over the next few episodes we’ll be picking apart each habit of the successful Aboriginal which will include advice on becoming successful, advice on being Aboriginal, how to get out of being Aboriginal and then some other random pop culture shit that you or I never even knew we needed… But we’re going to get anyway as a special gift for being soooooooooooooooo good.

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Abstract Expressions – Finale (Part 3/3)

Welcome to the final instalment of Abstract Expressions.

As I mentioned in part 1 I am currently going through a period of self imposed exile in an effort to clear my mind, analyse some behaviours and prepare better for some huge events that I have coming up. Re-reading and releasing this work has helped with that for me because it helped me remember who I am and what I had lost.

Above all this story is like every story I have ever written, it is about endings and new beginnings, it is about hope and power but mostly, it is about love.

Again if you want to reach out and talk about any of the work you read here please do, you can comment below or email me but for now please enjoy the final in the short series: Abstract Expressions.

Abstract Expressions

  1. Dead and Left Behind

There was a part of him that was deceased, bits of him he had left behind strung out on the road as he passed. History. A shadow of himself that he had torn from its stem and discarded. He hadn’t been whole when he started this. He bent over backwards eating his own entrails, forcing them into him to fulfill the need that he had been left with.

20. Mechanics of Sexuality and Oral Fixations 

Sometimes when they fucked, he imagined that he was a great machine, a turbine, as was she. Made to work together, the relentless pounding of pistons and friction never wearing on the well oiled parts.

There were blowjobs. Her knees would up around his face. His face would be in her hair, smelling the auburn scent, fillings his soul of it. His breath drinking wisps into his soul.  The noises still rang in each of their ears. He scream and smile echoing through the caverns of his mind. Sometimes they loved so hard that things had to stop before starting again, they had run out.

  1. Sputtering Machinations

The light machine on the editors table spluttered and a long list of the mans memories spilled out onto the table, wardrobes full of his clothes, the sunlight streaming through the window into the washing liquid. Her hospitalized, something that he never was able to see, he couldn’t bring himself to see her that way. It was his greatest shame. His weakness. Demons danced in between his ears. 

21.Monoliths and Late Epiphanies

They stood one day, hand in hand between two white buildings.

By the time she told him that she loved him, it was much too late.

By the time he realized he truly loved her, she was out the door. 

When it was over, they were both only a phone call away, and a visit. For some reason though neither of them would reach out to the other. He needed her still; she needed him, they were too proud to ask though.

They both went back over things in their minds. Thoughts raced by, images of a face, they couldn’t hold on though. 

22.Problems of Perception

He was tethered, or at least he believed himself to be. She wasn’t free either. Parts of them stuck to the belief of what was.  This wasn’t an inhibition though, they continued through hardship, as everyone will.

She looked in the bathroom mirror and brushed her teeth, it came to her. A single thought and it stuck in her mind. The woods. The shadows of the trees. The water at the beach. He was there. The part of him that she truly loved, that’s where she had left it. She hoped one day she would find what she was looking for.

Sometimes she worried that she would never find heaven, that it wasn’t a real place like so many people claimed. Paradise wasn’t real, she thought to herself though that it might be in this life and she had already left it behind.

 23.Reapplication of Perpetually Worn Masks

She painted her face with make up, putting on the mask that she had become used to wearing through years of practice. The same as she always did, wasn’t it great she thought. This was ritual and it couldn’t be upset. She forgot about him and where she had left his love, she stood alone, looking in the mirror, getting ready to greet the future.  A light began to shine within her breast. 

  1. Dreams of a Past Experience

Golden light streamed in through the window, the twang of a guitar. He sat with the instrument on his lap, she watched him. He played for her, not singing, serenading her with the beauty and sound that he created specially for his time with her. 

  1. A monologue:

I guess the main thing that bothers me is the memories that we didn’t get to make, that we will never get to make. There are things that I wish I could have shared with you, experiences, places, feelings that will no longer come to pass. I guess I mourn for them.

I ride through the park and for a second it comes to me, we could have wandered through here for hours, just being in each others company.

I play a record and as the needle hits the grooves and the first sounds wash over me out of the speaker I wonder what it would have been like to share this with you.

I lay in my bed and my mind brings up ghosts of memories of watching you get dressed while I lazily stare up at you late on a Saturday morning.

For some strange, maybe morbid reason, a vision of you, your belly swollen comes to me. You carry our child, our future established and our love blossomed, flowing forth to form another generation.

All of these things and more that haunt me will never happen, a part of me that was, that could have been dies.  Racking my body and psyche with waves of despair and of pain. A pain that started in the guts, somewhat like a deep hunger that twisted the organs forcing me into a fetal position, prostrate on my floor in the dark.

It’s not real, not one bit. Memories of things that never came to pass. Ghosts of a future that died before it could be realized. None of it real, yet still, there I was doubled over, sweating, bile rising, cursing my misfortunes. Blaming myself, blaming others, even sometimes blaming you.

  1. An End or Something Extra

The boy sat on the floor, a cloud of smoke surrounding him emotionally and physically, his dreams flowed out of his head and into the reality of the room. A thin line carved into his skull. The blood began to seep, oozy and red, as the skin breached. Thoughts that raced by as the pain overtook his conscious were fuzzy golden and warm. Pushing through, he cleared his thoughts and resolved to finish it. Furrowing his brows as he pushed thought about the bones in his skull, creating a canyon where, at the bottom lay his dream. The senses started to dull and no blade fell to the ground, his finger twitching as his body fell to the floor a dream that was reality.

 His dreams, fallen from the jail that was his mind began to take shape and conjugate on the hardboard of the floor. They imagined a world where everything was as they wanted. Slowly they, the dreams, looked upon their charge, his lifeblood leaving him, seeing he needed them to survive they knitted the would in his head, sealing the break with essence of dreams. He slowly raised himself to his feet no longer the man he was but something powered by his own dreams.

A man followed his dreams in the direction they take him, a light beginning to shine within his breast and a pair of ankles floats through his mind…

Thanks again for reading. This was the final part of Abstract Expressions, the piece of prose I wrote back in 2014-ish when I was going through some introspection time following a breakup.

If you missed part 1 and 2 you can find them here:

Abstract Expressions – Part 1/3

And here:

Abstract Expressions – Part 2/3

If you’re interested in supporting the making of more soppy art like this or some of my new work: Lost Tales you can join my Patreon over at patreon.com/travisdevries where you can subscribe to give me a little bit of money each month. With that money I use it to create new work and you also get some interesting goodies deliver to you each month. There are T-shirts, limited edition prints, and plenty of secret extras available. Alternatively you can buy one of my original print T’s from this website right in the store, all of the profit from T-shirt sales goes back into me making new art which is great!

The other way you can help support me for free is by liking, sharing or subscribing to this website or on social media. Every little bit helps.

Thanks for your support!

Abstract Expressions – Part 2/3

Howdy campers!

Yuck, let me start that again…

Hello and welcome to part 2 of a 3 part series presenting an old work of mine: Abstract Expressions. If you missed part 1 you can find it here: Abstract Expressions – Part 1/3
Basically this is a story about emotions, obsession and two people written as extended prose. Some of it won’t make sense, some of it may hold a mirror up to emotions you’ve felt before and some of it may help you work through some things that you have yet to do. Because for me, that is what this is all about, there is no point in repeating the same mistakes over and over again every time we do something.

Again if you want to reach out and talk about any of the work you read here please do, you can comment below or email me but for now please enjoy Part 2 of Abstract Expressions.

Abstract Expressions

8.Histories

Since a young age the man had read romance novels, not the likes of Mills and Boons, romance novels that showed him what the world could be. Showed him worlds where characters thoughts and feelings about something were as important as there actions. Where the dreams of a person could have true import to their lives. Sometimes he lived in this world, where an idea had power with a word and sometimes he lived in a world where he was dragged down by the day to day doldrums, the slow pace of hours streaming by with nothing but his thoughts to keep him company. This was his downfall.

He wanted great love, he wanted something that made him feel a wholeness couldn’t be achieve on his own. He wanted someone that was better for being around him. Someone who shared a passion and energy for the possibilities that life offered. He thought he had found that, what he couldn’t work out was how to keep it. Like soap bubbles, happiness and contentment would often slip through his fingers.

She wanted someone that loved her for her. Someone that complimented her in the very fiber of her being. She wanted someone who made sense to her friends, she didn’t want to defend her reasons for love. Someone who being around made every little daily action more enjoyable. Brushing her teeth became fun, preparing a meal no longer became a chore. That was what she truly wanted.

9.Wheels Turning

Things moved along as they are wont to do, and they were happy. They thought they were happy. Maybe they were happy. They shared the things that new loves shared, long mornings in bed, time, secrets, promises, futures and past memories, dreams and a physical intimacy that is completely unique to the two of them.

10.Inspiration 

She became his muse, though he would never let her know this secret. It was his. She was his, something that he kept deep down within and only let out in increments of passion and creativity. He would never share how he really felt with the world. She was his secret.

His body had once been a magnificent specimen; she had seen this in the beginning. Slowly over the course of things his muscles atrophied and melted into each other. He was no longer the lithe, strong creature from another plane. He had become mortal. He admitted that to himself and it hurt, seeing the way it made her feel hurt tenfold.

11.Strange Thoughts for a Summer Day

At times he would go into this awful black moods where he became like a cloud over the whole world. A maelstrom that didn’t destroy, it hovered like a blanket slowly crushing all that is good from the world.

Sometimes there was anger there, at one thing or another. Mostly though it was that nothing pleased him, like there was an emotional stockpile that crept up and needed sorting and cataloguing. Nothing could abate him but time, and it was time that he took. During these times he didn’t mean to hurt her, there was just no way that he could express how he hated the world on those days, those days when it seemed that nothing could satisfy him.

He knew that he could be bad, he could be all of the things that forced him into one of those moods. When he realized that he would begin to dislike himself for being himself. It was a cycle that needed to play itself out. She stayed with him through these and while he couldn’t express it at the time he was grateful in the fullness of time for her patience. Sadly he knew that was his fate, as we all do, we know deep down from when we are very young exactly how we will be forever. His was a world where he knew that he would forever be one to look from the outside, to ponder and process at the inner workings of things. He would never be able to be completely within a situation because there was already a part of him that outside of him, looking down and weighing his reactions to what was going on. Yes, he knew his fate. This is something that wouldn’t change. 

12.Cloak and Dagger

He would change his outside, his clothes, his hair, his friends, his job, he moved. Always though these were just masks that would eventually fall away or perhaps he became the mask. He would catch up to himself.

When he and her where together, after one of his moods, ideas would come flooding back to them momentarily of how things could be better. The ideas wouldn’t stick, fleeting and intangible they found it difficult to express to each other how things could have been, or should have been, or sometimes were. This was the trouble, they were so caught up with trying to define things, or not that sometimes they forgot to get caught up in the beauty of what they had.

13.Doldrums

It was a rainy day, they were lying in bed and looking at the window, droplets chasing each other down the glass. There was an atmosphere in the room, the walls were grey and there was nothing to entertain them, nothing good on TV or the radio, neither of which they used in any case. This was a time that they shared where nothing was in either of their heads, not a thought.

14.Realizations of Happiness

They both knew that there was a place they could where their love would be properly realized. This was a place where they were not. They couldn’t get there either; there were parts of each of their lives that couldn’t just be left behind. Things that kept them, obligations to other people that they couldn’t release. Sometimes they wished they could just leave those things and go, slow things down so that it seemed that they were moving as though under an editor’s vision. Frame by frame in minute detail, as though the next five minutes could last twenty years. They would drink and time would be forgotten, just each other’s company and that was all there was.

 15.Travels to a Distant Land

They drove up into the country one long weekend. The land travelled behind them, the kilometers flowing past and not making sense any more. What sense was to be made of travelling though, it was just land put behind them. The destination was not important either, all that mattered was that they went together. Part way through they stopped and ran out into a field, they drank and kissed for a while.

16.The Fawn

They arrived and took off into the forest, he wished they could get lost in here. The trees like arms stretching up to the sky, leaving behind the petty concerns of the day to day. Her face shining in the light under the canopy, her hair flowing in the wind. This was where they could go, spend as much time as they wanted. This was where he was truly happy. This was where she was truly happy. There was no longer any weight on either of them. Just the sound and the smell and the touch of the world around them mixed into their shared senses.

17.Reality and Questions of Existence

They had lost this and returned to their lives, this was a brief sojourn from the harshness of reality. The coffee, the clack of keys on the computer, memo after memo going out into the ether. They went back to being caught up in the minutiae, sharing these with each other than sharing what really mattered. What was it that really mattered though?

There was an abstractness to it all, their love, the day to day grind, the general ins and outs of what people do forever and always. In the moment it seems so clear and purposeful, as though this is what each person should be doing, yet, when it is looked back on these things swirl into crush of jagged lines and whirls. Memories, gas like of a coffee shop encounter, an emotion, a sales lady, the religion of the greater world. Insects and medication, typography and communication all becoming a part of the forgotten tapestry of a history. Thousands of lives never remembered and a thousand more. What is important about one person or two? What can they do that is special other than find happiness.

18.Melodies and Positive Aquatic Intrusions

He would listen to music and draw themes out, he would try to tell her about them, sometimes he thought he had found the secret to the universe but he had trouble expressing it. A light, shined inside both of them, sometimes it burned brightly sometimes faintly, sometimes it joined in a meeting and became a raging fire.

There was a large, water born mammal that saw this within them.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

See I make bad art too.

Thanks again for reading. The next and final part of Abstract Expressions will be available on Tuesday 24th April 2018. The final instalment wraps this all up in a neat little bow. Stay tuned.

If you’re interested in supporting the making of more soppy art like this or some of my new work: Lost Tales you can join my Patreon over at patreon.com/travisdevries where you can subscribe to give me a little bit of money each month. With that money I use it to create new work and you also get some interesting goodies deliver to you each month. There are T-shirts, limited edition prints, and plenty of secret extras available. Alternatively you can buy one of my original print T’s from this website right in the store, all of the profit from T-shirt sales goes back into me making new art which is great!

The other way you can help support me for free is by liking, sharing or subscribing to this website or on social media. Every little bit helps.

Thanks for your support!

Abstract Expressions – Part 1/3

I’ve spent the last 3 weeks in exile. My father’s property in the Hunter Valley, NSW provides me a place to rest, recuperate and analyse. The last 12 months have been big for me and I needed the downtime badly… I was quite nearly at breaking point. The city does that to me sometimes, I can’t see the clear open skies and I feel like the walls are closing in on me, like the wolves are closing in on me, their too sharp, too long teeth dripping with saliva… And so I self imposed an exile.

I recently went through a break up as well as having grandfather passing away shortly after Christmas, it has been a time that has initiated much change and me and the safety and relative solitude of my father’s house and my painting studio in the Hunter seemed the perfect place for this.

Having this time for self reflection made think back on a time in my life following a break-up. It was a strange break up. I was a coward. I had, had an amazing year with this other person and suddenly my feeling changed, I still loved her but I could feel that our time was up. I was a coward though and I couldn’t bring myself to do the breaking up. (Side note: this is something that has always been an issue for me) I tried, we went out one night and just as I was about to have the conversation I started getting panic attacks, I was short of breath and I had a nervous tick that started in my hand. I felt violently ill and then, suddenly she spoke to me. She broke up with me. She could feel my trepidation, she knew I what I was going through.

What followed was a time of self reflection, listening to music, navel gazing. During that time I began writing a piece that I called Abstract Expressions about the relationship and the strong emotions that I felt around that time. I tend to fall hard and fast, it is in my nature. I’m glad I had that time with this person I now call my friend.

I wrote this piece in the style of Richard Brautigan(one of my all time favourite writers).
I have shown this piece to a few people and had feedback. It is yet to be published and likely never will be and so as a gift I will present it to you in three parts over the next 2 weeks. I hope you enjoy, and as always please feel free to leave any comments questions or get in touch if you want to chat about it. I’d love to hear from you.

Watch out for the next instalment on Thursday 19th of April.

 

Abstract Expressions

1.Quiet and Alone

What do you think about when you’re alone, when it’s quiet and your mind can go to the places you would rather not see? The pages of his book fell to the floor as he fumbled, thoughts of her drifted in to his consciousness and the walls came crashing down.

2.Beginnings

These things never begin how you think they would. It is never boy meets girl and the rest is history. They start like anything else does, uniquely though, the beginning of a meeting between two souls often starts out in ways that confusing to the parties involved.

What he wouldn’t tell you, he was loved her smile from the very beginning. The radiance that could light the room she walked into. What she wouldn’t tell you was that she was worried. Worried that she could never be good enough from him.

It was not circumstance that brought them together. Later she told him that she had designs on him from the start. She had sought him out; he was not sure how he felt about that. Like an animal that had been hunted, caught in snare.

3.Haze of Lust

 Their first night together was hazy and clear at the same time. Hazy because for some reason, at this point in his life alcohol decided to accompany him along every journey, for her as well luckily enough, and what a journey it was. From suburb to suburb, bar to bar, to food, to dance floor, to boat, to bed. The night was clear in the way that he recalled in detail things that he said to her that night and they became shared symbolism of their union.

Symbols were an important part of both of their beings.

 A tattoo that he spied on her lower back, faded with years between them that he unthinkingly drew attention to, later became a sad joke between them that he was secretly ashamed of. Awkwardness at the first touch of their bodies with out the masks of clothing would blossom into a familiarity they only shared.

A sense of ritual was began on that first night that would continue throughout the course of their time together waxing and waning with the tides of their shared experience.

Quickly days and weeks blended into each other creating a historical account that was less than accurate. That is fine though, history has a way of creating itself in these situations and deciding what the story is that would be told.

4.Obsession

He started to find that he would obsess about certain things, one thing in particular. Her ankles. There was just something about them. Maybe they were good and maybe they were bad depending on what mood he was in.

 This obsession with her ankles became a fixation, a focal point for him. He would dream about her ankles at night, they would wrap around his throat, cutting off his breath and turning into blubber flow down into his lungs strangling him from inside. 

At times he would a few feet behind her along the beach and casually watch her walk. Watching, in particularly the way her ankles moved with each step of her body.

He had never obsessed about ankles before and wasn’t sure why they were suddenly becoming such an issue for him, however as humans are wont to do he had obsessed. It was a habit for him, a thing, a body part, and idea would take root and become fixed in his mind. He would look at the light and shade of an object and pull it apart until he was satisfied. At one point he had been fixated on the certain curve of an elbow on a woman who worked with him, a small dimple created on her triceps. He had once been focused completely on the way another’s neck flowed into a shape that created her shoulder, it brought on a sense of delicateness from him that he had been unable to express to anyone.

5.Stark Reality 

When after a few weeks they realized that they had been spending more and more time together and becoming something more than two separate entities it was mentioned and that is possibly where the trouble started. You see, he had this way about obsessing, as soon as a problem was mentioned or vocalized he would, with the same fervor that he applied to elbows, necks and now ankles, obsess and dissect the situation into minute detail. This was a problem, as soon they were worried that there spending time together needed to be addressed he began to address it. Non vocally. It may have been better if no one had ever said a thing about and things would have continued on the path of least resistance.

That was not the case, they decided to back off slightly, their meeting became somewhat of a battle ground, neither person knowing where the other stood and neither relenting to give up their positioning and posturing. A game of chess or of love, they sometimes seem to be much the same thing, and often they are both treated just as that, a game.

6.Instruction Manuals and Household Repairs

Things stall everyday, cars backfire, wheels fall off, computers crash and people fix them. The same thing happens with love except people don’t really know where to start with the repairs. There is no instruction manual for people.

When things faltered with this, it was no ones fault. He didn’t pay her enough attention when perhaps he should have. She might not have understood him as well as she could have. Lust and daydreaming distracted him from her beauty. 

7.Advice from a Minstrel

Life could be better if we were together, is something that I could never say.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thanks for reading. The next part of Abstract Expressions will be available on Thursday 19th April 2018.

If you’re interested in supporting the making of more soppy art like this or some of my new work: Lost Tales you can join my Patreon over at patreon.com/travisdevries where you can subscribe to give me a little bit of money each month. With that money I use it to create new work and you also get some interesting goodies deliver to you each month. There is T-shirts, limited edition prints, and plenty of secret extras available. Alternatively you can buy one of my original print T’s from this website right in the store, all of the profit from T-shirt sales goes back into me making new art which is great!

The other way you can help support me for free is by liking, sharing or subscribing to this website or on social media. Every little bit helps.

Thanks for your support!

Lost Tales: Walking with Gods Sydney – Photo Gallery

Hi All,

Last night we opened the exhibition in Surry Hills (450 Elizabeth St) with some good wine, great friends and nice music.

Enjoy the pics below, exhibition runs till the 13th. Please pop in a see me anytime, I’ll be open 12noon till 9pm 7 days.

Big thank you to everyone that could make the opening and of course to Tracy Askew for taking some gorgeous pictures.

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Face ov Evyl behind a standing stone
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New installation work with sand design
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New installation work with sand design
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New installation work with sand design
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Jhuny Boy-Borja modelling a Mythopoeic T-Shirt
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New installation work with sand design
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Darc Ridjerul
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God who walks amongst us behind a standing stone with cow skull
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Opening night
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Room sheet

Short story: Stockpiles

For the last couple of years in between working the Sydney Opera House and painting I have been slowly working on a book. The genre is a little hard to pin down… It is a little like a fantasy novel, a detective story, a political manifesto and an Indigenous fable all rolled into one.  It is set in Australia and in the story the gods are all real and interact with people. So are the creatures form Aboriginal lore. Quinkins, min min lights, medicine men (and women) are all real and interact with us on a daily basis even if we don’t know they’re there. It’s a world that I’ve been creating to tell stories in. All of the characters from my paintings also come from the same world and I’ve started putting together the rules and mechanics to play a RPG in the world.

Anyway with all of the commentary around January 26th and the rallies that have been going on I wanted to share a short excerpt from the book. This section is one of the interludes from the larger story and is titled Stockpiles.

Have a read and let me know what you think… This section is still in draft for so please be nice.

A statue is vandalised in the park of an outer Sydney suburb, directly across from the council chambers. The security cameras didn’t record anything, it is as though the graffiti appeared in an instant or they were hacked and erased.

In blood red paint the words MURDERER, JUSTICE and STOLEN is sprayed across concrete and brass. The head of Admiral Arthur Phillip lays disfigured on the ground at the base of the statue, the brass twisted and torn, seemingly wrenched from the neck. A stylised representation of the Aboriginal flag is painted directly over the original plaque.

Reports in newspapers and websites are all full of opinions and very little factual information. On message boards hundreds of people argue about whether or not it should have been done and what should be done about it. Most of the commentary leaves little doubt as to who they believe the culprit is. People are angry and emotions run hot. Other people are tired of being controlled.

….

A young dark skinned girl travelling on the train with her friend is stalked, abused and beaten by a group of young white men. She is fifteen, only trying to get home after school.

A rally is held on the streets of every major city in Australia. Some media reports tell that a record number of people attended peaceful, ideological protests. Another media outlet focuses instead on one rally organiser’s speech detailing the need to tear down more statues and burn flags. 

Outside the large country town of Moree a group of young men and women have been meeting in secret. In these meetings they talk about the world they live in and what they believe needs to be done. They meet away from technology and they don’t speak of their meeting over the phone or via electronic message in the fear that they are being monitored or will be discovered.

“Every government that this country has ever had is complicit in this, they are all a party to the slaughter and the trauma that happened, that continues to happen. None have their hands are clean. Dirty hands, stained, red. Some dry, the blood dust etched into the lines and cracks of their palms, for others the blood is still wet and continues to pool everyday. They are all complicit and they must answer for that guilt, the payback ceremony must happen”. 

They are a church. They call themselves the Warriors for Indigenous Light and Lore or W.I.L.L. Their leader is a man in his mid-thirties, with dark hair, light skin and unmistakably aboriginal features. He goes by the name Col. Rumours surround him yet the group trusts and follows him without question. To some of the members of W.I.L.L. he is bold yet arrogant, a bull of a man who knows how to get his own way no matter the cost, the one who will lead them all to a better life. To others he is compassionate, caring and exemplary of what a man should be. To all of them he is inspiring. They all believe that he will be the one to change the shape of the society they have lived in. The society they have never felt a part of. 

Col preaches using the old ways in a new world. Their ancestors staged a resistance when the first ships came. With spears and clubs that were never going to match the superior firepower of the oppressors and yet they survived. They are the legacy of that resistance. They way he tells it, in his sermons, now it is time for them to begin mobilising.

The group, instructed by Col, have built connections with a wide criminal network and have been slowly, and now with more fervour, stockpiling weapons. It began with rifles and pistols, and moved on to illegally importing automatic firearms, explosives and riot gear. It is held in the farmhouse of an old cotton field where many of the members of W.I.L.L. worked at one point. The sheds, barns and house are full of secret rooms, barricaded and fortified, ready for the war to begin. They train at night in guerrilla battle tactics, siege strategy and hand t combat.

“There is a war coming on the not too distant horizon, this will be a war like no other our people have ever fought. We represent the will of our people. No longer will our land be used and cast aside. We represent the land and fight for her. She cannot fight for herself. There is a war coming and you my family must decide which side we are to be on”.
Thanks for reading guys, again give me a yell and let me know what you think about this excerpt. To clarify my position on the January 26th conversation is that I believe the date could easily and should change. I don’t believe in going to the rallies as when I have gone to them there were so many people there who believed completely differently and I felt like the issue is hijacked by so many parasitic agendas. I choose to tackle the problem in a different way.  I spoke to a friend about it yesterday and decided to release this.

If you’re interested in more little sneak previews you can head on over to my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/travisdevries and pledge some support or buy a T-shirt right here in my online store. Each sale helps me keep making art.

Featured Image is borrowed/ stolen from abc.net.au…
Please don’t sue me

Announce… Lost Tales: Walking with Gods comes to Sydney

Fresh off the back of a debut at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre and the Scottish International Storytelling Centre Lost Tales: Walking with Gods will come the m2 Gallery in Surry Hills from the 1st to the 13th of February.

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Lost Tales: Walking with Gods is Travis De Vries’ collection of Indigenous Contemporary artwork exploring a modern application of folk tales, particularly those involving the gods, demons and creatures from Australian Indigenous lore. The concept is the melting pot of ideas between western mythologies and Aboriginal spirituality, a relatively new combination when placed against the 40,000+ years of Australian cultural history.

As a Gamilaroi man, Travis is particularly interested in reinterpreting stories from the legacy of his ancient tribal group. The recreation of these myths echoes the studies of Joseph Campbell or the expansive worlds of Neil Gaiman. These stories and the related paintings resonate from some deep root of human psyche that reaches back through antiquity into the modern world. There is a fusion when two cultures exist together, an ebb and flow of ideas and belief or the violent clash of opposing ideals.

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Deep in New South Wales, Australia is the town of Glen Innes. Glen Innes has a surprisingly large Celtic population who have built monuments to their Scottish heritage. This includes a modern recreation of Stonehenge placed on top of a mountain nearby the town. Members of the local Aboriginal tribe: the Gamilaroi people have continued their eons old ceremonies atop the mountain. It is this very mix of cultures and mythologies that is explored in Lost Tales: Walking with Gods.

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When the Celtic people came to Australia, they didn’t just bring themselves; they brought with them their beliefs and with their beliefs came their gods.

The god Baleros no longer remembers who he was. He still felt the power, however he longer knows what it means and what he is meant to do with it. He remembers ceremonies; flashes of fire, people dancing around stones wearing masks of animal skin, thick red blood being spilt upon the ground, split in his name. Now, he no longer remembers his name.

This land had taken much from him but it would not take his power. He still held that within, he just no longer knew what to do with it.

When the abductions began the small sleep town didn’t know what to do. Children began to disappear from their beds. The parent found them later atop the hill, shaking, twisted, unable to speak other than to say: Bal-er-os. That was until they no longer found the children alive; only shallow pits dug for graves with small twisted bodies within.

They had become abominations, used for rituals by a god that no longer remembered who he was. Biame, sky god of the Gamilaroi had no choice but to intervene…

Lost Tales: Walking with Gods debuted at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, four works from the collection recently toured to Edinburgh Scotland for an exhibition as part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival

m2 Gallery
5/450 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Sales and pre-sales:
Shae Constantine
shae@fostered.com.au

Lost Tales – International… Part 1

Okay, so let me start by saying this should have gone up on here at a few weeks earlier. I have just been way to busy (which is great) to be able to get some me time to write this (which is bad). We’re here now though so it’s all going to be ok.

Travis De Vries and Cat, Edinburg 17.10.2017
Travis and Cat Edinburgh – Image credit: Brad Franks 2017

A few weeks ago I arrived back on Australian soil after a whole month overseas exhibiting my work, performing my live show and researching my next major work. It was an incredibly amazing experience that I’m going to go into depth in now and share it with you. Too much happened to do it all in one post so today we’ll be looking at the storytelling and the exhibition in Edinburgh and then next week we’ll talk about a few other sweet things like Paris, Loch Ness and searching for my Scottish ancestors with my Dad and partner: Cloé.

 

So… Let’s start at the beginning, last year when on the ACCELERATE Leadership program in the UK I travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland and met Donald Smith from Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland. We really hit it off over a coffee and I managed to speak to him about the work I am doing with my storytelling and we spoke about me coming back to Edinburgh for the Scottish International Storytelling festival in 2017. Which I obviously jumped at the chance to be a part of.

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Jet lagged atop The Crags above Holyrood Castle, Edinburgh – Image Credit: Cloé Fournier 2017

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

 

After a week of rehearsing with local Glasgow based cellist: Maya Burman Roy (who is quite frankly amazing), drinking Edinburgh bars and wandering the countryside I opened the Scottish International Storytelling Festival with my work: Lost Tales Live. It was one of the most difficult shows I have ever performed.

My work is, by its very nature, intrinsically tied to Australia. There are references that the average Scottish audience may not understand and this played on my mind throughout the rehearsals. At the beginning of the performance I removed my shoes, glanced first at Maya and then around the room at the packed theatre, I breathed deeply and trusted myself. I didn’t manage to get any pictures or video of this performance but stay tuned as there will be more exciting things coming up.

The performance was exhilarating. I perform the work with live, improvised cello. The musician and I finding a groove between their music and my words and somehow it just works. Magic happens. The audience received it well and I had many great conversations with people over the next week. The other storytellers at the festival had lots of amazing feedback.

Storytellers and the Storytelling festival opened my eyes to a whole new artistic world and it’s making an exciting impact on my work at the moment. In Australia, storytelling isn’t something that we really take seriously, over in Scotland and in Europe though it is a vibrant and incredible artistic movement with the power to create change in society. I think that particularly in Australia the storyteller and the artist have a huge role to play in the future of society, it’s all about finding how to facilitate that. More to come on this later…

Exhibition

Travis De Vries and his exhibition in Edinburgh prior to the opening of the show and The Edinburgh Short Story Festival at which Travis is opening story teller.
Travis De Vries and his exhibition at the Storytelling Centre Edinburgh – Image Credit Brad Frank 2017

As part of the festival I was invited to exhibit the paintings that accompany the live work. Unfortunately I was unable to bring the whole exhibition as the space just wouldn’t be able to fit them all.

 

I selected four of my favourite works from Lost Tales: Walking with Gods to tour with me to Scotland and Donal Smith opened the exhibition (and the festival) with speeches in front of the exhibition. Travis painting: performance in the Scottish Storytelling Centre, EdinburghTravis painting: performance in the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

 

 

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It was really well received, I spent ten days having great conversations with locals and international visitors to Edinburgh about my work, gods and the nature of culture in the modern age.

I also did some live painting in the festival centre on huge sheets of beautiful art paper. They were not my best work, I wasn’t using my normal medium of oils and canvas. It was an interesting experience though, painting in this amazing space in the centre of Edinburgh with tourists and locals coming in off the Royal Mile and speaking to me was actually kind of surreal. After the painting session I donated the rest of the paper and the paints to some local kids who had been watching me the whole time (3 hours of watching paint dry). 

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Well that is it for now for the exhibition and live show. Check out some more of the pictures below and hit me up with any questions you have!

Thank you to the Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW for helping to make this happen, funding the project. And of course a very large thank you to Donald Smith and the Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland for engaging with me and my art in a meaningful way.

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Brad and Travis climb the crags – Image Credit: Cloé Fournier 2017
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Artist statement on the wall! Hells Yes.
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Tired Travis standing on head. Scottish Modern Gallery – Image Credit: Cloé Fournier 2017

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Next week: exciting tales to come

 

Scottish International Storytelling Festival // Lost Tales Live

In October of this year I will be travelling to the city of stories, Edinburgh to participate in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival with my live show Lost Tales Live

The Edinburgh Castleand my exhibition Walking with Gods. This is a festival that combines the local wee folk magic with storytelling artists from all over the world.

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For me this is a big thing. It will be the first time I take my either my live show or an exhibition international and I am really exciting by the opportunity. I visited Edinburgh last year during a UK trip as part of the British Council’s ACCELERATE Program and it was really by chance that I met with Donald, the curator for the festival. We had a coffeee and I told him all about the project and now I’m presenitng the work in the festival.

After I performed Lost Tales Live at the Australia Museum earlier in the year I had a couple of people come up to and say I was like an Aboriginal Neil Gaiman or Grant Morrison. For me to be able to channel either of those amazing artists during a performance was really spectacular, to also be able to tap into my rich Gamilaroi heritage was even more important. To then be able to take that to Edinburgh and reach an international audience is mind-blowing.

Marking the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a Festival City, SISF is going global and
demonstrating how the traditional art of storytelling is more vital than ever in connecting people worldwide, across cultures, places and generations.

For twelve days of storytelling events in Edinburgh and across
Scotland, and a three-day Global Gathering of discussions
around the themes of the Earth Charter I’ll be participating as an active storyteller, bringing a First Nations Australian voice to the gathering.

Full program available here: http://www.tracscotland.org/sites/default/files/SISF%202017%20-%20Advance%20Programme_0.pdf

Cue Streamers, 3. 2. 1. Announcement time…

 

Hey!

Coming up in July is my first ever solo exhibition. Lost Tales: Walking with Gods at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, here’s the blurb.

Multidisciplinary artist, writer and creator Travis De Vries’ upcoming collection of work borrows and twists the tropes of mythology, graphic novels and traditional story telling to reimagine the stories of Australia’s First People.

A collection of new paintings, stitched together in a wall-to-wall tapestry, with prose, sculptural and audio-visual elements; Lost Tales: Walking with Gods is an opportunity to engage and experience aeons old stories in a completely new light. These works echo the studies of Joseph Campbell or the worlds of Neil Gaiman, they will resonate deep in the heart of the Australian psyche through our connection to the myths and legends of the Indigenous people; gods, demons and creature that haunt us and the clash these ideas have with the more recent western mythologies to come to Australia.

“I am creating new mythologies that grow and change all the time. Presented as a whole; each painting is connected to all of the other and together they form a story set in the small town of Glen Innes in northern New South Wales. You’ll see motifs from the local area and in this exhibition I explore the idea of gods from both western and Australian Indigenous pantheon mixing with each other and the local populace. This is a look inside the worlds that exist in my head, a sprawling place where all manner of creature from our psyche runs rampant. A god from one of the Norse pantheons has hitched ride to Australia at some time in the last couple of centuries. Whilst here though he has been in a fight with a local deity and now has amnesia, he can’t remember that he is a god. All the memories he has are hints and flashes from the old days, mostly rituals and sacrifices and that is slowly sending him insane. He wants to remember and he begins to act out the flashes of memory that he has by kidnapping local children and performing ceremonies. It’s dark, a little disturbing but I love the play between the local mythology and the introduction of western mythologies, and I love to see what happens when these things mix.”

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting some works in progress in the upcoming weeks as it gets closer to exhibition time.

Opening night 6pm Friday 7 July 2017

8 July – 27 August 2017 

For more details head on over to any of these places:
Fostered Artist Management

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre

Facebook Event Page

Image: Darc Ridjerul, 2017, Oil on canvas