We all know somebody who enjoys watching or spying on their neighbours. My series It’s playblak time: A neighbourhood watch in 15 acts is about what you might see looking through windows and over fences.
“Peeping” has perv connotations – someone with a kink in their head – but neighbourhood watching has more to do with sticky-beaking in a seemingly sociable way. Most of us Indigenous people are used to getting stared at and being looked at with suspicion and/or contempt and in my pictures I like to allude to the darker side of life. It’s up to the viewer to think what they want.
Arrears Window is a view of a public housing establishment where everyone is more or less in the same boat when it come to being poor–the poorer you are, the less privacy you have – a place where there is constant voyeurism and satisfaction for both peeping Toms and peeping Thomasinas. Look hard into the arrears windows and know that gossip talks and walks.
I read some gossip sites on the internet – Pop Bitch, Gawker every day, News of the World until it stopped. Depends what the hot story is. One story leads to another, until you’re satisfied with the truth as you know it. Plus I read a lot of mainstream news, local and international because it’s interesting to follow stories about evil, stupidity and success, no matter who or where the person is. What’s interesting is how history repeats itself in varying mutations.
As Gawker says, “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news”. I like to keep informed.
Similar to gossip, the pictures in Playblak Time are put together with whatever came to hand, made to serve my purpose–little meat cleavers from the Hot Potatoes two dollar shop, a child-size wig, dolls and people, this and that bought from secondhand shops and things found around the house. The picture Look Out, like somebody being an official spy for the powers that be, is my brother Clinton with binoculars looking through a window made of old soft drink crates that came from an unburnable rubbish collection. Gleanings made to tell my stories and fit my view of the world.
Card (detail): Destiny Deacon, Arrears window, 2009, inkjet print, 60 x 80 cms (image size). Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.