Artist statement: My work explores layers of language, coordinated and cooperative activities, migrant experiences, and the difficulties associated with creative careers. ‘(Don’t) be an artist semaphore performance (family)’ was conceived in 2021, when we were going in and out of lockdowns in Naarm (Melbourne).
During this distressing time, I became interested in looking at non-textual forms of communication. This photograph documents a performance by my family and me at Gertrude Glasshouse, where I was a Gertrude Studio Artist from 2019–22. We are signalling the phrase ‘don’t be an artist’ in semaphore. The flag used represents ‘O (Oscar)’ in the international code of signal flags. It also means ‘person overboard’, reinforcing the notion of an artist in a precarious situation.