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Scarecrow made as part of the Remote Residency Program with Watch This Space, September 2020

https://www.wts.org.au/rnr

As frost disappears,

up I go. 

Swirling and whirling in the wind.

My body, a blanket for

roots and shoots. 

Straw hands, straw feet, face still.

Watching and waiting,

for birds that prey

on what lies beneath. 

Tingling and touching 

the wood beam, 

spine splintering underground.

 

 

A letter from a scarecrow. 

Thursday, 10th of September 2020 

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Taut,

my eyes and mouth fixed.

Injected with a feeling,

a feeling of misery and stupour. 

Sulking in a field of green and gold,

waiting for my maker.

My master, 

playing with my arms and legs. 

My body, a prop, 

a symbol of control. 

To capatalise on this place,

this cold place, in one circle,

among nine. 

Moving between each yet

standing, sitting, very still.

 

A letter from a scarecrow.

Friday, 11th of September 2020

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Fabric and straw sculptures created as part of the Watch This Space 'Remote Residency Program' during September 2020. 

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'Morning Star Mask' February 2020

Exhibited as part of the online curatorial project titled Quivering in Quarantine.

https://www.quiveringinquarantine.com/volume-iii 

Preparing a small plot at the back of my garden I dream of a future harvest. A harvest that allows me to isolate through changing seasons, sickness and health. This celebration of food and fertility has informed my own artistic practice, looking at straw sculptures and their agricultural significance. Awkward and ephemeral scarecrows appear at the beginning of a harvest, symbolising a new and prosperous season. As Australia experiences drought and natural disasters these sculptures become obsolete, flailing in the wind, no longer holding control. 

 

Despite their somewhat comical appearance scarecrows and effigies are powerful tools used by agricultural communities. Life-like and life-size the statues imitate the human body, deterring enemies from eating and destroying crops. Shiny and noisy objects hang from their hands, with their bodies exposed to wind, water and rain. Keeping vigil these statues are products of human sacrifice and celebration, honouring Priapus, god of fertility and Kostroma, god of fire. Igniting fields, bright red and orange, their bodies are gifts to the gods, welcoming a new and prosperous harvest. 

- Written by Phoebe Beard and published online as part of Quivering in Quarantine project 2020. 

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'Keep Vigil' 2020. Fabric quilt with twine. 820 x 560mm.