Lost Footage Found + Divine Union: A Temporary Affair
By Wendy Mills
Footage of Charlotte Street Precinct, 1983
Email from artist Wendy Mills to The Fryer Library and The ARI Remix Project, January 2016
Hi Paul and Joan,
Thanks so much for finding and making this bit of film available. It has been wonderful to view it as I assumed it would have been lost long ago. The man behind the camera was Bob Hill, a painter who signed his artwork Red Hill. He often came to my studio and spoke about how important it was to document artists, their work and with whom they associated. Bob had previously been involved with the art scene in Melbourne where he had spent time filming some well-known artists. Bob’s mother was Ernestine Hill author of My Love Must Wait, a fictionalised story of the life of Matthews Flinders.
Bob Hill was a close friend of Louise Campbell who ran Lloyds secondhand and antiquarian bookshop in Brisbane. I met them through a fellow meditator John Allan when I first came to Brisbane in 1974. Louise had a large bookshop and on Saturday afternoons held soirees in the back of the shop for writers, thinkers and artists. Later she moved to a smaller shop in Elizabeth Arcade that was just a few minutes from the John Mills building. I spent time with them during my year there and also visited them at the terraces on Coronation drive. The terraces were being renovated and they had to move out.
I don’t recall Bob filming me piercing the polythene layers but I’m glad he did as producing that work was a key event in my professional art practice. On the basis of the exhibition I was invited by the Queensland Art Gallery to produce an installation the following year for their Gallery 14.
People I recognize in the film were friends from QCA. Wendy R. Mills rented the ground floor front studio at John Mills. Bee, the one in the black clothing with silver jewellery, was asked by Bob Hill to pose and wander through my installation for filming. The woman carrying the baby was Lyn Mader, a close friend who died several years back. The baby, Michael Mader, now has a business doing sound for films. The man at the end of the film was my husband Ron Moss, a sculpture lecturer at QCA. We separated around the time of the exhibition and I changed my name back to my maiden name of Mills. The man with the still camera was a visiting Canadian architecture student- name unknown.
The sound for my installation was produced on a Moog Synthesizer by Graham McConkey in Sydney. Graham sent his recordings to me on audio-cassettes to review and comment. Sometimes I couldn’t distinguish between some of the sounds in his work and sounds from the nearby building construction site.
Thanks once again. It’s greatly appreciated.
Fryer Library Collection>
[Short film featuring artists studio showing Wendy Mills and Wendy Moss, John Mills Himself Building, 40 Charlotte Street; and street scenes of Charlotte and Coronation Streets, Brisbane, 1983] (1983) Campbell, Louise, 1930-
The ARI Remix Project gratefully acknowledges the Louise Campbell Collective at Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Brisbane for sharing these resources.