Started: 2018

Time/labour: ︎︎︎︎

Thanks to: Michael Needham & Jud Wimhurst (roadies), Damien Butler (fabrication), Clare Heuston, Laurence Rosier Staines & Roslyn Helper (dramaturgy), Flophouse Kyneton and Dad & Dave (accommodation), Jason Waterhouse (The Caddy), and the whole KCAT team.

residency // monument // women // memory // civic // unveiling // survey // stories


Image: Make or Break, Unveilings, 2018, performance still at Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial, photo by Susan Gould.
In Australia, there are more statues of animals and oversized fruit than there are memorials to (or about) women, and only a tiny fraction of public statues in Australia honour non-fictional, non-royal women: the vast majority honour dead, white men. UNVEILINGS attempts to reverse this imbalance.

First commissioned in the rural town of Kyneton, Victoria, Make or Break survey female-identifying people to propose a public artwork, monument or memorial for their town. Anonymous paper surveys are collected and displayed in a main street shop window, and several are selected for further research by the artists, culminating in a series of walks and live performances at nearby sites of importance.

The performances take the form of “unveiling” speeches, delivered live at each site using a mobile theatre set, with Make or Break dressed and performing as ribbon-cutting, low level bureaucrats. The artists speak in concert upon step ladders behind oversized lecterns, amplified by a portable P.A. system; behind them a veiled object stands atop a large sculptural plinth. The veiled object acts as a stand-in for the concept, description and rationale being delivered and gifted back to the town in words, never to be revealed.

A book documenting this project was published by Ruin Press in 2019.

Unveilings was first commissioned by Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial, with development support from a Create NSW Quick Response Grant.

Media and publications:
Ruin Press: To All The Women of Kyneton
KCAT Book: Force Fields
Art & Australia: Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial
Un Magazine: Weight of History
Art Monthly Australasia: Collaboration is the Key
ArtsHub: 9 Examples of Australian Art made in protest