Perdurance #1 and Perdurance #2 were made in response to a selection of ceramic Hellenic artefacts selected from the Trendall Collection of Antiquities for the La Trobe University In Conversation exhibition. Not a diptych but parallel works, they were made using a collection of found 19th century domestic glass and ceramic-ware shards gleaned from the bush in the vicinity of Bullarto in central Victoria, over a 20-year period.
Perdurance #1 is an island of glass bottle mouthpieces, a collective memory of the mouth. Fractured and separated from their respective vessels, in this artwork they are bound by a shallow sea of beeswax bordered by a dam wall of finely cut gold leaf Venetian glass smalti. Mounted in the centre of a silver serving tray, these utilitarian fragments now artefacts, are entangled in a strand of red cotton punctuated by droplets of beeswax and bronze dust. So tenuous is their union, their inter-relationships, that theirs’ is a kind of accidental posthumous meeting. Once individually useful and subsequently worthless discards, now they are united in voiceless conversation. A little cluster of mutes, they speak of absence; not only of their dismemberment from previous vessels and prescribed functions, they echo many human mouths. Invoking the embodied memories within these mouthpieces, the following speculatively explores their origins as memories encapsulated in matter:
The gates to the human mouth are the lips; either dry and thin or plump and puckered, all lips are somehow soft. Endlessly expressive, some have been modified by sadness and hardship, lipstick, laughter or cosmetic chemical ‘enhancement’. Beyond the lips lie the insides of the mouth, not singular but plural edges bounding a void with endlessly moving, fleshy and tender, highly sensitive and quick healing wet skin. Incredibly smooth, sometimes slimy and sometimes smelly, the mouth is perpetually moist and regardless of race, is universally a shade of pink. The mouth is an orifice used for feeding; drinking and eating, laughter and speech, expressions of joy, disapproval or outright disdain. A home for the tongue and teeth, the entry point to the internal corporeal self; with upper and lower lips the twin arc from which groans, moans and tears are emitted, bawdy songs and private hums, unconscious somnambulant utterings and unintended strings of drool. The mouth is the domain of the dentist and the lover; few others are invited to venture beyond the lips to explore its intimacy. But lips clutch and grab the glass they drink from, so in the absence of lovers and dentists these inanimate glass mouthpieces hold countless vestiges of residual memory. How many and whose mouths once wrapped them? Nineteenth century miners hungry for grog, the intoxicants or the medicated, the sick, the dying or the just plain thirsty. From the 1850s on, a random smattering of people; the educated and the illiterate men, chaste women and the smearily fallen, greedy children and littlies sucking for moist comfort. Their temporal memories are united in this moment.
Perdurance #2 is the partner piece to Perdurance #1, both an echo and an inversion. Also built on a silver serving tray, Perdurance #2 is constructed using a series of ceramic and glass handles. Graded by size, they coil snail-like around the tray like lost, bleached bones. The beeswax sea bounded by a gold leaf glass smalti dam wall is a recurring theme. Some handles arc like Venetian bridges stretching over a body of absent wax, or water.
Handling, handles, hands. How many hands, how many times? An 1850 glazed domestic-ware vessel has been made from clay, raw porcelain that has been manually extracted from the earth; then weighed, pummelled, spun on a wheel or pressed in a mold. Shaved and cleaned up ready for firing as green-ware, kiln-stacked and un-stacked it has then been glazed and re-fired, probably twice. Packed, boxed, sold, unpacked and used. Used and re-used. How many hands, how many times? Dropped, inadvertently nudged off a table or perhaps thrown in violent rage, smashed and broken it has no use. But together, many individual handles united in their lost-handleness become a conga-line; speaking of the juxtaposition of absence and presence; of body parts imagined and still present through memory embedded in material.
 The finder was a woman who anonymously donated the collection to me.
 a speculative description written by me about Perdurance #1.
 each item is likely to have had 6 separate kiln handlings
 a speculative description written by me about Perdurance #2.