Artschool Makings & exhibition.

The above is an image of a recent uni assignment where we had to create some kind of mapwork that shows a journey of the body through time and space, this is the only photo that I have of it set up, and it isn’t displayed in the complete intended way. All of it was supposed to be hanging except I ran out of pins/string/time, but luckily I didn’t get any marks deducted for that. It looks kind of lame from afar, but I’m actually a little bit proud of this particular assignment. My artist statement that was required as part of the assignment reads as below:

I have created a map work that is exploring a personal journey of walking through the share house that I live in, the transition that I have made moving from the comfort of home in regional South Australia. With the still fresh memories of the first 5 months of living out of home hanging off the walls. Using a collection of found objects, found materials from within my new home, drawings, sketches from memory and observations, blackout poetry, post it notes, photographs, coffee watercolour paintings, and letters that follow the voyage of this transition through time and space.

Trying to trace the lines of the list of invisible things that we find in our personal spaces, how certain smells evokes memories, how cups of tea have mnemonic qualities. Exploring the spaces between us, the things that we share that connect and isolate ourselves, sharing newfound intimate spaces with new people, feeling the tear between the distances that grows homesickness like mould. I have used the domestic convention of a clothesline, to try and hang all of these fleeting moments, days and weeks out to dry and to display. I have marked out significant dates, and looked at different ways of signifying the passing of time. Each month as an era, each room a different emotion, measuring time in menstrual cycles and coffee stains.

This collection of things serves as a memory timeline, which is meaningful and significant to me. If you could tip someone’s (my) memory out onto a bed these would be all the things that you could find;

The little spaces, the special gestures, and all the small things that hold people close to you. Holding onto a sense of the uncanny, the things that are familiar but strange out of context. The rituals that follow us, the relationships that we create and hope to find. Writing letters the things that I cannot address, trying to capture the things that we feel but cannot actually see. Frustrations, restlessness and feats of bravery; standing up to passive aggressive housemates and paying parking fines. Staying up all night, with your demons to fight, and then drinking coffee strong enough to wake the dead. Using the sticky stuff like kisses and hugs to stick yourself back together after the silly fights.

What I hoped to create is something endearing, but also makes you feel like you are being intrusive upon viewing. Like coming across somebody’s diary, you feel bad for looking and but also kind of warmed when you read stuff that you can related to, or find something that also applies to you.

On another note, all the first year Visual art students that are also studying ‘Foundation Studies’ have had work selected to be in an exhibition that is celebrating getting through the first semester. We’re able to invite our friends/family/biddies, so if you are interested in attending let me know. For those that aren’t attending, I am intending to bring my camera along so that I can capture it all. Enough from me for now, over and out!


A letter of hope, from Sacia Cholneg

Who said that Gen Y is apathetic?!

Here is a kick-ass example of a young person going out of their way, to challange the currently status quo in their current school environment. I hope the school listens. In fact I hope that all schools listen, there is so much bad stuff that goes down in highschool that is never really properly dealt with or brought to light, until years later maybe.

Hopefully this is the beginnings of some social change, this is a letter that has been written by a current student in the Riverland to their school, and hopefully its going to go viral. It was inspired by a video, that I cannot for life of me, find on Tumblr, but if it ever pops up again I’ll link it to this.

I think it’s special and needs to shared, originally the letter was signed anonymous so that the letter could be by, and for every student there, but now the writer has chosen to go under the pseudonym of Sacia Cholneg. I’ve blotted out the school name for the time being, which I might go back to and change.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am sixteen years young and have attended XXXXX High School for four years. I have been born and nurtured in the Riverland and I have the determination to prove I am a passionate and capable member of our community. I envisage the youth of the Riverland to have the most upheld quality of citizenship and this is why I am writing this letter today. I feel my level of faith is slowly dropping.

Just recently it has come to my attention the amount of derogatory terms and phrases used by the vast number of youth culture. I am utterly disgraced when I hear someone say “that’s gay!” or “what a faggot!” and even hearing someone call him or her a “retard”. I know people that have been emotionally and even physically abused because of the way they were born; the way they just are. I believe people simply don’t understand and that they need to be informed that liking the same sex or needing a little more tutoring than others is not abnormal or strange. People are afraid of things they don’t comprehend and I believe this is why it’s become such an obstacle. In the context of which these people use these words are creating a closed, homophobic and unaccepting environment for themselves and others.

I plead on an emotional level for these obscenities to cease. I propose visions of posters, video contests, assignments and art themed competitions all based around this hiccup in youth culture. Anything to oblige people to think about how these unsavory words may affect others unknowingly.

I want to clearly state I am not criticizing XXXXXXX High or the youth as a whole, I do not mean to offend. I’m just a common teenager looking for a secure and pleasant environment to learn and thrive in. I also want you to recognize this letter not as a complaint but as an idea for improvement and development. I want you to see this as cry for help. I need, not so much as want, people to have an understanding of the environment that their almost habitual expressions are creating for themselves and others.

I understand that this is a large proposal and I also understand my ideas may not go forward but I feel better knowing that I have brought this to your attention.




ABC OPEN ‘A Road Less Travelled’ – ABC Riverland SA

Earlier in 2010 I made this little ditty, as part of ABC OPEN, I quite enjoyed messing around with the equipment in the process. This tells the tale of my highschool years, with my ‘Change’ story, Heywire seems to like it, so they have been posting it everywhere (:

A Road Less Travelled – ABC Riverland SA – Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

So I have come to a recent self realization that I can be quite cheesy. But, hey, what can I say, I like cheese, especially when its Brie. The point being that although the title of this piece may be a bit lame, but it means alot to me. Kind of a reference to Robert Frost’s poem, ‘A Road not Taken’. He was the first poet that I had ever studied in any capacity, & it was when we we’re analyzing his words that I gained the self belief that I could be more then a smart-ass in my under-ripe year 9 english class.


The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


My preferences

Uni applications have been frustrating and scary, I think maybe they try to make the websites hard to understand, so that they can weed out the weak.

In terms of trying to make plans for the future, it makes me incredibly anxious, catcher in the rye, uncertain and all that jazz. Some of it has to deal with the fact that there has been a major eff-up with youth allowance, and being a  rural student/youth. (Thanks alot Gilly).

Read more about my mutual feelings from this kid Paddy/Lamps, as a i feel that we are birds of a feather & two people sitting in the same boat.

‘Youth Allowance – An open letter to Julia Gillard’
‘Ramblings of an Angry Gap year student’.

How I feel about the future in general, can be summed up in this excerpt from John Green’s Papertowns:

“Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement, There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for plannning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future–you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.”

But this i guess is now becoming something like my mission statement, as I have published this on deviant/heywire/etc now:

I just want to put together a group of bandits, and we can all be merry men, and we will all live just down the street from each other, we’ll build forts where we can all hide when we really need to, and we’ll have partys where all the cool kids come to die, and we’ll steal from the rich and give to the poets, we’ll all donate blood and kisses to those that need it, and we’ll sleep together in a real pile.

11 Months ago, how i felt about youth allowance

Please note, this has already been published on Heywire
My spelling and grammar is probably terrible.
But this is very significant to me.
I am currently working on my gap year, & i need to catch up with the youth allowance issues in terms of its current status.

‘Youth Allowance, its personal’

“My name is Shaylee, I have only recently turned 18 years old (yeah baby!), and am in the final stages of finishing year 12.

I literally have about 2 weeks of school left to go, and honestly, I am terrified.

For of course, the typical reasons that are very prone for the teenage adults, which can be put into a personalized equation like this:

Life = School x Homework+(EXAM REVISION) x fatigue + coffee+ hormones/philosophy + Heart ache + homesickness + feeling thirsty x Procrastination x yr 12 “pressure”/being told that you are stressed + incoming exams – Freedom + irrational parents + Coming of age x living in the moment/responsibility x too many late nights / Low immune system + Vitamin C + Fish Oil Capsules – Not have P’s plates yet x Uncertainty for the future

I’m at the peak of my youth, and hopefully the only way to go now is up.
But there is something that keeps me awake at night, something that makes me quiver before someone asks me the dreaded question:

“What do you plan to do after year 12?”

This question dries my throat. I myself have spent quite a lot of time trying to figure this out, but mostly keeping my fingers crossed.

In attempting to prepare for the future I obviously have many questions before me.

Who am I? What will I be? What are my passions? What do I want to do?

My stock standard questions, for those people that ask, but don’t really care, and are asking for pushing conversation’s sake is.

“What do you plan to do after year 12?”

‘I’m going to Uni…Cycle”

Smile and scamper off, as they contemplate my answer, then frown with confusion.

Why do I tell people this?

Because I really don’t know what’s going to happen next year.

I don’t mean in this a Holden Craufield ‘I don’t know what I want’, teenager with no direction.

Because of a brainwave of budget cuts, it is making my head spin, anxiety rise as I ask myself:

How will I get there? Will I ever get there? Is it even possible?

What is going to happen to me next year?

Other times when people from my home town have asked me this, I have told them, I think I’m going to do a gap year. After saying that, people my age look at me knowingly and nod. Anyone my parent’s age look at me and frown, they tell me,

‘I’m hesitant when kids tell me that, because sometimes they start off doing that, and never make it to university’.

This is both frustrating and true. My friend whom has started off as an apprentice bartender, and hopefully chef tells me that they guy that he works with keeps telling him that ‘once you’ve got your foot in the door, get yourself out of here and don’t look back’.

After school the Riverland becomes a kind of depressing waiting room, where everyone wants to breakout of.

When my schoolmates and people generally from the city ask me

why a gap year? Do I want to travel or something?

I tell them: Well ideally, I would like to travel, but that doesn’t seem realistic.

I’m doing a gap year to earn some $, and get some ‘life experience’ in this ‘real world’ that everyone has been lecturing me about for the past two years. Also,

I don’t think I really have a choice; I’m from the country so I can’t just cut costs and live at home when I go to Uni.
I don’t want to struggle financially in uni, I don’t want to rely on my parents because that doesn’t seem fair, I don’t want to work various jobs at crazy hours to pay bills because I’d rather focus on studying, and I don’t really want to be part of the population of Uni Students living under the poverty line. I heard that a girl got scurvy because she blew her budget and only had baked beans to eat for a month!

But most of all I need to do it, because I want to try to apply for Youth Allowance. But you know! That might not happen because of changes that apparently making it ‘fairer’ and possibly impossible for a lot of country kids to get it!

At this point I’m fuming.

Then they say:

‘Oh? What changes? I haven’t heard anything about that… Well actually I remember reading something about a relocation scholarship, you get like a few grand when you move, just because you’re from the country, how good is that!’

Ahem. * Face-palm-slap*

‘You only get it if can actually apply for Youth Allowance’…

‘Oh right… So scurvy like pirates huh? I heard you can stop that just by drinking orange juice…’


It kills me, how people have no idea of what is going on around them.

But I guess it isn’t a new thing, city kids, not understanding how various issues affect the rest of the country.

I.e. water wastage, them having half-hour showers, enter me ranting about the drought, they squint at me and look confused. Oh right, the don’t have constant reminders of what drought does, they don’t have family friends that are slowly becoming depressed, because they have had to cut down half of their vineyards, and so-and-so from down the road has been stealing water.

The school’s career councilor is demanding I put my preferences in for uni.

I bite my lip, I’m so hesitant, I don’t know what to put.

Most of the courses that I want to do are non-deferrable, and I really don’t want to say yes to something I’m not passionate about, just so that I can get a place there. Let along all the other courses you can only defer for one year, so maybe it doesn’t matter what I put down anyway.

There is just so much that I don’t know or understand.

I don’t know where I would live if I had to move out of home. I don’t know what its like to drive in city traffic in peak hour.

I don’t understand why people keep complaining that young people aren’t leaving the nest as early, meanwhile its getting harder and harder, due to prices going up, finding rentals are getting harder, and support systems like Youth Allowance is being messed around with.

I don’t understand why the Government didn’t look at rural communities, saw that they have already been suffering the effects of drought; their produce hasn’t been as much or as good. So there is a lacking of money, lots of people are selling or closing their businesses, because they can’t survive. So there are a lot of people losing jobs, the juice factory ‘Berri’ being sold is a prime example. So by losing jobs, there are more people looking for jobs, making it harder to get one. Our healthcare isn’t that great, their has been a shortage of doctors, because no one wants to work here, being a local you get sick and don’t bother to make an appointment, because by the time you got one say in about two months time, chances are you would be over it. All of which are depressing perks, and not at all beneficial for young people’s mental health.

I don’t understand how they can see communities like this, and then decide to make it harder for the youths living, here.

It’s like kicking someone in the stomach, when they have already fallen to the ground.

By picking on the class of 09, and the future classes, it is affecting these kid’s families, which in turn is a domino effect where it starts to hurt everyone.

Or maybe it just has been completely overlooked.
I don’t understand why I can see the changes were a bad idea.
And why Julia Gillard couldn’t see it when it was first proposed.
I don’t understand at all.


I am so sick of hearing people complaining about ‘kids these days’.

When they are complaining  and criticizing about my generation, they are forgetting who were the people that raised it.

And personally i have a bigger problem with the baby boomers that whinge on about the kids with no respect, listening to that rap music of ours. Yo, Thanks for the gobal warming Homie! Oh yes, its nice weather we’re having, pity about the climate!

And I really don’t care to listen to people whom deny that climate change is happening, especially when the solution could be as simple as turning off your lights, so if you believe and it turns out its not real, well the worst thing that has happened is that you’ve been considerate to the environment. So quit the adult talk, open your eyes and close your mouths, because you are not the ones that will have to clean up this mess.

I can’t even think about this for too long without getting upset, weepy, angry, frustrated or restless. I’m scared for myself, I’m scared for my friends, I’m scared for my community in regards what will happen to them. I’m scared about the enormous amounts of blind-spots that the people in charge are having, as I feel that we for some time have been overlooked. As I write this I am trembling. Because I know there people that are living in towns smaller, so the effects will be even harsher.

I’m afraid of the rest of my life.”

Nostalgia: 2009

Time actually goes pretty fast. With my incoming 19th spin around this world, its hard not to get the smallest bit nostalgic. Enter, 2009 wave, year 12 for Shaylee.

At my school we had these massive shared lunches, where everyone brought food, that was always more then enough to feed this many people.

And of course, they were themed, so dressing up was a given. Friday the 13th style.

Harry Potter day anyone? Those who didn’t dress up, were deemed muggles, the science staff came as death eaters, and the chamber of secrets was officially open.

Our year 12 production, ‘The Secret Garden’, our indian celebration dance was pretty wick.

The year 12 corridor always felt like home, with these ladies around.

Seeing AFP live, being on her guest list, and seeing the show for free!

Roadtrips with the people i love…

Even if it was just to BrokenHill.

Ahhh memories.